Hill Street Early Childhood Centre has a long and proud tradition of being a whānau-led (family) co-operative.
What a great little community to be part of! In the days of large, profit-driven centres, it’s nice to part of something that matters and create a future for other families to share in. I feel privileged to have found such a great, nourishing centre. Not only are my kids loved, but encouraged to develop and follow their strengths.
The advantage of a family co-operative is that you will have the opportunity to become actively involved in the direction of the centre. All fees are re-invested into the programme, rather than profiting any external person or agency.
On a day-to-day basis whānau find the centre operates in a similar way to other teacher-led early childhood education services. However, strategic decisions are made by the whānau through the Management Committee. Every whānau is expected to take an active part in the life of the centre.
The Management Committee is made up of parents and teachers and considers all aspects of the centre’s operation from policy writing through to maintaining the building. There are a number of elected roles:
Fundraising and grants officer
Staff and Parent liaison
The committee meets once a month and minutes of these meetings are made available for all families to read. All parents are encouraged and welcome to attend the monthly committee meeting.
At least twice a year families are asked to participate in a “working bee.” Before each “bee” a list of jobs is put up for parents to choose a task. Not only do working bees get all the necessary jobs done (and consequently keep costs down, including your fees) but they also are a great way for families to get to know each other. Families take great pride in their efforts.
We have an active fundraising and grant-writing committee and there are many different ways to help us access additional funds – we prefer to put our efforts into these activities rather than increasing our fees.