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Official Opening of Golden Bay Kindergarten

Media Release Official Opening of Golden Bay Kindergarten

Five years of lobbying, commitment, passion and support has paid off for the Golden Bay community with the official opening of the first kindergarten in the Bay.

General Manager of the Nelson District Free Kindergarten Association, Wendy Logan says the kindergarten opened in May giving Golden Bay parents increased access to the Government's 20 Hours Free early childhood education package. At present there are 44 three and four year old children attending and a further 27 children on the waiting list.

The new kindergarten's location in the Takaka Primary School grounds will help children with the transition to school. Ms Logan says head teacher Biddy Leigh, and her team are providing an education programme that will reflect the culture of Golden Bay.

"There is a focus on art and sustainable living - they've established a vegetable garden and compost," she says. "Members of the local community have planted a garden with plants that are native to Golden Bay."

The kindergarten building was included in a recent eco-building tour for its passive solar design that directs the sun into the back of the playroom in winter, and shades the area in summer. It has a solar hot water system and natural timber has been used throughout the building.

The Ministry of Education provided funding of $538,000 for the building and a further $30,000 to assist with the costs of equipment and staffing and to meet licensing requirements.

The opening celebrations for the kindergarten (Te Whare Matauranga o Nga Mokopuna Mo Apopo Mohua) are on Friday 17th October, beginning with a powhiri at 3.45pm. Damien O'Connor MP for Westcoast -Tasman will unveil a plaque to commemorate the huge effort by the local community and iwi, the Nelson Kindergarten Association and other supporters of the project over the last five years.

Children, parents, official guests and members of the Golden Bay community are invited to admire the building and sustainable Early Childhood Education Environment created.

The kindergarten was officially blessed by Whaea Te Aroha Holmwood in May.


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