2014 Review submitted by Karen Payne (parent, aunty, and ECE registered teacher)

 

Katikati Kindergarten

Address: 64 Fairview Road, Katikati
Maximum Child Numbers: 30 children over the age of 2 years
Hours: Monday to Thursday 8.30am – 2.30pm, and Friday 8.30am – 12.45pm
Management: A community-run centre owned by Tauranga Region Kindergartens and Home-based ECE Association.

Katikati Kindergarten is nestled within the community of Katikati. It sits off one of the main streets in Katikati and is located next to Moore Park. A small car park is provided for parents and visitors. At first I wasn’t sure how to find my way in to the centre, but was quickly spotted and guided to a side path by one of the teachers.

The teacher, Jizzy, introduced herself and said she would show me around. The kindergarten has a large building and a big outdoor deck area which I noticed led out to the most wonderful garden/ outdoor play area.

Jizzy told me that Katikati Kindergarten is well known for being an enviro-Kindy which means their philosophy embraces everything to do with recycling and looking after papatuanuku.

In front of me I could see a small open shed which was labelled “Recycling centre” where the children could put any resources that could be recycled. A worm farm was another feature.

The deck area was huge, with several big wooden tables on it for children to eat and work at.

The outdoor area is probably the best I have ever seen. There were many paths all with natural garden with flowers and fauna. The playground included a stone hut with a path laid with mosaic tiles – and it felt so inviting that I just had to walk through it.

As I walked on each path I noticed something exciting on it - beautiful bird baths, small natural climbing walls, and even a big xylophone for children to play music on. It really was beautiful and I felt I could lose myself and quite happily not go anywhere else that day.

Going inside, I noticed children dancing to a song that was on a huge screen which the teachers use for playing videos and songs for the children.

The children bring lunch boxes each day, while the Kindergarten offers morning and afternoon tea - usually something out of the kindergarten’s vege garden

When I asked one of the teachers how they plan for children, she said what do you mean? Which surprised me, but then she proceeded to tell me that they are an emergent Kindergarten that follow the habits of the mind in their assessment of children’s learning. They also taught children about the environment and how to be sustainable, providing fresh fruit and vegetables and living off the earth as much as possible.

The kindergarten has been awarded a silver Enviro award and I could see why.

Quite simply, with friendly caring teachers and a strong environmental focus Katikati Kindergarten offers a great place for children to be.