The relationship is at the heart of everything.

At Oma Rāpeti we are guided by the works of Emmi Pikler, and 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, whānau, and 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, memorable childhood. Play is a child’s work; this idea is underpinned by Te Whāriki, which helps us follow and extend their learning. 

As committed partners of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, we aim to uphold the mana and importance that Māori hold in Aotearoa as tangata whenua. We strive to be authentic with te reo Māori within our teaching practice, and seek advice as we learn and make mistakes. 

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

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 foster 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 stable base from which to explore.


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

Sensitive Observation 

Taking the time to know each child individually, see what they are capable of, and 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 the sense of accomplishment from doing something on their own.

Social and Emotional Support

We acknowledge children’s emotions and support them to work through these emotions in an authentic way. We see conflict as an opportunity for learning, and we support children to develop the communication skills needed to resolve conflict in a safe way.

A Safe, Challenging, and Predictable Environment

Children are given freedom to explore and choose their own play, which empowers them to investigate what is important to them and fosters a lifelong love of learning.

What Does This Mean For Your Child's Day?

We have a bonded 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 will encourage our children to learn and feel their emotions. This can be as simple as the language we use, like "I can see you are feeling angry", or by allowing them to sit with that emotion with our support. In moments of conflict we offer support, allowing the children to resolve the conflict.

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. 

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

Together children and team prepare special rituals such as foot spas, massage, yoga, and tea ceremonies 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. 

Oma Rāpeti

Location: 1 Pratt Street, Freemans Bay, Auckland. We are a six minute drive from Auckland City.  

Phone: 09-376 7282

To enquire, please click here


7.30am-5.30pm Monday - Friday


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