Playcentre Aotearoa is to receive a funding boost following the Covid-19 lockdown, to help the organisation retain its 400 plus centres, Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today.
“We know playcentre offers families a unique choice in early learning, so it’s important that we support these parent cooperatives at this time.
“The lockdown disrupted the flow of grants, donations and fundraising that Playcentre Aotearoa organise to help provide this learning environment for around 9,500 children.”
Minister Martin said the Government was making $3.7 million available for Playcentre Aotearoa to address its urgent funding issues.
“I met with the Playcentre chief executive at the end of May and he said the organisation needed this money to deal with urgent property issues. We will also continue to work to ensure playcentre is viable, and that it carries on offering families the chance to play, grow and learn together.”
A further $500,000 will be available to assess the condition of playcentre facilities throughout the country. This will enable Playcentre Aotearoa to better understand the state of its centres and develop a long-term maintenance plan.
The Ministry of Education and Playcentre Aotearoa will continue to work on co-designing a new funding model – as signalled in the Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 released last year.
Minister Martin says playcentre has been a Kiwi institution for a long time and the funding met immediate needs and allowed it to plan for its future. “It’s almost 80 years since it first started during WWII in 1941. Many families in Aotearoa continue to value its philosophy of ‘parents as first educators’ for their children, and devote a lot of hours to help run centres.”
Today’s funding announcement is in addition to extra funding of $3.1 million over four years for playcentres in Budget 2020.