Council offers 20 Hours Free Early Childhood Education
13 June 2007
The Christchurch City Council is to offer 20 Hours Free Early Childhood Education to all three and four-year-olds who attend its three early learning centres.
From 1 July 2007, Tuam Street Early Learning Centre, Pioneer Early Learning Centre and QEII Pre-School will offer central Government’s free early childhood education initiative, providing up to six hours of free access daily to childcare or 20 hours a week.
Community Support Manager Catherine McDonald says Council has explored all options relating to the central Government initiative and is confident the introduction of it into its three centres will have no financial disadvantage for Council.
"Instead, we believe that not only will it bring a level of funding which will ensure the centres remain viable without any added cost to the ratepayer but it will also ensure Council is able to support its community by providing parents of three and four-year-olds with easier access to free childcare."
She did note that Council would soon undertake its annual fee review, having absorbed significant increases in operational costs during the last two years.
Mrs McDonald says providing high quality childcare in a culturally and emotionally safe environment remains central to the operation of the Council’s three learning centres.
Staff from the three centres have undergone extensive training on the 20 Hours Free Early Childhood Education initiative and will be to able to help parents of three and four-year-olds who opt to take advantage of the initiative..
Mrs McDonald says by offering the initiative, Council is potentially able to offer a better service to families with pre-school children at no extra cost.
"Through the initiative, Council’s three early learning centres will be contributing to creating a more inclusive community, promoting life-long learning and a more prosperous city."
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