Early Learning

Supporting your child's development through play

At Care-a-lot we are passionate about providing high quality early learning. Our child-centred philosophy is guided by the Te Whāriki curriculum.

Our teachers support your child's development through play and fostering their interests. This helps your child to develop socially, emotionally, physically and cognitively. It is also important for the development of language skills.

Care-a-lot is well-equipped to provide a wide range of resources so that your child can explore and follow their own interests. Our small, caring setting for up to 21 children each day encourages your child to build positive relationships with their teachers and other children.

Carefully planned learning experiences gently foster and extend the interests of our children. Care-a lot teachers are committed to quality planning, professional development and research.

We also use 'learning stories' to document each child's learning journey at Care-a-lot. Learning stories are presented in an individual portfolio and record your child's interests, skills, development and knowledge, along with their individual approach to learning. Learning stories are also an important teaching tool for us in terms of evaluating and planning our curriculum.


We offer three developmental groups so that your child can learn at their own pace

Kiwi Group

The teachers provide a caring environment that children can trust and know that their needs will be met. Through the relationship that they form with their individual portfolio teacher and core teachers, they will know that they are safe, secure and cared for. 

By creating familiar unhurried routines the children will be able to predict what happens next. We will observe, recognise, plan and extend your child’s interests. By the time your little Kiwi transitions to the Tui group it is our desire that they will be more confident and independent learners.



Tui Group

In the Tui group we provide opportunities that help your child to develop a positive self-identity as a competent and capable lifelong learner.  As such, we shall support each child with their learning, social, cognitive, linguistic and physical development, encouraging them to participate in enquiry learning that relates to their interests. 

Through a variety of activities your child will have the opportunity to develop an understanding of early literacy and numeracy.  We also continue to support your child to develop the self-help skills that are required for more formal learning.  Through play we will also help them develop the social skills needed to work cooperatively in small and large groups.


Fantail Group (Transition to School)

Our transition to school group is an extension of the Tui group that aims to prepare children for their next big learning step.
In conjunction with the local primary school we aim to support children in attaining the skills that are needed to help them flourish in the more formal learning environment that they will encounter at school. Through fun group activities and one on one relationships we teach and encourage our 4 ½ - 5 year olds:

* Early numeracy skills and concepts
* Creativity through art, music, movement and drama
* Communication skills, sharing news, retelling stories, making books and encouraging enriched language
* Critical thinking, science experiments, trial and error approaches and self-discoveries
* Fine Motor skills, pincer grip, scissor skills, hand eye co-ordination and Brain Gym exercises
* Early literacy, identifying letters, upper/lower case, sounds and understanding correct letter formation using the Letter land and Magic Caterpillar program

We also support children in developing the social and emotional skills that will help them integrate into the classroom and school environment.

As research has shown the importance of first developing the many underlying skills that support formal reading and writing, our group time focus is on developing these skills. However, during our free play sessions support is also given to children who indicate that they are ready and interested to engage in formal reading and writing.


Key findings from the latest Education Review Office report on Care-a-lot Childcare Centre


Children are happy, confident and competent learners. They move freely around an attractive, peaceful learning environment. They are provided with a range of provocations and resources that allow them to make choices and initiate their own play. Their oral language and curiosity are fostered, and their self-management skills are nurtured. Children play independently or join activities that are initiated by teachers. Teachers promote an inclusive curriculum

Teachers have warm, positive, and respectful relationships with children. They work collaboratively to promote an environment that is conducive to learning. Good adult-to-child ratios allow teachers to have sustained conversations with children, encouraging them to think, inquire, and build on their prior knowledge. Teachers are knowledgeable about the curriculum. Literacy, numeracy, and natural science are integrated into the programme. Teachers are well placed to increase support for children to develop more complex play.

The centre environment is attractively presented. Wall displays acknowledge children’s work and allow them to revisit prior learning. Well positioned photos, resources and provocations help connect children to their cultural identity.

Read the full ERO report for Care-a-lot Childcare Centre