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Church to Offer More Out Of School Care

Church to Offer More Out Of School Care

Last year the Government increased funding for out of school care services, the Presbyterian Church responded by seizing this opportunity to reach out and serve communities. The Presbyterian Church would like to encourage churches not currently running community childrens programmes to do the same.

The Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand is actively working to increase the number of out of school care programmes it runs for children of any faith or background. The Presbyterian Church would like to see churches not running after school programmes also reach out to serve their community.

Says Presbyterian Church Moderator the Rt Rev Pamela Tankersley,

Churches need to become more inclusive to better serve children and families. We have seen the demand for quality out of school care increase as families are increasingly forced to have both parents working. Our church is responding by working towards offering more before and after school care and holiday programmes.

We acknowledge the successful childrens programmes that some churches have in place and we encourage those churches without out of school care to respond to this societal need in a similar way and take up Government funding.

We all need to recognise that children are our greatest investment; care programmes are the instrument that allow us the privilege of investing in our communitys young people.

However, there are grants organisations that exclude churches from receiving funding for their community work. Access to these much needed funds would allow us to provide more programmes in more communities.

Research shows that out of school care can have a positive effect on childrens health and their social, behavioural and educational development which is ultimately enriching for all.

It was in response to the Families Commission five-year action plan advocating for the development of quality family-focussed services that the Government increased out of school care funding.

Research undertaken with parents by the Families Commission stated that families suggested that after school care services should be located at churches as well as schools and cultural/community centres.

Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealands own research, Attracting New Zealanders to spiritual life 2002, revealed that New Zealanders are happy for their children to participate in programmes run by churches.

The Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand runs successful programmes for children and their communities at its 65 Kids Friendly churches and at the 41 churches that are working to becoming Kids Friendly.

Last year the Presbyterian Church, through The Presbyterian Foundation, gave a total of $190,000 in grants, almost half of which went to community programmes for children and young people.


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