Increasing Childcare Availability


Some Auckland kindergartens have been struggling to fill spaces as parents find their limited hours too difficult to work with. Recognising they need to meet the needs of families, kindergartens are proposing to open for longer hours and ti stay open over school holidays.

The Auckland Kindergarten Association signed an Agreement with the Ministry of Education in 2014 to increase early childhood participation. Its target was 98 percent of children attending early childhood education by 2016, but yesterday the government announced it had fallen just short of that, with 96.7 percent attending.

To help attract more funding and make childcare available to more people, it is now proposed to open all kindergartens an additional hour a day from 8.30am to 3.30pm and to open all year except for the annual Christmas and New Year close-down period. The changes have already been made in five kindergartens and will be implemented in all others by the end of 2018.

Paul Goulter, national secretary of the Educational Institute, the union that represents kindergarten teachers, said the changes were a result of the government's failure to fund early childhood education. "The government says it is spending more in the sector but that is to increase participation, which is coming at the expense of quality."

Learning Tree Childcare Centres are a privately owned and operated childcare provider. We offer extended opening hours because we recognise many Auckland parents find organising childcare a constant struggle, trying to drop off and pick up their children within the standard childcare hours. Learning Tree Apollo Drive and Westgate are open from 7am to 6pm Monday to Friday to help make it easier for parents balancing work and family commitments. 

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15th Mar, 2017  

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