Our Philosophy

When you walk into our centre you will feel a sense of belonging alongside a calm and caring environment. We believe in children being affirmed as individuals and are celebrated for their uniqueness. We allow children to express themselves for who they are.

We promote open and ongoing communication with parents and whānau to ensure the specific needs and their aspirations for their children are met. We empower children to be proud and confident in their own learning regardless of their ethnicity, culture, socioeconomic status or gender differences. Our centre strives to know our children and their families well. 

We acknowledge children as competent and confident learners and we encourage children to try new things, be curious, explore and persevere when faced with challenge.

We are committed to follow the principles of Te Whariki, which states, “all children should be given the opportunity to develop and understand the cultural values of both parties of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.” Implementing Te Reo Nga Tikanga Maori within our daily practice recognizes Maori as tangata whenua and acknowledges Aotearoa New Zealand as a bicultural county and Te Tiriti o Waitangi as a relevant document of today. All tamariki have a place of belonging to Aotearoa and are recognised as tangata whenua because of the bicultural nature of Te Tiriti. We believe in inclusive practices for all and for all our learners.

We welcome and acknowledge the diverse community that contributes to our centre and their child’s learning through consultation, celebrating cultural events and the use of their mother tongue through written and verbal communication when appropriate. 

We believe the environment has the power to influence the teaching and learning that happens within. We believe in a sense of connectedness to the environment can be fostered in our early childhood environment. We believe in creating a foundation for children to develop and understand concepts around nurturing and sustainability. An understanding of kaitiakitanga sets tamariki on a pathway to be guardians of nature, to interact with Papatūānuku and all living beings in a respectful way. We provide an environment that promotes respectful, responsive, reciprocal relationships and opportunities to spark the natural curiosities of children. We aim to create a safe, inviting, challenging, and pleasing space for children, to involve their interest, develop their dispositions, and support and empower their natural abilities so they may reach their full potential.

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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 Manurewa are constantly working to provide an environment that is interactive, age appropriate stimulating and safe.

Whanau Tangata|Family& 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 Manurewa 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.

Nga Honoga|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 Manurewa 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 Manurewa 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).