Dr Cam Calder and Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, National Party MP’s Media statement
1 March 2013 – MP’s, Dr Cam Calder and Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi welcome the news that in the Auckland region 93% of children are now attending early childhood education (ECE) services. Ministry of Education figures show enrollments in ECE increased nationally by 2,400 between 2011 and 2012. ECE plays a valuable role in a child’s development and is one of the greatest investments we can make in the future of our children. It provides the opportunity for any child from any background to get ahead and make the most of their lives.
Government funding for ECE subsidies has more than doubled from $617 million in 2006/07 to over $1.3 billion this year. One of National’s priorities this term is delivering better public services, and we have set a target of 98 per cent of children starting school will have participated in quality ECE in 2016.
National are making great progress on this target but we can do better. We have been focusing on communities where large numbers of children don’t attend ECE. This Government is spending $91.8 million over four years to boost participation among Māori, Pasifika, and children from lower socio-economic backgrounds. In the year to June 2012, 95 per cent of children starting school had participated in ECE – up 0.3 per cent from the previous year. And the rate for Māori and Pasifika young ones was higher. We know what we’re doing is working, and we’re not done yet.