Tēnā koutou katoa

Winter appears to have finally arrived so I hope all those in the path of the snow storms have managed to stay safe and warm.

Since our last bulletin there has been a lot happening at a national level for Te Whānau Tupu Ngātahi o Aotearoa – Playcentre Aotearoa.

Tablets are being delivered to Centres as we rollout the introduction of our new Student Management System – Discover. If you are due to receive one for your Centre please know that it will be on its way to you as soon as we receive the orders from the supplier. We will also be undertaking a review of Centres current technology and communication needs as the information we have does need to be updated to ensure that all Centres can, where possible, utilise the full services offered by Discover.

As we introduce Discover and start utilising the additional reporting tools available to us this will allow Playcentre Aotearoa to have a better understanding of ourselves as a national organisation. This will help us better tell the story of the impact that Playcentre Aotearoa has on our communities and whānau.

This information will become increasingly important in the very near future as we begin the process of negotiating a new funding model for Playcentre Aotearoa. On Monday 29 July Veronica Pitt, Service Delivery Manager, Marina Cook, Chief Financial Officer and myself attended a meeting with officials from the Ministry of Education. We provided an overview of Playcentre Aotearoa and the challenges that our Centres are experiencing in relation to education, funding, building maintenance, etc. We were advised that the Minister of Education has requested that we continue to meet with Ministry officials on a regular basis between now and November to provide information to support a review of our licensing and funding requirements as part of the government budget process. This has been a long time coming and we are very excited about what this will mean for our Centres in the future.

As with all negotiations there will be give and take and the need to compromise. Playcentre Aotearoa will need to prove that we are willing to work with the Ministry to ensure that our delivery of early childhood education is both effective and efficient. This will mean that we will need to come to you at various stages to get a better understanding of your individual centres. We are aware that our rural Centres have different needs to our urban Centres. Our Centres that are situated in communities that are more financially and socially vulnerable have different needs to those Centres less challenged. If we are truly to implement a system that will benefit all Centres in the future we need to put as much information forward to support this.

Thank you to those Centres and Clusters who have communicated their individual and groups concerns to the Trustee Board and to me. Your insight into the issues that are affecting your Centres is invaluable and we have been taking note and using that information to get us to the point where we can now see some positive movement towards real change.

The next four months will be a busy time and we look forward to keeping you up to date on what is happening. Thank you in advance for working with us when we come to you for further information to support our argument for better funding and more realistic licensing and compliance requirements. In the end this is about the future of Centres, so I hope that you understand that any extra reporting is an investment in your future and that of the whānau who benefit from belonging to Playcentre Aotearoa.

Again, thank you for your time in reading this update and for all you do for Playcentre Aotearoa. It is valued and we do appreciate that you have a choice and that you choose Playcentre.

Ka kite anō au i a koutou.


Sean McKinley