Foxton drop-in centre

Issue: Volume 94, Number 14

Posted: 10 August 2015
Reference #: 1H9cro

Whānau are being supported to enrol in early learning services that best meet their needs in Horowhenua.

Te Pā Harakeke o Te Awahou, with the support of the Ministry of Education, has established a Horowhenua Community Action Group (CAG). This group is made up of individuals and groups across Foxton, Levin, Ōtaki and Shannon, who are committed to working together to promote the importance of early learning and to raise early childhood education (ECE) participation across Horowhenua and Ōtaki.

This year the Horowhenua CAG, led by Brenda Soutar and Milton Rauhihi, has already identified 49 children not going to an ECE service or kōhanga reo. By holding four early learning promotional events in Foxton, Shannon, Levin and Ōtaki, as well as opening a drop-in centre in Foxton, families are supported to enrol in early learning services that best meet the needs of whānau.

Previously a vacant dental clinic, the Foxton Drop-in shares the same grounds as Foxton Primary School and Te Pā Harakeke o te Awahou Early Childhood Centre. The drop-in centre runs two days a week and is supervised by qualified ECE teacher Wahi Los’e.
Wahi says it allows whānau and tamariki to enjoy an early learning environment that is non-threatening and familiar. “A variety of fun, interactive, early learning activities are offered and we move at the pace of whānau,” she says.

“That’s the great thing about the Foxton Drop-in Centre,” says Brenda Soutar. “We are able to develop genuine relationships with parents and broker them into other social services or put them in touch with information sources they may need, such as childcare subsidy information, 20 Hours ECE policy, and assistance with enrolment applications.

“It also opens the door to discuss other fears they may have, such as home and personal circumstances or their own negative education experiences.”

Brenda says the drop-in centre has been pivotal to bringing an understanding to whānau of the value and benefits of quality early learning that is culturally responsive.

“We are able to continually reinforce the message that sustained participation in quality ECE makes a critical difference to life-long educational success.

The Foxton Drop-in Centre now has established relationships with Foxton Primary School, the Mobile Dental Clinic, Te Waiora Health Centre, Manawatu College and the Foxton Rugby Club,” she says.

“We are looking forward to identifying more non-participating children and supporting them to enrol in culturally responsive quality ECE.”

Te Pā Harakeke o te Awahou Early Childhood Centre is based in Foxton and was successful in obtaining a grant from the Ministry of Education in 2013 and, with the support of whānau of Foxton, was officially opened in May of that year. The centre was named to acknowledge harakeke, a native flax important to the Foxton area, originally named Te Awahou. It is a Māori immersion ECE service.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 12:46 pm, 10 August 2015

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