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All kindergartens now offering 20 hours free

7 November 2007

All kindergartens now offering 20 hours free

Every kindergarten in the country is now offering the Labour-led government’s 20 hours free early childhood education, saving families up to $4500 a year per child, says Education Minister Chris Carter.

“Overall, more than 83 per cent of eligible three and four year olds enrolled at teacher-led early education providers are now benefiting from this visionary policy just four months after it was launched”, Chris Carter said.

More than 2000 early childhood services are now offering 20 hours free, lowering the cost and boosting access to early childhood education for the families of 76,924 children. 72 per cent of eligible teacher-led services are now offering 20 hours free, an increase of 10 per cent since the policy was launched on 1 July.

Major provider Kindercare, with 56 services, has indicated it will offer 20 hours free from later this month. That’s more than 1200 extra three and four year olds whose families can now benefit from the policy.

Forty-four Kohanga Reo have also decided to opt in, and more are getting ready to come on board.

Chris Carter says Kohanga Reo with qualified teachers leading day to day learning are eligible to offer the policy, boosting participation for Maori children.

“We know that a child who attends early childhood education has a much better chance at succeeding in school and later in life,” Chris Carter said.

“This government recognises the importance of funding public education from the age of three. Only the Labour-led government is committed to delivering 20 hours free early childhood education a week to three and four year olds.”

ENDS

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