Manaia Te Kohanga Reo is an early childhood centre providing a Māori-speaking curriculum to tamariki from 0 to 6 years old.
 
“We teach te reo me ona tikanga through life experiences and activities, documenting and recording the learning progressions of every tamaiti in our Kohanga,” Stacey Alvarez, Kaiako Matua, said.
 
The facilities at the centre needed upgrading to be safer and healthier. After replacing the roof, repairing weatherboards and new aluminium windows, and building an office, the centre focused on upgrading the outdoor area.
 
“Funding was our biggest issue. We are able to maintain the centre, but it’s more difficult getting enough money to be able to upgrade our place. Without the grant, we would be relying on donations or fundraising. We would have to do the work a little at a time.”
 
“In winter, the driveway area was hazardous for parents, staff and tamariki as it became muddy, uneven and very slippery. The tamariki had always wanted to bring their bikes to kohanga, but we didn’t have the area to allow this as our driveway was open to the road.”
 
Funding of $60k from Toi Foundation allowed Manaia Te Kohanga Reo to upgrade the centre, including finishing the office, driveway and gate.

“We have completed a refurbished office area outside of the main space, allowing the existing office to be used as an extra learning space for the tamariki. This has meant we could increase our roll from 18 to 30.”
 
“The concreted area provides a safe area for the tamariki to arrive by van and stay clean and dry as they go inside. The gate secures the driveway and provides an outdoor play area for the tamariki. We also built a new climbing wall and bought ride-on equipment for the children.”
 
“The new concreted area allows the tamariki to ride their bikes safely, expanding their learning as per Mana Aoturoa, Exploration of machinery learning,” Stacey said.