Kindergarten is one of the longest established, yet most progressive, forms of early childhood education in New Zealand. With firm community roots and a not-for-profit status the kindergarten focus is where it should be: on the children and families it exists for. Parental involvement in children’s education is one of the hallmarks of kindergarten. Some of New Zealand’s finest and most respected teachers are proud to be kindergarten trained. Many get so much satisfaction out of their work that they stay with kindergarten their entire working lives. We are at the heart of the communities we work in – right alongside the local school, doctor, midwife, library and Plunket rooms.
When you join kindergarten, you join a long-standing and well-respected tradition that has been a proud part of the fabric of New Zealand communities for over one hundred years – but one that knows the value of remaining fresh and current to each new generation.
When you join the Kidsfirst family you join a network of educators with a fierce commitment to just one bottom line: excellence in early childhood education. 68 kindergartens across Canterbury and the West Coast offer working environments as diverse as they come, with hours to suit local communities. We are not about making money for offshore investors or lining the pockets of corporate shareholders. Kidsfirst’s ‘profit’ is measured solely in the wealth of educational outcomes we build in the families and communities we work with. Each of our kindergartens has its own unique flavour, responding to the unique needs of the community it serves. One thing you won’t find at Kidsfirst is cookie-cutter centres. We’re networked and we’re resourced.
As one of New Zealand’s largest and most respected early childhood education providers we offer unparalleled opportunities to build networks both within the teaching community and the wider early childhood sector, and unbeatable professional development opportunities and support. All backed by sound principles, solid values and proven methodology.
Professional excellence has always been at the heart of Kidsfirst. Long before other early childhood education providers were required to, Kidsfirst employed only fully trained, registered teachers. But our commitment goes beyond qualifications. Passion and enthusiasm drives our people. They go the extra mile for the families they work with every day.
People ask me what makes a good kindergarten teacher and I tell them if you’ve got patience, a good sense of humour, a load of common sense and enjoy spending the day expecting the unexpected, if you enjoy being busy, challenged and amazed, if you get a kick out of building sand castles, if you are a story teller, a house keeper, a cook and a carpenter, if you have strong enough shoulders for tears and hugs, if you don’t mind being exhausted at the end of the day and then look forward to doing the same thing the next day – then welcome to kindergarten.
Bernie Atger, Head Teacher,
Kidsfirst do things right – initiatives like the introduction of laptops into every kindergarten mean Kidsfirst continues to remain relevant and a leader within early childhood education.
Lyndell Turner, Head Teacher