350 more places in Pacific Early Childhood Education

  • Mark Gosche
Pacific Island Affairs

14 November 2001 – embargoed until 3pmMedia Statement
350 more places in Pacific Early Childhood Education

Minister of Pacific Island Affairs Hon Mark Gosche is delighted that so many pacific island early childhood centres will benefit from $8.241 million in funding for early childhood education buildings.

Education Minister Trevor Mallard today announced the allocation of funding which will create over 350 new places for Pacific children nation-wide in licensed and chartered centres over the next year.

The discretionary grants scheme provides capital assistance to community-based not-for-profit early childhood education services.

Pacific Island early childhood education centres will gain over $2.7 million in total.

“We need to increase Pacific achievement in all areas of education through increasing participation, improving retention and focusing on effective teaching strategies. This is a great step forward.

“This Government initiative will result in long term benefits for Pacific children and their communities,” Mark Gosche said.

“The purpose is to assist groups to reach licensing standards or by helping others to maintain standards by removing health and safety hazards. The discretionary grants will also increase the number of places available in existing centres,” Trevor Mallard said.

“The Government is continuing to strive for higher participation and quality of early childhood education.

“My personal conviction about the importance of this early foundation was confirmed yet again last month by the results from the Competent Children at 10 research conducted by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research.

“The Council reported that ‘Early childhood education continued to play a part in children’s performance five years after they had moved on to school. This is a powerful legacy’.

“I know that around New Zealand, communities have been working very hard to realise their dreams of achieving the funding they need for their projects so their children could receive quality early childhood education. For many of these communities, especially those for whom the raising of funds is difficult, the discretionary grants scheme is a key step in this process,” Trevor Mallard said.

Nationwide, 77 centres and community groups will have their projects funded over the next 12 months.

Contact: Lyn Holland, Mark Gosche’s Press Secretary, ph 04 4719 063, or 021 270 9004. Moerangi Vercoe, Trevor Mallard’s Press Secretary 04 471 9080 or 021 270 9194