15 Mar 2012

No Maori focus in early childhood education drive

7:16 pm on 15 March 2012

The Government says Maori won't get any special treatment under its plan to get more children into early childhood education.

Prime Minister John Key has announced 10 targets his Government aims to reach over the next five years.

Supporting vulnerable children is among the goals, and Mr Key wants more young children to enrol in early childhood education, particularly Maori and Pacific.

But he's ruling out giving tamariki any special attention, because he says he's targeting all New Zealand children.

Mr Key says evidence shows that time spent in early childhood education helps future learning.

Figures from the Ministry of Education show 90% of Maori children were enrolled in early childhood education before they'd started their first year of school.

That compares to 98.2% of Pakeha.

The ministry also notes Maori participation in early childhood education has been growing over the past five years.