New boss eager to lift kindy profile

ISOBEL EWING
Last updated 08:12 08/04/2014

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The way ethnic minorities are supported when they arrive in Taranaki is one aspect of early childhood education that Cherie Boyd wants to cultivate.

The newly appointed chief executive of the Taranaki Kindergarten Association said kindergartens have a far-reaching influence in the community.

"Early childhood is often the first place a new family goes after healthcare," she said.

"Kindergarten ought to be reflecting the community it's part of and be one of the services that makes that community strong."

Boyd's extensive experience working in early childhood development and adult learning sees her well equipped for the role.

She said she has plenty of ideas to bring to the job after a year managing the early childhood centres at the University of Auckland.

Children are the heart of the service but it is crucial to engage parents and families, she said.

"Primary schools work hard at including families but children can take themselves to school - they can't take themselves to childcare so we have to form a strong relationship with the whanau."

Boyd said the voice of Maori was very important and she was interested to know how that was reflected in a kindergarten environment in Taranaki.

She also wanted to look into the diversity of environments offered by kindergartens.

Boyd has also been involved in La Leche League, the international organisation promoting breastfeeding, and said kindergartens should reflect good nutritional practices.

"I've always been interested in what are healthy, wholesome engaging practices and women making these decisions that are in their own best view."

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- Taranaki Daily News

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