- What is a kindergarten?
- Who will teach and care for my child?
- Where is my local kindergarten?
- What are the hours?
- What age do you start kindergarten in New Zealand?
- What will my child learn at kindergarten?
- What portfolios are kept of my child’s learning?
- How much does kindergarten cost?
- How does the 20 Hours Free ECE scheme work?
- How do I enrol my child at kindergarten?
- What age should I enrol my child in kindergarten?
- Can my child attend kindergarten and another ECE at the same time?
- What will my child need to take to kindergarten?
- Do children need to be toilet trained?
- Should I bring my child to kindergarten if they are sick?
- What is the policy on food allergies?
- What food should I bring for my child?
- What if my child has specific learning or health needs?
Kindergarten is a special place where teachers, children and parents come together to build amazing communities and life-long friends.
At our kindergartens, children are encouraged, inspired and nurtured to discover, experience and learn about the world around them.
The indoor and outdoor areas of a kindergarten are designed for young children and the furniture and resources are appropriate for pre-schoolers starting kindergarten.
During your child's early childhood education at kindergarten, they will develop important life skills to assist with their transition to school.
Our brilliant kindergarten teachers are qualified in early childhood education, and passionate about children’s learning. Each kindergarten has a head teacher plus teachers and support staff. The main difference between daycare and kindergarten is that we are part of your community and parents are a part of everything we do. Kindergartens offer high quality learning programmes aimed to give children a love of lifelong learning based on the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum, Te Whāriki.
With more than 100 community kindergartens across Auckland, there's one right on your doorstep! Find your local Auckland kindergarten here and pop in and say hi! We’d love to show you around!
When the time comes for your child to head off to kindergarten, you can choose from any of the AKA kindergarten centres in Auckland. Our kindergarten enrolment is not zoned, so you are not limited to choose by location. You simply choose whichever centre best suits your family’s particular needs.
All kindergartens offer either 6 or 7 hours, but some kindergartens also offer shorter 3 or 4 hour sessions. You can choose the days that your child will attend. Availability hours for kindergarten will vary between centres.
Kindergarten Terms for 2020 are:
Term 1 - 20 January to 9 April
Term 2 - 28 April to 3 July
Term 3 - 20 July to 25 September
Term 4 - 12 October to 18 December
Please refer to the local centre pages for hours available at the kindergarten of your choice.
Our KiNZ Early Childhood Education & Childcare Centres offer hours from 7.30am to 5.30pm for parents looking for full day childcare options.
Most kindergartens enrol children between the ages of two and five years old, but placement is subject to availability. Kindergartens are very popular, and most have waiting lists. Their popularity is related to both their relatively low cost and their high-quality education. That’s why we strongly recommend that your child is on the waiting list at your chosen centre well before you want them to start going to kindergarten. You can ensure you are on the waitlist by getting in touch with us.
If you are looking for childcare for children under the age of two, please contact one of our KiNZ Early Childhood Education & Childcare Centres.
One of the main differences between kindergarten and preschool is that children’s play is essential in developing meaningful learning experiences. Our kindergarten teachers work alongside the children to support their learning and development. The teachers our kindergartens model language for the children, and introduce the children to various mathematical concepts, science, literacy and sustainable practices. Our kindergartens have outdoor play spaces and gardens where children can create, explore, be imaginative and expressive.
During your child’s time at kindergarten they will be given the opportunity to:
- Feel confident about who they are and develop responsibility and a sense of independence
- Work and play alongside other children and adults
- Persevere, problem-solve and take risks
- Develop effective communication skills
- Learn about limits, boundaries, routines and conflict resolution
- Develop fine motor skills where children use their small muscles e.g. threading, writing, cutting and grasping pencils
- Be creative and expressive through activities such as painting, music, collage, movement, dance, finger painting, drawing, cutting, pasting and story sharing
- Participate in gross motor play where children use their large muscles e.g. climbing, throwing, kicking, balancing and lifting
- Experiment with sand and water
- Develop early numeracy, literacy and science skills
- Learn through trial and error
- Explore through experimenting, questioning and curiosity
- Develop confidence where children celebrate their attempts and successes
- Have fun and develop a passion for learning and a love of life
Children will be assisted with their transition to school and the new challenges this will bring. The aim is to make this process simple and seamless.
Our kindergartens maintain both paper and electronic portfolios to provide a record of your child’s learning.
- The portfolio book is stored in the kindergarten. You and your child are welcome to access this whenever you wish, and can also take the portfolio book home to share with your family. Portfolios are given to your child when they leave the centre. The stories and pictures are a great reflection of your childs interests and strengths.
- StoryPark is a cloud-based private learning community that allows teachers to privately and securely share updates, photos and videos with families to engage with you about your childs day at kindergarten. You will be provided with a unique login and can access StoryPark with an internet connected smartphone, tablet or computer. Parents are the administrators of their child’s account and own all photos, videos and content. You can invite friends and family anywhere in the world to see, comment and engage in your child’s learning.
Compared to other childcare options, kindergartens are popular because of their relatively low cost and their high quality education.
AKA is part of the government scheme, which allows all children over 3 years of age to receive 20 hours early childhood education a week. At AKA, we have extended this scheme, offering 20 hours free ECE for children from 2 years of age.
For a fee schedule based on your specific days and hours, please contact your local centre.
When your child turns three you will be asked to sign a form telling us how you would like to allocate your 20 hours ECE:
- You can use your 20 hours ECE at more than one centre, but not for the same times.
- You can choose to use as many or as few hours of 20 Hours ECE as you want, up to 6 hours a day and 20 hours a week.
- With your 20 hours ECE subsidy, the first 20 hours of your child's early childhood education is free.
The subsidy that the government provides is not sufficient to meet the high quality education that we provide, so a small contribution (up to $1.50 per hour) is requested based on the number of hours that your child attends kindergarten. There is a small charge for every hour over and above the 20 hours ECE subsidy.
As AKA is a Charitable Trust, all contributions are channeled back into children’s learning.
Find out more about the 20 hours ECE scheme on the Ministry of Education website.
When you get in touch with your preferred kindergarten, the staff at your local centre will contact you to discuss the enrolment process and make sure that you are on the waiting list if immediate enrolment is not available.
You may prefer to visit your local centre and complete an enrolment form in person. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet the teaching team and to tour the kindergarten facilities. You are always welcome to pop in and say hi.
We encourage you to get in touch with your preferred kindergarten when your child is approximately two years of age, but you are able to put your child on the waiting list at any time.
You can make sure that your child is on the waiting list by getting in touch with your preferred kindergarten. A child may start kindergarten between the ages of two and five years old.
Yes. It is possible for your child to attend kindergarten and a daycare centre on different days of the week.
Note, your child cannot be enrolled at two centres for the same sessions.
Each day your child will need to bring:
- A bag with your child’s name clearly printed
- A change of named clothes
- A sun hat in the summer months
- Small lunch box with healthy food/kai and a drink bottle
- Any other items that are part of your local centre’s daily routine.
No. If your child is toilet training please let the teachers know so that they can help your child and train them in the best way possible. We find that coming to kindergarten helps children to learn this skill quickly. Here are some toilet training tips to help with this process.
If your child is feeling unwell or showing any of the symptoms below, we ask that they do not attend their sessions until at least 48 hours after the final symptom.
Some symptoms to look out for are:
- Vomiting and/or diarrhoea
- A high temperature
- An unidentified rash
- Conjunctivitis (unless medical treatment has been applied for at least 24 hours)
- Any other symptoms of a contagious illness
- Head lice (after treatment)
Occasionally, we have children with severe food allergies.
Please avoid bringing products that contain peanuts, nuts or eggs to the kindergarten. This includes Nutella, peanut butter and egg sandwhiches.
If you have any queries, please chat to the teaching team at your local centre.
Our teaching teams promote healthy eating both at the kindergarten and at home. Please bring a small lunchbox with healthy food/kai for your child. You may wish to limit waste with ‘litterless lunchboxes’ that have enough compartments to keep various snacks separate and clean.
Fresh water is available at all times for children to drink.
Kindergartens are inclusive places and we welcome all children and their families. Our qualified teachers are able to work with families to meet every child’s needs. Please let the teachers know of any specific learning or health needs your child has. This will help the teachers be prepared to best support you and your child.