Porirua Pacific-style childcare soon
A new childcare option will soon be available for Pacific families in Porirua.
Etu Ao is delivered by members of the community and The Wellington Region Free Kindergarten Association ( WRFKA), with funding from the Ministry of Education. It is home- based and culturally focused. The carers are supported by qualified early childhood educators.
Roseanne Leota and Ieremia Tuivaiti are parents of 11 children and have faced many challenges trying to find childcare they were happy with and was affordable.
‘‘ We also wanted something with a strong sense of family, culture and the comfort or security of a home- based environment,’’ Roseanne says.
‘‘Talking to our friends and family, it was clear others had similar values to us.’’
So they started thinking about a service that could encompass all of these things. They approached Danny Mareko to help them develop a proposal in the hopes of drumming up interest for the proj- ect. Mr Mareko has a long history in Porirua of supporting and advocating for community initiatives.
Together they approached the WRFKA.
Roseanne says they wanted a partner that was trusted by the community, committed to Pasifika culture, and, most importantly, had knowledge of how to create safe, high-quality learning environments for children.
WRFKA general manager Amanda Coulston says the association saw huge potential in a programme that embraced Pacific values around extended family looking after children in their homes.
‘‘For us it’s more about creating warm and welcoming environments where learning is fun. If having care and education provided in the home makes it more inclusive and accessible to families, we were keen to get on board and support that need.’’
Roseanne has taken on the role of Etu Ao’s administrator, Ieremia is the community co-ordinator and Danny the project director.
The programme, which will be run from the WRFKA offices in Tawa, starts on May 1.
In the meantime, Ieremia says, the priority is connecting with educators interested in being part of the programme.
‘‘Not only does it provide an employment opportunity but also access to training and professional development or maybe even a pathway to higher education,’’ Ieremia says.
For more information about the programme, contact Danny Mareko on 232 3069 or go to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fresh approach: Danny Mareko, Roseanne Leota and Ieremia Tuivaiti have come up with a home-based childcare programme suited to Pacific families.