Ruahine Kindergartens

About Us

Since its inception, as the Palmerston North Free Kindergarten Association in 1949, Ruahine Kindergartens has been a leading provider of quality early childhood education. Over 60 years experience means we know what works, yet we are by no means set in our ways.  In 2016, we opened our first Early Learning Centre, as well as launching our Home-Based service to meet the changing needs of our families.

The Ruahine Kindergarten Association is not-for-profit and governed by a Board, which is elected by our community. Responsibility for the day-to-day management of our Association lies with the CEO and central office team.

Each kindergarten is led by a Head Teacher, supported by a team of 100% fully qualified and registered teachers, an administrator and Teacher Aide.

Our Early Learning Centres are led by a 100% fully qualified and registered Centre Manager with a team of which at least 80% are fully qualified and registered teachers, as well as some in-training and unqualified teachers.  

All of our services are subject to three or four-yearly Education Review Office (ERO) reviews. Our Teachers engage in continuous professional development to ensure your child has access to the most up-to-date educational experience and the opportunity to develop life-long values of wellbeing, belonging, contribution, communication and exploration.

Relationships are at the heart of our Association. We welcome community support and recognise it’s our volunteers who contribute to our success. This can be from parent help both in and outside our services, sharing personal experiences or knowledge with the children, supporting fundraisers, participating in parent forums, to serving on a committee or the RKA Board.

What our Whanau say about us

"Kindergarten is where our child gets their first glimpse of independence away from family members, where they learn to trust others, develop friendships and where they learn, experience and grow."

"A caring, curious, and secure environment."

"Kindergarten is great preparation for school, a place for creativity and imagination, with super teachers and great community."

"This is the home away from home for our child.  She needs and thrives on the social interactions and learning that she receives here.

"The support in everyday learning and exploration has been invaluable as well as the strong feeling of belonging."

Ruahine Home-Based:

"Ruahine Home-Based has been amazing to myself and my boys during my husbands deployment over the past 6 months. They’re always asking if I need a hand with anything and checking in with how we’re doing. They go above and beyond with helping me, especially since I don’t have family support here. I highly recommend Ruahine Home-Based for Defence Force families as it’s tailored to suit our needs and it’s just so personal. The bond we have with our Educator is amazing and I never imagined that our pre-school experience would be this fantastic."

 "It’s been amazing to have someone that our son can be close with while his daddy is deployed overseas. Our Educator has been so mindful and proactive helping him transition through the unsettled phase after his daddy left, and to support me through it too - not just with kindness and cups of tea, but flexibility and understanding. He has a bond with her now that provides him with stability and love. She does regular artworks with him to send to daddy which are gratefully received. I couldn’t ask for more. She is part of our family. His daddy also appreciates the care taken in the Educa learning stories that means he still gets to be a part of our sons day - not just from her, but also from Visiting Teachers. We are so thankful to be a part of the Ruahine Home-Based whanau."

"When we were faced with needing to choose childcare for our daughter at six months old we can honestly say we would never have considered in home care as an option.  The perception we had was that it was basically a babysitting service (how wrong we were!).  A friend of ours convinced us to investigate further and wow we are so pleased we did.   Ruahine Home-Based provides a very professional education service to families;  you can tell that in the background it is operated like a very well-oiled machine, and in the forefront they offer a warm and welcoming service.  Both of which have given us the confidence to choose them as our childcare providers. Their educators are kind and supportive of the children in their care and their families. Our daughter really enjoys their regular outings and time spent with the other children in Ruahine Home-Based care and is always so excited to go each day.  We love that she has a nice balance of interaction with the real world, other children/adults and activities whilst still being given the individual attention she needs to learn and develop. There are always doors open for any queries or feedback and we are regularly provided with updates on our daughters development. We don’t hesitate in recommending Ruahine Home-Based to anyone wanting the best possible childcare away from home."

I cannot speak highly enough about the amazing experiences, care and love my daughter received at Ruahine Home-Based.  Her educator was the most kind and wonderful woman who soon became a treasured part of our lives.  It was evident from the beginning how much she valued each of the children in her care and how much she loved her job.

Ruahine Home-Based offered the best of both worlds: fantastic learning experiences, frequent outings and wonderful one on one time in a safe and loving environment.  It really was a home away from home.  

 A huge thank you to the wonderful team at Ruahine Home-Based!