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In the Community

Kindercare is committed to developing each child’s full potential by providing outstanding early childhood care and education. This will always be our primary focus because every child entrusted to our care truly matters.
 
Yet there are individuals and communities not known to us, both in New Zealand and abroad, who face enormous challenges which impact their ability to reach their full potential. So advocating for these children and families is something close to the heart of Kindercare. Here’s a little about the community initiatives we support.
 

New Zealand:

The Living and Learning Foundation

This charitable trust was set up by the Directors of Kindercare Learning Centres in 2005, to support and advance the health, welfare, education and learning of life skills for individuals, families, groups and organisations, living in socially and economically disadvantaged communities.
 
The Foundation’s philosophy is that, with the right support, all New Zealanders will have a better chance of attaining success in their lives.
 
The establishment of Living and Learning Family Centres, through the Living and Learning Foundation, was a concept that was developed as a means to best assist New Zealand families who were most in need.

Our very first family centre, opened in 2009 in Favona, Mangere. This was built around the early childhood centre, caring for babies, toddlers and preschoolers and was partially funded by the Ministry of Education’s Discretionary Grant Scheme.
 
The second family centre opened in Henderson in 2012 caring for babies, toddlers and preschoolers as well as introducing a new program – The Teen Parent Unit. This service enables us to target support, education and opportunities for teen parent mums, providing them with skills and alternative options to consider in their current situation.

Buy-A-Blanket

Every year, since 2006, Kindercare partners with a New Zealand supplier to manufacture thousands of 100% wool blankets.
 
Before winter, blankets are distributed to organisations such as the City Missions, Salvation Army, Birth Right, ADRA, and Women’s Refuge, in Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington and Hamilton. These organisations know the needs of their local communities, enabling them to identify those individuals and families most likely to benefit from receiving a donated blanket.

Families and staff at our Kindercare centres are given the opportunity to support this annual initiative by either purchasing or making a donation towards the cost of these blankets. Kindercare carries all transport and administrative costs.  
 
We always receive messages of heartfelt thanks and appreciation for the blankets, and those individuals and families who support the drive know their individual contribution has kept a child, young adult or older citizen warm through our cold winters.

Ronald McDonald House

Kindercare has been a business club supporter of Ronald McDonald House (RMH) since March 2007. Essentially, this is an annual financial commitment to contribute towards the continued viability of the House.
 
Our staff have also been involved in volunteer work: working shifts in the House over weekends to assist with reception, cooking and serving meals, doing activities with children and any other jobs that need to be done to keep the house running efficiently.

RMH in Auckland is run by the RMH Auckland Trust, a 100% community charitable trust. The House and Family Room provide a haven for families from all over NZ who travel to Auckland with desperately ill children, who require potentially lifesaving treatment.
 
Families with children in intensive care need to be close by, so RMH provides emergency accommodation in the RMH Family Room, located inside Starship.

Christmas Outreach in our local Community

In 2007, the staff at Support Office in Auckland were challenged to a new idea for their Christmas function - bring Christmas to a family on Auckland’s North Shore who would otherwise not be able to celebrate in the way so many of us simply take for granted.
 
Competing against each other, teams put together Christmas packages, with gifts selected specifically for each member of the family. The wrapped parcels were delivered to the Salvation Army to be given to the families before Christmas morning.
 
In 2008, Support Office chose Onepoto Primary School, in Northcote, as our special Christmas project – holding a Christmas party with games, entertainment, visit by Santa, afternoon tea and a bag of gifts for each child.  

In 2013, Auckland’s Support Office put on a Christmas party for the children at our Living and Learning Centre in Mangere. There were fun activities for the babies, toddlers and preschoolers, entertainment, treats, a filled Santa Sack for each child and a shared lunch with the families.

It’s a heart-warming and humbling privilege to participate in activities that direct resources, which would have been spent on ourselves, to children and families who have so much less than we are accustomed to. And once a year, get alongside others and share what we’re so blessed to have.

Caring for our Natural Heritage

To celebrate the opening of our first Wellington centre in 2007, we held an official opening. Staff and families joined us, with special guest, Prime Minister John Key (then Leader of the Opposition).
 
As our gift to the people of Wellington and all New Zealanders – especially the children – Kindercare made a donation to the Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust, which is responsible for protecting our endangered national birds.

Our donation, made on behalf of our children and future generations, went towards the construction of a Kiwi Creche to provide a large enclosed and safe area for the Kiwi population to breed and grow the population – thereby increasing our numbers living in nature and ensuring the survival of the species.  
 




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International Support:

The Samaritan’s Purse – Christmas Shoeboxes

Kindercare has supported Operation Christmas Child since 2009. This initiative enables communities all over New Zealand to reach out to children between 2 and 14 years old, living in other parts of the world, bringing them the Good News of God’s love at Christmas, through a gift-filled shoe box.  
 
The Samaritan’s Purse launched this international project in 1993. It’s a simple, hands-on mission project that puts the love back into Christmas and back into the hearts of hurting and less fortunate children.
 
Shoe boxes, filled with simple age-appropriate gifts like school supplies, toys and personal items are presented to children at Christmas and with it, a message to them that, despite their circumstances, they are loved and special.
 
Towards the end of the year, our Kindercare families and staff (and their extended families if they choose to), are invited to participate in this project. We distribute and collect the filled boxes, and drop them off at the collection points, ready to be shipped overseas.
 
Christmas boxes are distributed to children who come from a range of circumstances: some orphaned, some in war-torn countries, some who have never received a gift in their lives. The joy these boxes bring these precious children is both moving and humbling - especially in light of the Christmas celebrations that so many in our communities in New Zealand are accustomed to.
 

Cambodia – Kindercare, in partnership with ADRA

We see first-hand the amazing start we can give each precious child entrusted to us at Kindercare, through a loving environment, respectful care and creative learning experiences. This is not the case for millions of children living in poverty stricken communities, with no access to educational opportunities.
 
With a desire to do charitable work, we investigated how we could make a difference for these children, as well as undertake a project that would provide leadership and personal development opportunities for our team.
 
We knew we wanted early childhood to be the focus of our project and we knew that we wanted our staff to be able to use their skill set and experience, should they wish to volunteer or be selected for this project. 
 
Kindercare approached ADRA (Adventist Development Relief Agency), and discussions led to a recommendation to look at Cambodia.
 
In 2012, Kindercare teamed up with ADRA Cambodia, (a local agency active in Cambodia), to build a preschool in the Prasat village in Kampong Province.
 
Many villages have children’s groups (Reflect Circles) which meet under houses or trees and are usually comprised of around 40 children, ranging in age from 2yrs – 6yrs old. Some villages have a school but no preschool, and some have neither facility.
 
Together, Kindercare and ADRA built a preschool in the Prasat Village, which was completed in 2013. This will receive ongoing support through ongoing work with teachers, and by resourcing the early childhood centre (with supplies from Cambodia and supplies from New Zealand – so that ideally, these can be replicated/sourced locally).
 
Different teams of Kindercare staff who express interest in supporting this project, or who have a specific skill set, are involved in planned trips to Cambodia. These usually happen twice a year, and are aimed at supporting and assisting this community in their professional development.
 
Workshops and discussions/role modelling are options used to introduce a teaching style that is more child-centred and incorporates the philosophy that, especially in early childhood, learning happens through play.
 
An important focus for teams working on the project is to keep it as local as possible and ensure decisions made reflect an understanding of, and respect for, the local environment, their history, education philosophy, available resources and current teaching practices.
 
There are many opportunities for our project to make a positive impact in terms of new resources, especially for outdoor playgrounds, new teaching perspectives, curriculum resources, as well as toys that will benefit both able-bodied children and those with disabilities. Resources and curriculum for baby care and education is an area that has considerable potential.
 
Project forward-planning continues to look at “the village need”, beyond the preschool, incorporating skills development and support for local volunteers, facilitators and for parents.
 
Working with “Room to Read”, in 2014, Kindercare supported the re-build of the village primary school. Ongoing efforts include resourcing the primary school children with basic supplies for school.
 
Generous fundraising efforts by Kindercare staff and families at our early childhood centres in Kohimarama, Auckland, and Kilbirnie, Wellington, enabled us to purchase and resource a mobile library (Tuk Tuk library) for the Reflect Circles in the villages.  
 

World Vision Partnership

Kindercare first partnered with World Vision in 1984, through the “Sponsor a Child” program. The initiative gathered momentum with Kindercare extending sponsorship to another child each time we opened a new early childhood centre.
 
Our vision for this partnership is to contribute towards bringing about change in the world so all children, irrespective of their birth place, live in a safe, loving environment that’s conducive to learning and developing their full potential.
 
Initially, the children we sponsored came from a range of countries including India, Philippines, Cambodia, Uganda, Zambia and Bangladesh. However, with our strong links to Cambodia, gradually all newly sponsored children live in Cambodia.
 
Sponsoring children in our centres goes beyond financial support. It’s making the most of opportunities for children, families and staff in our centres to learn about what life is like for children in other parts of the world, make birthday cards for them, and get involved in community initiatives like the 40 Hour Famine Corporate Challenge.
 
It’s about teaching our children that what we choose to do can and does make a difference in the lives of others, so we’re actively working towards raising a generation of children who are socially aware of life outside of New Zealand.
 

Our Childcare Journey

In 1972, a loving mother opened our first early childhood centre. Four decades on, we’re still family owned and the strength of those same family values, the warmth of familiarity and the meaningful personal connections are still distinctively at the heart of Kindercare. That’s the reason our centres feel like "home" to the children and families we love.

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What Parents are Saying...

Before making the decision to entrust your baby, toddler or preschool child to Kindercare, why not take some time to read what other parents think about the early childhood care and education we provide.


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