During the holiday break Michell and Fran had the opportunity to visit an Early Childhood Learning Centre in Rarotonga. Black Rock Preschool is the country’s first and oldest Early Childhood Centre.
Before the opening of Blackrock Preschool in the early 1970’s, a small group of women used to open their homes for playgroups for under five-year-olds. Later a ‘space’ was located once contractors arrived to build the international airport. The workers built a ‘social centre’ which was used in the late afternoons and early evenings – this led the way for the building to be used during the day for a playcentre or kindergarten. The committee eventually lobbied the government for a permanent building and was given a limestone colonial cottage – one of two on the radio farm site.
Much like the kindergarten movement in New Zealand, parents and the local community have been active participants in supporting it’s development with working bees and fundraising events. We took a selection of books and toys from the teachers and children of Albany Kindergarten. These were gratefully received by the Principal Stephanie Puiri. We hope to also skype with the teacher’s and children of Blackrock Preschool over the coming months.
Thank you Rarotonga for such a lovely holiday and the opportunity to connect with other ECE services. 🙂