$4.2m to boost early childhood education places

  • Anne Tolley
  • Pita Sharples

Education Minister Anne Tolley and Associate Education Minister Pita Sharples have announced a $4.2 million funding boost for five early childhood education centres, which will benefit 280 children.

"This is great news for families who want their children to enjoy high quality early childhood education," says Mrs Tolley.

"$4.2 million has been allocated to five groups to build new centres, or to retain and extend existing services.

"The funding will create 234 new places and help retain another 46 places, and will be targeted at Maori and Pasifika children and children from lower socio-economic backgrounds, who are currently less likely to participate in ECE."

Dr Sharples says the funding is being allocated from the Early Childhood Discretionary Grants Scheme.

"It includes over $1.6 million for a Fijian service and a kōhanga reo in Counties Manukau, an area traditionally short of early childhood places," says Dr Sharples.

"A further $2.6 million will support an iwi-based service in Rotorua, a kōhanga reo in Hastings, and a 100-place service in a low-participation Maori community in Northland.

"This funding directly supports the work of community organisations providing quality early childhood education.

"By making these places available we will open up opportunities for education, advancement and increased choices for parents, families and whānau."