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Plunket brings more play to Northland’s children

Play and learning for Northland children is getting a big boost thanks to Plunket.

northlandNew pop-up playgroups will soon be set up in two Whangarei suburbs following Plunket winning a contract from the Ministry of Education. Additionally, two Far North Plunket playgroups have recently become Ministry certified groups – bringing the total to three including the one already established in Kerikeri.

The Government has an aim that “by 2016, 98% of children starting school will have participated in quality early childhood education”. Its Targeted Assistance for Participation (TAP) fund supports this aim by creating new child places in communities where they are most needed.

Plunket won the contract for Onerahi and Raumanga suburbs in Whangarei with its proposal to provide mobile playgroups. A playgroup coordinator will run two sessions a week in each suburb (total of four) supported by the van carrying playgroup equipment.

In the Far North, paid playgroup coordinators have been appointed to run the newly certified groups in Kaitaia and Kaikohe. CSC Team Leader for the district, Toni Yarrow, says certifying the groups and appointing paid coordinators has had an immediate effect with numbers increasing in both groups. The Kaitaia group is aimed at those aged up to 18 months and is being kept to a small number because of the restricted space available in the Kaitaia Plunket Rooms.

There is also a certified playgroup at Mangawhai in lower Northland which focuses on teaching te reo Māori.

Northern Region’s Community Development and Volunteer Manager Clare Green puts this growth in groups down to the hard work of her Community Support Coordinators.

“Having people in that role able to work with communities and develop groups in a region which has more than its share of hardship is crucial in providing whānau with support,” she says.

0 Comments Posted by Mamae Munn on 11 October 2016

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