The teachers and community at Morningside Kindergarten were very excited when Jacinda Ardern accepted their invitation to visit their kindergarten recently. Jacinda was very chatty and greeted the tamariki, asking questions about their play, their favourite animals and asking them to show her how to use a computer programme they were playing with.

When mat time was called, Jacinda introduced herself to the tamariki, asking, “Do you know who I am? Who can guess what my job is?” The children asked if she was a policeman or a teacher and said they had seen her on television. She answered that in her role as the Prime Minister, “I look after all of New Zealand and all the people who live here, which includes all of you.”

Jacinda also read two books of her choice to the children, her favourite book as a child, Kimi and the Watermelon by author Miriam Smith, and The Gruffalo by author Julia Donaldson. After the book reading, the children presented Jacinda with a thank you gift for visiting and something to remember the kindergarten by – a tea towel with the children’s drawn portraits, a bouquet of flowers, Roses chocolates and a giraffe mug!

Ardern finished her visit by sharing chocolate cake and coffee with the teaching staff, discussing their various roles and the different aspects of the Morningside kindergarten learning environment.