Com­mu­nity needed to keep play­cen­tre alive

South Waikato News - - What’s On - FRANCES FER­GU­SON

Toko­roa Play­cen­tre needs more fam­i­lies to keep the cen­tre op­er­at­ing two days a week.

Open on Wed­nes­day and Fri­day morn­ings, the cen­tre’s num­bers have been steady de­clin­ing over the past 12 months.

Pres­i­dent Blaize van Rijn said the cen­tre is funded to have 30 fam­i­lies and cur­rently has 15.

"It’s all vol­un­teers mums and dads. Be­cause num­bers are dwin­dling it will not con­tinue.

"It would be a sad re­source for Toko­roa to lose."

Cur­rently the cen­tre has the same amount of fund­ing al­lo­cated to Hamilton, van Rijn said.

"Once our kids go to school we need to find new peo­ple to do our role and if they’re not there, then this place will cease to ex­ist."

The de­ci­sion to op­er­ate one day a week on Wed­nes­day morn­ings will be de­cided in Septem­ber at the AGM meet­ing.

Ear­lier this year Pu­taruru Play­cen­tre ap­pealed for help to prevent its doors clos­ing at the end of the year.

Orig­i­nally they op­er­ated twice a week when they had 10 fam­i­lies. When num­bers dropped in 2011 they had no choice but to open one day a week.

Play­cen­tre East Waikato As­so­ci­a­tion sec­re­tary Shar­main Loomans said num­bers were de­clin­ing na­tion­ally with Pu­taruru and Man­gakino close to join­ing the sta­tis­tics.

Education plan­ner Sa­man­tha Ram said the ideal sit­u­a­tion would be to keep the cen­tre open two days a week.

"We have it where ev­ery­body is in­volved, like a vil­lage.

"It would be a sad re­source for Toko­roa to lose."

There are par­ents from var­i­ous ages at dif­fer­ent stages all will­ing to give ad­vice, she said.

Free to join, the group en­joy a va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties from free trips, shared lunches and guest speak­ers.

On site, chil­dren and par­ents can have a fun, qual­ity time learn­ing in one of the 16 play ar­eas.

New mums are also catered for with a spe­cial zone just for ba­bies to rest and learn.

Those in­ter­ested can visit the cen­tre be­tween 9am to 12.30.pm.

Par­ents at the Toko­roa Play­cen­tre need more fam­i­lies to join so open­ing hours don’t change.

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