Mantra – Nurturing, Nourishing, Natural

Nurturing – We believe relationship is at the heart of everything.

Through our main carers system, where each child has two main carers, we focus on building trusting and caring relationships with children and whānau.

Supported by these relationships, emotionally satisfied children are then able to participate in quality play and learning. We make sure that children are emotionally refuelled throughout their day during special unhurried care moments.

We take time to notice each individual child's play, temperament, interests, and passions, and to listen to what a child is 'saying', both verbally and nonverbally. We respect each child's natural desire to move according to their readiness. By paying full attention through sensitive and careful observations, we are able to respond authentically; supporting and deepening their development and providing an environment that fosters both individual and group needs.

All team members role model nurturing and respectful relationships and encourage the children to do the same: children are natural imitators and highly intuitive. The team encourage children to express their feelings, positive and negative, that they experience in a safe and supportive environment. Feelings are part of everyday life and learning to manage them in appropriate ways is an essential life skill in caring for themselves and others. 

Children at Oma Rāpeti are empowered and involved in processes and decisions, and they take ownership of their spaces within the centre. They are an integral part of the routines, rituals and events in our Oma Rāpeti home. Through the magic of play and varied art mediums, we nurture the children's creativity and imaginations.

Nourishing – We believe in nourishing body and spirit.

Our team aims to nourish all of the senses. We love music, and use both recorded music and a wide variety of real instruments to make and enjoy music together.

The food is vegetarian and mainly organic. It is cooked from wholefoods, using a large variety of grains and pulses. Together children and team grow and harvest fresh produce from our gardens to contribute to our meals and we work to build education and respect around food. Children regularly help in the making and preparation of fruit, vegetables, herbal teas, breads, pizza and baked goods. We aim to provide pleasant dining and resting experiences where children aren't rushed and feel respected and comfortable.

Together children and team prepare special rituals such as foot spas, massage, yoga and tea ceremonies to promote relaxation, self- care and nourishment of spirit.

Natural – We believe that nature provides the optimal play experience.

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. This natural environment provides both safe and challenging play with open-ended resources and opportunities to deepen children's understanding of their world, thus enabling crucial complex connections in the brain.

Oma Rāpeti aims to be an eco-friendly ethical centre wherever possible, sourcing resources from nature or recycled options. We feel that this provides respectful learning and caring of Papatūānuku alongside children's authentic, self-initiated exploration.

An outdoor environment and open-air play is essential for a healthy body, mind and spirit. Children are free to play outside in all weathers as long as they are suitably dressed.

Children connect with nature in our garden, with our animals, fruit and veggie patch and lawn. The children and team regularly reinvent our large outdoor space to challenge the children and build confidence. We go on adventures and explore our neighbourhood and community to further connect children to their natural world.

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