Calling all Wakatipu parents

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Mum’s SOS to back preschool.

Wakatipu parents have five days left to play their part in trying to raise $700,000 for a new preschool in Arrowtown.

In a bid to secure Government money, Arrowtown mum Juliet Pope needs at least 200 names of children in the resort who aren’t attending a licensed early childhood education centre.

She has 120 kids listed so far. 

The names form a crucial part of their second funding application to the Ministry of Education – it shows how much a facility is needed, Pope says.

Pope and a group of parents representing Arrowtown Community Preschool were last month denied Ministry of Education money for the project.

The preschool has consent to build a second centre next to Arrowtown School that will take up to 80 kids.

The parents sent out 900 flyers through different events and agencies urging others to put their child’s name forward – even if they don’t live in Arrowtown.

“My message to people is get behind this project … because of the severity of the problem we’re saying anybody who would be prepared to drive to Arrowtown [to put their names down],” says Pope.

After a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and local MP Bill English in Queenstown last week, Pope says she feels like they’re in with a better chance of getting the money this time – so long as they have the names.

English says he’s decided to review the ministry’s special dispensation grant criteria to allow groups like Pope’s – which aren’t not-for-profit – to apply for funding in higher socio-economic areas.

Parents should email arrow.kids@xtra.co.nz with their child’s name.

Pope has till April 9 to send the application back to the MoE.