Hutt Valley early childhood participation rising

Hutt Valley news
Thursday, April 30, 2015

National List MP Based in the Hutt Valley, Chris Bishop, has welcomed an increase in the proportion of Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt children participating in early childhood education (ECE) before starting school.

Between March 2012 and March 2015, the participation rate for children in Lower Hutt City rose from 95 per cent to 98 per cent – an increase of three percentage points. For Upper Hutt, the increase was from 97.4 per cent to 98.7 per cent.

Mr Bishop says that he’s particularly pleased by the significant gains achieved for Māori and Pasifika.

In Lower Hutt, the proportion of Pasifika children participating in ECE rose 6.9 percentage points from March 2012 to March 2015, to 96.9 per cent. The proportion of Māori participation rose 4.2 percentage points to 95.5 per cent.

In Upper Hutt, the proportion of Māori participating rose 1.3 percentage points to 96.9 per cent, while Pasifika participation fell slightly.

“Regular participation in quality early childhood learning significantly increases a child’s chance of future educational success, particularly those from vulnerable families, so these increases are great news.

“However there is obviously still more work to be done. The children we haven’t reached yet are generally the ones who stand to benefit most from ECE. The government is very focused on raising ECE participation rates further, particularly amongst vulnerable communities,” says Mr Bishop.

Since 2007/2008 government spending on ECE has almost doubled to $1.6 billion, reflecting the government’s commitment to ensuring all children get the possible start in education.

Notes: Data on ECE participation rates is available here.