Kapi-Mana News : July 19th 2011
3 KAPI-MANA NEWS, JULY 19, 2011 NEWS 3642909AA Loans for all reasons ADELPHI FINANCE Amounts $500 to $5000 KM112259 FAST Approval CASH NOW Level 3, Adelphi House, Hartham Place, Porirua PH: 237 4171 *All Loans Subject to Normal Lending Criteria Loans for all reasons Providing Cash Solutions 40 Years of Financial Service WOFS* Monday through to Saturday BE IN QUICK, AS BOOKINGS ARE ESSENTIAL ONLY Y AT: UNIT 3, 98 MAIN RD, TAWA (JUST BEHIND BP SERVICE STATION) www.tawaautoservice.co.nz 04 232 9128 *TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY $30 PLEASE PRESENT THIS VOUCHER • Valid until 31st August 2011 • 3539562AF 3892689AA '*'00426*5.&4 '*'00426*5.&4 '*/& '00%4 ° 26"-*5: .&"54 '*/& '00%4 ° 26"-*5: .&"54 SPECIALS END 24-07-2011 www.prestonsmasterbutchers.co.nz HARBOURSIDE; 16 PARUMOANA ST, PORIRUA 04 237 7313 44$$))0000-- ))00--**%%""::44ªªªªªª #&&' ° 103, 4"64"(&4 '3&4) 13&.*6. 36.1 45&", ¿†…̆»»c_ .]eZ]jk 0fdqªªª 13&.*6. #&&' 45&", .*/$& ¿„̆»»c_ ¿·̆»»c_ 'dYngmj ECEs feel the pinch By KAROLINE TUCKEY Many early childhood centres in Porirua are feeling the impact of Government funding cuts, with some saying they have been forced to pass the costs on to parents. Education union the New Zealand Educational Institute says reduc- tions to subsidies for childcare centres with a high level of qualified staffing have hit centres and parents hard, with more than 2000 ECE centres affected nationwide since the cuts came into effect in February. Wellington Kindergartens, which runs 64 kindergartens from Welling- ton to Levin -- 21 in the Kapi-Mana area -- says it has lost $3 million for the 2011-12 financial year, or $48,000 per kindergarten, because of the cut. The change from a Government- mandated target of 100 per cent qualified staff, to a funding cap at 80 per cent qualified staff was a disappointing and disturbing change in direction , the Wellington Kinder- garten board chairwoman Carole Olmedo said, in a letter to parents. The unfortunate reality is that these changes are having a huge impact on us and we need to make some difficult choices to ensure qual- ity is preserved in our kinder- gartens. The organisation was encouraging parents to pay a donation each term to help them retain teachers, and had supplied parents with contact details for local MPs, and encour- aged them to voice their concerns. Porirua First Five ECE centre supervisor Jenni Mason agreed the funding changes had been a blow. We ve been quite badly affected... we lost about $20,000 in funding, she said. We ve had to put our fees up three times, a total of $7 a day per child. Over a week, for families that s a $35 a week increase. The centre has also had to cut back a part-time position it kept for ECE students, and increase the number of children on its roll. Mrs Mason said families had been very understanding of the fee rises. But on top of the increase in GST in October, and rising living expenses, families were feeling the cost. Parents are working longer days, doing a nine or 10-hour day, so the children are here for a longer time, Mrs Mason said. We charge a daily rate, so the parents are saving money, but it s a lot harder for the children -- that s a very, very long day. We used to have a huge group of fulltime children, now we only have three and a large group of part-time children. While many ECE centres would do their best to find ways to meet high standards of care and education, reductions in the quality of early childhood education would have far- reaching effects, Mrs Mason said. It s going to have a flow-on effect right throughout the community, and education system, she said. For every dollar spent on early childhood you re saving $15 later on in the child s life. It just seems ludicrous that we are cutting the funding to such a vital part of the community. The government gave everybody tax cuts last year and then turned around and took them back from young families with the other hand. They do not appear to be doing much to help the middle classes or lower class families. Battle for school brings Mahinawa By ANDREA O'NEIL Special school: After years of petitioning about the poor state of her school buildings, Mahinawa Specialist School principal Fay Stanton got funding for her dream school. Pictured with her are students Joshua Gates, 20, and Stephanie Miller, 17. A maggot infestation is not usually a happy occur- rence, but it turned around the fortunes of a local special needs school. A new $8.6 million state-of-the-art special needs school was officially opened in Elsdon on July 7, but might not have been built at all if not for a nasty case of maggots at the school s former site on Kenepuru Dr. Staff at the 40-year-old Kapi-Mana school had been asking for a new school for decades, their site being run down and far too small, principal Fay Stanton says. We lobbied the ministry and everyone we could think of, she says. I must have written a million letters. However, it was not until an infestation of maggots in 2006 from dead rats in the roof and floor that funding was approved for a new school building. The Education Review Office happened to be visiting the school when the maggot problem appeared -- maggots covered the floor and walls of a classroom, and a student fell to his knees through a rotten hallway floor where even more maggot-ridden rats were found. The smell was incredible, Mrs Stanton says. The review office, which had been recommending the school move site since 1999, increased its pressure on the Ministry of Edu- cation, and a new school was soon given the green light. If I planned that I couldn t have done it better, Mrs Stanton says. However, it was another five years before the new school would be complete. Time was wasted trying to obtain a site on Kenepuru Hospital grounds, which proved too expensive, so the school settled on a site on a Mana College sports field. Ideally, we should have been in this school by the end of 2007. The new school, which houses 27 special needs students aged 14 to 21, is named Mahinawa after a stream that runs behind it -- the name translates as working by water . Water proved a problem during the building project with major geotechnical works needed to provide drainage to the flood-prone site. The completed school is a wonder of modern technology, eco-awareness and sensitivity to students needs. Its hallways are curved rather than straight, as Mrs Stanton found overseas research proving autistic students dislike long, straight lines. Ninety per cent of Mahinawa s students are autistic, with the remaining 10 per cent having Down s syndrome, Noonan s syndrome or global developmental delay syndrome. Pale, calming colours are also used throughout the school, and most classrooms are identical to avoid upsetting the autistic students, who don t like change. There s a massive difference in student behav- iour. They re calm, Mrs Stanton says, although she also attributes the difference to students now having more space. Double glazing, solar panels, fruit trees, sensor lights and gas heating have earned Mahinawa a five-star eco rating. The impressive technology extends to the classrooms, which are equipped with iPads, ceil- ing hoists, therapy baths, and an educational kitchen, laundry and music room. The Educational Review Office are due to review the school next year, and will find a transformed set of students and staff. The students love it here, Mrs Stanton says.
July 12th 2011
July 26th 2011