Making friends isn't just for children.
While socialisation is so important for children, we find that many parents discover an added bonus when their children come to Kidsfirst - they make new friends of their own.
Our centres are really little communities in themselves. We like to refer to our Kidsfirst 'family'. And our goal is to remain at the heart of the local neighbourhoods.
It's great when you meet parents like yourself, who have children of the same age. In fact, these networks are vital.
There are lots of ways you can be involved, both formally and informally, when your child comes to a Kidsfirst kindergarten. We see our role as one of partnership with you and your child.
Please join us and enjoy the 'kindergarten years'.
One of the strengths of kindergarten is – and always has been – the level of involvement that parents, friends and neighbours have on a day-to-day basis.
We’re an important connection point for many people, who find that they get as much out of kindergarten as they give.
But we know that not everybody can give in the same way – whether it is things or time – and that rigid rules and structures around how people are able to be involved in the life of their kindergarten does not work for everybody.
That’s why we have evolved our Kidsfirst Whānau philosophy.
It is a series of principles that guide the way we make decisions and how things get done at Kidsfirst.
Just as importantly it is a reminder to us all of what matters when we come together as a group – whether it is a staff meeting, board meeting or parent meeting.
The six key principles of Whānau are:
Tatau Tatau - Collective Responsibility
Manaakitanga - Caring
Whakamana - Enablement
Whai Wahitanga - Participation
Whakatakato Tatoro - Planning
Mana Tiaki - Guardianship
Our Whānau approach recognises that we all have responsibilities and obligations, but that the way we are involved in the life of our kindergarten can be a flexible arrangement – something that works for each individual parent, friend or family grouping.
So you may not be able to run an entire fundraising effort, but you might be able to donate some of your own time or materials. You could approach local businesses about sponsoring a kindy event, or run a raffle amongst your friends to help out.
Maybe you dislike formal meetings, but you are more than happy to make the odd phone call to welcome a new family to the kindergarten.
Or you can’t make the commitment to do parent help, but would love to have the opportunity to be a part of things when your time schedule permits.
We hope our Whānau principles will encourage everybody to give and take part in their own way – and equally importantly, that their contribution is recognised, no matter how big or small.
Whānau is about making it possible for everyone to have their say and be involved, in their own way.
We’d encourage you, your family and your parent group to think about how the Whānau principles apply to your involvement with Kidsfirst and explore ways that they can make your kindergarten experience all the richer.