BestStart Blog

“There are so many families out there that are struggling to make ends met that we at First Steps Wattle Downs want to help.

First Steps Wattle Downs are introducing our “One CAN” initiative.  We all have those cans in our cupboard that just sit there and are never used. Instead of letting them go to waste – donate them to our centre.  We have a goal to collect as much non-perishable foods and donate them to families in need the week before Christmas.  Either drop them to us at the centre or give us a call or an email and I will come and collect. Thank you for your support.

Lei Connal – Manager of FS Wattle Downs.

Baking at TopKids Waihi Road

The children at Topkids Waihi Road have been busy baking for afternoon tea. The children are learning about measurements, science skills and turn taking. During this experience children are communicating with one another and are having fun while learning. The finished product also tasted really yummy

Matariki Celebrations at ABC Rototuna

To celebrate Matariki at  ABC Rototuna, we had soup, chicken and pumpkins, and some delicious fried bread. all our families gathered and enjoyed warm soup and fried bread and catching up with friends. After we filled our puku, the tamariki were ready to showcase a few waiata we had practiced. We did tirama tirama, e rere taku poi, and the boys did us proud with our centre Haka.

Matariki at Community Kindy St Leonards

At Community Kindy St Leonards we started celebrating Matariki with a puppet show from Animated Soundz. We invited our friends from ABC Hastings Central to join us in our celebration. We learnt all about the seven stars and what it means to celebrate Matariki. It was an awesome afternoon, the children, teachers and extended whanau all got to participate in the show with lots of singing and dancing. Everybody had a great time.


ABC Pukekohe meets some Animals

On the 29th May, the Little Boo Peep Mobile Farm came and visited us at ABC Pukekohe. There were a huge variety of animals for the children to enjoy, including llamas, alpacas, a pony, a goat, a piglet, rabbits and a baby calf.

All of our children had the opportunity to feed some pellets to the animals and some children were lucky enough to get a pony ride. The children enjoyed having hands on experience with the animals.

Thank you to all the parents that came and helped out, it was a very exciting and enjoyable day for everyone.
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Go Emirates Team New Zealand!

ABC Rangiora celebrated the success of Emirates Team New Zealand so Far in the Americas Cup by wearing red and black. 

Emma and Jack who are enrolled at ABC Rangiora, Uncle Joe is one of the crew members of the boat and we sent a photo to the team wishing them all the best for the Big Race coming up.

We were delighted to share in this proud family moment!

 Go Team New Zealand

Go Emirates Team New Zealand!

First Steps Papatoetoe Celebrate!

First Steps Papatoetoe celebrated BestStart’s 21st Birthday at our amazing centre. We’re helping celebrate 21 years of love and learning that has been such a part of BestStart over the past 21 years. 

We had an exciting morning full of fun games and activities. We also cut the cake and sang the ‘Happy Birthday’ song. Our parents and whanau also joined us in the celebration

We planted a flax plant (New Zealand Harakeke) that was gifted by BestStart during the Leadership conference to mark this auspicious day. 


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First Steps Waiuku’s 10th Birthday Celebration

First Steps Waiuku Preschool had their 10 year birthday celebration on the 26th of May. It was a fun filled afternoon with past, present and future families. Everyone had so much fun celebrating this amazing milestone!

As part of our celebration, we had a bouncy castle, our very own disco with a DJ, sausage sizzle, face painting, ice-creams and  so much more! Everyone had such a blast – it was the perfect way to spend time with our children and their families all together at one time.

To celebrate 10 years is such a great achievement for the team. To watch children grow and thrive within our Preschool environment over the 10 years we have been open, it is such an empowering time for the team and children, knowing we have made a difference in so many children’s lives.


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Early Years Redwood visit Horouta Marae

Last week Early Years Redwood‘s Pre School room visited Horouta Marae in Porirua. The tamariki and teaching team put a huge amount of time and effort into the preparation of this trip; including learning new waiata (in both Te reo and New Zealand Sign language), learning about the powhiri process and many rehearsals to prepare us for the day.

On the day we had lots of awhi from our whānau who joined us on the trip. This gave us a sence of whanuantanga  and kotahitanga, we all worked togther which resulted in a sucessful trip.

When we arrived at the marae we gathered at the waharoa, ready to be called on by te kaikaranga tangata whenua and in response, our teacher Anne was the kaikaranga who led us onto the marae and up to the wharenui.  During the powhiri we were honoured to be supported by one of our grandparents, who  represented us as our whaikorero. The tamariki blew us all away with their interest and of course their beautiful singing. To end the formal part of the process we moved to the wharekai to share morning tea with ngā tangata whenua. We then listened to Māori legends read by Jess and did some drawing in the wharenui.

Before we knew it it was time to head back to Pre School, although many of the tamariki didn’t want to leave.  In the afternoon we spent time reflecting on the experience and had ngā atua Maori  face painting session, this provoked many discussions about the trip including the beautiful art work around the marae.


First Steps Papatoetoe Visits the Marae

We were really privileged to visit the local Marae at Papatoetoe High school. The children explored Maori culture and customs and were part of the powhiri. Our children enjoyed the songs and dances as well the Haka performed by the students of Papatoetoe High school. After the formal ceremony , we all were treated to a fine fine morning tea. A big thank you to the students and teachers of Papatoetoe High School.



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