INDEPENDENT NEWS

Funding For Lunches In Early Childhood Education Welcomed

Published: Wed 8 May 2024 02:15 PM
Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens welcomes the government decision to fund morning tea and lunch for up to 10,000 children in equity-funded not-for-profit early childhood services.
The government has announced the funding ahead of the budget later this month.
Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens operates 108 kindergartens from Waiouru to Balclutha, providing education and care for more than 5,500 children. Of our services, 31 kindergartens catering for nearly 1500 children receive equity funding.
Whānau Manaaki chief executive Amanda Coulston says many families have difficulty affording food, and while kindergartens already support families facing food insecurity, more support from government is welcome.
“We look forward to discussing with the government how the programme could best work in our services” says Amanda.
“A well-designed programme would improve attendance and engagement in our kindergartens, and support children’s learning and development as well as reducing stress on families in a cost-of-living crisis.”
Whānau Manaaki is however concerned about $107 million being cut from the Ka ako ka ora programme in schools.
“Families with children in secondary school are also facing financial difficulties, and the programme has many other benefits, including improving nutrition.“
“The food in schools programme builds a positive culture in schools and is often incorporated into students’ learning” says Amanda.

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