Preschool: 379 7590 - Littlies: 379 7699

Kia Ora, Hello, Talofa, Namaste, Nǐ Hǎo, Bonjour and a warm welcome to Carterton Preschool Littlies.

Carterton Preschool Littlies has been open since June 2013.

Littlies is for children aged 0-3 years, with the intention of transitioning on to Carterton Preschool.

Littlies hours are 7:45am to 5:00pm. If eligible, WINZ subsidies can be administered.

We provide an environment that promotes Respect and Freedom of Movement in a Primary Caregiving system. This ensures the emotional security of all children is nurtured.

We believe strongly that all children thrive in an environment where they feel secure, valued and respected. We have adapted Magda Gerber and Emmi Pikler’s philosophy, here at Littlies:

We not only respect babies, we demonstrate our respect every time we interact with them. Respecting a child means treating even the youngest infant as a unique human being, not as an object.

Magda Gerber, 1998

Research shows us that the first three years of life are a period of incredible growth in all areas of a baby’s development. Tamariki / children develop from being almost entirely dependent newborns to independent, communicating individuals who can dance, sing and tell stories. Early experiences provide the base for the brain’s organizational development and functioning throughout life and directly impact how tamariki develop; learning skills, social and emotional abilities. It is emphasized that infants and young tamariki need love and nurturing to develop a sense of trust and security which, over time turns into confidence. Infants and young tamariki grow, learn and develop rapidly when they receive; love, affection, attention, encouragement, mental stimulation, nutritious meals and good health care.

At Carterton Preschool Littlies our vision is to:

“Provide a nurturing environment where tamariki children feel secure, valued and respected so that they thrive. Respecting a tamaiti child means treating even the youngest infant as a unique human being”

We achieve this through our high teacher to child ratio, the professional growth of our teachers, our natural, peaceful, unhurried environment where tamariki have the time to engage in a wide range of rich learning experiences and with our Primary caregiving philosophy. By forming secure bonds with the tamariki, we ensure their needs are being met emotionally, physically and developmentally. We put trust in the competence of each tamaitice and know that tamariki are effective communicators in their own unique ways. We promote freedom of movement in an environment that is physically safe but cognitively and emotionally challenging. Tamariki are supported to become independent and adept at problem solving.

Although we provide separate infants and toddlers learning environments to meet the needs of each age group, we also enjoy time and learning moments together. These occasions give us valuable opportunities to provide experiences that extend upon children’s interests regardless of their age. These experiences of belonging help our children with the transition between groups, as they engage in tuakana/teina and build relationships with each other. Our toddlers relish opportunities for leadership and being able to teach the younger tamariki about our culture of kindness and respect.


Infants (Birth to approx. 18months)

  • The rhythm of a child’s day is set by their individual needs. Care moments are valued as meaningful learning experiences. Our Primary caregiving approach is instrumental in the child’s holistic well-being and development. Primary caregivers learn to read each child’s individual cues so that their needs are met in a sensitive and respectful manner.
  • Each tamaiti child is provided with a notebook for regular communication between home and Littlies. Parent’s input is valuable to the teaching team. The relationship between whānau and teachers is essential in facilitating the highest possible learning outcomes for all of the tamariki.
  • The infants have their own inside and outside areas which are set up with resources appropriate to their age and developmental needs.
  • Teachers work hard to create an engaging and stimulating environment by rotating resources and offering both familiar and new experiences that follow the children’s interests.
  • When there are opportunities, the teachers like to take the infants on small trips into the community.


Toddlers: (Approx. 18months to 3years)

  • Because there is such a wide variation of times that tamariki are booked into the centre, our day is focused on free play, with; routines, meal times, care moments and sleep woven in throughout to meet the needs of each individual tamaiti.
  • Although meal times are slightly more structured for this age group, they are still a “rolling mealtime” over a longer period to allow flexibility, promote tamariki to regulate their emotions and identify when they are hungry.
  • From about midday the tamariki are supported to sleep in accordance with their individual sleep needs. Those that don’t sleep are encouraged to engage in quiet activities such as reading stories and doing puzzles etc.
  • Teachers provide experiences throughout the day that extend upon the emerging interests of tamariki.


Other unique aspects to our programme:

Transition to Preschool Programme – We go on regular visits to Preschool to help establish a relationship with the teachers, tamariki and environment at Preschool. These are extremely effective and facilitate a real sense of belonging so that when tamariki do start at Preschool they already feel at home and have a smoother transition. We also engage in community events and social events together to further this relationship and sense of Preschool as Littlies wider whānau. These include; the annual Carterton Christmas parade, red heart day, holiday programme events, family picnic evenings and the Preschool/Littlies annual Christmas party.





Lisa Robinson - Carterton Preschool Littlies
Lisa Robinson, Littlies Teacher
Aimee Trezise – Teacher
Aimee Traill – Assistant Team Leader
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