Kia ora and welcome to Waitakere Kindergarten

Nestled at the foothills of the Waitakere Ranges with an environment rich in nature, tamariki have the freedom and space to discover and grow their passions, strengths and interests, unhurried and at their own pace. With trees to climb animals to care for and a zipline to race down, we create an environment that truly embraces the Magic of Childhood.

Waitakere Kindergarten is a place where joy and laughter are abundant and creativity blossoms.

Our Curriculum and our Philosophy

Our world class Early Childhood Curriculum Te Whariki is heavily woven into our philosophy and guides our everyday practices. This document alongside our local curriculum and other guiding documents weave the framework in which our assessment of children’s learning stems from. He whāriki hei whakamana i te mokopuna, hei kawe i ngā wawata – A whāriki that empowers the child and carries our aspirations.

Holistic Development – Whanau and community 

We have a welcoming and collaborative environment with a strong sense of community and a close relationship with Waitakere Primary. Our curriculum is designed around meeting the aspirations of our whanau, community, tamariki and educators. Whanau are welcomed and encouraged to stay and spend time with us, sharing their wealth of knowledge and skills and alongside this we provide support, council, guidance and a friendly ear. Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi. Engari, he toa takitini – My strength is not the strength of one. It is the strength of many.

Communication and Social coaching

We believe social competencies are one of the most important skills for a child to develop during their early childhood years and our curriculum has a strong focus on supporting children to develop these life long skills. This is done in our kindergarten through social coaching, role modelling, intentional teaching, inclusiveness and creating a culture of friendliness and fun.

Empowerment and Resilience

We believe in the importance of developing resilience in a child’s early years to support them later in life and we help tamariki to do this by allowing them to problem solve, to overcome obstacles and set goals for themselves. We have a strong focus on emotion coaching which supports the development of emotional intelligence and self regulation.

Contribution and Kaitiakitanga

We value Kaitiakitanga and support tamariki to understand their role as guardians and protectors of our natural environment. We encourage this by providing opportunities to freely explore nature using all of their senses and involving tamariki in the development and care of our natural environment. We have a variety of pets including our gorgeous and friendly free range bunny Bowie.

Wellbeing and Manaakitanga 

We value Manaakitanga and believe that these values need to be a part of children’s everyday interactions. We support children to develop this by providing experiences which allow children to explore the concept of empathy through dramatic play – doctors, vets, family play. We encourage tamariki to take care of their belongings, putting away their lunch boxes and packing their bags at the end of the day. We also encourage tamariki to take care of and respect our resources through helping to tidy up at the end of each session.

Belonging and the Magic of childhood

We celebrate the Magic of Childhood and believe that early childhood is a time of wonder, imagination, creativity and fun. Our kindergarten provides this by having a play based curriculum where uninterrupted play is prioritised. We provide an imagination rich environment which allows tamariki to immerse themselves in creative and dramatic play and in turn, we encourage tamariki to drive their own learning and make their own choices as they explore their interests.

Exploration and Risk Taking

We believe that Risk Taking is an important area of development that allows tamariki to grow confidence in themselves and their abilities which will extend into adulthood. We provide opportunities for this to be developed through experiences that are challenging and by allowing tamariki to assess their own risk. Our playground and physical environment is intentionally designed with varying opportunities for safe risk taking. We celebrate persistence and perseverance as we encourage tamariki to set their own challenges and support them to overcome these.

Relationships and Dedicated Educators

Our Kaiako (teachers) are enthusiastic, passionate and caring and between us have over 100 years of teaching experience. We put a high priority on the relationships we build within the kindergarten and promote open and honest communication. We continually evaluate our environment, our practices, our relationships and our curriculum to ensure that we are always giving our best and meeting the needs of our community, whanau and tamariki. We attend frequent professional development and have a strong and supportive team focus where we acknowledge and celebrate the varying strengths and interests that each of us bring.

What parents are saying…

  • Waitakere kindy is a special place indeed. The large outdoor space with mature planting really sets it apart, it is a magical space for the children to explore or simply find a quiet moment. We also love the care, enthusiasm and endless creativity shown by the teachers along with the continuity of staff, two of the teachers also taught our 13 year old! We feel very lucky that all three of our children were able to attend Waitakere kindy, our older children have nothing but happy memories of their time there and love to visit their younger sibling at kindy. Waitakere kindy did a wonderful job of preparing our children for school, they were curious, confident and excited with great gross and fine motor skills developed in a fun way through play, their learning took off upon reaching school.

    Rhian McCorquodale

  • We moved our 4 year old from another amazing kindy to Waitakere Kindy this year and so had pretty high expectations and I have to say we have been nothing more than thrilled with it. The teachers are amazing, always coming up with new fun and creative ways to engage the kids. They are given so many opportunities to explore and try new things. My daughter has immediately felt accepted, supported and at home at Waitakere kindy and started asking for more days after a few weeks!

    Gabrielle Muir

  • We are so lucky to have been involved with Waitakere Kindy with our two boys. The varied playtime activities - both indoor and out, coupled with the gentle structured learning techniques from all of the staff who work there have made this an extremely enjoyable experience for both boys, and us parents. There always seems to be a different fun thing taught each day which shows how much thought and effort has gone in to the planning. The daily updates and photos of the daily events are so good at involving me, and I am confident, and have seen the amazing transition in our boys, that they have the skills and mentality required for the next level of learning. Parent involvement is highly recommended and we love being a part of an establishment who takes obvious pleasure in nurturing and developing our children. Thanks Mel and the rest of your highly skilled and dedicated team. Our youngest boy will be the next in rank to be lucky enough to continue his learning through Waitakere Kindy when he is of age.

    Brendon Smith

  • We are so happy that our son has been able to attend Waitakere Kindy. We knew it had a great reputation but we are so impressed with all the many different activities and messy play the children get to do. There is obviously a lot of time and energy poured in by the skilled teachers as, despite all the many changing activities, the kindy always seemed to be organised and tidy each day. I love how the parents are kept up to date with everything. Our son is excited every day that he gets to go and we love how he is constantly being challenged and encouraged to learn through exploration.

    Deborah Sylvester

From the ERO Reports…

  • Teachers foster strong partnerships with children, parents and whānau. The kindergarten listens to its community and strives to meet its needs.

    Waitakere Kindergarten 2018 ERO Report

  • Processes for supporting children's transition to school are well established. Teachers maintain and promote a very good relationship with the local school.

    Waitakere Kindergarten 2018 ERO Report

  • Children play collaboratively in a rich, stimulating and well-resourced environment. They are capable negotiators, engage in sustained play, and show independence.

    Waitakere Kindergarten 2018 ERO Report