New Milton preschool
Milton’s old playcentre in Spenser St will once again be filled with young children, with the opening of a new facility in the spring.
It will be called Milton Little Citizens and operated by the Methodist Mission Southern.
Director Laura Black said the need for a new preschool was highlighted by the community and the Ministry of Education.
Following the closure of an early childhood centre last year, a consultation was carried out with the three remaining facilities, which had the capacity to enrol some of the children from the closed centre, but not all. Feedback showed all three centres were full with waiting lists.
Word had got out quickly about the new centre, she said.
‘‘In the last few days we’ve already had enrolment enquiries.’’
The preschool is due to open in spring and will be licensed for 25 children (10 under 2s).
Renovations on the old playcentre building started this week.
Over the past few years, the number of young families living in Milton had increased significantly, which had put pressure on local early childhood centres, she said.
Expansion of the nearby Otago Corrections Facility was having an impact on the community, because staff with young families needed preschool facilities on hand.
The Methodist Mission had been building ‘‘positive relationships’’ with the Milton community for four years, Milton Community Health Trust nursing manager Dale Wyber said.
This includes the employment of support and advocacy worker Pania Tulia, who is subcontracted to the mission to provide social services, and is based at the Tokomairiro Community Hub. She works across many sectors of the community and will be helping facilitate the needs of the children and families who use the new preschool.
A new preschool Milton Little Citizens is to be established in the old playcentre building.