For many generations, parents have come together to support their local kindergarten, connect with one another, and gain some experience working in a group.
In the past, every kindergarten would have a Parent Committee which would take care of a wide variety of day-to-day tasks, often including fundraising to pay for the basic costs of running the kindergarten.
Today, Whānau Manaaki takes care of many of these functions, but our kindergartens still rely on the support or parents and communities for many of the ‘extras’ that help make kindergarten a fun place to be, and parents also enjoy the opportunity to connect with like-minded whānau.
Over the years, parent committees have evolved into other sorts of structures or functions - some kindergartens still have a traditional committee with set roles and responsibilities, in others, whānau, caregivers and others come together when and if required. For some, whānau support and participation is more about social gatherings, others are very focused on fundraising.
Parents, caregivers, communities and local businesses who are involved in our kindergartens are very special to us - getting involved is the kindergarten way, and it’s one of the differences between kindergartens and other forms of early childhood education.
Find out more about how you can play an active role in your local kindergarten by talking with your teaching team.
- We are currently updating these policies, please check back again later.
BUILDING AND ENVIRONMENTS
WMK has the overall responsibility for the maintenance and building improvements for all kindergarten buildings as they are either the legal owner or lessee of the building.
WMK employs a Senior Facilities Manager, who has the overall responsibility for managing the maintenance and improvements to the buildings. There is a team who support this work to occur.
WMK funds all maintenance costs for kindergartens. The day to day management of maintenance of both the building and grounds in done in partnership between WMK and kindergartens. How this works in practice is:
- In each region WMK has a network of tradespeople who are pre-approved to work in kindergartens
- Kindergartens can engage the services of these contractors on a day to day basis to attend to urgent and essential maintenance. (Detailed in the Kindergarten Property Maintenance Flow Chart)
- WMK undertakes regular building audits every three years to identify emerging maintenance matters
- WMK undertakes annual playground audits by teaching staff who hold a Level 2 Playground Inspection Certificate
- These two audit processes feed into the Property Budget set each year by WMK
All work must be notified to WMK, retrospectively when it is in response to emergency or in advance for all other work.
Planning for building improvements is also a partnership between WMK and the kindergartens. How this works in practice is:
- Each year the kindergarten participates in budget setting for the coming year. Senior Teachers work with Teaching Teams to identify projects that are to be included in the kindergartens property budget for the year.
- The three - four yearly building audits identify building improvements and/or areas that require upgrading
- WMK has a 5 Year Property Plan that is developed from the information from the audit processes and feedback from kindergarten teams and communities. This 5 Year Plan is broken up into an annual plan for each financial year
- In July, the Facilities Manager lets each kindergarten know what significant items of property work have been identified for the coming financial year.
All building and environment work (including playground work) is managed by one of the Property Team.
Introduction to Whānau Groups
(previously known as committees)
Kindergartens have a number of ways for whānau to be involved and support the operations of the kindergarten:
· Some kindergartens operate with groups that have office holder positions and follow formal committee type processes
· Some have whānau groups – that are less formal and come together to discuss specific activities or issues
. Some have less formal processes for engaging with parents and use social events and social media, newsletters and the like to engage with whānau of the kindergarten
Regardless of the structure of the group, the activities of kindergartens are ‘sub-committees’ of the Governing Board and therefore must act in ways that are consistent with the values and intent of the wider organisation – Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens.
Being part of one of these groups is a great way to get to know people, learn more about your child's learning environment and contribute to the wider kindergarten community particularly in the area of fundraising activities, organising social events and working bees.
They also provide a family and community perspective for our teaching teams, which helps develop the direction and culture of our kindergartens.
Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens (WMK) is the umbrella organisation for 102 early childhood services, including 101 kindergartens and 1 homebased service.
WMK is the legal entity for all of these services and has the overall responsibility for all areas of operations.
A Governing Board is elected by the members of the association once a year at the AGM.
The main responsibility of Board Members is to act in the best interests of the Association, its Kindergartens and the children. The Board’s main tasks are:
- Setting and monitoring the strategic direction of the Association
- Ensure the association are meeting all its legal requirements
- Appoint, review and nurture the Chief Executive.
- Set delegated responsibilities and limits of the Chief Executive.
- Approve and monitor overall budget of WMK.
- Monitor the performance of the Association.
- Ensure effective communication with and reporting to the Kindergarten community.
- Approve major policies and programme initiatives.
The board employs a Chief Executive who leads a team of Senior Managers, who are delegated various areas of operation. Head Teachers are delegated the day to day management of the kindergarten, with the support of the senior management team and in conjunction with the kindergarten’s whānau community.
Who are the members of WMK?
The members of WMK, are the two parents/whānau/caregivers that are listed on the enrolment form of each child.
Where are our kindergartens?
Our services are in the following locations:
- Whanganui (12 Kindergartens)
- Central Plateau (3 Kindergartens)
- Horowhenua (7 kindergartens including Levin, Shannon and Otaki)
- Kapiti Coast (5 kindergartens)
- Porirua (16 kindergartens, 1 homebased service)
- Wellington North (9 kindergartens)
- Wellington (24 kindergartens)
- Petone (3 kindergartens)
- Upper Hutt (11 kindergartens)
- Wairarapa (11 kindergartens)
Functions of the WMK Association Office
The Association Office is responsible for the following:
Buildings and Grounds:
WMK has the overall responsibility for the maintenance, development and improvements to the buildings and grounds. To facilitate this regular playground and building audits are undertaken by the property facilities team. WMK is responsible for funding all urgent and essential maintenance repairs.
- Advice and assistance in maintenance of all kindergartens.
- Advice and guidance to committees on all playground development and building enhancements.
- Senior Teachers are employed by the Kindergarten Association in an advisory ...and support role to the Association, staff and committees.
- They may be contacted through the Association and are available for consultation and advice on any area of the programme, plans for purchase of equipment or alterations to buildings or grounds.
- The Senior Teachers spend time in kindergartens and parents are welcome to make contact during these times.
- Human resource management
- Day to day management of finances including accounts payable
- Provide monthly financial reports for each kindergarten
- Collection of fees
- Day to day administrative support to the teaching teams
- Marketing and promotions of WMK and individual kindergartens
Role of Whānau Groups:
Ensuring partnership between the whānau of the kindergarten and the teaching team is important to WMK. Kindergartens have a variety of ways of ensuring that this can occur, and that whānau can be involved in their child’s early childhood education.
This means some kindergartens have groups which are run in a committee type style and some are less formal. Where kindergartens operate with a formal type structure any meetings that are held need to be at times that at least the head teacher is able to participate.
The overall day to day responsibility for kindergarten finances is delegated to the head teacher. In partnership with the Whānau Group they monitor the accounts which are provided to the kindergarten on a monthly basis.
Teaching teams are able to spend within their budgets, when there are situations that expenditure is required and it is not included in the kindergarten budget, a member of the finance team or the kindergarten’s senior teacher can provide support.
Kindergartens support the day to day operations of the kindergarten through organising and encouraging other families to be involved in fundraising and social activities.
Guidelines for Fundraising
Fundraising is a great way for families to support the kindergarten. It is also a great way for families to get to know each other. Whilst, fundraising is important, WMK acknowledges that some families will have the time and resources to participate in fundraising, other families will not.
Kindergarten budgets have a budget line for fundraising each year. Fundraising for the year, is best spread across the year, with one event per term. Whilst teaching teams are supportive of fundraising, it is not a requirement that the whole team will be at every fundraising event.
It is useful to develop a fundraising calendar for the year, this can provide opportunities for families to see what is coming up and how they can be involved.
This information will be updated shortly.