Celebrating 15 years old of early childhood

The Magesan family planting at the Tiaki Early Learning Centre as part of the celebrations. Photo: Supplied.

Tiaki Early Learning Centre, a leading institution in early childhood education, is celebrating 15 years of dedicated service to the Rotorua community.

As part of the celebrations, native trees and shrubs are being planted, symbolizing the centre's commitment to nurturing young minds and the environment. A community vegetable garden has also been set up. The word Tiaki in Māori means to 'care, protect and look after, to be a guardian'.

An Open Day held on Saturday provided an opportunity for families and the community to explore the centre’s facilities, meet the dedicated teachers, and learn more about its innovative educational programs.

For a decade and a half, Tiaki Early Learning Centre has been a cornerstone of early childhood education in Rotorua. The centre has been providing a safe, nurturing, and stimulating environment where children can grow, learn, and thrive.

The Open Day drew an enthusiastic crowd, with parents and children alike participating in interactive demonstrations and engaging activities such as tree planting. That aligns perfectly with the Centre’s philosophy: To walk softly on the earth, to live consciously and respectfully with themselves and others and to journey comfortably in a bicultural New Zealand.

The first native plant was planted by Liam Cipollone of Kiwibank, marking the native tree planting ceremony. Photo: Supplied.

“It was good to see new people from the local community, past and present families, and the bank officials joining us in this momentous event,” says Tiaki ELC's Dr Guna Magesan.

“This celebration was a testament to our ongoing dedication to providing quality early childhood education while fostering an eco-conscious generation.

"The planting of native trees and shrubs took place on our beautiful grounds, creating a legacy for generations to come."

The first native plant was planted by Liam Cipollone of Kiwibank, marking the native tree planting ceremony. Each family whose child is currently studying or was part of the Tiaki ELC, was given a native plant and as a family they planted it to make it “Whanau tree”.

The newly planted community vegetable garden. Photo: Supplied.

“Our mission has always been to instil in our children a sense of responsibility and stewardship towards our environment, and this event underscores that commitment,” says Tiaki ELC Centre Manager Uma Joys.

The Open Day event also featured interactive educational workshops, engaging storytelling sessions, and artistic activities that emphasized the importance of trees, biodiversity, and conservation.

Light refreshments and snacks were provided to all attendees. A specially made cake for the occasion was the highlight celebrating the successful 15 years of dedication.

Tiaki Early Learning Centre is located at 25B Umukaria Road, Hinemoa Point, Owhata, Rotorua.

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