AbstractParticipation in good quality early childhood education has positive outcomes for children, families and society (Mitchell, Wylie, & Carr, 2008). Supportive policy frameworks and sufficient, secure and predictable funding are necessary to encourage participation and ensure that flexible services, designed to respond to the needs of children and families are available (OECD, 2006). This has not always been the case in New Zealand early childhood education. New Zealand kindergartens for example have always relied on significant voluntary donations and support to maintain their sessional services and provision. In 2005 and 2007, however, new early childhood funding initiatives opened up opportunities for
kindergartens to review their operation and make changes to their provision. This article is based on the findings from a survey of New Zealand Kindergarten association management conducted in 2010. The survey sought to find out what changes had occurred in kindergarten provision as a result of the funding initiatives. Association responses show that significant change has been embraced and that this has resulted in improved quality, greater flexibility of hours and attendance options and less reliance on voluntary donations and support.
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