Parents & Whānau - Northland Kindergarten Association
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If you would like to enrol your child at one of our kindergartens or put your child’s name on the waiting list please contact the kindergarten directly.



TERM 1  2020
21 January to 9 April 2020
28 April  to 3 July 2020
20 July to 25 September 2020
12 October to 18 December 2020


TERM 1  2021
19 January to 16 April 2021
3 May  to 9 July 2021
26 July to 1 October 2021
18 October to 17 December 2021

Why Kindergarten?

3 reasons why you should “Consider Kindergarten” as your first choice for quality, affordable Early Childhood Education

Highest Quality

The Northland Kindergarten Association (NKA) has 25 Kindergartens throughout Northland.  Every teacher we employ is a fully registered and trained ECE teaching professional.  The Teachers are supported by a full time Professional Practice Team to ensure they maintain the highest standards of practice and provide the most up to date learning opportunities for all children.  The NKA was the first ECE organisations in NZ to have some of their centres receive the highest level classifications available from ERO in 2013.  The NKA also employees permanent Speech and Language Therapists and a Pou Whakarewa Tikanga Māori to support our Bi-cultural programs.   The NKA is recognised as the leader and innovator in service and delivery of ECE in Northland.

Fees Free

Our kindergartens all offer 30 hours free ECE and provide the highest quality education for your children.

Communities Focused

The NKA is a community based organisation which re-invests all monies back into the kindergarten association and its kindergartens.  Each of our 25 Kindergartens is an individual reflection of the community in which it is situated.  We value input and suggestions from our Kindergarten communities and adapt our philosophies and environments to suit the needs and aspirations of the children attending.  We welcome parent and whānau help in the kindergartens but it is not a requirement. Children as young as 2 can commence their kindergarten experience.


Contact your local Kindergarten or the NKA Office to find out about the services we provide and the hours which may suit your needs.  All information and details can be found on or check out our NKA facebook page.


NKA employs speech and language therapists that are available to work with all children that attend NKA Kindergartens that may require additional support in regards to their speech and language. If you have any concerns regarding this please speak with your kindergarten teachers and they will support you in making a request for an assessment for your child. This is a simple process that may make a huge positive impact on your child. Parent’s and Whānau are fully involved and informed throughout their child’s involvement with the Speech Language Therapist

Frequently Asked Questions

What age will my child start kindergarten?

Starting age varies between kindergartens. It also varies at the same kindergarten at different times as this is greatly affected by the number of children leaving the centre, such as to attend school. If kindergartens have no children leaving over a period of a month this in turn means that no new children can start. Generally though, children would usually start between 3 and 3½years of age, and on occasion, a bit older. Similarly, the move of children through to the morning session from the afternoon session is affected in the same way.

What are the session times?

These vary from kindergarten to kindergarten and a list of these can be found on the web site. All kindergartens have a license to operate and their license stipulates their start and finish times.

How much does it cost?

All NKA kindergartens provide 30 free ECE hours per week and will be aiming to have most of the kindergartens running for 48 weeks of the year from 2021.

Does my child have to be toilet trained?

It certainly is beneficial for children to be toilet trained before they start kindergarten, however no child would be excluded from kindergarten because of this. Toilet training children is usually seen as the responsibility of the parents and staff will support this by reminding children to use the toilet.

Do I have to stay at kindergarten with my child?

Children often need support from their parents/whanau when starting kindergarten but once they are settled parents are free to leave them by themselves if they wish. Some parents choose to stay at kindergarten and spend time interacting with their children and their children’s friends. Parents are welcome at any time to stay.

What do children learn at kindergarten?

One of the important things that children learn at kindergarten is to socialise with other children. Through a kindergarten experience they learn about relationships, they experience opportunities to share with others, negotiate their way through differences, to be away from parents/whanau, and they learn how to relate to other adults. Whilst at kindergarten children also have the opportunity to discover and learn about numbers, words, writing, colours, painting and so on. Children are not taught to read and write formally, however they gain an understanding and knowledge of these concepts and have opportunities to use paints, pens, crayons, books etc in all areas of their play. In fact, children have the opportunity to make many discoveries for themselves with trained teachers there to guide and support the children’s interests and their learning.

What happens at morning/afternoon kai times or lunch times?

This all depends on the sessions that your kindergarten operates and it would be best to discuss this with the staff at your particular centre.

My child spends all day in the sandpit, can you get him/her inside to do some activities?

At kindergarten children get to choose the area in which they play. Spending time in the sandpit is extremely valuable to children – they are learning about co-operative play and listening to others, the properties of sand and water, they are theorising, planning and designing. The programme provided by the teaching staff is based on a child centered approach and is developed to meet the principles, strands and goals of Te Whāriki, the national early childhood curriculum. Staff are trained and skilled in providing experiences and opportunities that are appropriate for the children.

My child has lost clothes, where do I find them?

Kindergartens will have a lost property box in which collected items are usually put at the end of the session or day. However, sometimes clothing is hidden amongst the dress up clothes, under the bed or buried in the sandpit! Please remember to name all of the clothes, shoes and other personal items that your child brings to Kindergarten, this will increase the chance of the items returning to the right children.

Tikanga & Te Reo Māori

E koekoe te tūī, e ketekete te kākā, e kūkū te kererū

The tūī, the kākā (parrot) and the kererū (wood pigeon) are referenced in this whakatauki in terms of their speech – the tūī chatters, the parrot gabbles, the wood pigeon coos. The popular meaning is, “it takes all kinds of people”, and that reflects our organisation and what each of us brings to the learning that each Kindergarten will provide your tamariki.


Northland Kindergarten Association is working towards embracing Tikanga and Te Reo Māori and recognising that Te Reo Māori is a taonga (treasure).  Some of these strategies include:


  • Ongoing Professional development for Tikanga and Te Reo Māori available to all Kindergarten teachers and staff of the Association.
  • Tikanga me Te Reo Māori Language Planning strategies for each individual Kindergarten.
  • Pou Whakarewa Tikanga Māori / Māori Advisor who works alongside each Kindergarten.
Ko te reo te mauri o te mana Māori
The language is the life essence of Māori mana

In 1987 Māori language became official in this country.  The quotes below provide some of the rationale for its recognition.  At a kaumatua hui organised by the Department of Māori Affairs in 1979, Sir James Henare said “Ko te reo te mauri o te mana Māori” (the language is the life essence of Māori mana). Language is the life essence and sustenance of a culture.  It provides the tentacles that can enable a child to link up with everything in his or her world. It is one of the most important forms of empowerment that a child can have.  Language is not only a form of communication but it helps transmit the values and beliefs of a people” (Pere, 1995, p. 9).


For tamariki to acquire the ability to communicate through language, they need to be guided by those closest to them (Drewery & Bird, 2007, p. 167).  Therefore in the early childhood environment it is crucial for staff to build positive relationships with tamariki and their whānau/families.  Vygotsky also emphasized the importance of these relationships in supporting and enhancing children’s development (Claiborne & Drewery, 2010, p. 18).  Conversely, the way we communicate with each other is one of the most important aspects of development that link people together.


Every contribution that we make, no matter the size, makes an important contribution to the growth and development of our language.

Me mau koe ki te tikanga Māori
Hold fast to the traditions of our Māori culture

For additional information:



If you would like to enrol your child at one of our kindergartens or put your child’s name on the waiting list please contact the kindergarten directly.


“E koekoe te tūī,
e ketekete te kākā,
e kūkū te kererū”