Where the participation programme will be targeted
Children from lower socio-economic backgrounds are also much less likely to have participated in quality ECE than their peers from higher socio-economic status backgrounds. Most of the programme will target areas with the largest numbers of children who are not participating in ECE but would benefit the most from ECE. The projects will largely focus on Māori, Pasifika children, and children from low socio economic backgrounds.
Māori and Pasifika children and children from lower socio-economic status backgrounds consistently participate in ECE at lower rates than other groups. Māori and Pasifika children participate at 91% and 85% respectively while the national participation rate is 95%.
What does the funding include?
Most of the allocated funding is for the subsidy costs for children who will access ECE as a result of the programme.
Past property assistance and parent engagement programmes have been reviewed to give greater focus to boosting ECE participation for the children who would benefit most.
What are the initiatives?
An additional 9,310 children over four years old are expected to participate in quality ECE through the programme’s following six initiatives:
Intensive Community Participation Projects (ICPP):
Intensive community participation projects seek to understand the barriers to ECE participation as well as the ECE needs of communities with very low participation. Ideas to increase participation in ECE will come directly from the community with the Ministry of Education and other agencies working in support to ensure the best use of Government funding.
The supported playgroups initiative provides an ECE option for communities with large numbers of children who don’t participate because parents want to stay with their children or where there are significant barriers to setting up and sustaining an ECE service. A supported playgroup is a certificated playgroup, with regular support from a Kaimanaaki or Playgroup Educator to ensure the provision of high quality ECE and encourage involvement by families.
Engaging Priority Families
The Engaging Priority Families initiative seeks to provide intensive early learning support to families and whānau of three and four year olds in target communities who are currently not participating in ECE. Engaging Priority Families providers will work alongside families and whānau to: support their child’s regular attendance in a quality ECE service that is responsive to their needs; strengthen their involvement with their child’s learning at home and, support their child’s transition to school/kura.
Identity, Language, Culture and Community Engagement Initiative
This initiative provides support to ECE services so that they are able to cater to their community’s specific identity, language, culture needs. The initiative is delivered to clusters of ECE services to raise responsiveness to the community they are located in.
Flexible and Responsive Home-based Initiative
Home-based ECE provides another ECE option for families whose children do not currently attend ECE. This initiative caters for families who prefer their children to experience ECE in a home-based setting.
This participation initiative supports the provision of high-quality home-based ECE services that are culturally tailored and have flexible hours of operation. The initiative also seeks to support the transition of informal family and whānau care arrangements into licensed ECE settings.
Targeted Assistance for Participation
A shortage of ECE services coupled with high population growth and difficulty accessing ECE that is responsive to some communities’ identity, language, and cultural needs can create participation problems.
The Targeted Assistance for Participation (TAP) fund will establish new child places and ECE services in high priority areas. This fund will provide start-up costs and incentives to create new child places and/or establish new services in communities where they are needed most.
Why have these initiatives been selected to improve participation?
There are a range of circumstances that can influence whether children, families and whānau participate in ECE. These differ for communities: it can be about affordability, access, fit of provision with family needs and values, whether families are interested, and fit with parenting, work and study. These initiatives have been designed to address many of these the reasons children do not participate in ECE.
What is different about these initiatives from past participation projects?
The initiatives focus on putting support into target communities, and increasing the flexibility and responsiveness of our ECE system by working with these communities. The areas with the largest numbers of children missing out on ECE will be primary focus of the programme.
In addition the initiatives represent a new approach to raising participation. Individual projects will be community driven to increase the likelihood that the local barriers to participation are addressed, and that the positive participation changes can be maintained.
Why have certain areas already been chosen?
Areas already chosen have the largest numbers of non-participating children. Areas are broken down by census area unit participation data.
Census area units are areas broken down by population numbers. They are used for measurement by Statistics New Zealand.
More information can be found on the Statistics New Zealand website.
Participation programme links with other government initiatives
The participation programme will be consistent with initiatives across other government agencies (such as the Ministry of Social Development, the Ministry of Health, Te Puni Kōkiri and the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs).
The ECE Participation Programme also has direct input to the ECE outcomes within Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success: The Māori Education Strategy 2008 - 2012 and the Pasifika Education Plan 2009 – 2012.
What’s happening now?
We have set up 58 participation initiatives and approved 21 grants in communities with some of the lowest participation rates. These are broken down into:
- 20 Engaging Priority Families contracts delivering 25 initiatives
- 8 contracts delivering 13 initiatives in Whangarei/South Auckland
- 7 contracts delivering 7 initiatives in Waikato
- 4 contracts delivering 4 initiatives in the lower North Island
- 1 contract delivering 1 initiative in Christchurch
- 29 Supported Playgroups in target communities across the country:
- 20 in South Auckland
- 5 in Tamaki
- 1 in Kawerau
- 1 in Huntly/Ngāruawāhia
- 2 in Whangarei
- 4 Flexible and Responsive Home-based support packages in Papakura and Tamaki
- 2 Identity, Language, Culture and Community Engagement initiatives in Mangere and Hamilton
- 3 Intensive Community Participation Programmes in Tamaki, Waitakere and Kaikohe
- 21 Targeted Assistance for Participation (TAP) grants awarded
We are currently working towards setting up participation initiatives for year two of the ECE Participation Programme in target communities.
What about other parts of the country?
The Ministry of Education has also committed to addressing smaller pockets of low participation across the country through regional community participation projects in conjunction with the Participation Programme. These projects will focus on Māori, Pasifika and children from low socio-economic areas.