Tēnā koutou katoa
Welcome back to Term Two. I hope you all enjoyed the break.
I am excited to provide an update from the recent NZPF Trustee Board meeting.
The NZPF Trustee Board meeting was held from Friday 12 to Sunday 14 April at Tapu Te Ranga Marae here in Wellington and had a very full agenda. The Education and Licensing concerns of Centres were one of the main issues discussed by the Trustee Board and they have released the following statement formally signalling that they expect the Operations team to address the issue:
“The Trustee Board acknowledges the concerns around education and licensing that have been expressed by the membership of our organisation. We have empowered the Operations team to develop options to achieve sustainable outcomes for our centres. This is the first step in a long process. We will share further information with you as it becomes available.”
In just a couple of clear, directive sentences the Trustee Board have set the Operations Team with the task of reviewing our current education and licensing requirements. This is an exciting opportunity for Playcentre to take charge of Education and Licensing across the organisation.
We want to ensure that our Education programme is achievable, is focussed on the specific needs of Playcentre whānau while at the same time as being broad enough to interest all members at whatever stage they are at with their Playcentre experience. Our Education programme should be based on the premise that it adds value to Centres and members and not be entirely driven by licensing requirements.
It is important to note that our current education programme, called the NZ Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care L4, will remain an integral and valued part of Playcentre education and licensing. We encourage members to continue with this as this certificate is nationally recognised both within and outside of Playcentre and provides career opportunities in the early childhood sector. The PIA, PEA and C Series Modules provide valuable learning opportunities for members. The review that we are about to undertake will look at how this certificate, its component parts and other options can be utilised to meet the needs of our members and the organisation.
We are aware that our current licensing requirements are very much connected to our Education programme but Playcentre needs to also recognise the value that parents and caregivers already bring to the organisation from their varied life experience, other educational achievements and skills. We also have to ensure that those who set the licensing requirements for Playcentre do so from an understanding of how Playcentre differs from commercial day care centres, how the Playcentre Philosophy drives what we do and that we provide much more to our communities than just early childhood education.
Within the Early Childhood Education sector Playcentre is identified as Parent-led compared with other providers identified as Teacher-led. The Trustee Board, in empowering the Operations team to start the review, have also acknowledged that rather than being directed by outside forces we also need to be Playcentre-led and I look forward to working to achieve this.
As the Trustee Board have stated this is the first step in a long process. We are just days out from the Trustee Board’s direction but we will share further information as we work to achieve the task given to us. To those Centres, Associations and Clusters who have written to the Trustee Board and/or myself we will be coming to you specifically to work on the issues you have raised. We will also be consulting with the wider Playcentre whānau through Regional, Rōpū and Cluster communication channels and we look forward to working with you to achieve a great outcome for Playcentre.
And finally a bit of clarification on our update previously on Community Organisation Grant Scheme (COGS) funding:
COGS: The changes to the COGS funding criteria means that as Centres are part of national body, the National Playcentre Federation, they cannot apply to COGS at all as it is only for small organisations. We do note that technically there are a handful of incorporated Centres that can apply as they are regarded as separate legal entities. Given that they are also part of the national Playcentre group they are unlikely to be successful in securing COGS grants.
Lottery National Community Grants: In place of the individual COGS grants that Centres and Associations previously applied for the NZPF have negotiated with the Department of Internal Affairs to apply for grants on behalf of Centres at a national level. This is as a result of the changes to COGS funding criteria. As Centres are part of a national body they cannot apply to Lottery Community committees at the national or regional level and need to apply through the NZPF.
Ka kite anō au i a koutou.