Playcentre Aotearoa has welcomed a one-off grant of $3 million in Budget 2023, which will support the sustainability of parent-led early childhood education (ECE) in New Zealand, chief executive David Moger said today.

Mr Moger said he was pleased the unique nature of Playcentre was recognised.

The Government also announced $339.3m for pay parity for ECE and care service teachers and $260m for cost pressures for ECE services.

From 1 January 2024 there will be an increase of 5.3 per cent to subsidies for Playcentre, Kōhanga Reo and home-based ECE services. Subsidies for kindergartens and education and care services will also be adjusted, but not by as much given the significant investment for staffing in these services through this Budget.

There is also $1.2b for extending 20 hours free ECE to include two-year-olds (it currently covers ages 3-5), starting in March next year, equating to $133.20 a week.

“This is great news for Playcentre, with two-year-olds accounting for 19 per cent of tamariki enrolled at Playcentre,” says Moger.

“With a heritage of over 80 years, Playcentre is modernising to ensure it remains relevant and sustainable as modern life puts increasing pressures on parents’ time, and we welcome this assistance.”

“Playcentre is a uniquely New Zealand model of early learning service that values and affirms parents as the first and best educators of their children,” Mr Moger said.

Playcentre Aotearoa is a charitable trust with over 400 parent-led early childhood education centres operating across the country.