23 Sep 2012

Fees, volunteers underpin preschool sector

12:14 pm on 23 September 2012

Early childhood education services receive three quarters of their income from the Government, but the sector still relies heavily on volunteers, new figures show.

An Education Ministry survey of 1600 providers in July 2011 shows 79% charge some sort of fee.

The national average hourly fee for under two-year-olds is $5.55 and for children over two is $5.26.

The highest fees for early childhood education and care are paid by Wellington parents at a level 17% above the national average. Charges in Wellington were $6.49 an hour for under two-year-olds and $6.20 an hour for children over two.

On average, providers get 75% of their funding from government sources, 22% from parents, and 3% from fundraising and community grants.

Nearly half of all services used volunteers, including more than 30% of education and care services, nine out of ten kindergartens and all playcentres.