Ages of children: Licensed to care for children from 2 years of age
Group / Centre Size: The centre operates on a small and personal scale for children and families. It is licensed for 50 or fewer children. It is what we call a 'boutique' early childhood centre.
Qualified teaching staff: 80% to 100% of teaching staff are qualified teachers (according to funding claimed from the Ministry of Education, last updated beginning of 2020).
Shows Children that Men Can Teach and Care for Young Children Too: In 2019 the teaching team included one or more men. (Note that it is best to have gender balance with children being taught and cared for by both men and women)
Highly Parent Rated: THIS SERVICE CANNOT YET BE CLASSIFIED AS A HIGHLY RATED SERVICE. (To be so it needs to have a number of recent positive reviews - at least 5 positive if a small centre, or 10 if a mega-centre or a home-based service)
Compliance with Regulations & Minimum Standards: It has a clean record. It was not downgraded to a provisional or suspended licence by the Ministry of Education last year (if you want to check on its history before 2019 go to more info below)
I've experienced three different early childhood centres and whilst the others were good, Farm Friends is exceptional. It's a place where kids get to be kids and explore their environment on their own terms, make their own connections and develop their own interests.
One of the many things I love about Farm Friends are the wide open spaces the children get the opportunity to explore. The play areas are not sanitised, there's mud, sand, trees and garden. There's a pine forest, a creek and pond and let's not forget the animals. My children have built bridges, forts, made and slid down mud slides, made mud pies, all the stuff that lets kids use their imagination and create hours of fun.
The teachers are wonderful and love their work. This is evident in a really low (almost non existent) staff turnover rate. They take the time to develop each child's interest and build their confidence. By the time these children start school they are intelligent, self assured, articulate little people.
The food provided is healthy and delicious and the children all seem to love it. They even grow their own veges with the children in the garden.
I cannot rate Farm Friends high enough.
Lisa Andersen likes: Outdoor space, Food, Teachers, Activities, Teaching philosophy