More than 198,000 children are enrolled in early childhood education services across the country. These services are very important so children have the best start in education. That’s why National is increasing funding for early childhood education providers to adjust for inflation.

This brings the early childhood sector’s funding into line with increases in funding for other education sectors announced in the Budget. This is part of a $1.1 billion investment by National into early childhood education this year.

National has extended the 20 hours scheme to playcentres and kōhanga reo. This delivers on our election promise and increases the choices available for parents. And from 1 July 2011, the six-hour daily limit for 20 hours will be removed, giving working parents more options on how they plan their week.

By increasing early childhood education funding, providing establishment grants, and cutting bureaucracy, we are helping more families to access early childhood education and helping to build a strong learning foundation for the next generation.