6 Sep 2013

Minister applauds ECE bus for Pasifika

3:04 pm on 6 September 2013

The Government is claiming early success with a new mobile service to get more Pasifika children into early childhood education in south Auckland.

Pasifika children have the lowest ECE participation and the government's spending $280,000 on the new Pacific Early Learning Mobile Outreach Service's Smartbus to improve that.

Education and Pacific Island Affairs Minister Hekia Parata says it gives Pasifika parents a taste of early childhood education and makes it less intimidating.

"They feel comfortable that the bus, like Mr Whippy, is coming along their street and that they can come up and ask questions; that there are resources the kids can see and play with. I think it is a bridging step to fuller education."

She says early indications are that it's working, with 57 children enrolled in early childhood services since March because of the Smartbus.