Oma Rāpeti, Freemans Bay

Our Philosophy

Our approach is based on nurturing respectful relationships between adult and child. These relationships pivot upon being attuned to the child's needs during care moments, (meal times, sleep, and nappy changes), and in their play. We appreciate that a child must develop naturally, at their own pace, and this is why we provide them with space for free movement and uninterrupted play.

At Oma Rāpeti, Freemans Bay, we are guided by the works of Dr. Emmi Pikler, as well as Magda Gerber’s RIE® Approach. Relationships are the foundation of all that we do and all that we are. 
We aim to nurture our tamariki, their whānau, and our whole team to grow, learn, and thrive. This happens through our responsive and reciprocal heart-centered relationships, built upon mutual respect, trust, and understanding. 

We believe play, being authentic and unhurried, is pivotal to a wonderful and memorable childhood. Play is synonymous with learning. Play is the child’s work; an idea which is underpinned by Te Whāriki, our New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum, which helps us follow and extend children's learning.  
As committed partners of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, we aim to uphold the mana and importance of Māori as tangata whenua of Aotearoa. We strive to be authentic within our teaching practices, and seek guidance as we learn.

Ahakoa he iti, he pounamu. Although it is small, it is precious.

Philosophy and Curriculum

Here at Oma Rāpeti, we truly live and breathe our philosophies. We are inspired by both RIE® and Pikler approaches. 
We also ensure that we weave Te Whāriki through our curriculum. 
Read more about what this looks like in your child's day.

Some of the key aspects of our approach

Main Carer System

Each child has two main carers, who act as a first point-of-contact for children and their whānau, and who foster that connection between the child and the wider centre environment. This respects a child’s inherent need for a stable, predictable person to attach to, and provides them with a secure base from which to explore.


Every moment of the day is an opportunity for learning. Care moments (meal times, sleep, and nappy changes) are opportunities for us to communicate, reconnect, and encourage participation from our children. These moments emotionally ‘refuel’ children so they feel satisfied and content, and able to return to their independent play and learning.

Sensitive Observation 

We take the time to know and understand each child individually, to appreciate what they are already capable of doing and to provide them with an environment that will foster their ongoing exploration of their world.


We trust that our children are competent and capable, and ensure that they are given opportunities to do things for themselves. We intervene as little as possible so that they may experience that sense of accomplishment from doing something on their own.

Social and Emotional Support

Developing social competency (knowing how to communicate and interact with others) takes time and practice. We acknowledge and accept children’s emotions and support them to work through these in an authentic way. We see conflict as an opportunity for learning and we guide children through developing the communication skills necessary to resolve conflict in a safe way.

A Safe, Challenging, and Predictable Environment

Children at Oma Rāpeti are given the freedom to explore and choose their own play, which empowers them to investigate what is important to them, recognises them as individual people, and fosters a lifelong love of learning.

What Does This Mean For Your Child's Day?

We aim to nourish the soul by providing slow and enjoyable dining and resting experiences, where children aren't rushed but feel respected and comfortable. Children often partake in the preparation of their meals, such as tending our fruit and vegetable gardens, preparing food, and prepping and clearing, the table. 

Together, children and their kaiako prepare special rituals such as foot spas, massage, yoga, and pots of fruit tea to promote relaxation, self-care, and nourishment of the spirit. 
We pride ourselves on creating a 'home away from home' environment at Oma Rāpeti, where children can engage in self-chosen and self-initiated play.
An outdoor environment and open-air play is essential for a healthy body, mind, and spirit. Children are free to play outside in all weather as long as they are suitably dressed. 

We go on adventures and explore our neighbourhood and community to further connect children to their natural world. 
We have a close and connected team who speak respectfully to one another. This role-models great relationships for our children and allows our team to enjoy being together.  
We encourage our children to recognise and feel their emotions. This can be as simple as the language we use, like, "I can see you are feeling angry," and by allowing them to sit with, and 'ride the wave' of, that emotion with our support. In moments of conflict we offer guidance, enabling children to learn how to resolve the conflict while we remain close by.

Children at Oma Rāpeti are empowered by being involved in processes and decisions we make as a group each day. They are encouraged to take ownership of their spaces within the centre. Our children are an integral part of the routines, rituals, and events in our Oma Rāpeti home, and they enjoy participating in the running of their day.


This product has been added to your cart