The community-led, not-for-profit organisation operates out of two sites. The Infant and Toddler Centre is located at 2 Cole Place, Te Atatu South, and looks after children aged three months to three years. And the Early Childhood Centre is situated next to Flanshaw Road School and caters to children aged three to five. According to Purdey, there is a combined total of around 80 tamariki on the roll.
Flanshaw Early Childhood Centre is managed by a governance community made up of dedicated volunteers. Members include a representative from Flanshaw Road School, plus current and former parents and whānau. And the strong community representation means the centre can respond to the needs of local families.
The centre offers a rich learning and education programme designed to ignite children’s imaginations. The tamariki are encouraged to explore and investigate through a range of play activities and experiences.
And now, thanks to the Your West Support Fund, there are even more exciting opportunities to grow and develop. A successful application to the fund’s latest round has been used to install an all-weather awning and curtains to the deck area at the Infant and Toddler Centre.
‘Space is tight at our Cole Place site,’ explains Purdey. ‘The awning has extended our available space. It means our infants can enjoy all-seasons play opportunities protected from the elements,’ she adds.
Already the awning is being put to good use. The centre’s teachers use the space to host a variety of ever-changing learning experiences. It might be climbing equipment one day or finger painting the next. And regardless of the weather, tamariki can participate in all the fun.
Like many community organisations, Covid has impacted the centre's finances. Treasurer Luke Faesen Kloet explains that over the last financial year, the centre saw a 32 per cent drop in finances, mainly due to lockdowns.
Funding from the Your West Support Fund has come at just the right time. ‘We’re really grateful for the funding, which means we can continue enriching the minds of the tamariki in our care,’ declares Purdey.