Here at The Gardens we run an emergent curriculum which is developed based on the early childhood curriculum Te Whaariki. Through emergent curriculum children are observed individually and collectively and the programme is run according to their developing interests. This means that children are always the starting point for the programme, therefore benefitting each individuals learning and development to the highest level. This ensures that each child is individually catered for at their own age and stage of development. We continue to ensure that opportunities are available to children for all curriculum areas to be explored.


These areas include:

  • Books and story telling
  • Puzzles and blocks
  • Painting, collage and drawing
  • Music and dramatic play
  • Playdough and clay
  • Sensory play
  • Exploration
  • Free play
  • Baking
  • Carpentry
  • Computers and Information technology
  • Sand, water and nature
  • Active play and outdoor experiences
  • Transition to school
  • Pre-school programme

Resources and equipment are at children’s level where they can choose to work independently to gain self-help and self care skills. The programme allows opportunities for children to work in groups or independently to develop confidence, self-esteem, perseverance and imagination.

Walks around The Botanic Gardens, Nathan Homestead and Totara Park are a unique feature of our Hill Road and Charles Prevost centres. These wonderful destinations are within minutes from us. They are so rich in opportunities for learning that we take full advantage of visiting them often! Doing this is not only something our children LOVE! but it also ensures our children have opportunities to explore and extend their knowledge of the natural environment around them. It is a great for the children to have the opportunity to get out and about in the community and to keep active and moving.

Personal profiles /portfolios are a valued tool within our programme for both parents and children. They are used to display learning outcomes in each curriculum area, explaining how children extend their skills through interest. They are used for collecting samples of work, photographs and observations, learning stories and to show a continuation of development over time. Portfolios are used to assess and plan for the development of each child and are always available for parents to discuss and view with their child and staff.

Introduction to school is an integral part of our program for our older four year old children. We have the priveledge of being in association with our local primary schools and have developed a 'transition to school' program for each of our centres. During this time, our children have the opportunity to visit the local primary school, meet children already attending, and spend some time in the new entrant class where they get a glimpse of what they might expect when they too go to primary school. Please talk to us in more depth about our transition to school program as it varies slightly for each centre. We see this program as a wonderful opportunity, and a chance for our children to gain valueable tools and knowledge for their big move to primary school!

Parent Testimonial

When my baby was born, it soon became obvious that it wasn't possible for me to be a stay-at-home-mum. I knew that I would have to start looking at different childcare options quite quickly. I visited quite a few centres around the area and came across The Gardens Early Vhildhood Hill Road Centre. Right fom when I had that first visit I knew that was where I wanted to send my precious little bundle. The staff were so friendly and helpful, the centre was clean and tidy and it just had a welcoming feeling.

Since then I have gone on to have another child and they are both extremely settled at the centre and actually look forward to being dropped off each day. They have such strong bonds with

each of their teachers and it is such a relief for me knowing that they are going to be well cared for throughout the day.


The communication between the centre and parents is amazing. Each day there is a report on how each of my children slept, ate and what they spent their day doing. The teachers also do such an amazing job on the kid's portfolios. It is such a nice way to see how they interact with their friends when I can't be there to see it for myself.

Having to choose a centre that you are trusting to look after the one most important thing in your life is never going to be an easy task, however I have recommended this centre to alot of people and would not hesitate in doing so again.


Michelle Newcombe

25th March 2014