At KiwiKidz in the development of a programme that best meets the needs of infants and toddlers, we embrace the respectful approach of the Pikler Philosophy. The Pikler philosophy creates a quality environment where children are cared for using a framework of:
Basic Trust—Letting children be the initiator
Freedom—To explore their environment and interact with others
Consistency—Of limits and expectations
In the tots space it is staff policy to go slow and pay full attention to what each child is doing. Through close observation, teachers can give responsive ‘educare’ that’s sensitive to each individual child.
Trust is built between our staff and children through unhurried daily interactions that allow them to observe and understand each individual child as they grow. Our belief is that infants and toddlers are capable independent thinking explorers, who can reach goals with the respect and support of adults.
EDUCATION REVIEW OFFICE: “Infants and toddlers learn and play in a separate secure environment that caters for their learning and development needs. Highly responsive caregiving supports children’s need for strong and secure attachments. Children benefit from teachers who maintain a calm, slow respectful pace in which younger children have time to lead their learning.”
Education and care go hand-in-hand, and by being focused on individual children during routine and play times, teachers are in tune with children and never assume they know best.
For infants and toddlers, routines and caregiving time make up a large part of their day. Each of these times is an opportunity for Responsive, Reciprocal, Respectful learning.
Mealtimes are a particular focus for the centre, in the aim of proving a meaningful experience for children.
The children have their meals around a low round table and are seated on small wooden stools that enable children to rest their feet firmly on the floor. This helps with balance and posture and also keeps children safe. The circular table allows for great interaction and conversation between teachers and children.
At mealtimes children sing a small thank-you song with the guitar or ukelele and even the youngest babies anticipate this with great delight. As part of respecting children’s developing competence, the Pikler philosophy encourages the use of china bowls, stainless steel cutlery and glasses for drinking at mealtimes.
The KiwiKidz team saw the value in offering children this choice and knew the pleasure in eating and drinking from a utensil that is not plastic.
At KiwiKidz At the Beach infants and toddlers are able to enjoy beautiful open spaces outside that incorporate native planting and textures to explore, grass, decks, sand and water play as well as restful spaces to relax.
All infants starting in the tots space are given a primary caregiver who provides one on one time and is involved in their care and routines, and connects directly with parents on a daily basis.