CONTACT PARNELL TRUST:  Parnell Early Childhood Centre 
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Centre life

Our Philosophy
At Parnell Early Childhood Centre, our aim is to provide an enriching environment where children and families feel valued, respected and empowered. We are committed to forming lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with whanau, the community and the planet, in accordance with the Treaty of Waitangi. We embrace all of our children, whanau and teaching team to form a warm, rich and diverse group of learners reflective of our community.

We believe in the benefit of family/whanau working in partnership with staff to ensure their input is valued and their aspirations for their child are respected and fostered.

We offer an emergent curriculum in line with Te Whariki (the National Early Childhood Framework of Aotearoa/New Zealand) that encourages and empowers children to learn holistically and through free play and alongside their peers and teachers.







We believe in the importance of respect for our bodies, our peers, our teachers and our families as well as our environment and our planet Earth. This is promoted through our ongoing Green Kids Programme.

We believe when an attitude of mutual respect is fostered, children are empowered to have confidence in their individual identity. Through building and maintaining positive and purposeful relationships, we are able to support individual learning and development and an emergent curriculum. We believe that every child is individual and acknowledge their strengths and interests by allowing them the time they need to explore, investigate and discover the wider world.

At Parnell Early Childhood Centre we truly believe that children are confident and competent learners. We encourage an environment of exploration, experimentation and calculated risk. While our teachers are here to support, encourage and scaffold we believe that children are the driving force in their own learning and in turn encourage learning for now and in the future.


Teacher : Child ratios
Our teaching team is led by Susan Swolfs who brings a wealth of early childhood experience and specialised training including The Incredible Years programme. 

We have a commitment to employ qualified teachers with a passion for working with young children, and we aim to better the Ministry of Education teacher : child ratios of 1:5 for children under two and 1:10 for children over two, especially during the busy times of the day.


Healthy meals and snacks
Menus are developed and meals prepared by our Chef and kitchen team, who hold Food Hygiene and Safety Certificates.

Parnell Early Childhood Centre has won Gold standard certification in the Heart Foundation's Healthy Heart programme three times. Our centre is recognised by the Heart Foundation for our comprehensive Healthy Heart programme. 

Children are given nourishing and sustaining midday meals as well as healthy morning and afternoon snacks each day by our kitchen team. This enables our teaching staff to focus on providing the best possible care for your children. All menus are published on the parent noticeboards in each room at each centre and on the parent portal. 

Our heart-healthy meals are an important feature for many parents. In 2015, Parnell Trust launched KidsHQ SuperMeals, frozen meals made from the same recipes the children love to eat at our centres. They've been very popular with busy parents who don't always have the time to prepare healthy meals for their kids. Parents can buy the meals directly from our centres. 

Our centre caters for special dietary requirements, which parents can discuss with our Chef.


Children's portfolios
Each child has their own portfolio that teachers contribute to regularly. This builds a picture of their development, and includes photographs, notes from teachers about development and activities, and artwork completed by children during their day at the centre. Parents are encouraged to regularly look through their child's portfolio, and they can also be taken home overnight to share with family.

Communication with parents

We know that you, as parents, are the most important people in your child's life, and we consider it a privilege to have a role in your child's life. By sharing your knowledge and understanding of your child, you'll enable us to get to know them better and help us support their development through appropriate learning opportunities.

We encourage your enquires, requests, suggestions and concerns, and always have time to have a chat about your child's day. These communications are important to us because they help to establish a positive connection between home and childcare centre. We have a regular newsletter, notice boards, education information opportunities and family events as part of our commitment to this partnership.

Parents of children at Parnell Early Childhood Centre are encouraged to actively participate in life at our Centre via our Educa Parent Portal. On the Parent Portal we document your child's portfolio and have two-way communication with parents.  New parents will be given access details by our Office Administrator and can choose to share access with family members.


What parents say

Some of our teachers are also parents

We're very pleased that staff at Parnell Trust’s two Early Childhood Centres trust us to give their own pre-schoolers the very best care. They love what we do and how we do it, and their role in our happy, healthy places.



Susan Swolfs, teacher and administrator, LOVES having her daughter with her at Parnell Early Childhood Centre:

About ten months after my daughter was born I realised I would need to return to work. I was surprised by how difficult it was to find a child care centre that was willing to accommodate my desire to bring my child to the same location where I was employed.

New Zealand’s early childhood curriculum document (Te Whāriki) is based around well-being, belonging, community and building strong positive relationships between adults and children. Therefore, I assumed, wrongly, that most centres would be welcoming to the children of staff. Luckily my search finally led me to Parnell Early Childhood Centre, where they believe in creating a loving, caring, nurturing and educational community for staff as well as children.

I have never questioned my decision to enroll my daughter at PECC. Although we have always been in separate areas, it gives me such peace of mind to know she is getting the very best care. The teachers and staff are thoughtful, highly motivated and conscientious about providing the youngest members of our society with quality care.

I particularly appreciate the fact that the children are nurtured body, mind and spirit through our Healthy and Sustainable Living Programme. When I drop off my daughter each morning I know she will spend the day with people who truly care for her. Her thoughts, feelings, opinions (being 2 she has plenty of those!) and unique personality are valued and she belongs at PECC; we both do!



Susan and Iona.jpg



Helen Raethel describes her experience as a teacher and mother at Parnell Early Childhood Centre:
My son Finn started at Parnell Early Childhood Centre when he was five months old. It was a big emotional transition for both of us, as he had never left my side since he was born. I had no hesitation leaving him with his wonderful teachers. Prior to his birth, I had been talking to one of my colleagues in the babies’ room about how to make the transition as smooth as possible. She was very reassuring and listened to my concerns. Finn’s teachers are warm, friendly, and I feel comforted knowing he is getting the best care each day.
I also cannot thank Fern Pereira, our chef, enough for the nutritious meals my son gets each day. Having a fussy toddler, I know he is getting good meals and snacks each day. Fern is also very encouraging and gives me ideas of what meals to make for my son.
Finn is growing to be a very sweet-natured and confident wee boy and I have the teachers to thank for playing a part of this.



Helen and Finn.jpg



Here’s Helen with Finn at a special lunch at our Centre, celebrating Diwali with Bollywood dancing and a colourful vegetarian Indian meal. (November, 2015)


More parent comments

We were very blessed to have our children spend all this time in this great center. Thank you for keeping all the activities in record so we parents could learn more about our kids. (Our children) have made great friends with the kids and the teachers. They've grown so much and learned so much from this wonderful daycare. I wish you all the very best in the future. – Parent, May 2017 

Great staff  and a safe and happy environment.  Archie loves the bike day the worm farm and activities like that. He talks about them all the time at home. – Anna, October 2016


It's a wonderful place that I feel more than happy to leave my son at, with lots of caring and supportive teachers and fantastic,  healthy food. My son has grown in confidence and is learning and developing so much every single week. He's always happy when I tell him it's a daycare day and is happy to be left there too. I get lots of fantastic feedback from Connie with lots of pictures that all tell me that he’s having a lovely time with lots of learning opportunities and developing so well. I feel very lucky that Jake is in such a warm, caring and positive environment where all his needs are met. He has wonderful teachers who really do care about him and me! – Carmel, July 2016


Excellent caring teachers  My child is excited to go everyday. Their food is very good. - Lilia, July 2016


I highly recommend PECC.  Everything from the food to the way teachers handle conflict between kids is so well done.  Holly has become such a confident, bubbly girl and I'm sure a lot of it is down to the environment at daycare. There’s always been plenty of variety of things for Holly to do and she often comes home singing new songs or asking to paint because she's learnt new things. The teachers show genuine concern for the children's well-being. Can I just say that Fern's food is fantastic.  I really appreciate the fact that the kids eat such healthy, wholesome foods.  It makes a huge difference to how my daughter is brought up and how important food is to learning. – Parent, July 2016


Parnell Early Childhood Centre is great, we don't have to worry!  Great teachers, great facilities and great location.  Very happy!  Total peace of mind. Jude seems very happy and comfortable, seems to enjoy himself every day and looks forward to going each morning. Manika, Faye and Shital are all amazing.  They talk and keep us informed of the good things and any issues that may occasionally occur. – Darrin, July 2016


I've already recommended the centre to a friend. The teachers are kind and loving, Jackson has only been at the centre for 2 months and we already feel like you’re an extension to our family. We can already see the teachers are beautiful, they are kind and loving to our wee man. - Adrienne, July 2016