20 Apr 2010

Auckland early childhood education zones possible

9:21 am on 20 April 2010

Education Minister Anne Tolley says enrolment zones are possible for some early childhood services in south Auckland.

Latest Government figures show participation in early childhood education reached a high last year but some groups are under represented.

Last year, 95% of year one students had had early-childhood education before they started school.

But among children at decile one schools, the figure was 82%. Among those from Pacific Island backgrounds, it was 85.5%.

Mrs Tolley says the Government has funded pilot programmes in south Auckland, including supported playgroups.

But she says some communities find it difficult to access the services, and enrolment zones might be useful to guarantee that local people have place at their early childhood centre.

Mrs Tolley says extending early childhood education to under-represented groups is a challenge she's considering ahead of the Budget next month.

The figures also show regional differences. Participation rates were below 90% in only five districts: the Far North, Manukau City, Papakura, Otorohanga and Waitomo.

Otorohanga and Waitomo also had the lowest rates of teacher registration.