ABOUT US2023-03-20T12:21:36+13:00


The Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association is registered with the Companies Office as an Incorporated Society, and is the legal entity for 22 member kindergartens.

Early Learning Counties Manukau is an affiliated company and operates 6 Early Learning Centres. Centres are licensed early childhood education services and are required to meet the Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 2008. Kindergartens operate 4, 6 or 9 hour daily sessions, from 2 years of age. Some Kindergartens are open during term breaks, refer to the specific Centre page for further information.

Early Learning Centres operate longer hours (10 hours+) and are all open during term breaks, refer to the specific Centre page for further information.

The Association’s management structure includes a professional support scheme designed to monitor the quality of teaching and learning in all kindergartens. The Association and its kindergartens are independently reviewed by the Education Review Office every three years and the resulting reports are available for public information.

The Association is governed by a Board of Management elected under the rules of the Association’s Constitution. The Board consists of a Chairperson, 6 members voted on by elected representatives of member kindergartens and one teacher representative elected by the teaching staff of the Association. The CEO has membership of the Board in an ex-officio capacity.

The Board is accountable for, and has control of, the management of the Association. The Board’s role is not a ‘hands on’ management activity. The Board designates the day to day management of the association to the CEO.

Board meetings are held monthly at the Association office with no fewer than ten meetings per year.


Why choose Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association?2018-03-08T11:57:46+13:00

All full-time teachers are fully qualified and registered, who are passionate about their work and who are kept up to date through on-going professional development. Qualified teachers are critical to excellence in early childhood education. Through building warm and nurturing relationships with children, teachers foster children’s skills and success as a learner.

We provide experiences and resources that will ensure your child will have the best learning tools to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Our indoor and outdoor environments are attractive, challenging and safe, with a focus on natural spaces and materials. These surroundings support a child’s natural instinct to learn through creation and discovery.

We value play as the foundation for learning for young children, and our programmes are designed to encourage learning through exploration, problem-solving, sharing, and inquiry.
We acknowledge the dual heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tiriti o Waitangi) incorporating Te Reo and Tikanga Māori as a living culture and language is integral to our programmes.

We work in partnership with parents, family and whānau because you know your children better than anyone, and we know that children benefit most when their family is involved in their learning.

How does early childhood education help my child when they start school?2018-03-08T12:00:57+13:00

Starting school is a huge step for children and their whānau. The time that children spend in an early childhood centre equips them with many skills as a learner, which leads to a smooth transition to school.

Early childhood education develops:
• Independence
• Self-help skills
• A sense of responsibility towards themselves and towards others
• Language and communication skills
• Early mathematics and literacy skills

These skills help children to prepare for more formal education.
The centre staff can provide you with more information about your local schools. Teachers will actively support you and your child with this important next step.

Teachers document learning stories that outline the progress your child is making in their learning journey and these can be shared with school staff to ensure a smooth transition.

What will my child learn?2018-03-08T12:02:06+13:00

Through their play, exploration and learning experiences, children:

  • Develop the dispositions necessary for lifelong learning – courage, curiosity, trust, playfulness, confidence, responsibly and perseverance
  • Learn about our world and the diverse people who inhabit it, including respect for other cultures, languages and traditions.
  • Learn communication and social skills which develop through working and playing with others
  • Develop numeracy and mathematics skills
  • Learn important literacy skills such as recognising and understanding print and symbols, through story-telling, reading books, and expressing their ideas and thoughts
  • Develop creative thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Explore their ideas and theories about physical and natural sciences, and learn how to express these.
  • Experience self-expression through art, music and drama
  • Share and explore their understandings of people, places things and events.
How is my child’s learning encouraged and recorded?2018-07-23T11:31:06+12:00

Your child has an individual portfolio or folder, which contains “learning stories”, photographs and examples of their work. Learning stories describe the way in which children learn individually, with and alongside others, suggesting possible ways your child’s learning can be fostered and enhanced. Teachers use learning stories to assess and plan the next steps for children’s learning.

Your child’s portfolio belongs to your family/whānau and you are welcome to take it home and share with other members of your family. Children, parents and whānau are also invited to add their own learning stories or ideas about how the child’s learning can be encouraged.

Children take their portfolio with them when they leave the centre and go on to school.
At the centre, you will also see photos, videos, wall displays and other ways of sharing information which show the
different learning experiences children are engaged in, and explain how these activities have helped children progress as learners.

StoryPark is a cloud-based private learning community that allows teachers to privately and securely share updates, photos and videos with families to communicate and involve parents with what is occurring during your child’s day at kindergarten.  You will be provided with a unique login and can access StoryPark with an internet connected smartphone, tablet or computer.  Parents are the administrators of their child’s account and own all photos, videos and content. You can invite important friends and family anywhere in the world to see, comment and engage in your child’s learning.


How will I be involved with my child’s learning?2018-07-23T11:40:07+12:00

Parents and whānau play a key role in what we do. When teachers are able to work in partnership with you, your child is able to make the most of their learning opportunities. We welcome and encourage your involvement and hope you choose to be part of your child’s experiences at the centre.
Teachers make time for you to discuss your child’s learning and progress with them, encourage you to spend time at the centre to share in your child’s day, and to be part of family and community events held by the centre.

We send updates of your children’s learning through Storypark this provides an immediate electronic picture of your child’s learning experience that parents can comment on.

Click here to learn more about Storypark!

What age should I enrol my child?2018-02-07T09:37:48+13:00

To secure your space we encourage enrolments from birth. We can then give you an approximate start date.

What age will my child start?2018-07-23T10:49:04+12:00

    Our Early Learning Centres take Children from 6 months of age

From 2 years old at Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association

How much will it cost?2018-07-23T10:50:56+12:00

The government provides funding for eligible children to attend an Early Childhood Centre for up to 20 hours free each week, if parents opt into the scheme (special conditions apply). In all centres we offer up to 20 hours free for children aged 3 and 4 years old. In many centres we offer free hours for 2 year olds. *Special conditions apply so please refer to your centre’s enrolment information and current fee schedule for more information.

Please see Fees and Funding Explained for further information or call us on 09 299 8361
If you are interested in a specific centre, please visit their page for further information.

Fees & Funding Explained2023-03-28T22:34:39+13:00

All Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association (CMKA) kindergartens and Early Learning Counties Manukau (ELCM) offer 20 hours ECE. Click here to find out more about how you can use your 20 Hours ECE in our kindergartens.

If you do not use your 20 Hours ECE allocation at our kindergartens, or your child attends for more than 20 hours each week,  the following fees apply:

FULL DAY KINDERGARTEN – $5.00 per hour


Eligible families can access a subsidy to assist with the fee payments under the government’s “Working for Families” scheme


As a community based not-for-profit organisation, the Association also relies on community grants, donations and fundraising to maintain and improve the kindergarten teaching and learning environment. 20 hours ECE funding and fees only provide the minimum equipment, and to ensure quality the Association asks parents to contribute a donation and participate in fundraising to cover:

– resources, books, toys, computers/digital cameras and other tools for use with children

– building additions and major playground upgrades to comply with new regulations and to improve learning environments

All fundraising, including grants and donations, remain in kindergarten operational accounts, to be spent on the children who are currently attending.The Association maintains separate accounting records for each kindergarten to identify income from all sources, including locally raised funds. Each kindergarten displays a copy of the most recent CMKA audited financial statements detailing kindergarten operating income and expenditure.

20 Hours ECE Funding2018-07-23T11:03:38+12:00



  •  If your child is 3 or 4 years and you opt into the government funded “20 hours ECE” scheme then your child’s first 20 hours of attendance at one of our kindergartens is free.
  • This funding is provided by the government and is available for everyone, regardless of your family income.
  • When your child starts kindergarten you can complete an Attestation Form at the kindergarten to claim your 20 Hours Free.
  • Your local kindergarten will claim this funding for you when your child starts at kindergarten.


CMKA is committed to increasing participation in quality Early Childhood Education services by making sure our kindergartens are affordable for everyone.

  • If your child is 2 and they attend one of our kindergartens, we also offer some free sessions. Conditions Apply! Limited Vacancies!
  • Once your child turns 3, you will need to opt into the government funded 20 Hours ECE scheme to continue to receive up to 20 hours free attendance.


  • You do not need to use all of your “20 Hours ECE” that you access under the government funded scheme (only available for 3 and 4 year old children), at one early childhood centre
  • You may choose to only use some of your “20 Hours ECE”
  • You will be asked to sign an attestation form to say how you want to use your “20 Hours ECE”.
  • If all of your child’s hours of attendance at kindergarten are covered by your “20 Hours ECE”, then their attendance will be at no cost.
  • If some of your child’s hours of attendance at kindergarten are not covered by your “20 Hours ECE”, then a fee will be charged for these hours. 

Please contact your local centre for further information on how you can use your 20 Hours Early Childhood Education.

The Kindergarten Support Group Representative2018-02-07T09:38:36+13:00

The Kindergarten Support Group operates under an Association By-Law and membership is open to parents/whanau of children attending or on the waiting list of the kindergarten and people within the kindergarten community who express an interest in supporting the kindergarten.

The activities of the Kindergarten Support Group work in partnership with the Head Teacher and teaching team to assist with:

  • Promoting the kindergarten to families and the wider community
  • Supporting and promoting the kindergarten’s family/community events
  • Promoting the opportunities for families to participate in the kindergarten

Each Kindergarten Support Group elects a Representative to be a member of the Association and this person officially represents the kindergarten at the Association’s Annual General and Special meetings.


The Kindergarten Support Group Representative plays a key role in promoting the opportunities for parents and whanau to work in partnership with the Head Teacher and the teaching team to support the kindergarten.

The Kindergarten Support Group Representative is elected by the Kindergarten Support Group to:

  • be a member of the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association with speaking and voting rights at the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association Annual General and Special meetings.
  • nominate or second nominations for members of the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association Board of Management
  • sign resolutions to apply for community grants on behalf of the Kindergarten Support Group.
Board of Management2018-02-01T08:33:54+13:00

The Association is governed by a Board of Management elected under the rules of the Association’s Constitution. The Board consists of a Chairperson, 6 members voted on by elected representatives of member kindergartens and one teacher representative elected by the teaching staff of the Association. The CEO has a membership of the Board in an ex-officio capacity.

The Board is accountable for and has control of, the management of the Association. The Board’s role is not a ‘hands-on’ management activity. The Board employs staff to fulfil the day to day management of professional tasks within the Association and to advance the educational interest of its children.

Board meetings are held monthly at the Association office with no fewer than ten meetings per year.

Term Dates2023-03-20T12:59:17+13:00

Tuesday 10th January 2023 – Friday 22nd December 2023

Did you know most of our centres are now open from 8am – 5pm and during term breaks!

Tuesday 10th January 2023 – Friday 22nd December 2023

For a list of these centres please click here


Term Dates 2023
Tuesday 10th January – Thursday 6th April
Monday 24th April – Friday 30th June
Monday 17th July – Friday 22nd September
Monday 9th October – Friday 22nd December


Public Holiday Dates
Auckland Anniversary
Waitangi Day
Good Friday
Easter Monday
Queen’s Birthday
Labour Day
Monday 30th January
Monday 6th February
Friday 7th April
Monday 10th April
Tuesday 25th April
Monday 5th June
Friday 14th July
Monday 23rd October


Children learn from real-life projects to transform their environments eg. recycling, composting, gardening.

As an action-based approach to education, children plan, design and implement sustainable projects and become catalysts for change in their families and the wider community.

Many primary and secondary schools partake, and we are fortunate enough to be part of this unique learning experience at early childhood level!

To learn more vist the Enviroschools website:




Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association, providing quality educational experiences and environments for children since 1952. Our 26 kindergartens and three ELCM centres are 100% kiwi owned and operated and are not-for-profit.

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