Valla parents Katrina Honor (left) and Zoe Hurst say having a pre-school in their community is invaluable for their children?s
Valla parents Katrina Honor (left) and Zoe Hurst say having a pre-school in their community is invaluable for their children?s

A$100 raffle to keep Valla school afloat

By UTE SCHULENBERG

KATRINA Honor leads a busy life and really values having a pre-school down the road.

"We have a cafe so we work seven days a week, but we help out here as much as we can," Ms Honor said.

"It's an awesome pre-school ? all the kids live near each other and know each other and that will spill over into school."

But keeping the pre-school afloat is getting harder and Valla Community Pre-School is resorting to radical measures to avoid a looming $10,000 deficit.

Their solution is to run a $100 raffle with extraordinary prizes and a limit of 200 tickets.

Pre-school treasurer Jeff McDonald said the unusual fundraising methods were necessary because of the lack of funding.

"We are one of 25 per cent of community pre-schools in NSW currently running at a deficit because we are not funded enough to operate," Mr McDonald said.

Statistics show funding for pre-schools in NSW is the lowest in the country but the fees are the highest.

The NSW average daily fee is $32 compared with the $7 per day paid by parents in Victoria or $5 in all other States.

Pre-school director Phillipa Maher said a recent, much-needed staff wage rise and skyrocketing insurance had put extra pressure on already high operating costs.

"We are keeping our fingers crossed for some relief in the State Government's budget . . . but apart from CPI there has been no extra funding for pre-schools since 1989.

"We started planning for this last year and the idea of the raffle actually came from Urunga Preschool.

"The community have been very supportive and we've already sold 30 tickets since we launched the campaign in early April."

Prizes include a $10,000 holiday voucher, a wide-screen television and a weekend for four at the Pelican Resort in Coffs Harbour.

n The raffle will be drawn in September and tickets can be paid off over the next few months. To buy a ticket or for more information, phone Valla Community Pre-School on 6569 5274.



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