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More early childhood education in places of highest need



Education Minister Hekia Parata has announced that nearly 700 more children will have access to quality early childhood education thanks to the Targeted Assistance for Participation Fund.

The Fund has allocated $9.3 million to early childhood education in communities of high-need in this financial year.

“More than half of all children that start school without an early childhood education live in the lowest socio-economic areas. That’s why we have focused this funding on areas identified as having the greatest need and where the biggest impact in early childhood education participation can be made.

“We must do all we can to make sure all children participate in quality early childhood education so they get the best start in life,” Ms Parata says.

Ms Parata says many families do not access quality early childhood education simply because there is not enough provision in their communities.

“This funding will help create places for children in very specific areas,” she says.

The areas to benefit from the investment include Auckland City, South Auckland, Rotorua City, Hamilton City and Porirua City.

“We know from New Zealand and international research that the early childhood years are vital to a child’s development and their future ability to learn. That is why the Government has set a target of 98 per cent of children starting school will have participated in quality early childhood education in 2016,” Ms Parata says.

“We want all children to start school confident, ready to engage, and eager to learn.’’

The Targeted Assistance for Participation Fund, which was established in 2010, creates new early childhood education opportunities by providing grants, incentives and partnership opportunities in areas that have the highest number of children not participating in early childhood education.

Applications for the 2013/14 Targeted Assistance for Participation Fund are expected to open in August 2013.

Hekia Parata

15 May, 2013 2012