14 Feb 2013

Benefits of early childhood education for Pacific people promoted in NZ

5:08 am on 14 February 2013

The New Zealand Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs hopes to boost Pacific enrolments in early childhood education centres by promoting it as a good foundation for learning.

Under the Pasifika Education Plan 2013-17, the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, aims to lift Pacific participation in early childhood education from 86.8 percent last to 98 percent by 2016.

A spokesperson from the Ministry, Reno Paotonu, says a series of workshops will be held in main centres in New Zealand to emphasize the benefits of early learning.

"In the workshops probably one of the key messages that we are promoting is firstly promoting the importance of early childhood education as a foundation for a good start in education. And also the other thing that we're wanting to promote is just the variety of services that are out there in terms of early childhood education. So for example Pacific language ECE services, playgroups."

Reno Patonu says cost is often an obstacle for parents enrolling their children at early childhood centres and says there are subsidies on offer.