PARENTS on Scotland Island have launched a crowd-funding campaign to save their beloved kindy from having to close its doors.
They blame rising costs and increased staff-to-child ratios for putting the parent-run centre in jeopardy.
Currently the kindy cares for nine children under the age of six and nine older children who go there for after-school care.
Director Louisa Maxim said the not-for-profit centre had been going for nearly 20 years and was at the heart of the tiny island community.
“These little kindies, they are very vital,” she said.
“It is a very small, nurturing close to nature centre and although it is difficult to fund, the value is huge.
“There is a real sense the children grow up in the centre of their community.’
She said some island parents relied on the kindy because they commute into the city, while others needed their children cared for while they worked from home.
But costs have been increasing because of childcare regulations requiring higher staff to child ratios. They hope to raise $25,000 through their Gofundme campaign
“We do need help,” she said.
“Some years we’re very full in which case we build up reserves for the next year but we’re not in that situation at the moment.
“We want to be able to survive whether we have got five children or 20 children.”
It taught the children to be “resilient, creative and self-motivated” she said.
Duncan McKenzie moved to the island just three weeks ago and his daughter Ava, 3.5, already loves the kindy.
He said it would be difficult for them to find another childcare place on the mainland and even it they did, it would be difficult for him to make it to work on time.
“It could effectively impact on my job which would be terrible for us,” he said.
Barbara Labram’s two children Eddie, nine, and William, nine, went to the kindy and now go to the centre for after-school care.
“It really sets them up to feel connected to the place where they live and the people in the community.”
“It is physical outdoor play, all the things they need after a long day at school,” she said.
To support the campaign to save the Scotland Island Kindy go to gofundme.com/scotlandislandkind