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All Te Kohanga Reo Kids Now Safe2go In Vehicles

MEDIA RELEASE
September 12 2008

All Te Kohanga Reo Kids Now Safe2go In Vehicles After Nationwide Child Restraint Course

Te Kohanga Reo throughout New Zealand have a new understanding of road safety and the correct use of child restraints thanks to a nationwide education campaign by ACC and Te Kohanga Reo National Trust.

ACC’s Manager of Cultural Relations Ronald Karaitiana said staff from each of the 501 Kohanga Reo have taken part in ACC’s Safe2Go programme, while ACC has also provided 1800 child restraints for use in Te Kohanga Reo vehicles.

The programme is designed to improve the use and installation of child restraints in all vehicles, not just Te Kohanga Reo or other childcare centres.

``Partnering with Te Kohanga Reo National Trust was an easy fit for us,’’ Mr Karaitiana said. ``We know that Maori children under five, when compared to other New Zealanders, are twice as likely to be hospitalised after a road-related injury. So the need for education and training around child restraints was clear. Partnering with the Trust meant we could also educate whanau on how to install child restraints to better protect their children.’’

Mr Karaitiana said at least two whanau (staff and family members) at each Te Kohanga Reo have taken part in a training programme over the past two years. The programme covered legislation, different types of restraints, vehicle compliance, how to select the correct seat for the individual child’s weight group, and included a practical test.

``We’ve completed the programme one year ahead of schedule, which is a great achievement,’’ Mr Karaitiana said. ``Feedback from Te Kohanga Reo has been fantastic. We’re also hearing that families now feel more confident that they are using right seats for their children.’’

Te Kohanga Reo National Trust’s Charlotte Gibson said the programme helps Te Kohanga Reo fulfil their duty to nurture and care for the tamariki [children].

``Our parents have had high praise for the initiative, which has taught some of them about the regulations for the first time. Our teachers really enjoyed the instruction and learning new ways to keep the children safe. Receiving the seats from ACC, branded with Te Kohanga Reo tohe (insignia), was a big bonus too.

``But the best thing is that we know we are protecting the well being of our mokopuna,’’ she said.

Ongoing training is being provided to those who took part in the programme through purapura, or Kohanga Reo cluster groups, which meet regularly to discuss the affect Te Kohanga Reo locally, including ongoing Safe2Go education.

ends

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