Our Philosophy

At Ellerslie, we are a community based, not for profit centre. We provide equitable opportunities for children to learn with, and alongside, their peers in a respectful and empowering educational environment, supported by both professionally trained teachers that also have a world of life experiences at their fingertips. 

We see the child as the heart of the family/whanau, with the Centre and its teachers as being the bridge between the home environment and the wider world. At Ellerslie, we enable each child to become self-determining, and in doing so they then become the authors of their own individual learning journey. 

Through this philosophy, our children gain not only a sense of well-being but also an understanding of the world around them through reciprocal relationships, and the sharing of ideas and experiences. 

At YMCA Early Learning Centre Ellerslie we believe in the individual child and the rights of that child, and in doing so we base our philosophy on the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum Te Whaariki. Within our centre we base our philosophy on the four main principles of Te Whaariki and integrate these with our own Image of the Child, resulting in the following aspects. 

Our aim is for children to grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society.

Whakamana: Empowerment

Our curriculum empowers the child to learn and grow through supporting them to become interactive learners and constructors of knowledge. Within the centre we believe that our children will develop independently with guidance and support from our teachers. The children will be given opportunities and empowered regularly through daily learning experiences. Staff will be aware of the development levels of the children and use this information to foster each child’s self confidence. Our staff use positive and encouraging language and wherever possible, the children are encouraged to make choices and decisions and set their own learning goals.

Kotahitanga: Holistic Development

Our curriculum reflects the holistic way that children learn and grow through acknowledging them as unique free-spirited individuals. Our teachers are proactive about introducing children to various cultures and are expected to be respectful of the beliefs of individual families. The teachers at YMCA Early Learning Centre Ellerslie are constantly working to provide an environment that is interactive, age appropriate stimulating and safe.

Whánau Tangata: Family and Community

The wider world of family and community is an integral part of our curriculum and we foster active participation from all three protagonists. At YMCA Early Learning Centre Ellerslie we believe that the inclusion of family and the community are an integral part of the positive development of a child. Our teachers take the children into the community where possible and are aware of the resources that are available in the community to support the centre, children and families.

Ngā Hononga: Relationships

Children learn through responsive and reciprocal relationships with people, places and things and we encourage the participation in meaningful relationships. The staff at YMCA Early Learning Centre Ellerslie are committed to role modeling and supporting positive relationships. Reciprocal relationships are paramount and our programme provides opportunities for children to gain a rich understanding of their world, and to learn through trying out their ideas with adults and other children.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi: Treaty of Waitangi

YMCA Early Learning Centre Ellerslie acknowledges and reflects the unique place of Maori as tangata whenua, giving children the opportunity to develop knowledge and an understanding of the cultural heritage of both parties to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Teachers reflect this in practice by ensuring programmes include tikanga me ona Te Reo Maori (Maori custom and language).


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