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Early Childhood

Young children live in a rich world of imaginative play and discovery. They are completely open and deeply influenced by all that surrounds them.

In the harmonious atmosphere created in our early childhood setting, they find an environment that meets every aspect of their development.

Unconscious imitation is the natural mode of learning for early childhood. Through imitation the young child assimilates knowledge, language and appropriate responses to the world.

The teacher guides the child through the daily activities, always striving to be a model that is worthy of imitation.

Pēpi Aroha Playgroup offers a choice of five sessions per week for parents and caregivers with young children from birth to 3 years.

Monday to Friday 9.30am – 12pm.

Nursery offers up to five sessions per week for young children aged 2.5 – 4 years.

Monday to Friday 8:45am – 12:45pm or 8:45am – 2:45pm. Each child usually attends 2-4 days per week.

Kindergarten offers five sessions per week for children aged 3.5 – 6 years.

Monday to Friday 8:45am – 12:45pm or 8:45am – 2:45pm and includes our Ngahere Bush Kindergarten.

Each child usually attends a minimum of 20 hours per week.

Pēpi Aroha Playgroup is an opportunity for parents and caregivers with young children (birth to 3 years) to gather with the Pēpi Aroha teacher for a relaxed and rhythmical morning of singing, free play and morning tea before ending with a story. It’s a great introduction to Steiner Waldorf education.

Pēpi Aroha has a secure outdoor area with a sandpit and grassed area for the children to play.

“My toddler seems to be more relaxed in this environment than any of the other places I’ve tried.”

“I love how my little one just gets about while I learn a craft. It’s so therapeutic.”

There are five Pēpi Aroha sessions:

Monday to Friday mornings starting at 9.30am and concluding with a story at 12pm.

Cost is $13 per session – paid termly in advance, for example: cost for a 9 week term is $117; and a 10 week term is $130.

Places are limited to ten children per session. If you are interested in joining or would like further information, please email:

Nursery is a beautiful environment for pre-kindergarten children aged from 2.5 years until around their 4th birthday.

Children are able to attend a minimum of two consecutive days per week and up to five days.

Nursery has two very experienced teachers who strive to provide a home away from home atmosphere for the children.

Children help with preparing morning tea every day and other activities throughout the week include drawing, painting and baking. Seasonal activities, festivals and birthdays are all celebrated within the yearly rhythm.

Due to their younger ages, teachers are more involved with the play than in Kindergarten, and assist in setting up play situations, as the children learn about being with other children, playing and sharing together.

There is plenty of free play, including outside play in their own fully fenced garden and sandpit area.

A short fifteen minute rest follows outside play, bringing a relaxed mood before a morning circle of song and verse. The morning ends with a puppet play story and outside play.

Nursery sessions are Monday to Friday 8:45am – 12:45pm or 8:45am – 2:45pm.

There is a maximum of fifteen children per day.

For enrolment enquiries, please email:

Nursery often has a waiting list so please register early.

To view our latest Education Review Office (ERO) Report, please click here

We have three kindergartens sharing a delightful outside play area and ‘wonderland’, a fenced hillside of mānuka and gardens for the children to explore.

We also have Ngahere, the bush kindergarten, in which the older children spend 2-3 days a week on rotation throughout the year.

Each kindergarten is mixed age from 3.5 – 6 years and the children mix with the children from the other kindergartens at outside play and at Ngahere.

Steiner Waldorf Kindergartens provide a nurturing environment based on an understanding of the young child’s specific developmental needs before the age of seven. Young children naturally take in the world through their wide open senses and unite themselves with their surroundings through imitation.

The teachers strive to be worthy of this imitation. They work at daily household tasks, baking, sewing, carding wool, making toys, and cleaning. Archetypal movements such as kneading bread, sawing wood, digging, or sweeping are important for children to see and act out. Many children join in with this work, while others imitate the activity during their free play. The teacher often leads by example and song, and lets the activity speak for itself.

For the young children, play is their work. Great care is taken to create an environment for them that is warm, orderly, and beautiful. Most playthings are either gathered outdoors, (such as pinecones, smooth stones, shells and acorns) or are hand-made from natural materials. This enables the children to experience directly the truth and beauty inherent in nature.

The toys provided are simple in form to stimulate the children’s imaginations enabling them to complete them in their own way. As they transform simple objects into homes, castles, farms, and forests, they are practising the mastery of their own physical and social skills. Daily outside play in the playground, with special walks in nature, engages the children in the wonder of the natural world.

Imagination is further enlivened through a variety of artistic activities. A typical week will include watercolour painting, coloured drawings, beeswax modelling, seasonal crafts, simple puppetry, singing, circle games and many stories. Strong daily, weekly, and seasonal rhythms bring all these activities into a form in which the children feel secure and are able to participate with confidence and joy.

During the child’s early years, the Steiner Waldorf Kindergarten works to foster the wonderful vitality and creativity inherent in every child, establishing solid roots for the future. Reverence for the surroundings, when young, later helps instill a feeling of gratitude, rhythm in daily activities develops into strong will for work, imaginative play helps to develop the creative and independent thought that will be needed for later intellectual learning.

Ngahere, the bush kindergarten

On Ngahere days, children spend the morning – rain or shine and in all seasons – in the outdoors on the school’s large bush-clad site nestled in the Waitākere ranges on the fringe of New Zealand’s biggest city, Auckland.

On the child’s Ngahere day, they walk, as a group (maximum 15 children with 2 adults) to the Ngahere whare (shelter) where they are based for the morning.  The Ngahere experience allows the children the opportunity to explore and play freely in a natural environment which has many benefits for their physical, social and emotional development.

We know that life has become more stressed for adults, and therefore also for children. City life and busy schedules mean children are engaging in far less healthy movement than was the case in the past.

Time spent playing in the outdoors has quantifiable benefits for a child’s performance at school, future health and general well-being.

The children experience the weather and seasons first hand with all their senses. It is these rich sense impressions that will give them a foundation of real experiences as a basis for future learning.

For enrolment enquiries, please email:

To view our latest ERO report, please click here