Our Philosophy

Ko te ahurei o te tamaiti aroha o tatou mahi


“Let the uniqueness of the child guide our work.”

Atawhai Childcare Ltd (Atawhai) recognises that tamariki come to us with their unique gifts that require experienced educators to extend children’s interest through nurturing care and quality learning experiences.  

Atawhai Childcare use ‘whakawhanaungatanga’ principals to build meaningful relationships between the child, their whanau and community including local Iwi and Hapu. 

Atawhai Childcare believes that building strong relationships between the centre and the whanau provide a child with the ability to grow into confident tamariki ready for the world. 

Atawhai Childcare aims to provide quality learning environments that allow children to explore their natural environment in their own time which is unhurried and meaningful. The centre resources provide opportunities to extend and grow a child’s mind, body and soul by allowing opportunities for adventure, exploration, relationship building and dispositions for lifelong learning.

Atawhai Childcare has a commitment to providing opportunities for children to build strong connection to their own culture and make links to local Hapu, Iwi and community.


Our Curriculum

Atawhai Childcare, uses the following four approaches to teaching and learning to ensure that children learn through play. The centre curriculum is inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to learning and provides the foundation of the centre curriculum and this is broken up into four areas of practice.

The Reggio Emilia Approach is an innovative and inspiring approach to early childhood education which values the child as strong, capableand resilient; rich with wonder and knowledge. Every child brings with them deep curiosity and potential and this innate curiosity drives their interest to understand their world and their place within it.

  • Children form an understanding of themselves and their place in the world through their interactions with others

There is a strong focus on social collaboration, working in groups, where each child is an equal participant, having their thoughts and questions valued. The adult is not the giver of knowledge. Children search out the knowledge through their own investigations.

Children are provided resources and opportunities to explore their environment and learn about their local area, Hapu, Iwi through the use of pakiwaitara (stories). These stories provide children with a sense of belonging, a rich respect for language and nurtures their links to their community, whanau and wider world.

  • Children are capable of constructing their own learning

They are driven by their interests to understand and know more. The centre environment extends the child’s interest at their own pace and does not rush any milestones. This approach allows for children to grow mind, body and soul in their own time.

  • Children are communicators

Communication is a process, a way of discovering things, asking questions, using language as play. Playing with sounds and rhythm and rhyme; delighting in the process of communicating.

Children are encouraged to use language to investigate and explore, to reflect on their experiences. They are listened to with respect, believing that their questions and observations are an opportunity to learn and search together. It is a process; a continual process. A collaborative process. Rather than the child asking a question and the adult offering the answers, the search is undertaken together.

  • The environment is the third teacher

The environment is recognised for its potential to inspire children. An environment filled with natural light, order and beauty. Open spacesfree from clutter, where every material is considered for its purpose, every corner is ever-evolving to encourage children to delve deeper and deeper into their interests.

The space encourages collaboration, communication and exploration. The space respects children as capable by providing them with authentic materials & tools. The space is cared for by the children and the adults.

07 348 9909

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©2018 by Atawhai Childcare