Tēnā koutou katoa
Yesterday I had a meeting with officials from the Ministry of Education to discuss the details of the funding grant announced by the Government last week. This was only our first meeting and there is still a lot of detail to be worked through, so I am not in a position to relay further information at this stage.
In the meantime, for Playcentre it is business as usual.
As you are aware Phase 2 of our restructuring was interrupted by the COVID-19 lockdown. It was also affected by the Budget, which did not deliver what we had expected.
The intention of Phase 2 was to ensure Playcentre could be an efficient Early Childhood Education provider based on current regulations and an appropriate funding model.
Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin has given us the funding to offset our deficit to see us through for the next 12 months on the understanding that we work with the Ministry on a new framework.
That means decisions on Phase 2 need to be reviewed.
I know that this is unsettling for many of you and I apologise for not being able to provide more clarity. However, given our dependence on sufficient funding to ensure the survival of Playcentre, our next steps have to set us on a path where we are able to plan for a future where, in the words of the Government, Playcentre will not only survive but also thrive.
Playcentre was certainly shown at its best last week. The tragic shooting of a young police officer in West Auckland last week occurred only a short distance from Massey Playcentre, where at that time a session was taking place with 15 babies and 17 parents.
I really want to express my heartfelt thanks and admiration for facilitators Catherine and Jade who found themselves in the frightening position of having to lockdown their building after hearing multiple gunshots and actually sighting the gunman. Catherine and Jade exemplified grace under pressure as they spent the next four hours sheltering in the Playcentre. You can read more about their experience in Latest News. While being in lockdown is thankfully not a regular occurrence, it is a real reminder that we should all be aware of emergency processes and procedures. You can find that information on our website and I do urge you to make yourself familiar with those requirements.
Lottery Community Fund
A reminder that the deadline for the first Lottery Community Grants funding round in 2020 closes on Friday 3 July. For further information visit the website.
Ka kite anō au i a koutou.