Barnardos Early Learning building in Turua

Barnardos Early Learning building in Turua

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Ceremony to break ground on new Barnardos Early Learning building in Turua

The Turua and wider community are invited to join staff from leading children’s charity Barnardos for a blessing and ceremony to break ground for their exciting new Early Learning Centre (ELC) building. The event will start at 5pm on 18 October at Turua ELC, on the corner of Raupoiti Street and Piako Road, and will be followed by refreshments.

The project is a fantastic example Barnardos’ work and its long standing in this rural Waikato district. However, Barnardos is working proactively to fill a significant funding shortfall and has, at this stage, been able to commit only to the groundwork for the new centre.

“The breaking of the ground marks an important milestone for the project. We’re delighted to kickstart the work and will strive hard to bridge the funding gap,” said Chief Executive Matt Reid.

If full funding is achieved, an existing Barnardos building, formerly the Te Totara Early Learning Centre in Hamilton, will be divided into nine pieces and relocated to Turua by road. The disassembled building will be rebuilt and renovated on a new site owned by Hauraki District Council adjacent to the current ELC. The new service will be accessible for parents to easily drop off and pick up their tamariki, suitable for those on the daily commute to and from work. The new building will also allow the ELC’s capacity to increase from 38 to around 55 babies and children, better serving local whānau and the growing community in and around Turua.

Subject to funding, the relocated building will be kitted out with new furniture, and more resources and equipment. A new playground will also be created that will be available to the local community during the long summer evenings and weekends. The current centre will continue to operate until the new building is ready to open.

Matt Reid said, “Recycling our Te Totara building is a fantastic opportunity to upgrade and expand our Turua ELC sustainably and cost-effectively. Once funding is secured and the building can be refitted, it will be a modern, fit-for-purpose centre providing early learning to the community that will give tamariki the strongest foundations for their future and help them shine bright. I’m also pleased to say we’ll be gifting the existing ELC building to the Turua Community Trust to be repurposed as part of a new library and sports facility. I would like to thank the Turua community for their help with and support for this project.”

Barnardos’ Turua ELC is the only early learning centre in the area that provides for under 2s, as well as 3 ̶ 5-year-olds. It operates from 7.30am to 5.30pm on weekdays. Barnardos offers financial support for parents who are unable to afford the full fees, subject to conditions.

Barnardos seeks support from local businesses, trusts, and philanthropists to help complete this project. If you are interested in supporting it, come along to the event or contact Barnardos on 0800 005 437 or email