Skip to main content

Te Kura Kōhungahunga o Ara

Ara Early Learning Centre

The Ara Early Learning Centre has a long-standing reputation for providing high quality care and education.

Our philosophy

The strength of our centre lies in the relationships we develop with tamariki, whānau and each other to create a sense of community within and beyond our immediate environment.

The loving, caring and personal nature of our team nurtures the wellbeing of tamariki and fosters the development of a strong sense of belonging. Our focus is to support and guide the development and learning of tamariki within a respectful, unhurried, home-like environment where uninterrupted play is valued for contributing to a child’s sense of curiosity and creativity.

Primary caregiving

Our primary caregiving approach means that your tamaiti (child) and you, as whānau, get to build a strong relationship with at least one Kaiako (teacher). Your tamaiti builds trust that there’s someone special here for them who knows them, cares for them and will always respond to their needs. This authentic and trusting relationship fosters a sense of wellbeing and belonging, and promotes positive mental health.

Working in partnership with whānau, kaiako provide a culturally responsive and engaging environment to support the learning and development of tamariki, viewing each tamaiti as an individual and valuing all they bring with them and all they contribute from their whanau and community.

Our vision

Loving, nurturing and respectful relationships are at the heart of all we do. Our vision is to secure an environment where tamariki flourish ‘a tōna wā’ (in their own time). The centre is calm and unhurried and the uninterrupted freedom to explore fosters learning.

We honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi, ensuring that cultural identity is visible for all; the strong partnerships we build with parents and whānau means that each child is known and celebrated for the unique individual that they are. ‘Poipoia te kakano, kia puawai’ – ‘nurture the seed and it will blossom’.

Our virtues

Our core virtues of aroha (love), te rongo (peace), atawhai (kindness), kotahitanga (unity) and aroha (compassion) are the foundations for all that we do. They guide our interactions with tamariki, kaiako, whānau, community and the environment. Setting virtues-based boundaries brings out the best in our tamariki and ourselves, helping everyone to become compassionate, kind, courageous, confident and purposeful.

You can learn more about the global Virtues Project here.

Our outdoor environment

Our centre has beautiful natural outdoor spaces; a magical garden where imagination, wonder and awe can flourish. We understand the importance of tamariki being immersed in the outdoors and our doors are always open. We believe that ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing’. With sustainability at the forefront of everything we do, most of our resources are from nature and we are committed to using recyclable and upcycled items that spark imagination and creativity.

Our Kaimahi

All our kaiako are fully qualified and registered and hold current first aid certificates.

Centre manager Robyn Ellen
Administrator Megan Harnett
Head teacher, Nursery Lisa Watson
Nursery kaiako Linda Hakeagaiki
  Lucy Botting
Head teacher, Preschool Ann Clare McGregor
Preschool kaiako Niki Duff
  Sarah Louise Hawkins
  Charly Belcher
  Georgie Hale


Contact details

Phone: 03 940 8075


Full day:
Monday to Friday - 7:45 am to 4:45 pm

Morning session:
Monday to Friday - 7:45 am to 12:30 pm

Afternoon session:
Monday to Friday - 12:30 pm to 4:45 pm

Register your Interest