12 Aug 2017

Concern over proposed Auckland kindie changes

8:51 am on 12 August 2017

A kindergarten parents group is questioning the changes to holidays and opening hours proposed by the Auckland Kindergarten Association.

children painting at preschool

Photo: 123RF

Of the 107 kindergartens in the region, 18 no longer have holidays between terms and are open an hour longer.

The Association plans to roll out the changes across the region.

But Owairaka Kindergarten parent committee chair Marnie Wilton said the association was losing what made it unique.

"What about those of us who have actually chosen kindergarten for the way it is, and we've restructured our lives around that?"

The best interest of the child should be central to any changes, she said, but it seemed the drive had come from the interests of some parents' schedules.

But Auckland Kindergarten Association is defending the move.

Chief executive Tanya Harvey said it receives six hours of government funding a day for a child, and it wanted to be open for seven hours to provide some flexibility for families.

"What we were hearing from parents was that they were struggling to meet that exact six hour requirement because, for example, getting stuck in traffic, sleeping in, arriving a little bit late, arriving a little bit early.

"If those factors continue then we break the frequent absence rules."

Getting rid of the term breaks would not affect teachers' contracts, Ms Harvey said, but would mean teachers could take leave during off-peak holiday times.

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