July 8, 2024
Sector leadership

Country Kindy’s fate in Ministry of Education’s hands

The ball is in the Ministry of Education’s court to listen to the Manawatu community and allow Country Kindy to remain open while any outstanding curriculum issues are addressed.

Early Childhood Council CEO Simon Laube said “Country Kindy should be supported, not closed. When the Ministry says there’s curriculum non-compliance, but an experienced, independent ECE specialist can’t find curriculum non-compliance just last week, we think this requires another look.”

The ECC wrote to the Ministry on Friday asking for County Kindy to remain open while the alleged outstanding regulation breaches were addressed, and are waiting for a response.

Associate Minister for Education David Seymour told media ‘he would be asking ministry officials to explain why they were closing Country Kindy, when he met with them on Monday.’ "I am very concerned by this action. It would appear that the ministry is acting against the will of the community, rather than upholding standards on its behalf,“ he said.

At Thursday’s community meeting, over 50 supporters expressed strong support for Country Kindy, worrying about the impact it would have on their children and the community if it were to close.

“It’s a big disruption, with the added stress of having to find somewhere else, having to take her elsewhere is a step backwards. I’m thinking of her well being, putting her in a new environment is not good for her, this is her family and safe place,” said Katie Pennycook, who hopes to bring her younger children to County Kindy too.

“We cater for a huge area, from Hunterville to Eketahuna to Tangimoana, I have parents who travel up to an hour for what I’ve created. The Ministry has lost sight of the children - they don’t see the kids crying because they have to leave their kindy, the teachers that they trust,” said Country Kindy owner Fiona Zwart.  

“In our opinion, Country Kindy has done everything the Ministry has asked of them, and will continue to do so. Two years of inspections has taken a huge toll on the staff, and to close it down now is crazy. The least disruptive option for the community is to stay open, get things sorted and move on. We hope the Ministry will see common sense,” said Simon Laube.

Sector leadership
Sector leadership