Cash will give foster children space to play

By Vaimoana Tapaleao

Lifewise's Alli Munt is thrilled to have the grant. Photo / Dean Purcell
Lifewise's Alli Munt is thrilled to have the grant. Photo / Dean Purcell

Going to kindy and having friends is not always possible for young children growing up in foster care.

Moving from one place to the next can often mean that they will never remain on a childcare centre's waiting list long enough to attend.

Lifewise - a community and social development organisation - is working to help those youngsters by building a new early childhood facility that will focus on taking in children in foster homes.

The centre is being built with the help of a $10,000 grant from Auckland Airport in the 12 Days of Christmas project.

Service manager for early childhood education Alli Munt said staff were thrilled to get the grant, which will help fund a new playground and play area at the centre in West Auckland.

"So many of these children will come from unsafe homes or will be growing up in foster care.

We just want to help make sure that they don't miss out - not only on getting an early childhood education, but also to make friends," Mrs Munt said.

"It's an environment that we want to provide connectedness for the children. They miss out on that community-feel and we don't want that to happen."

There will be up to 25 places available for youngsters aged between 3 months and 5 years old.

Although the facility is being built to specifically help those children in foster care, all children are welcome to enrol.

Charles Spillane of Auckland Airport said: "The opening early childhood centre is a fantastic initiative by Lifewise that will provide a safe and happy place for young foster children to develop and grow."

Airport windfall

This Christmas, the Herald is again featuring charities which have been selected for a $10,000 donation from Auckland Airport. The $120,000 to be distributed came from change donated by travellers this year.

- NZ Herald

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