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Our Approach


20 hours


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To teach and to learn

In te ao Māori, the concept of ako recognises that everyone in a classroom brings knowledge with them from which others can learn. It describes a teaching and learning relationship where the kaiako is both teaching the tamariki and learning from the tamariki. The result is a holistic, inclusive learning community where both kaiako and tamariki feel empowered to participate to their full potential. 


At Aratupu, our education practices are informed by the latest research. Every child is on their own pathway to growth and our kaiako focus on developing a natural curiosity and passion for discovery. Every day, Aratupu tamariki are encouraged to explore their unique passions and strengths through play and evidence-based education. 


This holistic approach supports each child to develop and grow at their own pace while sowing the seeds for lifelong learning.

Aratupu Curriculum

Pathway to growth

Educating individuals

Through exploratory play and individual child planning, Aratupu tamariki are empowered to learn and grow at their own pace. Every day, our kaiako make numbers and letters fun, encourage risks and creative problem solving, champion identity and culture (we want our tamariki to be proud of who they are), create opportunities for movement and independence, and provide support as our tamariki learn to express and manage their emotions.

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Where learning happens

Aratupu tamariki graduate with the knowledge, sense of identity, and interpersonal skills required to thrive in a school environment.

Every child receives a foundation for lifelong learning during their time at Aratupu. Our building blocks are natural curiosity and a passion for discovery. To achieve this we have:

  • Small group sizes which enable shared learning experiences

  • Tamariki-led learning and individual child planning

  • Qualified kaiako equipped with the latest educational research

  • Tuakana-teina where older children support and guide younger children

  • A dedicated whānau room where the entire whānau can grow and develop together

ERO report

We’re proud to be recognised as a leading early childhood education centre. Our ERO report highlights include:

  • Aratupu promotes positive learning outcomes for tamariki.

  • Teachers demonstrate a strong commitment to the centre’s philosophy, vision, and values of a socially just and inclusive society – these values are highly evident in practice.

  • Aratupu staff develop supportive, ongoing partnerships with whānau.

  • Tamariki benefit from a richly bicultural curriculum and there is a strong focus on te ao Māori in the learning environment.

  • The centre places an emphasis on respect and caring for each other and the environment.

  • Tamariki under two years of age benefit from a calm, peaceful learning environment.

  • Aratupu tamariki with additional learning needs are well supported to learn and grow.

  • Aratupu draws on strong connections with a wide range of agencies to access additional assistance for children and their whānau.



Our learning spaces



Our indoor learning space was created for exploratory play in a home away from home setting. Our centre’s inclusive and holistic learning principles can be seen throughout this space, from the communal story time mat to the free-play discovery areas.

Aratupu is home to multiple spaces where tamariki create masterpieces, read quietly, dance freely, enjoy kai, engage in group exploratory play, or spend quiet time reflecting among our indoor trees.
Our nursery space is divided by a half wall so tamariki can share their space or engage with each other across the wall.


Our large outdoor area is a natural environment – perfect for teddy bear picnics and free exploration! Grass, sand, gardens, trees, and unique play structures provide natural sensory experiences that positively contribute to the health and wellbeing of Aratupu tamariki.

Our vegetable garden enables Aratupu tamariki to experience growing vegetables, garden to plate, and to appreciate where our food comes from.

Our play equipment is tailored for maximum challenge and exploration.


Our equipment and tools are largely unfixed so that tamariki can mix and match equipment to create their own adventure. 

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This is a safe space where Aratupu babies can discover the world around them. Our small group size ensures that every baby receives the highest quality care and attention from nappies and feeds to enriching playtime.

We keep our baby groups small and intimate to mimic home routines calmly and peacefully. The nursery space is designed to be a blank canvas which can be adapted throughout the day to meet the interests and needs of individual tamariki.

Whānau Hub

Our whānau hub is where the Aratupu whānau comes together to chat, laugh, learn, and grow. Bridget (your dedicated whānau support) hosts workshops, community events, and coffee groups in this space. In line with our educational ethos, ako, we’ve found that when the entire whānau is problem solving and learning together, children flourish.

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The Essentials

20 hours ECE


We’re proud of our kaiako-to-tamariki ratios of 1:4 in the nursery and 1:10 in the preschool. To ensure the highest quality of preschool education, every Aratupu kaiako is a fully qualified professional educator.

"I love the quality time Kaiako spend with my child, they really get him. I am amazed by the things he teaches me at home, that he has learnt from preschool."



We offer 20 hours ECE. This means that if your child is aged 3+ they can attend Aratupu three days a week for free care and education. Our daily rate is $31.86. If you would like to apply for a WINZ subsidy just let us know – your dedicated whānau support, Bridget, is available to help find the correct form, fill out our part, and even walk alongside you throughout the process.

"We find Aratupu good value for money. It is affordable, supportive and makes me and my family feel so welcome."



Preschool Hours
Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 2:30pm


Nursery Hours (Full Day)

Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 2:30pm

Nursery Hours (Half Day)
Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 11:30am


Monday – Friday, 11:30am – 2:30pm


Aratupu closes for public holidays and two weeks over Christmas

"We find the hours suit our needs perfectly."



Nutrition and full bellies are top priorities at Aratupu. With the support of Kids Can, food is delivered to the centre and prepared by our cook.

All meals are freshly made with love in our onsite kitchen and each day includes morning tea, lunch, and afters.
These free lunches are not included in the centre fee.

Nursery tamariki provide their own kai while young due to differing nutritional needs. Once your child is ready, they can transition to the free lunches.

"I don’t have to worry about having the time or ideas to provide a lunchbox every day."



Pathway to School

Supporting your journey

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We educate individuals

Leaving Aratupu for school is an exciting and sometimes challenging time. Our kaiako are dedicated to preparing your child for learning and growing in a school environment. Meanwhile, Bridget (your dedicated whānau support) is here to explain the school start process, advise on financial support, and walk alongside you during school visits and your child’s transition.

Our Community

The Aratupu Whānau

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Whānau Hub

It’s true that it takes a village to raise a child. Aratupu’s Whānau Hub is a place where parents, whānau , and kaiako gather to chat, laugh, and problem solve. Whānau is invited to be as involved as they like and can attend any of the events held in this space.

  • Coffee group catch-ups

  • Walking group

  • Workshops

  • Seminars

  • Meeting other whānau

  • Building relationships

This space is available daily for quiet chats or a moment of reflection at the start of your day. Bridget, your dedicated whānau support, is often available to sit down for a coffee. You’ll find her wandering Aratupu during pick up and drop off, or you’re welcome to book an appointment at a time that suits you.

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Aratupu is a valued part of the CMM (Christchurch Methodist Mission). We feel very privileged to have the support of this organisation. CMM works tirelessly for social justice and their commitment to our community informs our practice at Aratupu. Our connection with CMM provides Aratupu whānau with easy access to a range of support services if required.

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It takes a village

Meet Bridget, your dedicated whānau support. 
Some days all you need is an extra pair of hands – so Bridget’s offering hers! She’s available to help Aratupu whānau with whatever they need a hand with.

Does your older child need something printed for school but you don’t have a printer? Ask Bridget!
Are you unsure which form you need to fill out to claim a WINZ subsidy? Ask Bridget!
Are you unsure how to prepare an anxious child for the transition to school? Ask Bridget!
Do you have a meeting with a lawyer and would like a support person present? Ask Bridget!

Bridget’s here to provide support, empower you, and advocate for you. She’s your extra pair of hands, your teammate, and your cheerleader. Drop off and pick up are moments for connection at Aratupu. You can find Bridget during these times, or you’re welcome to book an appointment at a time that suits you.

Bridget shares an office with our partnership community worker Angela who helps Aratupu whānau and others access primary healthcare.

"The information she has access to and the ways in which
she can provide support is just amazing. From help with appointments to food, or just anything."


What Parents Think

“Aratupu is like my second home. I feel valued for being me; my children and I are not judged. We all feel safe here. My kids learn so much coming here. Everyone is so kind and caring."


Say Hello

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Opening Hours

Monday – Friday
8.30am – 2.30pm


Visit Us

97 Harewood Road

Tel: (03) 352-6816

Mob: 027 715-8201
Fax: (03) 352-7214

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