Solution to school holiday care

THE AWHI WAY: Awhi Tree is parent-run child care for the school holidays. A pilot programme in Gisborne over the past two weeks went “really well”. Pictured from left are May Foxley, Amy Graham, Charlotte Kingsford, Cass Ryan, Tasmin Ryan and Jasmine Graham. Pictures supplied

There are 12 weeks of school holidays but only four weeks of annual leave for working parents.

Awhi Tree is a solution to the problem many parents struggle with over the school holidays — who will look after the children?

Gisborne’s first pilot programme for Awhi Tree child care exceeded expectations.

The parents loved it and so did the kids.

Child care and holiday programmes can be around $50 a day.

This alternative arrangement is parent-run under the umbrella of the Awhi Tree organisation.

Parents each take one day of the week to look after all of the children, then the rest of the week it is other parents’ turns.

This gives everyone four days of child care for doing one day of child care themselves.

Gisborne organiser Stephanie Temple said it kept costs for parents down, so was an option available for everyone.

“There is a $100 annual fee to cover costs like vetting parents and insurance, then just $5 day — plus the day you supervise yourself.”

Ms Temple said the requirements were having a safe neutral venue, a minimum of two parents each day, and a ratio of one adult to eight children maximum.

“Basically, your group can be as big or small as you want it.”

Ms Temple said the first trial in the recent school holidays exceeded everyone’s expectations.

“It was awesome, really good.

“We were all a bit nervous as parents about having to cope with a group of children on our days, but we actually played and the kids loved it.

“It was easy. Way more easy than I thought it would be.

“We all felt like we had done something meaningful — found a solution to a problem that is real for a lot of people.

“Every person involved said they would do it again. It will definitely be run again next school holidays.”

To get in touch with the Gisborne group, log on to facebook/awhitree or call Stephanie Temple direct on 021 2023 675.

There are 12 weeks of school holidays but only four weeks of annual leave for working parents.

Awhi Tree is a solution to the problem many parents struggle with over the school holidays — who will look after the children?

Gisborne’s first pilot programme for Awhi Tree child care exceeded expectations.

The parents loved it and so did the kids.

Child care and holiday programmes can be around $50 a day.

This alternative arrangement is parent-run under the umbrella of the Awhi Tree organisation.

Parents each take one day of the week to look after all of the children, then the rest of the week it is other parents’ turns.

This gives everyone four days of child care for doing one day of child care themselves.

Gisborne organiser Stephanie Temple said it kept costs for parents down, so was an option available for everyone.

“There is a $100 annual fee to cover costs like vetting parents and insurance, then just $5 day — plus the day you supervise yourself.”

Ms Temple said the requirements were having a safe neutral venue, a minimum of two parents each day, and a ratio of one adult to eight children maximum.

“Basically, your group can be as big or small as you want it.”

Ms Temple said the first trial in the recent school holidays exceeded everyone’s expectations.

“It was awesome, really good.

“We were all a bit nervous as parents about having to cope with a group of children on our days, but we actually played and the kids loved it.

“It was easy. Way more easy than I thought it would be.

“We all felt like we had done something meaningful — found a solution to a problem that is real for a lot of people.

“Every person involved said they would do it again. It will definitely be run again next school holidays.”

To get in touch with the Gisborne group, log on to facebook/awhitree or call Stephanie Temple direct on 021 2023 675.

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