The key component of the Our Kids childcare centre philosophy revolves around actively listening to the children in our care. We strive to make every child feel noticed and loved in an environment where holistic development can blossom.
We believe in encouraging children as they direct their learning paths and become confident learners. We acknowledge each child’s individuality and unique interests. All the while, we’re striving to develop their full potential within a prepared environment full of options and opportunities.
We believe children are born to self-educate, given the right learning environments. We also believe children learn best when they’re able to pursue their interests in ways that are meaningful to them. The central themes of the Our Kids childcare centre philosophy are as follows.
KOTAHITANGA - HOLISTIC DEVELOPMENT
Human development is multidimensional and includes intellectual, emotional, social, physical, and spiritual dimensions. These dimensions need to be viewed holistically, as closely interwoven, and interdependent. Thus, we take a holistic view to education which is closely linked to the four dimensions identified in the Māori model of well being, Te Whare Tapa Whā (Mason Durie) : whānau (family health), tinana (physical health), hinengaro (mental health) and wairua (spiritual health).
Teachers at Our Kids strive to create inclusive atmospheres where every child feels comfortable and secure. In our care they will know that their voice and presence is valued and that their family, culture, and knowledge are respected in a nurturing learning environment.
TE TAIAO - OUR ENVIRONMENT
We consider the natural environment/taiao to be a place where a sense of belonging is nurtured; where innate curiosity, wonder, respect, and discovery takes place to enrich creativity and to motivate children’s interests and urges.
At Our Kids we believe in fostering the innate tendency of tamariki to seek connections with te taiao and other forms of life. Kaiako (teachers) model their role as kaitiaki (guardians/ caretakers) and support tamariki in finding their own roles in the ecology of our place. Tamariki connect with and learn from nature, explore our ecosystems and how humans influence them. In becoming more knowledgeable and respectful kaitiaki (guardians) of our taiao (environment), we strive to ensure a world that is sustainable for present and future generations.
WHANAUNGATANGA - RELATIONSHIPS
We believe in strong relationships between children, families/whānau, and the teaching team. These are the building blocks for creating a warm, rich, and diverse learning community. Forging authentic, reciprocal, and trusting relationships with families enables us to understand and meet the needs of each child.
WHAKARONGO PIIKARI - ACTIVE LISTENING
Children learn through imitation, imagination, and inquiry. Our teachers support these themes by actively listening to children and responding to their needs and interests. We believe in observing and tuning in to what children are doing in order to build on their learning. This is opposed to interfering with their desire to explore, discover, and engage with their spontaneous imaginations.