Kindergartens To Give Families A Hand With Extended Hours
Wednesday 27 November, 2019
Heretaunga Kindergarten Association To Give Local Families A Helping Hand With Extended Hours
Heretaunga Kindergarten Association (HFKA), the “profit for purpose” organisation that provides high quality early childhood education across the greater Hastings and Central Hawke’s Bay areas, is offering more choice to families, announcing extended hours at two sites – Lucknow and Mayfair.
The change means families now have four options: they can continue with their usual hours, decide on a longer kindergarten day (8am to 3:30pm at Lucknow and 8am to 4pm at Mayfair) or choose a morning or afternoon session that fits the needs of them and their child. Lucknow Kindergarten, situated in Havelock North and Mayfair Kindergarten in Hastings will also be open during school term breaks, with all changes taking effect from Monday 20 January, 2020.
HFKA’s General Manager, Fiona Mason, says the changes provide a more straightforward option for the many parents managing work commitments and busy family life.
“Having recognised that a number of families can be restricted by the hours that kindergarten settings typically offer, we have worked in consultation with parents, whānau and of course, our amazing teams within these two communities to see how we can address this and provide a more flexible offering,” Fiona explains. “So far, there has been a really positive response to the upcoming changes from our whānau, staff, and the individual kindergarten communities.”
Fiona says many parents choose a state-funded kindergarten over private childcare because of its close, nurturing environment for little minds. “We pride ourselves on the fact that all of our teachers are qualified, registered early childhood teachers. This really sets us apart when families are looking for the best learning environment for their young children.”
It’s no secret that kindergartens across New Zealand have been challenged by government funding shortfalls, she says. The extension to hours at the two HFKA sites will generate additional income for each kindergarten and has the potential to create additional teaching roles. “We have some capacity within our roll at both sites and are 100% committed to resourcing all our kindergartens well.”
As part of the Enviroschools network, the Association’s 16 kindergartens are centred around empowering children to contribute to building sustainable communities. Grounded in Māori perspectives, the programme embraces cultural diversity and encourages children to develop their own unique sustainability pathways.
Christine Chittock, the head teacher at Lucknow Kindergarten, sees the programme in action first hand. “We are proud that our kindergarten, which is set amongst native plants, fruit trees and vegetable gardens is fully sustainable, and that the children have real ownership over this,” Christine says.
“Whether they are feeding their leftovers to the wormery, hens or our newly hatched baby chicks, collecting eggs for baking, grinding grains for homemade bread or spreading homemade jam on their toast, the children are understanding their impact on the world around them and making active choices about their learning.”
Lucknow and Mayfair Kindergartens are now taking enrolments for placements from January 2020. For Lucknow Kindergarten, an enrolment form can be downloaded here https://www. and for Mayfair Kindergarten here https://www.
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Notes to Editors
HFKA was formerly known as the Hastings Free Kindergarten Association. From the first public meeting held on 15 February 1928, committees of the Hastings Free Kindergarten Association worked to establish and resource kindergartens for local children.
In 1979 the Hastings Free Kindergarten Association was joined with the Havelock North Kindergarten Association and the name was changed to Heretaunga Free Kindergarten Association. Central Hawke’s Bay Free Kindergarten Association joined HFKA in 1997.
The 16 kindergartens are located at:
• Frimley Park
• Harold Mayo
• Havelock North Central
• Te Mata
• Ellen Stevenson
• Hunter Park