ECC welcomes changes to school funding system

The Early Childhood Council (ECC) welcomes the Government’s planned changes to the decile funding system affecting schools, early learning services and kohanga reo.

ECC Chief Executive Officer, Peter Reynolds, says it is especially good news the Government has said current funding to early childhood education (ECE) services won’t be reduced under the changes.

The Government announced on 31 July 2017 that it will replace the school decile funding system with a more targeted ‘Risk Index’ system by 2020.

The decile system, while representing only 3% of public investment in schools, has been criticised for branding schools rich or poor. ECE services also receive a small amount of funding under this decile model (called equity funding) to support those children most in need.

It will be replaced by a Risk Index model that is expected to target funding to schools and ECE services based on the estimated numbers of students and children identified as being most at risk of underachieving.

Peter Reynolds says it is critical that early childhood education ECE services receive adequate funding to provide a good-quality ECE service.

“We note that those likely to be identified by this new Risk Index are not the only young children attending ECE.

“While the Government says it is too early to say what the impact of the changes will be on schools and ECE services, it is good to hear current funding to early childhood education (ECE) services won’t be impacted as a result of changes to the way schools are funded,” Mr Reynolds says.

ECC also acknowledges the commitment from the Ministry of Education that the accountability and compliance requirements associated with how this targeted Risk Index funding is spent will be consistent across the sector.

The ECC looks forward to continuing work on the development of the Risk Index and how it is implemented in our sector through the Ministerial Advisory Group on the Review of Education Funding.

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