Waiapu Kids St Matthews is a Community Based Childcare Centre under the umbrella of Anglican Care Waiapu. The centre is situated in the central business district of urban Hastings; on the grounds of the St Matthew’s Anglican Church.
The families come from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds. The centre provides educational care for 35 children, five under 2 years old and thirty over 2 years old. The centre is licensed from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm, as a mixed age centre that enables all the children to interact together. Children can attend full time or part time.
The centre employs seven staff members. Five staff members have their Early Childhood Diploma and are all fully registered teachers; two are Early Childhood Support Workers and we are fortunate to have volunteers keen to work with children.
All teachers have a current first aid certificate. Teachers are supported in their teaching practice through ready access to professional development. The centre is used by training institutions for students to work in the centre as part of their practicum.
The programme reflects the principles, strands, goals and learning outcomes from Te Whaariki and Kei Tua o te Pae Assessment for learning: Early Childhood Exemplars. This celebrates the uniqueness of each child and the group as a whole. The children learn through play and a stimulating environment. Teachers are trained to extend children’s knowledge and development, promoting their confidence and independence within a safe centre. Together they will have fun.
The children have individual portfolios (clearfiles) containing learning stories with photos, artwork and Whanau’s voice. Learning stories show the process of how the children learn and develop new skills to be competent and confident individuals. Photos are stored onto CD’s for the children and video footage enables parents and children to revisit their play.
The learning stories are shared with staff and displayed on the wall for parents to read and add their voice. The programme is based on a focus that is child initiated or is of interest to the centre community. Teachers support and challenge each child’s learning by providing a stimulating environment and learning experiences that reflects the child’s interest.
TiKanga Maori is valued and respected and implemented into the daily programme. The centre programme continues to be underpinned by a Christian philosophy and the children visit the church for stories from the children’s Bible and Waiata.
New families looking for childcare are welcome to come in and observe the day in action.