Van makes big difference
Not having transport is now not a problem for the parents and children of Awapuni Kindergarten.
Thanks to a new 10-seater diesel Nissan Urvan, the Alexander St kindergarten now operates a pick-up service that collects children from their homes and drops them off after the kindergarten day.
A van had been on the wish-list for years and head teacher Kim Stewart said it was picking up a full load of seven children every morning.
‘‘It’s just working so well for lots of our families. It can be really difficult for some parents to get their children here.’’
Some were recent immigrants still learning their way around the city. Others had no family car, had limited finances, job-related time restraints, or lived too far away to walk.
Stewart said it could be illness or a new baby that made getting children to kindergarten a challenge. Sometimes families only needed the help for a short term.
One of the kindergarten dads had volunteered as a driver, and he and a kindergarten teacher did the pick-up and drop-off runs.
Stewart said they used the government’s equity funding to buy the second-hand van and kit it out.
‘‘We’re responsible for the children’s safety, so it has been equipped to a high standard.’’
The children could now enjoy regular excursions in the van.
Stewart said there were inquiries from parents outside the area, including from Rongotea 20km away, where there is a playcentre but no kindergarten.
‘‘It's just working so well for lots of our families’’
Kim Stewart, Awapuni Kindergarten
Komal Jakhu, 4, left, and Rahziyah Akbar Shah, 3, are all strapped in and ready to go in the new Awapuni Kindergarten van.