What We Do

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Lollipops North Harbour is divided into 3 separate converted houses. Each learning space is heavily influenced by the RIE principles surrounding ‘RESPECT’.

Consideration of age and developmental and emotional readiness play an important role into the placement of a new child within the Centre. Typically, each space is as follows:

Kiwis – Licensed for 23 infants from 3 weeks to 24 months.

We follow the natural rhythms of the baby and individual routines are followed in consultation with parents. The environment is calm and peaceful, providing open-ended natural resources to encourage curiosity and exploration. We allow children to naturally develop within their own time and therefore do not place them in positions that they are not yet developmentally ready for, empowering children to grow and learn at their own pace.

An important aspect of our programme for infants is the curriculum of care and our support of child development at an unhurried pace for the individual child.

We understand that children feel most secure and trusting during care routines so attentiveness and respect is given to these times and comes through in the daily practice of our teachers. It is through this approach that collaborative relationships are built with children, teachers, families and whānau. This provides children with a solid foundation and the confidence to explore their surrounding environment. We also promote a positive attitude towards challenges and closely monitor children when they set themselves a challenging task. This supports the development of important learning dispositions and the child in becoming a lifelong learner.  

Primary Care/Nursery Journals

This is provided for children under 1 years of age. Up until then they are given primary care with one core teacher.  This is ceased roughly around the age of 1 depending on the child and their individual needs. The journals provided for primary care are to inform parents and whanau of their child’s day through showing snapshots of experiences and learning. 

Nursery journals play a very important role in planning and assessing children’s individual routines in consultation with parents/whanau and the primary caregiver.

Fantails – License for 30 toddlers age 2– 3.5 years 

Children’s routines are discussed with parents and met by staff. It is a busy environment, supporting toddler’s needs for physical development. Gross and fine motor skills and confidence are developed through climbing equipment and an environment that supports physical exploratory play, a full core curriculum and social interactions between the children within a supportive nurturing environment. Kai times are structured with children supported in hand washing and seated at the table for shared meals. Children are supported to develop self-care and self-help skills and are viewed as capable and confident through our use of real china and encouragement to bring their plates up to the table and select a flannel to wipe their face.

Mat time is held prior to meal times.  Children sit together to reflect on prior days learning, and investigations.  Children may discuss events, birthdays, experiences or points of interest.

Children are supported to be independent and are encouraged to take responsibility for their belongings, environment and their actions. The children are supported to sort out conflicts and are guided in how to seek resolutions. The environment supports self-initiated and emergent learning opportunities, with a variety of activities and resources offered to extend the children’s identified interests. A full core curriculum is offered.

Kakapos – License for 45 children ages range from 3 till 5.

In this room children are supported in their relationships and are empowered to negotiate through their own conflict resolutions. Children are encouraged to be independent and take responsibility for themselves, their belongings and actions. There is an emphasis on literacy and numeracy in preparation for school and children are identified and supported in the social and learning areas that require further exploration and development to make their transition and integration into school successful.


The area is spilt up providing the children with different options and choices to carry out their days.  We have a Nest area which provides the children with different areas of the curriculum that mainly focus on dramatic play, science and nature, blocks, books and puzzles.  This space is often changed or amended to provide provocations surrounding the children’s current interests and project work.  Another area is our Art Studio which provides many different art mediums such as clay, paint, collage materials and beading materials.  This space is set up with the same teacher supporting them for the week to carry out current project work and other child initiated activities.  It is mainly used as a room to provoke children’s thinking and allow them to be creative in an inspiring yet safe way. 

We have a transition to school room called “Koru Group”. This space supports children who are preparing for school.  It is run by the same teacher who has a small class of 10-12 children who carry out their own project work.  The size of the group allows them to work in a more intense setting where each individual contributes to the group work in some way.  During their project work all 7 areas of the New Zealand primary curriculum are incorporated throughout the process.

A big emphasis is placed around Kai times. Children are provided with a rolling m/tea and a/tea so they can have uninterrupted time to utilise learning opportunities.  Lunch kai times are a set sit down session where children are supported in serving their own lunch and clearing away dishes. The whole process is supportive of self-help skills, independence and fostering key social skills.  Children are responsible for washing hands, grabbing their own plate, cutlery, and glassware before finding a seat at the tables provided.  Turn taking is promoted with passing around of food, and clean up at the end is their responsibility, along with wiping their faces.

Portfolios/StoryPark (online tool)

All children will have a key teacher, or primary caregiver who will be responsible for providing one learning story as well as a piece of art work/ group story/ anecdotal/photo montage entry per month.  Staff must ensure that one personalised learning story per month is completed for each child for their portfolio.

At the beginning of a child’s journey they are provided with a portfolio book and also an online tool called StoryPark. At the front of their journal is a letter to parents informing them that the book is a tool to be used by the children, parents, whānau, and staff to encourage and support appropriate development and learning for each child – Parent input (the parent voice) is encouraged through opportunities for parents and whānau to share information about their child in an “All about me “sheet and continuously on StoryPark.

Teachers will encourage parents and whànau to comment about the class programme planning and will invite parents and whànau to get involved in their child’s learning.  Teachers will also educate parents and whanau about StoryPark; its uses and operation. Both these tools provide an opportunity for teachers to build relationships with all the children and their parents and whànau through a reciprocal exchange of thoughts and ideas.  Entries in a child’s portfolio book are supported by photos, artwork and anecdotal notes that link to the child’s learning.  Portfolios are encouraged to be taken home by parents and whànau to ensure that their aims and aspirations are acknowledged and the very important socio-cultural life of each child is recognised.

This documentation supports the teachers in planning appropriately for each child at the Centre as they gain insight to the child’s life at home and in their local communities. It also helps to strengthen the links between the Centre, the home and the community by acknowledging the value and importance of parent and whànau contributions and the shared journey that teachers, children, parents/whànau are on while at the Centre.

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