Napier and kindies

Had a breakfast coffee this morning in Napier with local MP Chris Tremain.Was amused that around two out of three people walking past stopped to greet him – one seat where the MP has no problems with recognition. Also noted that he seemed to know most of them by name also – one of the nice things about provincial seats.

Chris also showed me the accounts of the local Napier Kindergarten Association. He noted in a local release:

The Napier Kindergarten Association is to be highly congratulated, says Chris Tremain MP for Napier.

“On Monday evening I attended the Napier Kindergarten Association AGM where it was disclosed that despite a change in Government funding the Association would deliver more services for less money,” says Chris Tremain.

“This is an outstanding result and goes to the heart of the Government’s drive to get more value for taxpayer dollars.

“The Association have achieved this result without reducing the 100% teacher qualified rates, without increasing costs to parents and without any loss of jobs, while at the same time increasing access to more kids. In addition their sound management ensures that more kids in disadvantaged communities around the country will get more access to ECE. This is an outstanding effort and the Board and senior management are to be congratulated.

So what did the NKA do:

“The Napier Kindergarten Association are a highly professional group of people absolutely devoted to the education of our children. They were concerned about the Budget 2010 decision that they would only be funded to 80% Teacher Qualified from February, 2011.

“But the Annual Report shows that the Association has risen to the challenge by introducing Friday afternoon sessions, opening for 5 more days, diversifying Marewa and Taradale to 5 day licenses, and shaving some non-essential expenses. This has resulted in more ECE places in Napier/Wairoa for less money, an outstanding result.

“The 2010 accounts presented at the AGM showed that the Association budgeted for a $139,000 loss, but actually made a surplus of $328,000. On top of this their balance sheet shows investments of $1.85 million and equity of $1.4 million. Despite the funding changes, it was reported that the forecast for 2011 shows a deficit of just $70,000, which is significantly smaller than the budgeted deficit in 2010.”

So the NKA has made a significant surplus, has kept 100% qualified teachers, has not out fees up, and has delivered more services. They’re an example for the country.

And the contrast to this is what happened to ECE under Labour. Labour increased funding by 200%, yet the number of children in ECE increased by only 1%.

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