12 Property and Equipment Policy

Purpose

Playcentre Aotearoa is committed to providing safe and well-maintained Playcentre environments – workspaces, play spaces, property, facilities and equipment – where Playcentre run sessions and operate. Playcentre environments need to be fit for Playcentres’ purposes, enable the delivery of our early childhood education experience and keep our people safe.
Everyone at Playcentre Aotearoa with Centre, Regional and National premises and facilities related responsibilities will work jointly on this commitment. We will have procedures and practices to support us to manage our Playcentre environments responsibly.
The purpose of this policy is to:

– Provide safe and fit for purpose Playcentre environments, including play spaces, workspaces, buildings, play grounds and equipment
– Comply with the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations, Building Code and other applicable legislation.

As a national organisation, Playcentre Aotearoa has extensive portfolio (through ownership and various other arrangements) of property assets throughout New Zealand. In order to meet our commitments and deliver our Playcentre philosophy of early childhood education, we will responsibly manage the assets we use.

To manage our Playcentre environments we have

  • This guiding policy and nationally defined procedures relating to the acquisition, upgrade, maintenance, sub-lease and disestablishment of Playcentre environments
  • The compliance requirements of being an Early Childhood Education provider and other legislative requirements
  • A National Management Team role with overall responsibility of the management of our Playcentre environments
  • Regionally based administration and support roles with property responsibilities
  • Centre-held roles responsible for day to day property maintenance and equipment.
  • Defined delegations and responsibilities for each role as well as property and equipment scenarios
  • Robust asset register, budget and funding criteria
  • Health and safety policy and procedures: including safety requirements, hazard identification and maintenance reviews

Our Playcentre environments include

  • Buildings, playgrounds and property that we own, lease, hire or utilise to run Centre sessions and work from. The ownership and license to occupy these environments includes a variety of outright ownership, mixed ownership of land and buildings, and various rights to occupy or access.
  • At our Centres these are all places where our tamariki are active (eating, sleeping, toileting and washing) as well as where our Centre teams work – and extends to how we heat, ventilate, control lighting and noise, as well as providing and maintaining equipment.
  • The lawns and gardens, pathways, fences and walls, sheds, sandpits and other playground fixtures that form our Centre environments.
  • The workspaces our National and Regional teams use, and with shared responsibility the home office environments that our employees work from.

Our Playcentre environment undertakings
Our Playcentre environments will:

  • Be accounted for: Owned property assets and all other access rights to our Playcentre environments are coordinated nationally and regionally to ensure care in ownership and use. Accurate and up-to-date records will be maintained centrally by the National Team.
  • Be insured: Nationally administered under a consolidated insurance scheme awarded through tender process and reviewed annually.
  • Be clean and well maintained: Centres (working with Regional and National Teams for advice, budgeting and funding needs) will take day to day responsibility and plan for short to long term maintenance needs. Centres will complete a full annual review and as required by a nationally designated schedule, checking the Centre environment and surrounds, both indoor and outdoor areas, for immediate safety or maintenance needs noticing where future maintenance work might be needed.
  • Be safe: In accordance with our Health and Safety Policy
  • Comply with building regulations and bylaws: They will display evidence of compliance as well as a current Annual Building Warrant of Fitness (where applicable and as required by the Building Code and regulations).
  • Ensure access and mobility for those with special needs: Our Centre environments considers and provides where possible for the current and potential special needs of our tamariki, whānau, volunteers and Considerations include access and mobility, parking, accessible facilities, and furniture.
  • Limit the risk of tamariki being in harm’s way during contractor works, including maintenance, contractor or building visits. Depending on extent of works, ways to limit risk might include temporary Centre closure, restriction of access to affected areas of the Centre environment or heightened

Our Equipment undertakings

Play is the critical element of learning at Playcentre. We will provide play equipment at our Centres so to extend our tamariki physically, emotionally and socially and to enable our parents to learn as educators also.

We will:

  • Provide and maintain equipment at our Centres that is appropriate for the learning and development of Playcentre tamariki. This applies to owned, borrowed or hired equipment. Each Centre will have available at least all items identified as minimum equipment requirements and will not hold any prohibited items as determined by Playcentre from time to time and facilitated by the National team.
  • Have spaces for equipment and materials to be stored safely at our Centres which can be easily and safely accessed by adults, and where practicable, by tamariki.
  • Maintain Centre buildings, equipment and outdoor play spaces to the required safety standards. Centres regularly assess, identify replace or repair any defective items. Items will be inspected on an annual rotation and as stipulated by a national schedule.
  • Together we will keep up to date with new equipment developments, recalls, information and advice.
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Conducting works in our Playcentre Environments

Structural alterations: Each Centre, their Regional Team and the National Team will work together on any structural alterations, changes of use or temporary short and long-term alternative Centre arrangements for the purposes of funding, resourcing and ensuring building requirements and compliance. The delegation of authorities on roles and responsibilities will guide who does what. All structural changes to Centre environments require formal approval and will follow our national procedure. The intent of this level of involvement is to ensure safe practices, necessary compliance, and insurance coverage.

Maintenance work: Centres locally funding any maintenance work ensure the work is undertaken by registered and/or qualified contractors and gained Centre approval prior to appointing a contractor

Funding our Playcentre Environments

The National and Regional teams are available to support and advise on funding and fundraising avenues.

A National Property Budget exists for the purposes of providing assistance in funding capital works, major maintenance and unexpected property related issues for the following types of Playcentre environments:

  • buildings in which licensed Playcentre sessions are held,
  • buildings used for Regional Offices and administration purposes,
  • any other Playcentre building approved by the General Manager

Project funding assistance will be determined by the National Property Budget Project criteria.

Generally, building non-compliance, significant health and safety risk, or compounding damage projects will be prioritised over other funding assistance requests. Administrative, project and Centre characteristics will also be considered.

It will cover instances of major maintenance, emergency, capital works and new land and/or buildings for existing and new Centres.

The total project cost in any approved project will be shared by the National Budget and by the Centre. The proportion of share will be determined as part of the approval.

The fund is administered centrally by the National Team in accordance with their delegations of authority.

All projects will be undertaken by registered and/or qualified contractors. A minimum of two quotes will normally be required before funding is approved and a provider can be appointed.

External funding sources: For Centre requirements, Centres and Regional teams should apply for external funding for capital works and other projects, including maintenance, as a source of funding. External funding agencies include national and local charitable trusts, and service clubs and as covered in our Finance policy.

Emergency Projects: For occasions when a Centre is otherwise unable to access funding through other means and in order to provide safe and fit for purpose Playcentre environments, Centres may have access to emergency funding from Playcentre Aotearoa. Emergency funding can be applied for and considered at National level on a case-by-case basis.

Third-party use of our Playcentre environments

As a community-based organisation and for fundraising purposes, we may hire out or allow access to our Playcentre environments outside of Centre sessions for non-Playcentre purposes.

This may be from time to time or in regular instances. Use by third-parties for alternative purposes introduces risk and complexity that requires careful management by those with Playcentre environment responsibilities.

  • Centres and their Regional team will determine the availability of their Centre environment to third parties
  • Centres, Regional and National Teams will work together to co-ordinate local third-party use to ensure that we don’t compromise any designated use; lease or occupancy right; insurance conditions; ongoing use for Playcentre operations; or compliance with our governing regulations.
  • Nationally agreed procedures, timelines and approvals will be followed for various third- party use scenarios.
  • Third party users are provided with written advice about their obligations relating to their use of our Playcentre environments.
  • Records of use will be kept centrally at a national level.

Reviews and Inspections

To ensure safe and fit for purpose Playcentre environments, Centres and their Regional team will conduct regular Centre and workplace environment reviews and equipment inspections in accordance with a set schedule.

Playcentre Aotearoa will regularly review the Property and Equipment practices and resolutions in each of our Playcentre communities to ensure this policy, and its associated procedures and local practices, are contributing towards providing safer and fit for purpose Playcentre environments. The Trustee Board will be aware of the outcomes of these reviews.