Unitec Early Learning Centre

Our Tamariki

Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers 


Tui iti and Pukeko Iti (Little Tui/Pukeko) are our Whare for infants from 3 months of age. Our focus is building a strong relationship between the tamaiti (child) and their primary carer, to ensure their emotional well-being is prioritised. The primary carer works to build a secure attachment through playful, caring and gentle interactions, especially during care routines (feeds, sleeps and nappy changes).

The role of the primary carer is to work closely with the whanau (family) to ensure a supportive settling process, and that care routines from home are followed. We value this partnership to ensure that that needs of the tamaiti and their whanau are prioritised.


Our play based curriculum is designed to meet the needs and special characteristics of toddlers. We focus on providing a calm, respectful and nurturing environment for toddlers to explore their developing self-discovery and independence – with much joy and laughter peppered over the day.  You and your tamaiti (child) will have a settling Kaiako (teacher) to support you as you gain familiarity with our environment, build new relationships, and discover how things happen here. We enjoy close, respectful relationships with whanau and encourage open sharing of information in our partnership with you. 

We value and model respectful and positive guidance in response to the ups and downs of typical toddler behaviours, that can be present one moment and gone in the next.  We recognise toddlers require flexibility to grow and regress as their sense of self evolves and support this by allowing them to be both BIG and little as they gain confidence in themselves and discover their independence.  


Our holistic approach promotes continuity of learning from our service to schools. The curriculum integrates the language and culture of all tamariki (children) to foster a strong sense of identity. Innovative teaching links unfamiliar learning to something familiar and includes the voice of tamariki. 

Confident learners are supported by positive responses to interests, strengths, capabilities and dispositions such as; persisting with difficulty, being curious, taking responsibility, developing trust, playing fair, asking for help, sharing knowledge, risk taking, confidence, problem solving, openness and thinking skills.
Co-construction techniques underpin our practices with akonga (learners) to support:

  • literacy, mathematical and scientific concepts and skills in meaningful and authentic contexts alongside guided group times and tasks.

  • their Working Theories, Learning Dispositions and Mana.