Who is BestStart?

Who is BestStart?In 1996 we opened our first childcare centre in Tauranga, employing four staff. Today, BestStart has grown into one of New Zealand’s largest providers of early childhood education. We are a New Zealand owned company with nurseries, preschools, kindergarten (kindy), Montessori and home-based childcare services nationwide. We also offer after school and OSCAR programmes.

BestStart is the umbrella organisation for over 250 childcare centres, operating under 7 main brands from Kaitaia to Invercargill. What all our centres have in common is our nurturing attitude and commitment to ensuring each child is cared for and supported in a warm, friendly and positive environment. All our centres have excellent staff to child ratios, trained, qualified and caring teachers, quality equipment and toys and a safe and attractive learning environment. Click here to find a centre near you!

“We consider it a privilege to have a role in the lives of the children entrusted to us. We undertake to provide the best environment in which your child can grow and develop.”
Fiona Hughes, Deputy CEO 

BestStart Fact Sheet

  • We are licensed to educate and care for a maximum of 15,000 full time children daily – 18,000 families use BestStart services annually.
  • We have 183 centres in the North Island and 60 in the South Island. Our centres are based in large cities and small provincial towns, and are located from Kaitaia to Invercargill.
  • We run teacher:child ratios of 1:4 for under 2’s, and 1:8 for over 2’s. Many centres have additional staffing to meet specific needs and allow ample time for teachers to prepare for lessons and develop children’s individual portfolios. MOE regulations are 1:5 and 1:10 respectively.
  • Each centre is managed by a Centre Manager who reports to an Area or Business Manager.
  • Te Whāriki, the national Early Childhood Education curriculum, is used in all centres.
  • We have over 1,700 permanent teachers nationally. In addition we have a pool of approximately 200 casual (temporary) staff.
  • Over 90% of our permanent teaching staff are either fully qualified with a Diploma or Bachelor of Teaching (ECE), or higher, or are in training. These figures are very high by national standards within the ECE sector.
  • In addition, we provide a two year Advice and Guidance Programme for all recently graduated teachers so that mentoring and further training is provided post graduation; this supports teachers from provisional registration to full teacher registration with the NZ Teachers Council.
  • We have invested over $60million in the ECE sector.

Our Vision and Values

“It takes a village to raise a child, and a quality child care centre is a wonderful part of a child’s village.”
Fiona Hughes, Deputy CEO

Our Vision

Our VisionOur vision is to work in partnership with teachers and parents to enable children to achieve their learning potential. That is how we make a positive difference in the lives of children. Our goal is to provide each child with a positive supportive and emotionally safe environment. The care and education of the children entrusted to us is paramount.

Our success and the long term business sustainability depends entirely on achievement and commitment to our vision and how we support people in bringing this to life in daily education and care practice.

Our Values

Our values underpin how we build relationships with each other, our children, parents and all our stakeholders.

Commitment – Quality education and care for every child
Respect – For children, families, colleagues and facilities
Enthusiasm – For the vital role every person plays to build a strong professional service
Diversity – Valuing differences amongst centres, within communities and between individuals
Integrity – In the way we value children, learning and accountability
Trust – Honest, open communications and actions