Increased ECE focus for Hastings

  • Anne Tolley

Education Minister Anne Tolley says that Hastings is to benefit from an ECE funding boost to help increase participation in early childhood education.

$91.8 million is being invested in target areas across the country, to make 3500 more ECE places available, particularly for Maori and Pasifika children, and children from low socio-economic communities.

“Far too many children are currently missing out on early childhood education, and we are focused on giving them the best possible start to their education before they start primary school,” says Mrs Tolley.

“These intensive participation projects work with communities to attract more families into ECE, while also building new ECE services and funding supported playgroups.

“Nationally, 95% of children attend an ECE service before starting school, but in Hastings the figures are 93.3% for Maori and 85.5% for Pasifika children. We need to reach these families and develop a local plan to help children receive the benefits from high-quality ECE.

“Our new approach ensures that communities, supported by the Ministry of Education and other agencies, develop their own ideas to increase participation.

“Intensive ECE participation projects are already under way in Northland, Waitakere and Tamaki, as we continue our commitment to early childhood education, with funding of $1.4 billion this year – nearly 40 per cent more than in 2008.”