Diamond Harbour
Enrolment or waitlist enquiries
13 A Hunters Rd, Diamond Harbour,
RD 1, Lyttelton
Kindy webpagewww.kidsfirst.co.nz/diamondharbour
Kia Ora

Our Teachers

Rebecca Thomas
Head Teacher
Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (ECE)
Charis Sweeney
Bachelor of Science
Graduate Diploma of Teaching (ECE)
Annya Boyd
Graduate Diploma of Teaching and Learning (ECE)
Penny Julian
Bachelor of Teaching (ECE)
Helen Ridley
Bachelor of Education
Diploma of Teaching (ECE)
Gemma Veasey
Bachelor of Teaching (ECE)
Debbie Rees
NZ Free Kindergarten Union Diploma
Kirsten Mackay
Bachelor of Arts
Graduate Diploma of Teaching (ECE)

Join Our Whānau

Click Here For Info

Our Education Service Manager, or ESM, is an important member of our teaching team.  Based at Kidsfirst Head Office, she is on site regularly to observe our programme, give us feedback and professional support, and encourage us toward continuous educational improvement. Please feel free to talk with her about your child’s kindergarten/centre experience..


Our ESM is Nicki Chapman





Our Hours Are...

Session Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
Full-day 8:30-16:00 8:30-16:00 8:30-16:00 8:30-16:00 8:30-16:00
Morning 8:30-12:30 8:30-12:30 8:30-12:30 8:30-12:30 8:30-12:30
Afternoon 12:30-16:00 12:30-16:00 12:30-16:00 12:30-16:00 12:30-16:00

We are able to talk to parents and caregivers most of the time, so please make an appointment if you'd like to do this. EMAIL US HERE



Our Place - Te Waipapa

We feel very lucky to be embedded in such a wonderful environment and our curriculum reflects how together we learn in, grow in and are explorers of our unique community. We climb trees, explore beaches, get muddy, garden, hunt for treasure, visit local marae, watch the lambs and explore the bushes, fields and tracks around the school. We learn through play, enquiry,  challenges and we have lots of fun!


The connections that we have with our land fosters values of kaitiakitanga and lifelong sustainable practices. We look after our environment and the stories and histories that are attached.


Diamond Harbour School is part of our learning community and we really value the relationships that we share. Regular visits between settings provide us with strong foundations to support transitions to school and offer highly valued opportunities for ako, mixed aged and reciprocal learning.


Our Mānuka Room

Infants, toddlers and their families are warmly welcomed into their own calm place by our fully qualified teachers. With great child-teacher ratios and a small overall group size, infants and toddlers can receive the individual attention they need. Our teachers understand the special ways of our youngest children and respect the rhythm and needs of each child.


Children can explore, independently move through and wonder in our thoughtfully created inside and outside spaces. Through teacher-guided play they develop skills to co-operate with others and express their emotions in peaceful ways. As valued members of our kindergarten community our tamariki meet up with their bigger friends regularly to learn together. 


Our Kahikatea Kindergarten Room

In the Kahikatea Room we aspire to follow children’s leads and build on children’s interests, inspiring learning through the use of beautiful spaces and natural resources. We nurture ngā tamariki individual creativity, placing value on their play and their contributions to the curriculum.


Group and whānau times provide opportunities for discussions, planning and decision making. Tamariki are given time to reflect on what they already know, to wonder about what might happen next or why something went a certain way. Whānau times also help the kaiako to group the children’s ideas together, promoting further enquiry involving researching, investigating and critical thinking.      


The programme planning is flexible, with a focus on both individual and project learning, and social competency that promotes positive relationships with children taking responsibility for their own actions.


Curriculum planning is evaluated to ensure Te Whāriki (The New Zealand Curriculum for Early Childhood 1999) learning outcomes are being met within the programme planning and a positive difference is being made in children’s learning and development.


Our Vision and Curriculum Priorities


Fostering meaningful, reciprocal relationships with tamariki and whānau, our community and with the local school is central in finding our place here at Diamond Harbour.

We will support, nurture and guide one another.



Our kindergarten is a place of welcome and support.

Our individual mana is nurtured and protected.   

Our social competency strategies support a place of wellbeing and belonging.



Teaching and learning are lifelong and therefore the roles of teacher, learner and leader are interchangeable.

Relationships are reciprocal and responsive.

Individual contributions, knowledge and strengths are valued.



We work collaboratively in order to develop a shared sense of purpose.

We work in partnership with whānau as we value their contributions and consultation.

We reflect the Kidsfirst values; whānau, engagement, inspiring, passionate, proud.



We foster and support lifelong sustainable practices.

We treasure the stories and history of our land.


Where We Have Come From 

The new centre at Diamond Harbour is the first that Kidsfirst has built in many years, and so they had a real chance to design and create a building that would be as environmentally friendly as possible. It’s been built out of locally sourced materials and factors in as many environmentally friendly elements as it can.


The centre features those all important opportunities for exploration, adventure and challenge, with the chance to play and inspire the imagination. By design, Kidsfirst environments have always had large and well resourced natural outdoor areas which are interesting and exciting places for adventure and play. Both indoors and out the environments reflect our bi-cultural community and are a place where children are encouraged to think critically, enquire and wonder about their world. Where children are provided with challenges, intellectual stimulation and opportunities to take risks safely, and social support appropriate to their age and abilities.


Being a building for young children, Opus Architect Kate Loader was incredibly aware of the environmental impact it would have. "They are the next generation and it’s impossible to think of designing and building their centre without considering the impact the building may have on the world that the children will grow up in, and our responsibility for that," she says.


Some of its unique features include architecture that is designed to lend itself to the natural landscape it sits on, and there are transitional learning environments created with a range of adaptable internal and external spaces. There will also be a simple graphic tool incorporated into the middle of the learning space, which will demonstrate the power generation and usage of the kindergarten to the children.


It has a focus on natural and renewable building materials:

  • Cedar cladding with no chemical treatment.
  • Low VOC (volatile organic compound) paints.
  • Formaldehyde-free plywood in the joinery.
  • The linoleum floor has a high recycled content (made of 97% raw materials).
  • Solar panels on the roof.


The is efficiently heated with underfloor heating and sheep’s wool-blend insulation in the walls.


To make it environmentally sustainable and keep the environment in mind “seemed like the only option when designing this building,” according to Kate.


“To families these days, sustainability is just so important.”


The building is aiming to be net-zero energy, with any surplus that is generated being donated back to Diamond Harbour School. Normally the power goes back to the grid with money being earned for it, but this energy generation is a way for the kindergarten to give back to the school.


Because they are on the same site as Diamond Harbour School, there will be a real sense of community and inter-generational interaction as children can graduate from the centre, move to Diamond Harbour School, and still maintain that contact with their friends and teachers for many more years.


There is also a multi-functional meeting room, to be shared by parents, family, staff and the Diamond Harbour community.



Yes! We're still operating during the traditional term breaks, so your child can still come to us during this time.


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