Playcentre Aotearoa, has welcomed the Government’s urgent boost in funding which will help keep a large number of its Centres open.

Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today that the new funding in the wake of the COVID-19 lockdown would help the organisation retain its 400 Centres.

Playcentre Aotearoa’s  General Manager, Sean McKinley, says the extra $3.7 million from the Government for the next year provides a breathing space for the organisation and will enable it to offset its current deficit.

Mr McKinley says he’s also very pleased the Government is making a further $500,000 available to assess the condition of Playcentre facilities throughout the country and to develop a long-term maintenance plan.

Playcentre was left out of a major funding injection for early childhood services in May leaving the organisation, which has been underfunded for the past 14 years, facing imminent closures of about a quarter of its Centres.

Mr McKinley says Playcentre Aotearoa also welcomes Minister Martin’s commitment to working to ensure Playcentre is viable and her support for a “kiwi institution and a philosophy of ‘parents as first educators’ that many families value”.

“As well as giving us a breathing space, we have more certainty to plan for our future.  It’s also really good to see Government’s commitment to continuing to work of co-designing a new funding model as signalled in the Early Learning Action Plan released last year”.