Petition is successful with 302 signatures
To: Northern Auckland Kindergarten Association
Save Our Kindergartens!
Northern Auckland Kindergarten Association has decided not to open for seven hours a day and nearly all year round after 300 people signed a petition against the changes.
Dear Northern Auckland Kindergarten Association,
We ask you to scrap the decision that Kindergartens should be "open calender", i.e. open for 49 weeks of the year, and sessions be seven hours.
Why is this important?
The free public Kindergarten model has existed in New Zealand society, and served our families well, for over 120 years.
Currently a child can be at Kindy for five mornings a week and be fully funded with 20hrs free ECE (early childhood education). However the Northern Auckland Kindergarten Association has indicated that the current Kindergarten model enjoyed by thousands of Kiwi kids should change to survive ‘future societal demands’.
These changes will mean:
· It will cost whānau to use their 20hrs free ECE. Three days at a Northern Auckland Kindergarten Association Kindy using the government's 20 hours free ECE could cost up to $735 a year after the changes;
· In most Kindys the stand alone 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;
· Teachers will lose hundreds of hours of non-contact time per year.
We strongly believe this new strategic directive is not in the best interests of children and is a fundamental change in the concept and tradition of Kindergarten in New Zealand society.
These changes are taking away the choices for our children at Kindergarten in favour of finding ‘efficiencies’.
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.
We do not support “bums on seats” early childhood education, or the current funding model that promotes this.
We are advocating on behalf of our tamariki, our taonga. They must be put first in all choices. If there are funding challenges then solutions must have acceptance from users.
The Northern Auckland Kindergarten Association claimed less than 2% of its whanau oppose the changes currently being rolled out.
This petition is to show the Board of the Northern 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 them.
We expect robust governance of the Northern Auckland Kindergarten Association to include consultation with families, communities and individual kindergartens to inform strategic direction, rather than be part of the implementation of that plan.
The Northern Auckland Kindergarten Association needs to show greater responsibility as a community service to children and families, and to the quality of early childhood education in New Zealand, and focus on retaining kindergarten's distinctive point of difference in the early childhood system.
If something isn't broken, don't fix it.
Please stop the roll out of the changes now. Reconsider the options to manage funding and make Kindergarten a sustainable model for the future without compromising the well-being of our tamariki.