Lingering uncertainty after the coronavirus lockdown appears to be behind a drop in parents enrolling their children in school holiday programmes.
With term one holidays soaked up by the stay-at-home order, the break starting Saturday is the first scheduled holiday since summer.
YMCA North’s Trevor Van der Walt told Stuff they’ve seen parents hold off on putting their kids into regular holiday programmes.
“We have been in contact with a lot of parents and the message we are getting is that some parents are worried about their financial position, either they’ve lost their job or they’re not sure where their job is going to go.
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“We have found some parents making alternative arrangements because they’re a little bit nervous about what is going on out there.”
Van der Walt, who is in charge of programmes in Hamilton and Auckland, has also noticed the sign-up for excursion days has been higher than their in-house days.
He believes parents now have more flexible working conditions, with more people being able to work from home while minding the kids.
Yet Van der Walt wouldn’t be surprised if numbers increased closer to the start of holiday programmes.
One place expecting visitor numbers to increase over the next two weeks is Hamilton Zoo.
The first weekend after lockdown was quite slow but it picked up rapidly after that.
The zoo has been on limited hours since then but will reopen seven days a week from Monday.
Keeper talks are coming back, too.
A few special days are on the cards with onesie Wednesdays where all adults who wear a onesie or are accompanying children wearing onesies, get into the zoo at children’s prices.
Each day will coincide with free face painting and teachers will get in free on weekdays.
The Waikato Museum also has activities on with a holiday programme with different subjects on each day from music day, which will see kids go on a musical odyssey around the globe and learn how to make their own instruments, to magical mayhem where kids can have a day of magical arts and wizard-worthy crafts.
Hamilton Gardens kicks things off on Saturday with the Blaze Guardians of the Monarchs book launch. Kids will be able to decorate their own mask, and dress up to celebrate the book launch of local author Adele Gaddes.