Kiddie care

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Linmark Educational Services owner Kevin Christie visited his regional coordinator Rae Paterson (centre with Wyatt Kay, 15 months) and mums Sandra Ward (left), with nine-month-old Amber, and Cath Hudson, with 15-month-old Isabelle, last week.

The Tauranga-based businessman has rebranded Linmark as Footsteps Poutama after buying the company in January.

It provides Government-funded free educational support programmes for kids aged 0-6 who are cared for at home.

Footsteps has employed early-childhood teacher Paterson to coordinate its Queenstown Lakes operations since 2004 and is adding another coordinator in a fortnight, Christie says.

The Wakatipu is experiencing a childcare crisis as all seven childcare centres bulge at the seams and the future of ABC Learning Centres remains unresolved.