Open day cel­e­brates 30th

Bay News - - NEWS -

Toi Ohomai Child­care Cen­tre is hold­ing an open day to cel­e­brate 30 years of cre­at­ing “learn­ers for life” thisweek­end.

The cen­tre has a rich his­tory — it was one of the first pur­pose­built child­care cen­tres in Tau­ranga, and had a li­cence for 25 chil­dren­when it opened in 1988. It now caters for up to 115.

Though early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion in New Zealand has un­der­gone a dra­matic trans­for­ma­tion over the last 30 years, this child­care cen­tre has been for­ward-think­ing, adapt­able and con­sis­tent, al­low­ing it to thrive for three decades. Irene Os­bald­is­ton, team leader at the cen­tre, says the teach­ers are the cen­tre’s big­gest as­set.

“The teach­ers are the heart of our child­care cen­tre and the re­la­tion­ships we have with our

chil­dren and their fam­i­lies are the foun­da­tionwe are built on.”

There are 16 per­ma­nent teach­ers (all trained in early child­hood teach­ing)— nine of whom have­worked at the cen­tre for more than 10 years, four for more than 15 years and two for more than 20 years.

“Our teach­ers want to be the best and are con­stantly up­skilling to re­main at the fore­front of early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion. Learn­ing starts from birth and we are priv­i­leged to help to cre­ate learn­ers for life.”

Acom­mon mis­con­cep­tion is the cen­tre only has places for chil­dren of Toi Ohomai staff and stu­dents. This isn’t the case and the cen­tre wel­comes all chil­dren aged from 6 months to 5 years.

One of the big­gest sell­ing points is the huge out­door space, quite pos­si­bly the largest out­door play area in any child­care cen­tre in Tau­ranga. Lush green grass, ex­ten­sive gar­dens, sand­pits, climb­ing struc­tures, play­houses and nat­u­ral play ar­eas make the space en­joy­able for chil­dren.

The pub­lic is in­vited to join teach­ers, chil­dren, past and present fam­i­lies to cel­e­brate on Novem­ber 10. Therewill be morn­ing tea at 10.30am and speeches at 11am.

An open day is to be held at Toi Ohomai Child­care Cen­tre.

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