Bubbly launch for new kindy association

Kindy associations combined

DEENA COSTER
Last updated 05:00 09/06/2014
Kindergarten Taranaki launch
ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ
CLOWING AROUND: Staff and families in party mode celebrating the launch of Kindergarten Taranaki. Clockwise from left, Declan Bruhn, 5, Valya Bykora, 13, Tyla Mortimore, 13, Amanda Bruhn, 12, Larissa Bruhn, 7.

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For an organisation that promotes the importance of play, it was only fitting its launch was celebrated with clowns, balloons and bubbles.

Kindergarten Taranaki, which brings together the North and South Taranaki associations, was officially launched on Friday, but festivities have gone on all weekend, with a dinner on Friday night followed by whanau fun days on Saturday and Sunday.

Chief executive Cherie Boyd said the move represented a milestone for the kindergarten movement in Taranaki and provided it with a sound base from which to grow.

"The intention is to develop services right around the maunga," she said.

Boyd said kindergarten was an attractive option for parents and families because it was free and available in most geographic areas.

"It's considered to be a service that is accessible to everyone," she said.

Merrilands Kindergarten teachers Anna Ryder and Libby Barron said the main thing they loved about their job was the close relationships they built with families and the wider community.

"It's such an awesome way to interact with the community," said Ryder, who has been teaching for about a year.

Barron, who has a primary school teaching background, said she enjoyed the ability she now had to work one on one with children.

"We follow their interests and try to build on that," she said.

Ryder said although kindergartens had their own curriculum, an important part of the work they did with children was developing their social skills, especially as children got ready to go to school. "We find they need to develop these first."

Taranaki has 24 kindergartens throughout the region and about 1300 children attend.

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