Preschoolers happy with new home

TINA LAW
Last updated 07:52 21/02/2013
Sydenham Community Preschool
DEAN KOZANIC/Fairfax NZ

HERE TO STAY: McKenzie Kellet, left, and Aaliya Ray-Smith chat during morning tea at Sydenham Community Preschool's new purpose-built centre on the ground of Waltham School.

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After almost two years based in a church hall, Sydenham Community Preschool has a new home.

Teachers no longer have to pack all the equipment away at the end of the day and children do not have to share the toilets with adults going to the church.

The children now have a choice of sandpits to play in and can even eat fruit from their edible garden.

"Everyone is working with a smile on their face," head teacher Rhonda Duncraft said.

The Ministry of Education has provided the not-for-profit preschool with a new purpose- built centre on the grounds of Waltham School. Children and staff moved in this week.

The centre had been based in St Anne's Church in St Martins after the June 2011 earthquakes forced it to move from its damaged Huxley St premises.

However, the move to St Martins had a big impact on the centre and it lost children whose parents were unable to travel the extra distance. Staff also left because of the working conditions.

The preschool is now full and has a waiting list of children wanting to enrol.

Teacher Barb Brockie said it was great to be able to use all of the centre's resources because they had not been able to while at the church.

"It's such a beautiful environment to be in and we don't have to pack everything away. That was hard physical work and things got broken too."

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