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
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 busy times of the day. 

Healthy meals and snacks
Our Head Chef Fern Pereira, a qualified chef with a Food Hygiene and Safety Certificate, and the kitchen team prepare Healthy Heart meals for the children. Parnell Early Childhood Centre has won Gold standard certification in the Heart Foundation's Healthy Heart programme. Our centre is recognised by the Heart Foundation for our comprehensive Healthy Heart programme. (Both Parnell Early Childhood Centre and Gladstone Park Early Childhood Centre have won the Heart Foundation's Gold Healthy Heart award - three times!) 

Fern and the kitchen team prepare nourishing and sustaining midday meals as well as healthy morning and afternoon snacks each day. This ensures staff remain focussed 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. Fern's meals are full of goodness, taste great and the children just love them.

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.

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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!

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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)

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.
More parent comments

We had Lola's 'starting school' seminar this morning at (her new school) and expectations were covered off around where children should be as new entrants. Lola is well above what is expected and I really wanted to thank you and the team for all your effort in teaching our children. Things like writing their name, identifying letters and numbers, counting forwards and backwards, sounding out letters, reading lots of stories etc; stuff that Lola is doing all the time were emphasized as being expected or beyond expectations of a new entrant. This is going to make transition to school for Lola so easy and enjoyable. Thank you again for the love and support shown to our kids. - Trudy

I agree with everything Trudy has mentioned. Lola is such a confident, smart, caring and well-rounded little girl. This stems from all you and your teams love and care for our kids and caring that they are growing and learning. We really do appreciate all you guys do. - Darrin

My two youngest children Zach (now four) and Sienna (just turned one) attend Parnell Early Childhood Centre and we couldn’t be happier with the care they receive. Whether it’s the wonderful and caring teaching staff, relaxed yet professional “feel” of the centre or the nutritious lunchtime meals they get (which assuages my guilt as a busy, working Mum!) I know they are getting really well looked after. Most importantly, both Zach and Sienna just love it there, and that’s the best testimonial you could get!  - Suzi

Our Twins have been attending Parnell Early Childhood Centre full time since its early opening days a little over 3 years ago. These days I can't get a word in edgeways, with my twins excitedly relaying the events of the day - they speak fondly of their teachers, their daily activities and all their little friends. Whilst they are also eager to attend 'big school' like their brother I'm sure they will miss the familiarity of  Parnell Early Childhood Centre but believe they will take with them some special memories too.   We have appreciated the support and peace of mind that Parnell Early Childhood Centre have given us for our twins since day one. Thanks again!  - Heather

My daughter is a 3 year old, happy, bright, confident and caring girl. She has been at Parnell Early Childhood Centre since she turned 1 year old. Her positive experience at Parnell Early Childhood Centre have helped to shape her into the stunning young girl that she is becoming. The calibre of staff at Parnell Early Childhood Centre is high. They create an environment that is warm and nurturing, whilst always looking for ways to challenge young minds via problem solving activities, puzzles, creative arts, music, movement, basic maths and language – all the time with the emphasis being on having fun. My daughter truly ‘loves’ several of her teaches and she’ll often spend weekend time at home doing special drawings to take to them on a Monday or talking about them. I appreciate the way the teachers have always treated my daughter as an true individual - from catering to her special dietary needs to spending a lot of time observing and really getting to know her and what makes her tick. The centre's facilities are good and the use of the gym and extensive grounds is magnificent. - Corrine