Porirua Pa­cific-style child­care soon

Kapi-Mana News - - EDUCATION -

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: dan­nym@wn-kinder­garten.org.nz

Fresh ap­proach: Danny Mareko, Roseanne Leota and Ieremia Tuiv­aiti have come up with a home-based child­care pro­gramme suited to Pa­cific fam­i­lies.

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