Petition is successful with 2,242 signatures
To: Simon Jones, Chairperson of the Auckland Kindergarten Association
Choices for our Children - Whanau against Auckland Kindergarten Association changes
In response to the campaign the Board of the Auckland Kindergarten Association halted the proposed changes and are appointing an independent reviewer to assess the 'Network review'. Our 50 parent committees were successful in their eight motions, and getting elected to the board at the recent AGM!
Dear Simon Jones,
This petition is to show you, the Chairman of the Board of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (and The Ministry of Education, and other Kindergarten Associations in New Zealand proposing similar strategic changes) that families and communities do not support the changes currently being rolled out.
These changes will mean:
• In most of your kindys the morning session will be abolished and only a 7 hour day will be offered.
• There will no longer be term breaks and families must pay even if their child does not attend.
• It will cost whanau to use their 20hrs free ECE.
• Teachers will lose hundreds of hours of non-contact time per year.
We strongly believe your new strategic directive signals a fundamental change in the concept and tradition of kindergarten in New Zealand society and are not in the best interests of children.
We are advocating on behalf of our tamariki, our taonga. They must be put first in all your choices, not second to “the millions of dollars in lost government funding…left in the government’s coffers” (Tanya Harvey, AKA CEO, March 2017).
We expect robust governance of the Auckland Kindergarten Association to include consultation with families, communities and individual kindergartens to inform your strategic direction, rather than be part of the implementation of that plan.
We do not support “bums on seats” early childhood education, or the current funding model that promotes this.
We urge you to make the best interests of children your primary concern.
Please stop the roll out of the changes now. Reconsider your options to manage funding and make kindergarten a sustainable model for the future without compromising the wellbeing of our tamariki and eroding the wonderful tradition of kindergarten.
Why is this important?
These changes are taking away the choices for our children at kindergarten in favour of maximising government funding.
Forcing families to have our small children at kindy for a longer day than a school aged child is not ok. Penalising families for wanting to spend quality family time with our children during the school holidays, and essentially making them pay to spend time with their children is not ok.
The current session structure is perfect for little ones beginning their kindy journey in the mornings, who are then able to go home for quiet time or a nap. It is a rite of passage when they can cope with a longer day, adding the afternoon session too.
- The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states in Article 3 1. In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.
- Currently a child can be at kindy for five mornings a week and be fully funded with 20hrs free ECE.
- Three days at an Auckland Kindergarten Association kindy using the government's 20 hours free ECE will cost $735 a year after the changes.
- How can teachers provide the same quality of early childhood education with 480 less non-contact hours each year?
The best choices are not being made for our children by the Auckland Kindergarten Association.
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