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Childspace turns 21!

Childspace turns 21!

Childspace is a small family-owned, Wellington-based organisation making big waves in early childhood education.

Founders Toni and Robin Christie opened their first centre in their first home twenty-one years ago this coming Valentine’s Day.

Childspace has always enjoyed an excellent reputation as a leader in early childhood, with dedicated and fully qualified teaching teams, innovative research-based practices and programmes and a very supportive management team who are driven by the best quality outcomes for children.

Childspace has four child-care centres in Karori, Wilton, Northland and Ngaio.

Each of these centres has been created in modified homes, which ensure they are appropriate for small groups of children and a home-like experience.

Together with dedicated and qualified teachers and peaceful yet stimulating environments, Childspace has been educating little Wellingtonians for over two decades now.

The success of their centres, management and environments resulted in many requests to share their innovations with others.

The Childspace Early Childhood Institute was a natural progression for the organisation and works in synergy with the child-care centres, as teachers are consistently nurtured with further research and resources provided by this professional learning community.

The institute, situated in Johnsonville, now has a dedicated team delivering professional development and publishes a wide range of books, resources and a quarterly magazine, The Space, for teachers and parents of young children.

The Childspace Workshop, also in Johnsonville, specialises in designing and building playgrounds, equipment and furnishings specific to early childhood.

The workshop team use natural, renewable and upcycled materials wherever possible and pride themselves on thinking outside the box - both functionally and aesthetically.

Again, the workshop team act in synergy with the child-care centres, as teachers and children enjoy designing and modifying their environments with the help of a highly skilled group of playful blokes from the workshop.

The Childspace centres, institute and workshop are all now recognised in New Zealand and overseas as contributing to the collective knowledge and innovative practices in early childhood.

Childspace has certainly grown-up and welcomes its 21st birthday as it continues to provide the best quality of education and care for young Wellingtonians and their families.

Reflecting on twenty-one years of quality provision throughout the western suburbs of Wellington, Childspace Director and co-founder Toni Christie states: “the playing field has changed now we are noticing the impact of much larger, corporate models of child-care.”

Mrs Christie, who has a masters degree in early childhood education and has researched and published widely in the education profession, is concerned about the profit motives of some of these corporate models.

“For example, even though we know very young children are most comfortable and emotionally secure in small groups, we have organisations claiming they stand for children’s best interests opening up buildings which will house more than one hundred children infants, toddlers and young children daily.

“Measures like this, alongside the hiring of unqualified teachers, ensure the corporate model can offer the cheapest service to parents who may not realise the emotional impact on their child’s health and well-being.”

Putting into practice the research of Mrs Christie and others, Childspace prides itself on small class numbers, natural environments, quality teaching practices and teacher-child ratios that support children’s learning and developmental needs.

“At Childspace we believe that each child is unique and must be treated with acceptance and respect in order to develop to their full potential. Building respectful relationships with children, their parents and whānau underpins our philosophy.”

To celebrate their 21st birthday Childspace will be hosting an open day at their early childhood centres, institute and workshop on February 14th (Valentine’s Day) from 9-12.

Facebook: Childspace Early Learning


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