Tēnā koutou katoa
I hope everyone has enjoyed the break over the school holidays and Centres will be opening for the third term next week with a sense of renewed energy. At the national level, with a focus on planning, it will be a busy term. Next month, the management team is having a hui to further discuss next steps of Phase Two of the reorganisation and we will be again exploring what is the best structure and funding model to support our Centres.
You may have heard some media coverage this week on the release of a paper by the Child Poverty Action Group on privatisation and early childhood education in Aotearoa New Zealand.
The paper is very supportive of Playcentre’s role in ECE provision, and indeed one of its recommendation is that the Ministry of Education’s regulations and funding mechanisms should be tailored to ensure diversity in ECE provision, rather than merely bolstering mainstream teacher-led models. It says reforms should reflect a recognition of the unique contributions of models of early learning such as Kōhanga Reo and Playcentre.
Also from the paper, which quotes from the opinion piece in the Sunday Star Times, written by Auckland Regional Manager Anna Fleet and our own media releases – is the following:
“Parent-led approaches provide invaluable support for the wider family by involving parents in the education of their children. …Playcentres enable capacity-building not only for the children enrolled but their parents who are provided with the opportunity to gain skills and confidence through their engagement with the early learning process. The preferential treatment of teacher-led services in the Ministry’s approach to regulation and funding thus overlooks the unique contributions of alternative models such as Kōhanga Reo and Playcentre, and undermines their viability.
The paper is by Caitlin Neuwelt-Kearns and Dr Jenny Ritchie
It is good to hear, at least anecdotally, that a number of our Centres have noted a rise in the number of enrolments following the lockdown. The amount of publicity Playcentre has received in recent weeks has definitely helped raise our profile.
Claire, who joined Playcentre two years ago as our Communications Manager and has more recently taken the role of Project Lead, is now on parental leave. Claire has done a great job, – developing the website from scratch being a major achievement. Her skills, knowledge and sound advice have been appreciated and will be missed. Our very best wishes go to Claire and her family.
Ka kite anō au i a koutou.