Whether you are considering a preschool, childcare and education or kindergarten option, one thing matters more than anything: that your child gets the best possible start to his or her formal education 


Our name says it all.
We put children first.
That's because the early years are so very important.


Kei te ingoa tonu ngā kōrero katoa. Ko te tamaiti te mea nui ki a mātou. Te take i pērā ai, he mōhio ki te hira o ngā tau tuatahi.


Kidsfirst Kindergartens offers quality West Coast, Central Otago, Canterbury and Christchurch preschool education to thousands of children through its network of over 70 kindergartens. 


Formerly known as the Canterbury Westland Kindergarten Association - Mo Nga Tamariki Me Nga Whanau o Waitaha Me Tai Poutini - we are one of New Zealand's largest and longest serving early childhood education providers.


A long-standing not-for-profit organisation, our turnover runs into the multi-millions.


We have undergone some big changes in recent years to give Kidsfirst the strong base necessary to remain a preeminent provider of early childhood education.


Our staff of more than 300 includes a 100% qualified and registered early childhood teacher workforce. It's one of the things that makes us special.


Kidsfirst has always been an innovator and we are keen to look forward, while still recognising where we have been and the special attributes that need to be protected for generations to come.


Our Structure


The Kidsfirst Board sets the values and vision for the organisation, with input from formally structured Teacher and Parent Advisory Groups and the Chief Executive.


This vision becomes a reality via Kidsfirst's three year strategic plan, a blueprint created by the Board and delivered by the Chief Executive and the Senior Management Team, through a series of annual plans.


Everything Kidsfirst does is guided by its vision proposition: Teachers, Whānau, neighbourhoods - children at the heart of amazing learning.


We're proud to say we're now more than 100 years old. The focus for the years ahead is on ensuring we can continue to offer the highest quality early childhood education to generations to come. 


Our History

Generations of New Zealand children have loved being kindy kids - getting a great West Coast, Canterbury or Christchurch preschool start through the joy of play and unique learning opportunities. In fact, kindergarten is a slice of Kiwi culture, where children make friends that can stay with them for life.


Our oldest kindergarten opened in 1899 and is now known as Kidsfirst Kindergartens Sunbeam. Today, more than 60 Kidsfirst Kindergartens provide high quality, teacher-led services to about 3,500 children across Canterbury and Westland.


We’re so very proud of that heritage and, of course, of being right at the heart of your community. This is our neighbourhood. Our kindergartens are surrounded by houses and homes and families. We’ve been here for over a hundred years helping local kids to grow and develop.





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