New home for First Five
A Porirua preschool on the brink of closure has found a new home.
First Five Childcare Centre will be moving across town in the new year and manager Jenni Mason couldn’t be happier.
‘‘We’ve got the keys and Cannons Creek has welcomed us with open arms.’’
Mason had feared she would have to close the preschool’s doors after months of searching for new premises had proved fruitless.
In July, the preschool was told it would have to leave its Kenepuru site after the land transferred to Ngati Toa iwi as part of a historical treaty settle- ment.
Carrus Development, the business building 600 new homes on the site, offered the building to the preschool but land to put it on couldn’t be found.
The Ministry of Education offered the use of a Tawa property but the building was owned by Tawa College who said they needed it.
The shift across town to the old Cannons Creek playcentre will happen in January and until then it’s business as usual, Mason said.
‘‘Carrus is going to let us stay until the new building is ready.’’
The Kenepuru property would be sold to pay for renovations to the new building.
First Five had signed a two- year lease for the ministryowned Cannons Creek playcentre that had sat empty for three years.
The property needed a bit of work to bring it up to standard but parents and staff had volunteered to help out, Mason said.
‘‘We always say that once you’re a First Five family you stay part of the family.’’
A few parents had left the centre because of the uncertainty but about 20 children would make the move to the city’s east.
‘‘I’m just thrilled, everyone’s happy and so excited...I’m sleeping a bit better too.’’
Mason welcomed any families needing childcare to contact the team at First Five.