Playcentre members are heartbroken at the lack of recognition the organisation has received from the government.

Last week’s Budget announcements brought an increase of $3.1m in funding over four years to Playcentre Aotearoa New Zealand. The funding increase amounts to $1685 per centre per year and President of Waiheke Playcentre Hayley Pope says the funding won’t make much difference to the running of the centre.

“I joined Playcentre when my first daughter was just two years old and have been a member for about eight years. It’s heartbreaking to once again see Playcentre and the value it brings communities so undervalued by government. Playcentre is much more than an early childhood learning service.  It is a valuable place for families to learn and grow together.”

Hayley says the small amount of money available means there won’t be funds to carry out maintenance on the centre’s Ostend property. 

“It’s a big property and it’s hard to maintain. It relies on us to go out and volunteer our time to do the work and to fundraise.”

Hayley says the centre has always relied on the spirit of its volunteers. 

“Everybody loves Playcentre and they don’t mind investing time and volunteering. But if they [the government] just threw a bit of extra money at it, it would make a big difference. It’s such an awesome resource for New Zealanders and it’s been undervalued for such a long time.” • Erin Johnson

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

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