I have been running early childhood centres since 2004 and am a strong believer in putting families/whanau first. My husband Rob and I have two teenage children who are the reason we first became involved in running an early childhood centre. We wanted to make sure that our children were cared for by people who really knew them, their needs, and their interests. We wanted our children to be in a place where they could grow up feeling safe and comfortable. Now we have three amazing, small, boutique centres where we can ensure that every child enjoys a warm and caring environment. We take pride in providing small environments where children can be part of a ‘village’ of sorts by knowing every adult who spends time with them on a daily basis.
Whanaungatanga We believe that the trusting relationships developed between tamariki, their whanau and kaiako develop partnerships that are vital for children’s learning. Tamariki can build relationships with children and adults of all ages. Whanau have opportunities to contribute to our programme by sharing their aspirations for their tamariki. Kaiako know and respect tamariki preferences and use their interests to plan positive learning outcomes.
Manaakitanga We believe that all people regardless of age, gender, colour, ethnicity, sexual preference, disability, religion or family status have the right to be treated with respect and care. Tamariki have the freedom to choose where, when and who they play with. Whanau are welcome to visit at any time as well as being involved in regular events. Kaiako encourage children’s developing social competency, risk taking and kaitiakitanga (care for the environment).
Rangatiratanga We believe that children are capable and competent individuals able to lead their own learning and become lifelong learners. Tamariki experience tuakana-teina relationships where they can be both learners and teachers. Whanau are respected as the first teachers of their children, whose knowledge, culture and skills are valued and made visible in the centre. Kaiako share children’s learning with whanau and revisit prior learning with tamariki.
Ako ki te tākaro We believe that play is the best way for tamariki to learn. Tamariki are motivated by their experiences and can express their thinking about people, places and things. Whanau attend centre excursions and events with their tamariki and other whanau. Kaiako plan experiences to extend children’s thinking and minimise interruptions to children’s play.
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