Saving Gate Pa kindergarten

Gate Pa Kindergarten could be facing closure if it doesn’t find more enrolments. Image: Google Maps.

Gate Pa Kindergarten needs to find at least 10 more children to enrol, or it could be closing down.

That was the outcome of yesterday's meeting at the kindergarten, in which concerned parents and teachers met with the board of Inspired Kindergartens to discuss the centre's future.

Inspired Kindergartens principal Peter Monteith says rising rents and other pressures are causing young families to move out of the area, or unable to afford the service.

“That's a significant issue for us. People are also looking for longer day-care options that our kindergarten is unable to provide. We're only open for six hours a day, and we can't afford to open longer than that.”

He says the role of kids has also significantly declined over the years.

He knows parents of current children are understandably concerned, but considers yesterday's meeting to have been very successful.

“Parents undertook to promote the kindergarten in the community and increase enrolments. We're hoping that will achieve the result we need. Every family was represented, and that's the sad thing – we know the existing parents are passionate about the place, there's just not enough of them at the moment.”

He says the unfortunate reality is that government funding is tied to the number of children who attend.

“We just took another enrolment today, so we're up to 20. But we need at least 30 to make it tenable.”

Grandmother Tracey Clay is a big fan of the kindergarten, and has seen several of her grandchildren come through the place.

“It's a wonderful kindy – they really do meet the needs of the kids in every shape and form. They won't turn any kids away.”

She says the meeting went really well.

“We're not out of the woods, but we had a good result.

“We won't know for sure until May 15 if it will close, but we're going to do everything we can to keep it open. If we all get together, I know we can work it out.”



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