Childcare for Children Aged Two to Six
The Meadow is our older children's room and is licensed for up to 40 children alongside six teachers. This large space caters for a mixture of ages from when children feel ready to leave the Burrow at around two years old, until they are ready to leave for school (five - six years old). Having mixed ages is wonderful for building social competencies and allowing Oma Rāpeti to function just like a family does. Older children are often found lending a helping hand to the younger ones, guiding them in the rituals of the day.
Once children reach around three-and-a-half - four years old, they are invited to join our Discovery Group. This group of children and teachers head off on community walks, playground, and library visits, or group activities next door at our local community centre throughout the week. This allows our older children time to extend their learning and our younger children time to have the "run" of the centre.
Children in The Meadow are encouraged to play an active role in contributing to the rhythms and routines of the environment. They are actively involved in the preparation of our kai - from planting and harvesting fruits and vegetables from our organic garden, to preparing meals, setting tables, and cleaning up after they have eaten.
Children have the choice to access indoor and outdoor spaces when they desire, as a part of our free flow environment. We believe there is no bad weather; only bad clothing! We encourage children to dress appropriately for all weather through the use of dungarees and rain coats, or sun hats and sunscreen.
Your child will have two main carers from within the larger Meadow team. The main carers will be predominately responsible for the care needs of your child. The relationship with these main carers is not exclusive and as your child becomes more familiar with, and develops bonds with, other team members they will be supported by the other team members at times when the main carers may not be immediately available.
We believe this gives children strong secure relationships. The relationship with these main carers is based on trust, respect, and working in partnership with you and your child.
We believe that the team are here to support, love, and care for the children and families. We work alongside children, giving them a hand up rather than solving their problems for them. We have a strong focus on 'people literacy'; with teachers modelling empathy and emotional understanding, and supporting our children to recognise and express their own emotions and respond to the emotions of others.
We allow space for our children to be themselves, to create their own stories about who they are and how they feel, and express themselves. Children are supported to work through struggles and conflicts, learning fundamental problem-solving skills.
It is working through these struggles that will build resilient capable children. During these challenging or frustrating times, the teachers offer support in many different ways, encouraging children to use their skills or offering solutions when needed - often just moving close by is ample support.
We believe that children's free uninterrupted play is precious. Through this play, children are leading their own learning. We recognise the importance of physical literacy skills, as we believe that movement drives development for children of all ages.
Our centre environment provides opportunities for safe, unrestricted movement, encouraging children to create their own challenges, and test their own limits. We place trust in the children as they explore the boundaries of their own capabilities, which in turn enables them to develop confidence in themselves. We strongly believe that children are, and allow them to be, the authors of their own play.
"I really do wish we could take our Oma Rāpeti family with us." - Tamzin
"The kind and caring companion I have in Charlie reflects your amazing work and the invaluable contribution you make to children’s development." - Charlie's Mum
"It felt very unique and not like any other centre we had seen or experienced." -Tessa Smith