On the 17th January 1972, Glennie Oborn, Kindercare’s founder, opened Milford Day Nursery in Auckland, with just 3 staff and 12 children. This first early childhood centre opened on the site of what is now Kindercare’s Milford Preschool centre.
It was Glennie’s background in education, and a commitment to providing parents with a service that would enable them to return to paid employment with peace of mind that their child was in safe, loving hands, that enabled her to establish her first centre.
From this, growth was steady and driven by Glennie’s desire to respond to the ongoing requests from parents for additional centres in other locations. Today, Kindercare remains a 100% Kiwi owned and operated national childcare provider, with centres in Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington and Hamilton.
Glennie currently fulfils the role of Chairman of the Board and has entrusted the future of Kindercare to her son, Kelly Wendelborn. Kelly took over as Chief Executive in April 2014 for the next chapter of Kindercare’s journey.
1982: Kindercare owners and directors open New Zealand Tertiary College – a private training provider, specialising in the training of Early Childhood Teachers. Today New Zealand Tertiary College is accredited to offer a wide range of qualifications, from a Certificate through to a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education.
1994: introduction of the Parents Partner. This is a Kindercare service providing advice, counselling, resources and workshops to families and staff – to advise and support them through challenging times in the early years.
2000: Kindercare launches our Excel Education Program – a framework that incorporates Te Whaariki (New Zealand’s National Early Childhood Curriculum) enabling us to develop early education programs that are individual and responsive to children’s needs and stage of development.
2000: Kindercare introduces Cherry.bytes – our information technology program. This unique initiative enables us to introduce our 3½ - 5yr old preschool children to computers and other technologies including digital cameras and microscopes, in a safe, fun and interactive way, while also extending the classroom focus.
July 2004: Kindercare expands into a new region for the first time, with the acquisition of a group of established centres in Christchurch. Since this time, Kindercare has also continued to open more purpose-built centres to meet the needs of families across Christchurch.
2007: Kindercare opens our first centre in Wellington. This region has continued to grow with increasing demand for childcare.
2009: Kindercare welcomes families into our care in Hamilton when we opened two centres in that year. It’s exciting to be a part of the Hamilton community.
Four decades on, and our team is still committed to developing the potential in each baby, toddler and preschool child placed in our care. Our mission is still to provide outstanding early childhood care and education to children from birth to five years. We now have many Kindercare grandparents whose children, and now their grandchildren, have spent their early years in our care. Why? Because you can trust Kindercare to make a real difference in your child’s critical early years.