2014 Review submitted by Karen Payne (parent and ECE registered teacher)
Pukeko Corner Kindergarten
Address: 52 Beach Road, Katikati
Maximum Child Numbers: 29 children over the age of 2 years
Hours: 8.30am – 2.30pm
Management: A privately owned kindergarten (owned by Cathleen Meyer Knowlson, a qualified ECE teacher)
Pukeko Corner is situated within the community of Katikati and is located off one of the main streets. The centre building is a small cottage. Parking is provided for parents and visitors.
As I entered I was welcomed by one of the staff, who invited me in. She showed me around a little and then suggested I walk around at my own leisure. I thought this was a lovely idea as I wasn't bombarded with questions and facts all at once, and could decide where I went and how much time I spent in different areas.
In one area of the centre, a teacher was playing some old records on a record player and the children were listening to “Never Smile at a Crocodile”.
One of teachers warned me that today was “slightly more wacky than normal” as it was “wacky Wednesday”, so some things were out of kilter. It was a day for having extra super fun!
The water trough was inside, teachers had pigs on their heads (a pig-shaped hat), and there were all sorts of funny things everywhere. There was a real sense of fun and an atmosphere of mischief.
Walking outside, I noticed a lovely little outdoor play area. There was a fountain made of stones, a Wendy house, and lots of little nooks and crannies for the children to explore.
An elderly gent “Granddad Gary” attended on a regular basis and I could tell the children adored him and enjoyed his company.
I was told that the teachers plan the educational programme on the basis of children's interests and the teachers take time to find out how each child learns so they can tailor their teaching approach to the child. Te Whariki, the NZ early childhood curriculum is used by the teachers to guide their assessment of children’s learning.
The centre is a Christian based centre, so the Christian philosophy is interwoven into the daily routines, such as grace before lunch. The teachers had a lovely bond with each individual and see children's growth in a holistic way.
I could see the teachers were committed to biculturalism and weaved aspects of Māori culture and language into their daily work and interactions with the children. Displays on the wall reflected this, showing the teachers’ personal mihi mihi.
Pukeko Corner Kindergarten had a real close knit and warm feel to it. The kindergarten provides a fun and personalised place for children and one that I'm sure many parents would see that their child would be happy at.