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A good start for all in Labour's ECE policy

5 November 2008

A good start for all in Labour's ECE policy

The right of all 3-and-4-year-olds to access 20 Hours Free ECE is enshrined under Labour's Early Childhood Education policy released today by Education Minister Chris Carter.

"Since being launched last year the number of free ECE enrolments has hit 88,984 – 93 per cent of eligible children.

"Labour wants to see all young children enrolled in early childhood services and is committed to ensuring that 20 Hours Free continues to benefit families across New Zealand.

"We know that a quality early childhood education lays the platform for educational success in later life and gives young kiwis the best opportunity to reach their full potential," said Chris Carter.

With an increase in births, particularly in South Auckland, Labour's ECE policy will expand the opportunities for young New Zealanders to access early childhood education.

"Over $100 million has already been invested in the community-based early childhood sector over the last nine years, creating an additional 6,000 places.

"Population growth means an extra 19,000 places will be needed by 2011.

"Labour will develop a nationwide plan, and expand the support for new community based services, to ensure there are sufficient early childhood education places in areas with low participation or growing numbers of children."

The quality of early childhood education will also improve with Labour's plan. By 2012, 100 per cent of all staff in teacher-led services will have to be qualified with a recognised early childhood education qualification.

"The best resource in any form of education are quality teachers.

"Labour is dedicated to ensuring a quality, fully professional ECE workforce which gives young kiwis the best possible start to their education," said Chris Carter.

Other features of Labour's ECE policy include getting more Kohanga Reo into 20 Hours Free ECE and increased support for parent led services such as Playcentre.

ENDS

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