The government is looking to enrol more than 1000 extra Pasifika children in early childhood education each year as part of its plan to increase participation in ECE.
The government has set a target of 98 percent of new school entrants having attended some form of ECE by 2016 and is targeting current low areas of participation such as Maori and Pacific communities.
Launching a series of workshops for Pacific Island families, Education and Pacific Island Affairs Minister Hekia Parata said they wanted to spread the word about the benefits of ECE.
"Currently, we have 194,101 kids in ECE services across the country," she said. "We need a further 12,000 registered over the next 4 years – 1,350 Pasifika kids per year to be exact. We need all mamas, papas, parents, caregivers and extended aiga to ensure our Pacific kids have the best start in life".
The rate of ECE participation among Pacific Island children is currently around 86%.
A series of workshops will be held for Pasifika communities around Auckland in February.
The workshops will explain the benefits of ECE from the government’s perspective, the different types of ECE services, information about local providers and how to enrol a child and the financial support available. There is no mention if the risks will also be outlined along with other early education and childcare options to support parents to make informed choices.
The workshops will also have information for anyone interested in setting up an early childhood education service.