Education Minister Hekia Parata has today announced that $18.9 million of grant funding will go towards boosting early childhood education participation in targeted areas.
The funding will help create 1,039 new childhood education places in high need areas, including Kaikohe, Waitakere, Manukau, South Auckland, Hamilton, Te Kuiti and Porirua.
It will support private and community groups to lift participation in communities where it is low and there are insufficient spaces available in already established services.
Most of the projects will be completed next year.
“We are focused on the areas of greatest need and where we stand to make the biggest impact in ECE participation, among Māori, Pasifika and children from low socio-economic communities,” says Ms Parata.
“This funding directly contributes to our ambitious goal of achieving 98 per cent participation in quality early childhood education.
“Right from the earliest years of a child’s life, we know that quality early childhood education gets kids ready for learning at school.
“Over 3,000 children in the year to March 2012 started school without attending early childhood education. That’s not good enough. We want our kids to go to primary school confident, able to engage, and eager to learn. Quality early childhood education plays an important part in that development.”
It is the second year that the Targeted Assistance for Participation (TAP) early childhood education programme has been in place. Providers interested in accessing TAP funding are encouraged to visit the ECE Lead website lead.ece.govt.nz or the Government Tender website gets.govt.nz for more information