My name is Patricia Saxby
and I became involved with the kindergarten when my youngest child attended Wainuiomata Kindergarten on Frederick Street - about 1975. I was Treasurer and was elected to join the executive and was on the committee of staff appointments - a very different process of employing teachers back then. I enjoyed being convener of that committee and being actively involved with the teaching staff.
I was President of the Association for a few years and eventually was the Patron for a number of years.
I still have the kindergarten movement at heart as my grandchildren have all happily attended various kindergartens in the valley.
During my time we built Kelson, Holborn, Pencarrow, Parkway, Arakura and reopened Boulcott Kindergarten.
I am Alice Hardie
a Life Member at Hutt City Kindergartens, I started my relationship with Hutt City Kindergartens in 2001 with my first child Lilly at Epuni Kindergarten. I quickly became involved in the life of the kindergarten and loved being able to take my younger son Samuel along, it was very inclusive and I made a number of friends with other parents. We moved a short distance away, closer to Waterloo Kindergarten so my second, third and fourth children attended this kindergatarten. I vividly remember my first visit to Waterloo Kindergarten, it was then that I told the Head Teacher that I was unable to get in the door with a double pushchair and there was no other way of entering to view the facility while still being able to have my children safely in view.
She said it would not be a problem to widen the door and sure enough within two weeks the door became a mini double door to allow for double pushchairs. This was the place for me! Somewhere that followed through with having children and parents at their heart.
All my children loved Waterloo Kindergarten, the teachers, the environment, their friends and the many hours that I would spend at committee meetings after the sessions were finished where they could have time to play with lots of other children around. I had come from being on the Plunket committee and so it was an easy transition to go onto the kindergarten committee and within a year I was the new president.
Fundraising and social activities were lots of fun to plan and the fruits of our labour were enjoyed by all children, in the equipment we were able to purchase. There was an opportunity to join the Hutt City Kindergarten committee which was the umbrella organisation for the 19 kindergartens in the Lower Hutt area. I enjoyed the monthly meetings and this is where I developed my understanding of the role of governance. An opportunity came up for the president‘s role which I was glad to step into, while this was certainly a step up in time, I could offer this service as I was working part time and this gave me a variety of mentally stimulating conversations. Writing job descriptions, interviewing, reviewing building / renovation plans, pouring over stats of variation in attendance roll over the 19 sites, staffing ratio of fully qualified staff to children, session hours - were they meeting the needs of the community, allocating funding, understanding changes to legislation and the 20 free ECE hours all had its rewards and challenges. There were some very good funding years where we seemed to have lots of money to invest and then some extremely lean years where kindergartens were competing for the same government funding with private ECE facilities. In my role as president it meant working very closely with the manager and Head Teachers of all the kindergartens. A highlight was attending the National Kindergarten Conference in Queenstown with other committee members.
Once my last child had left kindergarten it was about six months later that I stepped down from the president’s role. It was also not too many years away that I was elected onto the Saint Oran’s board of trustees where I was able to use these skills again.
When I stepped down from the committee it was suggested by senior staff and members of the committee that I would be recognised for my service by receiving an honorary Life Member status. It was a great time, my husband also went to Waterloo Kindergarten so a long relationship with our family indeed.
Hi, I am Shirley Payes
Both Maurice and I worked for Epuni Kindergarten for many years on the committee. I think Maurice also sat on the Hutt Valley Committee. Maurice was a community pharmacist and I was a community volunteer. We had two children both of whom attended Epuni Kindergarten.