About Us

Kinderen – Nature in the heart of the city

Kinderen is a small privately owned centre that has been in New Plymouth – pretty much on the same site – for over 36 years. We have two residential homes that our centres run from about 200 metres away from each other on Buller st, a 0-3 centre and a 2-6 centre.

Kinderen has always strived to be a home away from home – that allows children to be cared for in an environment that has small groups and high child to teacher ratios. We believe this is essential for infant, toddler and young children to learn, grow and develop in a way that supports their natural interests alongside peaceful and harmonious surroundings.

Our opening hours are 7.30am to 6pm Monday to Friday, we are closed on public holidays and over the Christmas and New Year period – a time for all families to spend together.

We support whānau by offering competitive rates, flexible hours and meals alongside other added extras that only a small, privately run education facility can offer.

We have always seen ourselves as before our time – sometimes tongue in cheek – as we have had a reputation over the years for being a bit old fashioned – for example in the early 2000’s we were among the last centres to move to disposable nappies from cloth, and now all these years later we have returned full circle back to reusable!!

Our environment isn’t new, flashy or shiny – and from some aspects it may come across as old, untidy and worn out, but all that is intentional and comes from many years of knowledge which is steeped in research about what the child really needs to thrive.

You see, in a world where you can buy anything you like online, use then throw away only to buy another, we have always had the opposite way of thinking. It wasn’t even called sustainable practice back in the day – it was just a way of making sure that we weren’t being wasteful, and stretching the dollar further.

We have plastic planks that were bought around 20 years ago – still going strong. As toys or resources break, we don’t just throw them away, we try to fix it first, or repurpose it if not. Hence our much loved trolley has been fixed numerous times, but is still one of the most used items we have.

We have always looked for items we can reuse or recycle – paper from businesses, natural resources, handmade, second hand etc – as resources for us to use. We believe that children don’t need to play with the latest shiniest toys – open ended resources such as carpet pieces, pipes, logs, shells, driftwood, rope, buckets have been offered to us over the years from our community and whānau and these are the best toys we can offer our tamariki, as they support development of critical thinking, problem solving, peer interaction and language. This is what we’ve always been about here, so we guess you can say we are back in fashion!!

Our team is long standing, with some staff being here for 10-20 or even 35 years. We are a close knit community that expresses ongoing care and support for our whānau – some of whom we still see from time to time as they visit on community evenings, pop in for a visit and catch up – or even, having grown into adults themselves – returning to Kinderen with their own tamariki. You see, Kinderen is a place where you don’t ever, really, leave – and especially, don’t forget!

We believe in supporting children to become the best little people they can be – whatever that looks like for them – and gaining the foundational skills to live, learn and grow as individuals throughout their life. Come and take a look around – we are sure you’re going to like it here!!

“Research increasingly acknowledged, the best toys
are the old ones – sticks, blocks, dolls, sand and nature”