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Footsteps Community Comes Together to Build a Village

Footsteps Community Comes Together to Build a Village

15 August 2014

Innovative early-childhood education provider Footsteps is building a village out of playhouses to underline the role of community collaboration in nurturing a child’s early development and helping them to reach their full potential.

Together with representatives of community stakeholder groups, next Tuesday 19th August at a site at Ardmore Air Base, Footsteps 70-strong staff will transform eight purpose-built playhouses to represent the extended community - or village, that surrounds a child and impacts their life-long learning.

In a team-based challenge, each playhouse will be designed and decorated to physically resemble a core element of the village - such as a home, a school, a hospital, a police station and a fire station. Representatives of these various community stakeholders are joining with Footsteps to participate in the challenge in a demonstration of collaboration across the community, and in support of the project’s message.

“We all have an opportunity to make a positive impact on a child’s life,” says Donna Elliot, Footsteps National Community Director. “By pulling our strengths together we maximise the opportunities for each and every child.”

Following completion of the playhouse challenge, the fully “pimped-out” playhouses will be donated to nominated children and/or organisations, with a couple reserved for charitable auction on Trademe. Auction proceeds will go to the Footsteps Foundation, a charitable trust which, in partnership with other like-minded organisations, invests in creating opportunities for children who do not meet Footsteps’ Ministry of Education funding criteria.

Ms Elliot says the playhouse village project celebrates a positive message that is relevant for all children in all communities. “We all have the opportunity to help nurture a child’s sense of self-worth and belonging. Think about your own childhood - the experiences that you hold dear will be those where someone took the time to give you the time you needed, and really listened to what mattered to you.”

The playhouse challenge will take place during the Footsteps National Conference, when every year the organisation comes together and invests in local community.

About Footsteps and the Footsteps Foundation
Footsteps is an in-home early childhood education (ECE) provider that has been serving New Zealand families and communities for more than a decade. The organisation operates nationwide, providing free in-home educational programmes to children aged 0-6 (pre-school) and their caregivers who meet Ministry of Education criteria for funded home-based early education. Footsteps qualified early education teachers spend one-on-one time with caregivers and children providing guidance, resources, instruction and information on how to deliver quality educational experiences for children in their care.

The Footsteps Foundation, a charitable organisation, actively invests in local communities through volunteering expertise and resources, by running events that promote positive early experiences and by raising funds for children that need in-home early education support but currently fall outside the Ministry of Education funding criteria.

ENDS

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