Tēnā koutou katoa
As we count down towards the end of the year I again want to acknowledge those who have contributed feedback to the work we are undertaking with the Ministry of Education and our own scheduled review of the Playcentre Aotearoa operational structure.
I am aware that for many this is an uncertain time as we seek to make changes to ensure that Playcentre continues to be part of the early childhood education sector while at the same time supporting whānau growing together in our communities.
The work with the Ministry of Education continues and we are pleased to advise that the Hon Chris Hipkins, Minister of Education announced the release of He taonga te tamaiti – Every child a taonga: Early learning action plan 2019-2029 at the meeting of the Early Childhood Advisory Committee (ECAC) on 4 December 2019.
The Early Learning Action Plan can be found here https://conversation.education.govt.nz/conversations/early-learning-strategic-plan/ and specifically refers to the work being undertaken:
5.7 Co-design an appropriate funding model with Playcentre Aotearoa New Zealand
Playcentre is a uniquely New Zealand model of early learning service that views parents as the first and best educators of their children. The Ministry is currently co-designing a funding model with Playcentre Aotearoa New Zealand and considering qualification requirements to align with the organisation’s preferred operating model.
We will continue to update you all as this funding model is crafted and I can assure you that the suggestions provided by individuals have been incorporated into information we provide to the Ministry.
Job and Pay Freeze
Until such time as our financial situation improves and we have confirmation on what our new funding model will involve we need to continue to carefully manage the expenditure of Playcentre across the organisation.
As previously noted we currently have a wage freeze for all employees, including centre paid, until such time as we can afford to review the hourly rates for the variety of positions across Playcentre. All employees are employees of Playcentre Aotearoa whether paid directly or via Centres and as such we need to have a consistent and fair process for all. I envisage that this is a temporary situation until such time as we are able to review this once we have future funding confirmed. Centres wanting to increase wages for employees are requested to discuss this with Regional Managers before making any commitments to employees as this will have to assessed on a case by case basis.
Again, as previously noted we are not recruiting any new positions unless they are directly required for licensing purposes. Again, anyone wanting to employ individuals not directly required for licensing purposes are requested to discuss this with Regional Managers before making any commitments.
Adding extra hours to an existing employee’s contract is also on hold but exemptions can be made where there is a need to add hours to cover for a position that is vacant but again please discuss this with Regional Managers before making any commitments.
As previously noted we were allocated a total of $150,000.00 from the Lotteries Community funding and we have now received this as we were waiting on the release of these funds as they were held up as a result of reports for previous funding for Centres having not been completed. We are now in the process of allocating the received funding and each centre that applied will receive a minimum of $500 plus a percentage allocation based on the total requested.
As noted previously we have also resubmitted all previous applications for Centre funding plus any additional requests before the close of the second funding round on 4 December 2019.
We have been advised by the Department of Internal Affairs that the Lotteries Community Grants last funding round was heavily over-subscribed with requests for grants totalling more than $24 million with just under $6 million available for distribution. This resulted in many groups receiving funding at a lower level than hoped for.
Playcentre Aotearoa is currently investigating our position as the legal entity status for the majority of Centres which requires us to submit a central request. Part of this investigation is looking at an option for Centres to establish individual legal entity status which would allow them to apply in their own right to the various Lottery regional Community Committees, and COGS. Playcentre Aotearoa could then still apply in its own right towards its activities which support the Centres. We will advise of our progress in the new year.
Ka kite anō au i a koutou.