Board grants funds to keep playcentre running

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Spokeswomen . . . Peninsula Playcentre president Connagh Wesley, holding Manaia Wesley (1), and former president Stacey Kokaua spoke at the Otago Peninsula Community Board meeting last week to request funding. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

Support from a community board is helping a playcentre stay open.

Peninsula Playcentre president Connagh Wesley and former president Stacey Kokaua spoke at the Otago Peninsula Community Board meeting last week.

They requested $2500 to cover half the costs of hiring someone with the relevant qualifications to work at the playcentre for one year while other members worked towards theirs.

At present, the playcentre is relying on Ms Kokaua’s qualifications, but she is leaving at the end of the term.

Having someone with the necessary qualifications is pivotal for the playcentre’s licensing and Ministry of Education funding.

Ms Kokaua said the person would only be hired for one year.

“We wanted to demonstrate that we were committed to being parent-led.”

The membership was looking “healthy” and had 16 children enrolled, including 11 under the age of two.

Board member Cheryl Neill said the playcentre was a “huge asset” she did not want to see disappear.

Board chairman Paul Pope said it was a “huge advantage” for the community.

During discussions, board member Lox Kellas said he did not agree that board funding should be put towards wages.

All other members voted in favour of granting the $2500.