Our Areas

We wanted to re-create the feeling of home as closely as possible so it was important that the physical structure of our play area is as flexible as possible. We don’t want to have lots of rooms where children are separated by age and have fewer opportunities to interact with children at different stages. Rather we want to create different areas that reflect the children’s stages of development.

A lot of time and heart has gone into personally upcycling and renovating furniture, resources and sewing soft furnishings ourselves.  Loose parts play is also featured heavily where children of any age are provided with lots of objects which they can use however their imagination drives them. This can be found in each of the different areas. We have ensured that the environment enables the children to feel safe and secure so they can explore their surroundings and reach their individual potential.

Baby Room

This is a calm and peaceful room where your baby is nurtured by our loving team and there is always someone available for a cuddle. Routine at this stage is constantly changing and communication between home and Cottage is so important as we work to recreate your home routine as closely as possible. Our team has a wealth of knowledge to help you through these changes. The room is integrated with the toddler room so while the babies can enjoy the safety of their own space, they can also interact with the toddlers and see them at work/play. The babies have their own sleep room and enjoy plenty of time outside. The ratio in this room is 1 teacher to every 3.5 children and your baby will move on to the toddler room when they are approximately 15 months old but this decision will be made between the family and the team as each child develops different skills at different ages. We welcome you in to continue breast feeding either in the baby room or in our family room, you can safely store and reheat expressed milk or we supply formula milk. We also provide all other food your baby requires, nappies through our nappy project and everything else your baby might need while they’re at The Blue Cottage.

Please go to our “Parent Information” pages for more information.

Toddler Room

This is traditionally a stage full of dynamic and energetic explorers and scientists who are learning about how their bodies and their actions affect their environment and others around them. As fits our whole philosophy, we put a lot of emphasis on teaching our toddlers about respect, trust and doing your best for the whole group. Here the toddlers will experience lots of one on one time with the teachers and many different group activities. The children always have access to our outside space and all the glorious and sometimes messy opportunities that that can bring. There is also a designated sleep area and a teacher to give your toddler a warm cuddle as they rouse from their slumber and prepare themselves for their afternoon adventures. The ratio in this room is 1 teacher to every 5 children plus we also have a teacher aid. We also provide all other food your toddler requires, nappies through our nappy project and everything else your toddler might need while they’re at The Blue Cottage. Please go to our “Family Information” page for more information.

Prechool

This is a large area giving the children lots of room to experience all of the wonderful activities and resources that the team provide. We have worked very hard to create a space that is practical but still homely so the children feel comfortable and able to get on with their busy day discovering all the new and wonderful places that their imagination will take them. The children’s day will include mat time and as they progress through their time here, they will be included in our ready for school programme. They will have access to the outside at all times other than during the most extreme weather. Remember ‘There is no bad weather, only bad clothing’. The ratio in this room is 1 teacher to 8 children plus we also have a teacher aid and you can expect your child to move into this area when they are approximately 3 years old or when the child, the team and their family feel they are ready to transition. We also provide all food and everything else your pre-schooler might need while they’re at The Blue Cottage.

Outside

Our outside play area is available to the children always except in the most extreme weather. It is so important for their physical and spiritual development that children have the opportunity to be in nature, climb trees, scrape their knees, plant flowers, listen to the birds and run around as fast as their bodies will let them. Outside play can be messy, especially if your child takes a liking to our mud kitchen but luckily children are washable plus we wash their clothes!

It was vitally important to us that the outside area is one that allows for imagination and exploration no matter what the age of the child. So rather than having play equipment that dictates to the child how it is to be used, we provide lots of equipment that the children can use to create whatever their imagination desires. A spaceship? An obstacle course? A zoo?

We also grow our own vegetables, and have a worm farm that the children love.

We are fortunate to be in a location which is so convenient for families and offers such amazing beauty on our doorstep. We enjoy views out to the Papamoa hills and we are next to the Gordon Spratt reserve and all the 50 acres of exciting opportunities that it provides. All the babies and children will be able to regularly visit this space and explore everything that it has to offer.