1 Aug 2013

Early childhood projects meet target

9:18 pm on 1 August 2013

A multimillion-dollar project to get thousands more children into early childhood education has reached its target a year early.

The Ministry of Education says the programme has enrolled more than 4000 children, surpassing the target of 3500 by 2014.

The early success of the $92 million scheme has prompted experts to push for it to be expanded.

They say it can be used to reach the Government's next goal, which is 98% of children participating in early learning before they start school in 2016.

The ministry says for that to happen, early learning services need to enrol 3000 more Maori and Pasifika children every year for the next three years.

The Participation Programme includes initiatives such as playgroups, new early learning centres in high-need areas, and support for families at risk of not enrolling their under-fives.