Government announces new tracking app and ECE funding

By Bronson Perich

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins have announced an increase funding rate for Early Childhood Education centres.

The PM says childcare demand will reduce and the Government wants to support ECE centres to keep teachers employed.

ECE teachers will be eligible for up to $6,000 extra per annum before tax.

“We are reinstating a higher funding rate for early learning services that employ fully qualified and registered teachers," Jacinda Ardern says.

Ardern admits that the '100% funding band' for ECE was taken away by the previous National Government. She adds that it was reinstated in Budget 2020 to keep teachers employed. 

The Early Childhood Council are pleased with today's announcement. “We applaud the Government for reinstating the band, and their continued investment in ECE," ECC CEO Peter Reynolds says.

Minister Hipkins reported that 80% of our schoolkids have returned, and 53% of toddlers have gone back to childcare.

He reported:

  • 209,759 attended school
  • 36,780 in childcare

A total of 860 schools and 1400 ECE reported their attendance figures to the MoE today. Although not a complete sample, Hipkins felt that this is a true reflection of school and ECE attendance. 

Ardern also reported that the Ministry of Health are working on a tracking app which she called 'digital diary' for users that aids 'contact tracing'.