When I arrived at VisionWest kindergarten, children were running around and playing on the playground while inside, a teacher was leading some of the kids in a dance.
There are currently around 35 children enrolled at VisionWest kindergarten, two belong to Stef and Mel who I was fortunate enough to have a chat with.
When Stef was first looking for a kindergarten for her children, she had just moved into the area. Since VisionWest kindy was within walking distance, she decided to check it out. Although that was six years ago, Stef can still remember her first impressions – the teachers were friendly as they chatted to her about the kindy, and all the children there were enjoying themselves.
For Mel, there was never any need to look elsewhere. Her nieces and nephews had attended kindy here, and Mel had sensed the family feel the times she had gone to pick them up. The staff were welcoming both to her and her children, and for Mel, it is the bonds formed between the teachers and children that make this kindy so exceptional.
VisionWest kindy provides great opportunities for children to learn and grow. Both Stef and Mel raved about how much their children loved the outdoor area of the kindy, challenging themselves through physical play as they try everything on the playground. Stef believes this emphasis on play-based learning is what makes VisionWest such a “great foundation” for her daughter.
Both mothers also appreciate the values that underpin VisionWest kindy. Mel saw her son transformed from being shy and clingy when he started to being confident and school ready by the time he left. She attributes this transformation to his positive kindy experience, and being in an environment that shared the same values as her family.
Stef, who moved here from England, is glad that her daughter is being exposed to Māori culture; words and phrases, which the kindy incorporates into the children’s learning. VisionWest kindy also celebrates a variety of international cultures, reflecting the ethnic makeup of the kindy families and recognising the diversity within our community.
Above all else, their children love the teachers. The staff at VisionWest kindergarten take the time to get to know both the children and the parents, making sure everyone feels like part of the whānau. While other kindergartens may have the same toys, set-up, and outdoor equipment, it is the teachers that make VisionWest kindy stand out from all the rest. The staff work together to make each child feel welcome and assist them in their personal development.
Mel says she “can’t fault them”.