BestStart Abacus

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Sessions for 3 - 5 year olds
*Conditions apply

ERO has rated First Steps Abacus in the top 7% of NZ childcare centres providing positive learning outcomes for children

BestStart Abacus (formally First Steps Abacus) is an established childcare centre situated on a large corner plot, a short drive from the Taupo CBD. We provide education and care for children from 3 months to school entry. As we are licensed for only 37 children, we offer a home-like, welcoming and relaxed family environment.

We are proud of our spacious and inviting outdoor playground with established trees which provide lots of natural shade. Outside offers a variety of areas for children to explore including the sandpit, nature garden, vegetable/fruit/herb garden and climbing fort with swings. We even have heaps of space left for ball games, running and bike riding!

Our experienced team of teachers are dedicated to creating a warm, friendly and fun environment where children and their whanau feel safe and at home. We are committed to providing a quality programme which includes a variety of learning experiences from which children are free to choose. Children at BestStart Abacus are encouraged and supported to learn through their play experiences, and we plan our programmes based on the children’s interests, skills and learning dispositions.

Our Be School Ready initiative weaves through our curriculum, engaging and encouraging children through their everyday play and routine experiences to develop the skills they will need when they start school. When children from BestStart Abacus start school they have a strong foundation on which to build their future learning journey. We value independence so it is important for us to empower and support children to achieve things for themselves. We encourage children to work together, learn alongside and from their peers and most importantly to enjoy being a child and have fun!

We respect children; their individual strengths and interests and their diverse cultural heritage and background. We understand that parents know their children best and we value partnership with parents/whanau and encourage them to contribute to our programme and share their aspirations for their child’s future learning and development. This provides our teaching team with valuable information with which to enrich our programme. We love getting out into the community to visit interesting people and places, including visiting primary school new entrant classes to support our 4 year olds with transition to school.

Abacus has an open door policy and we would love you to come and visit us for more information.

What can First Steps Abacus offer you and your family:

  • Morning, afternoon or full day sessions to suit your child and family circumstances
  • An interesting and stimulating programme that reflects children’s current interests and strengths
  • Nutritious morning tea and afternoon tea prepared on site each day
  • We have attained our Whanau (Silver)Healthy Heart Award.
  • We are developing relationships with our local marae, which include visits.
  • Experienced, friendly and knowledgeable staff
  • Portfolios for each child documenting their learning journey
  • Quality teacher ratios of 1:4 for under two’s and 1:8 for over two’s
  • Affordable rate, 20 ECE hours programme

Top ranked NZ childcare centre
ERO has rated First Steps Abacus in the top 7% of New Zealand childcare centres providing positive learning outcomes for children.

View our latest ERO report here…

Our Stories:

Visiting Taupo Museum

Matariki Dinner

Visiting Waipahihi Botanical Gardens

Preparing For Matariki

Visiting the tyre shop

Visiting the Pump Track

Receiving their Building Blocks Award

Visit from St John

Making Salt Dough Decorations

Blue Day

Celebrating new beginnings

Meeting Vinny’s guide dog Odie

Dog Safety with Marty and Sky

Matariki Pot Luck Dinner




We have been awarded the Whanau (Silver) Healthy Heart Award by the NZ Heart Foundation!
For more information on the Healthy Heart Programme, click here!

Click here to read about our Hula Hoop morning



We are excited to offer our families access to Storypark e-portfolios. They are a great way to keep up to date with what your child is doing while at the centre. You can log in to the secure platform wherever you are in the world to see what’s been happening in their day, check out photos of them and comment on their activities. Click here for more information about this fantastic resource. 



Parent Feedback: 

“My son joined Abacus at 9 months old and right from the word go we were made to feel welcome. Being new to Taupo we didn’t know anyone to ask about childcare, so we went to visit a few and First Steps Abacus was the one with the right feel, we were so happy to have been able to enrol there. Our boy is now almost 2 and absolutely loves his time at Abacus, he is absolutely thriving and all of the teachers really do a wonderful job. You can easily see they teach from the heart. I love picking him up and hearing about his day, each day is different and each day he grows and thrives”

“In a time of need I was knocking on doors looking for under two care and I visited First Steps Abacus. Lesley and the Abacus team welcomed us in and ensured I felt we had a place. Our place wasn’t full time to start with, I felt everything they could have done was done, the communication was excellent, and I really felt like I had a hand on the situation. My daughter Lilly settled into the Babes room without a glitch, three amazing full-time teachers and within a couple of weeks they felt like family. Everyone has such an interest in not just Lilly but my 4-year-old son as well. Throughout the year we have been so grateful for the care and education that Lilly has received, including teaching us baby sign language so she could better communicate with us in her nonverbal days. Lilly continued to grow and flourish, and every step of the way we were updated on her developments and asked for our input. Thus ensuring we knew exactly what Lilly was up to in the Koru Room. I also appreciated that they took interest and knew what she was up to in her home life. Lilly then became a two-year-old, her transition was smooth, again a flawless communication throughout the process. When Lilly started in the Fern Room after the holidays, I could see she was already so settled and happy talking about the new teachers she was getting to know. Only four weeks of being in the Fern Room I was once again talked to about Lilly’s planning. And to my delight she said that ‘Lilly is already singing, dancing, talking and making friends.” Showing Lilly is as confident and loud there as she is at home. Thanks, soo much for all the amazing work you do, not just for Lilly but all of the children in your care. Ka pai to mahi.”

“Mia has been with a few centres and in-home child care for a long time and at Abacus it is the happiest she has ever been!”

“Abacus has been amazing. My son is learning so many things every day and is so excited to tell me. I like to practice at home the things that are being taught at kindy. Thanks so much!” 

“To all the wonderful staff at Abacus, thank you so much for the amazing job you have done caring for Matthew over the past 4 years. Your positive influence and support has shaped Matthew into the confident social boy he is and has set him up for a great start to school”

“To the Abacus Team, Thanks for all your hard work throughout the years. It’s such a joy to be able to drop the kids at Daycare and in the mornings and know that they are in such good hands. You are all so supportive, caring, kind and understanding.”

“Our boys have been attending full-time at First Steps Abacus each from 6 months old beginning at ‘Babes’ then transitioning to ‘Big Kids’ at 2.  Right from the very beginning we felt welcomed and knew it was the right place for our family.  Both boys are loved and cared for by all their teachers and it continues to be a comfort knowing our boys are in what we believe to be the best care second to our own when they are dropped off in the morning. Both boys are happy, social and thriving in the environment provided and are encouraged to be themselves with the teachers recognising their individual learning styles, personality’s, strengths and weaknesses ensuring that they can support them as best they can in their learning and development.  We have found all teachers to be positive, approachable, friendly and easy to speak with.  We are updated regularly on what they have been up to with loads of feedback and communication and we love the stories put up on Storypark.  The range of activities, learning, excursions and play is varied and our boys have so much fun with their friends and teachers along with a strong emphasis on manners, hygiene (handwashing etc), being kind to others and using their words etc – exactly as they are at our home. Heartfelt thanks to Lesley and her amazing team.”