Welcome to
The Cottage Kindergarten
Te Pahi Whare Kohungahunga
Nestled in the Waimauku | Muriwai Countryside

A home away from home for play and learning

Where Your Place Meets Our Place

Purposeful Play in Nature

Committed to The Outdoors

Birdsong, barefeet, fresh air, views of grass & trees...a space which will enable children to learn within an environment that develops knowledge and respect for our planet, and the people who share it with us.

A deep connection to outdoors is central to our philosophy.

We mindfully manage all forms of waste and resources. As part of the Enviroschool network we share their aim: 

'To foster a generation of people who instinctively think & act sustainably'.


Knowledgeable Nurturing

Partnership Approach
Learning & Living Together

We empower our teachers to teach with heart, head and gentle hands (Thanks to The Heart School for these beautiful words). To go beyond the known, and search deeply for the secrets within individual children's play that unlocks the key to their unique learning.

Children learn when they are truly seen and are deeply heard. This requires an environment that is calm and unhurried, to be 'unbusy' and be present.

Each of our children have a dedicated teacher who has their own special connection, guiding children's unique journey to being a life-long learner & works in partnership with family & whanau.

Qualified & experienced teachers, a child teacher ratio of 1:7 (government allows 1:10) and a maximum of 34 children


A place to be seen, be heard,
be loved & belong

A place where children have a strong sense of belonging whanaungatanga, knowing that what they think matters and they are loved and cared for in an environment designed for living and learning and play.

At The Cottage we believe learning is authentic, engaging and joyful, so that children may fulfil their greatest potential physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, culturally & spiritually.

From the buckets, sponges & funnels to the pieces of fabric, frying pans & plant pots to ceramic jugs & plates for morning tea to the 'precious things' cabinet - a lot of thought has gone into how to support children as capable & competent learners.

Sara Stewart

Call Sara Now

Click to call on your mobile

Drop in

Our door is open from 8am - 4.30pm. Only 2 minutes drive from Waimauku off SH16.

181 Taha Road

RD 1


Auckland 0881




Sara Stewart

Call Sara Now

Click a button call on your mobile

Drop in

Our door is open from 8am - 4.30pm. Only 2 minutes drive from Waimauku off SH16.

181 Taha Road

RD 1


Auckland 0881


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Respect, Kindness & Joy
Why we chose The Cottage for our precious little people

Feeling of space - natural/organic. Sara and the staff are warm and our values fit.
Mo Tomlinson Mum of Mala - attended the Cottage from age 2
He mihi nui aroha ki a koe e hoa. Ko Koe te Rangatira a roto a waho nga mihi mo tou awhi mai ki a Rakaunui me aku whanau. Kai pai tou hararei nga mihi mo te Tau Hou. Arohanui...
Thank you for being a wonderful community and extended family... they have grown and become confident thanks to the love and support from everyone at The Cottage.

ERO (Education Review Office) found...
"The Cottage is Very Well Placed to Promote Positive Learning Outcomes for Children"

The Cottage Children...

...are happy, engaged and highly independent

...are also confident, responsive and articulate learners

...in this focused and calm setting use literacy, art and science for real purposes

... lead their own learning and have many opportunities for exploration and imagination

...are friendly and caring towards their peers, and often work cooperatively

The Cottage Parents...

...are encouraged to be partners in their children’s learning

...discuss and contribute to learning stories and portfolio

The Cottage Teachers...

...provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for children and their families. Of particular note is the responsive and caring way that children with additional needs are supported

...skilfully engage children in play that prompts them to collaborate and investigate ideas

...prioritise strategies that will enable children to become independent, capable learners who work well with others and actively explore their environment

...work as a collaborative team and have developed very good relationships with parents and whānau

...believe that the learning environment plays a teaching role and they are very committed to bicultural practices

...constantly interact with children and use open questions well to facilitate reciprocal conversations and challenge children's thinking. Adults’ respectful conversations acknowledge children's competence and empower them to make their own decisions.

The Cottage...

...has built a culture of professionalism, collaboration and internal evaluation. There is a continuous focus on ongoing improvement and positive outcomes for children

ERO's moto:

Ko te Tamaiti te Pūtake o te Kaupapa
The Child – the Heart of the Matter

Right from the start children are supported to care for their own things...

...yes, sometimes they need a little help...

and in trying first for themselves they get to experience independence, their capability and feel safe that help is available when needed

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Photography by Chris Brittenden | Website by UpSurge