Marfell Kindergarten is demonstrating the holistic role that kindergartens can play in the community.
Last year it embarked on a major rebuild with funding coming from the TSB Community Trust, Kindergarten Taranaki and the Ministry of Education.
The half a million dollar project saw the floor area increased from 175 sqm to 259 sqm with new purpose built spaces included: A community kitchen, whanau room, offices and playgroup space for under-3’s are all on site.
“Whanau run the playgroup and this gives an opportunity for them to meet and be together, supporting their tamariki, fostering meaningful relationships along the way,” says head teacher Sam Frank.
For tamariki, the details are exciting, she says. For example, each now has a ‘cubby’ to house belongings and treasures, which enhances their sense of belonging.
Well designed spaces means resources are more accessible and teachers can respond quickly to tamariki, allowing them to carry on exploring and learning. “It means tamariki have more choice about where to do their mahi, have conversations and explore together.”
Whanau are enjoying a room in which to meet with outside agencies. It might be they feel safe and supported in the kindergarten, have no transport or choose to use the venue to support them in their role as parents and caregivers. “Teachers and staff can be quickly responsive to whanau and community needs because we have the space to do so,” says Sam.
The additional space also makes the kindergarten more visible and means other community groups can use its facilities.
“A huge thank you to Kindergarten Taranaki and the TSB Community Trust for their belief in what we do, and their financial support. Our tamariki, whanau and the teaching team have always been proud of their kindergarten, and now we have a building to match,” adds Sam.
* TSBCT provided a grant of $50,000 towards the project.