Tēnā koutou katoa
I have spent some time this week reflecting on my recent meeting with Ministry of Education officials. As I told you this was only our first meeting with the ministry since the Government announced our new funding grant for the next 12 months. The positive outcome from these recent announcements is that Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin has asked that Playcentre Aotearoa take the lead in determining what will work for us in the future and how Playcentre would like to operate in the early childhood education space. The Ministry has offered its assistance in providing information to us as we work our way through this. The Budget bid process we engaged in at the end of last year was different in that we provided all the information but were not informed on how this was presented on our behalf and as a result we did not receive what we had expected. We hope with the recent support of both Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Minister Martin we will now be able to formulate a better proposal to support the ongoing viability of Playcentre Aotearoa, one that is drafted by us. Along with the Trustee Board we will keep you updated as we progress this.

Massey Playcentre lockdown

We have continued to debrief after the lockdown two weeks ago at Massey Playcentre. One issue that has come up is the likelihood of anyone in such a situation being contacted by the media. This certainly happened with our two facilitators at Massey. It’s important in such cases to focus on your role and not be distracted by media inquiries. Our national office is best placed to deal with any media involvement so it is important that anyone faced with an emergency situation should as soon as possible contact their line manager, the General Manager or the Communications Manager.

We were contacted by the Dominion Post/Stuff this week querying whether our Centres were experiencing more absences than usual. Thank you to those who provided information. It was a bit of a mixed picture, with some Centres confirming their numbers were down and that parents were likely to keep children home if they had any signs, even very mild symptoms, of coughs and colds. Even though thankfully we no longer have to worry overly about the risk of COVID-19, it is the season for increased colds and flu-like illnesses and I do applaud those of you who are taking sensible precautions.
We’ve certainly felt the full force of winter this week. I hope you all wrap up warmly and have a relaxing weekend.

Ka kite anō au i a koutou.