Kia ora another busy year at Onewhero Early Childhood centre and before we know, it has come to an end. Our dedicated team of professionals are active and busy with our roll of 56 children, supporting their lifelong learning journey. There have been a variety of activities and visitors that complement our programme, providing additional opportunities to make connections with our wider community.
As always time is spent welcoming new families, settling children, making connections and building relationships as we enjoyed our expansive outdoor area.
During the first few weeks the programme was started with a focus on healthy choices and this was supported with a Fresh Fun Fruity Day where the children enjoyed a wide range of physical activities which was followed with a feast of fresh fruit.
In March we participated in the National Children’s Day which was held in Tuakau. Here we were able to promote our unique community based centre by providing information and some fun activities for many children and families.
The mischievous leprechaun came to visit and made merry and mischief on St Patrick's Day.
The term one social brought the Easter Bunny to visit, a fun social night with games, music and food, not to mention a yummy Easter egg hunt.
Term Two brought a trip to the Rec Centre in Pukekohe where our tamariki and whanau experienced a variety of activities such as; the big blow up slide, balls and balancing. We enjoyed the support from many families and siblings.
Throughout the year our Transition Group programme supported our older children’s transition to various local schools. We attended a morning at Tuakau Play Centre where we enjoyed different playground equipment and revisiting familiar friends and creating new ones.
Mike Carter regularly came and played music with the children providing an array of different instruments for the children to explore and a variety of music and dance.
Our Healthy sandwich and smoothie weeks give the children the opportunity to create their own sandwiches while experiencing new tastes and combinations.
Sue and Ambie the ambulance from “St John in Schools” came along to visit which, encouraged the children to be familiar with emergency services, who we might need at certain times and how we can keep ourselves safe. This had such a positive response that we invited them back to see us in term three and this time they brought Mac another ambulance officer.
Term two started with the launch of our new “Little Sweeties” recipe book which has been a huge success. This event was combined with a special morning tea where we had Grandparents and other special family friends.
Matariki celebrations were also a focus for us, with visits from the Onewhero Area School Kapa Haka Group, we thoroughly enjoyed the performance. This was followed by making yummy soup with fresh vegetables for our social evening which was celebrated with friendship, food and games.
Our family social had an animal theme where we saw many children dress up in a variety of animal costumes. The evening was enjoyed by all and once again a yummy feast was on offer.
We fare welled two of our long time staff members Mary Hyland in term two and Sally Te Kani in term three, and we wish them well in their future endeavours.
Term four brought much excitement as we prepared for our Annual Spring fair which is our major fundraiser. This was an awesome day with the highlights being the presenters from Sticky TV and a display from the Police Dog handlers. We really appreciate the support from our local community as well as the wider community with this event.
The children have a great interest in animals at present so a trip to Hamilton Zoo will be happening towards the end of November. Then it will be time to prepare for Christmas and our end of year party with Santa as our special guest who will help us celebrate. These events will all be said and done when this magazine goes to print.
All of us at OECC wish you all a safe and Merry Christmas, hoping you have a relaxing break and look forward to seeing you all again in the New Year
Ka kite ano from all the team at OECC