Your local early learning centre in Papakura
- Flexible opening hours to meet the needs of your whānau, 7.30am – 5.30pm Monday – Friday
- YES! We are open in the school holidays.
- Children from 6 months to school age welcome
- Up to 30 hours FREE* *limited spaces, conditions apply
- Fully qualified and registered teachers
- Freshly cooked, nutritious meals provided
- A variety of enrolments options offered
Here at Early Learning Counties Manukau (ELCM) Park Estate, we invite you, your tamariki (children), and your whānau (family) to experience an inclusive environment that welcomes individuality and promotes lifelong learning. We value you as part of our community and encourage you to be involved in the journey of your tamaiti (child) through their preschool years.
What makes us unique?
Our early learning centre environment is new and inspiring; a place where tamariki are encouraged to explore our wonderful inside and outside areas, and lead their own learning. It is structured so tamariki have the freedom of choice and the opportunity to explore the environment at their own pace.
Our tamariki are affirmed as capable and independent learners, strong in their identity, language, and culture. Our qualified, and experienced Kaiako (Teachers) are passionate, dedicated, and heart-centred, with a strong focus on the positive language of learning with children. We build on the individual experience, knowledge, skills, attitudes of our tamariki and empower them to make their own choices and to take responsibility for their own learning.
The individual identity, culture, and language of our tamariki are very important to us. Our Kaiako work hard to ensure that all our tamariki feel a sense of belonging. Whanaungatanga, Manaakitanga Ngakau nui, Kaitiakitanga, and Tuakana teina, are all an integral part of our everyday environment. Kaiako also work collaboratively alongside whānau making connections and links with our wider community to create a local curriculum for our setting and learners.
Early Learning Counties Manukau Ltd. Is a subsidiary company of Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association, a not-for-profit organisation.
Kaiako support tamariki in inquiry learning and together become co-researchers, enhancing tamariki mana and providing a rich curriculum for all the tamariki in the centre.
We follow the New Zealand early childhood Curriculum Te Whāriki which is an inclusive curriculum.
‘A curriculum for all tamariki. Inclusion encompasses gender and ethnicity, diversity of ability and learning needs, whānau structure and values, socio-economic status and religion. Te Whāriki holds the promise that all tamariki will be empowered to learn with and alongside others by engaging in experiences that have meaning for them.’ [Te Whāriki 2017 pg 13]
The curriculum framework is organized with the four principles:
- Empowerment / Whakamana
- Holistic development / Kotahitanga
- Family and Community / Whānau tangata
- Relationships / Ngā hononga
These are fundamental expectations for ECE. Practice and pedagogy are guided by the principles and create the foundations of our decision making.
As we view tamariki as capable and competent learners, goals and learning outcomes combine with these five strands to guide our kaiako to support tamariki in developing their capabilities:
- Wellbeing / Mana atua
- Belonging / Mana whenua
- Contribution / Mana tangata
- Communication / Mana reo
- Exploration / Mana aotūroa
Our Kaiako are also influenced by the theories of RIE, Pikler and Reggio Emilia, where great importance is placed on respect for all individuals. These approaches embrace love and respect where tamariki develop at their own pace and inquiry learning.
We are an Enviroschool
We are proud to be part of the Enviroschools kaupapa and have currently reflected to Bronze Enviroschool status.
The Enviroschools programme supports children and young people to plan, design and implement sustainability actions that are important to them and their communities.
The programme provides pathways from early childhood through primary, intermediate, and secondary school and beyond. Through our collaborative approach of building strong relationships and sharing information, we are growing a collective puna mātauranga or pool of knowledge.