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No fees gives more kids more kindy.
ABOVE: Leigh Downie at Kidsfirst Northcote
There’s been an overwhelmingly positive response to our ‘No Fees’ scheme, with families taking the opportunity to give their children more time at kindergarten, at no cost.
From July 30 for one year, we’ve used a buffer of funding to allow children throughout Canterbury and The West Coast to attend Kidsfirst Kindergartens for up to 30 hours per week for free. It’s our way of lightening the load somewhat for families in our community who’ve been hit hard in recent months.
The free hours are seen as a gift from Kidsfirst to the community in Kidsfirst Wigram, says Kidsfirst Wigram Head Teacher Felicity Jenkins.
“Many of our children have benefited from closer friendships that come from more regular attendance at kindergarten.”
And the kindy has gained from being been able to alter its programme slightly to have lunch at 12pm, rather than having children leaving at 11:30. This has given children more opportunities for uninterrupted play, and led to a more relaxed atmosphere not bound by time constraints.
Numbers at Wigram have increased significantly as a result of the ‘No Fees’ scheme, and the kindy is currently full with no spaces available until November.
“I take my hat off to Sherryll and her team at Head Office - they took a gamble and for our community it was a winner.”
And at Kidsfirst Northcote, two children attending 30 hours a week became nine in just one week. Currently 14 children are enrolled for the full 30 hours, with many other children attending extra days as and when they become available.
making the most of this generous gift.”
BELOW: Blowing bubbles at Kidsfirst Wigram.
Kidsfirst's NO FEES has meant that more kids can get more kindy.