Our Story


Town planning application is granted for Milford Day Nursery

Town planning application is granted for Milford Day Nursery

After navigating uncharted waters for resource consent and working through objections from neighbours, Glennie presented her case and won consent.


First centre opens— Milford Day Nursery

First childcare centre opens— Milford Day Nursery

The centre opened on 17 January and was licensed for 32 children and 3 staff. By 1979, there was a second centre in Milford and a third in Glenfield. These centres were incorporated under the name Kindercare Learning Centres.


Kindercare establishes an Early Childhood Teacher’s College, with 15 students

Kindercare establishes an Early Childhood Teacher’s College

Opening of Kindercare Early childhood Teacher’s College (now NZ Tertiary College)  with 15 students.

To keep children safe, loved and learning, they need to be in the care of competent, nurturing Teachers— which is what motivated Glennie to open a training college, specialising in the training of Early Childhood Teachers. In doing so, she changed the status of early childhood education in New Zealand by offering the first two-year course to prepare graduates to teach preschool children, in an alternative setting to traditional kindergarten.


Kindercare opens its largest centre in the country, off Constellation Drive in Mairangi Bay

Kindercare opens its largest children centre, Constellation Drive in Mairangi Bay

Opening with a licence to care for 90 children, this was the largest childcare centre in the country at the time. It was also Kindercare’s first centre in a “light industrial” area. In 1994, the licence was increased to 170 children.


Kindercare launches Cherry.bytes and Excel Education Programs

Kindercare launches Cherry.bytes


Cherry.bytes was unique to Kindercare—a program we researched, piloted, and introduced as another tool to extend Kindercare’s early childhood curriculum and support the development of children’s full potential. Used wisely and innovatively in education, we saw technology having the potential to open up a whole new world of learning opportunities! Working primarily on iPads, as well as opportunities to use other technology, weekly sessions incorporated interactive and creative activities to extend and enhance the classroom focus.

Kindercare's Excel Education Program

Kindercare’s Excel Education Program was a specially designed and researched framework that incorporated New Zealand’s national early childhood curriculum— Te Whāriki. Our Excel Education Program empowered Teachers to support the curriculum focus on the development of the whole child— wellbeing, belonging, contribution, communication, and exploration.


Kindercare opens a centre in Pinehill, with a Support Office upstairs

Kindercare opens a childcare centre in Pinehill

With the growth of Kindercare, and a total of 19 centres now, workspace was needed for the Support Team, as well as facilities for our teams to connect, and to participate in professional development and training days.


Kindercare enters the Christchurch market

Kindercare enters the Christchurch market

Kindercare acquired 8 centres, previously Paddington’s, and extended our service into the first region outside of Auckland, supporting Christchurch children and families and growing our team.


Living & Learning Foundation launches

Living & Learning Foundation launches

The Living & Learning Foundation is a private, not-for-profit foundation that was established by Glennie to provide support to New Zealand children, families and communities in socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Generous donations provided substantial benefits, including assisting children with special needs, support with health, community projects, and parenting programs. The Foundation expanded to open two Family Centres centered on childcare in the Auckland suburbs of Māngere and Henderson in 2009 and 2012 respectively.

Living & Learning International also funds and supports several initiatives in disadvantaged communities in the developing nations.


Kindercare expands into Wellington (Lower Hutt)

Kindercare expands into Wellington

Kindercare grew its childcare reach into the Wellington market, opening a centre in Boulcott, Lower Hutt.


Opening of Kindercare Rototuna, Hamilton

Opening of Kindercare Rototuna, Hamilton

Kindercare entered the Hamilton market when we opened our first centre on Thomas Road in Rototuna.


Christchurch earthquake forces the closing of three centres

Christchurch earthquake forces the closing of three childcare centres

The devastating earthquake forced three of our centres in Christchurch to be closed for a period of time (on Armagh Street, Puriri Street and Fendalton Road).

Our team continued providing childcare services as best as we could in the remaining centres in Christchurch, while seeking to rebuild the centres that were destroyed by the quakes. In 2012, the centre on Puriri Street was re-opened to children and families. In 2014, when the lease on our centre in Fendalton Road came up for renewal, Kindercare chose not to renew it. In 2017, the centre on Armagh Street reopened.


Kindercare celebrates 40th birthday!

Kindercare celebrates 40th birthday!

Kindercare Learning Centres celebrates an incredible milestone of providing outstanding early childhood care and education in 4 major cities across Aotearoa.


Kindercare's founder and Managing Director hands over leadership of Kindercare Learning Centres

Kelly Wendelborn was appointed Chief Executive.

in April of 2014, Kelly Wendelborn, Glennie's son was appointed Chief Executive. Glennie remains actively involved as Chair of the Kindercare Board.


Online portfolios for children are introduced

Online portfolios for children are introduced

Kindercare partnered with Educa to provide parents, extended families and staff with an online communication and documentation tool, to enable Teachers to keep in touch with families, and to create online portfolios for children that document their early childhood journey.


Palmerston North Centre Opens

On 1 November, Kindercare's first centre in Palmerston North opened. The centre was licensed for 80 children. In 2023, there was a need to expand the babies room at the centre to reflect the needs of the community. The centre was relicensed after renovations for 94 children.


Kindercare rebrands

Kindercare rolled out a new logo on 20 November 2017 to reflect a modern design approach to our marketing collateral.


Kindercare's Vision Statement announced nationally

Kelly our Chief Executive worked with Thought Leader, Greg Cagle, to simplify Kindercare's vision and values, to better serve our families and centre communities. This enabled our leaders to simplistically align team culture and values across all centres, to reflect Kindercare's heart to serve with love, so that ultimately to enable opportunities for create child outcomes.


Kindercare on the Kapiti Coast

Kindercare Paraparaumu opened on 16 September. This purpose built centre— licensed for 110 children— was designed to reflect the coastal vibe of this town.


Cherry.bytes technology program is retired

Ensuring our curriculum programs reflect current research and the updated NZEC curriculum, Kindercare moved its technology program from being a specialised curriculum subject area, to being a fully integrated tool for Teachers to utilise across all curriculum areas throughout the day. This change was necessary in order to continue developing each child’s full potential at Kindercare, and to remain relevant with the changing times brought about by the advancement of digital technology and media.


Covid-19 causes global lockdown

The Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) caused the whole world to go into lockdown in the first few months of 2020. New Zealand went into its first lockdown on 26 March for 4 weeks, causing all our centres to be closed. Our Support Teams and Centre Teams worked from home, pulling together creative ways of connecting with tamariki and whānau over these initial 4 weeks.

Between 2020 and 2022, New Zealand experienced a few lockdowns regionally, with Auckland being in lockdown the longest and moving between nationally set Alert Levels. Our centres stayed open where possible, and continued to provide care for families who needed us, in response to the government's directives. He waka eke noa.


Kindercare Reviews and Updates its Strategic Initiatives

As the time came for the kaihautū (leaders) of this organisation to review and reset Kindercare's Strategic Initiatives, it was an opportunity to establish a new partnership with a Cultural Advisor. We partnered with Te Pūheke, where the Senior Leadership Team and department leaders embarked on our haerenga o te ao Māori (journey of Māori worldview). In part, this resulted in updating and launching Kindercare's Strategic Initiatives, to ensure equitable outcomes for all tamariki.


Kindercare celebrates 50 years of developing children's full potential and building Early Childhood careers. It's our privilege to be serving a second generation of children in Aotearoa, this many years on.


Kindercare Warkworth Opens

Kindercare moved into Greater Auckland in the Warkworth community on 14 December. The centre's purposeful design provides specialised care for pēpi, with separated intimate spaces solely for 0–1 and 1–2 year-old infants. There is also a large music and movement studio, and a community room. This centre is licensed for 104 children.


National Flooding Crisis Affects Kindercare Albany

National Flooding Crisis Affects Kindercare Albany

Cyclone Gabrielle, unprecedented rainfall and the flooding on 27 January caused Kindercare Albany to be inoperable. The centre was closed for a complete refurbishment, during which tamariki and Kaiako were temporarily welcomed into Kindercare Mairangi Bay. The centre resumed operations in the newly refurbished centre on 11 April.

Kindercare New Zealand

Childcare that begins and ends with loving care