Passionate about Early Childhood Education and Care

Sara Stewart

We are a small privately owned early childhood centre located in a peaceful rural setting in Waimauku. The Cottage Kindergarten is owned by Grant and Sara Stewart.

Sara is the manager and a teacher at The Cottage; she is dedicated to providing positive quality learning for children and teachers. Sara has a Diploma of Education, ECE, maintaining her certification as a registered practising early childhood teacher.

The Cottage Kindergarten offers high quality education and care to a maximum of 34 children per day from the ages of two years to six years old. We are a mixed aged centre so siblings are all together.

Our day starts at 8.00 and finishes at 4.30pm. Hours of attendance are flexible to suit children and their families, these include morning sessions, part day or full day options. Our sessions run continuously throughout the year, closing for a short period over Christmas and for public holidays.

Maximum of 34 Children

A High Quality Introduction to Lifelong Learning

1:7* Teacher/Child Ratio

We create an environment where children have time to express themselves. A place where children are excited to learn. Learning occurs in open ended opportunities for expression, being creative, forming friendships and having fun!

Individual children’s needs are met with genuine warmth, patience, kindness, understanding, intentional teaching and with heart. Teachers encourage children to make decisions for themselves and to express their own ideas. We encourage children to be resilient and to care for themselves, each other and the environment. To assist us in achieving high quality one to one teaching moments, we have a ratio of 1:7.

In February 2016 we became part of the EnviroSchools network to further our commitment to sustainability. Furthermore, our rural environment assists us in developing children’s knowledge and respect for our planet, and the people who share it with us.

From The Cottage, the children can see out to the paddocks and beyond. Walks around the generous property to visit the alpacas or sheep and to collect treasures, are frequently requested by the children.

EnviroSchools Mission:
To foster a generation of people who instinctively think and act sustainably.

Our Curriculum

"Creating places of encounter of increasing complexity using the environment, ideas, resources and people" The Heart School

Te Whāriki, the NZ early childhood curriculum, is the foundation on which our teaching and learning philosophy is based. Te Whāriki emphasises reciprocal relationships between teachers, children and whanau and views children as capable, competent learners.

We see our environment as a teacher in her own right; therefore it is curated to enrich learning opportunities across all areas of the curriculum, wellbeing, belonging, contribution, communication and exploration, literacy, arts, numeracy, science and more.

21st centrury learners are problem-solvers. We aim to foster the natural curiosity and wonder of children and their ability to question and formulate solutions.

Each child has a dedicated teacher who has their own special connection, guiding children’s unique journey to being a life-long learner.

Your child will have their own portfolio that will fill with stories of play, learning, fun and friendship. This is a record of your child’s continually developing knowledge, abilities and learning, alongside thoughtful planning and observation. We love seeing stories form home and beyond, so feel free to enrich your child’s portfolio with photos and experiences outside of The Cottage.

Belonging to Kahui Ako o Kaipara gives us the opportunity to have conversations across the wider education sector. This allows us to give a voice to young learners.

This is an opportunity to share our unique knowledge of early childhood learning, with the wider education sector about children’s cognitive development from ages zero to seven. Bringing greater understanding of the preparation for beginning primary school and primary school readiness for young learners.

Participating in the Ministry of Education's Community of Learning initiative ensures we are reciprocating continuous improvement that fits with our education community.

A Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako:
A group of education and training providers that form around children and young people's learning pathways, and work together to help them achieve their full potential. From early years through primary, secondary and beyond.

Respectful and Reciprocal Relationships Built with Clear Communication

We want the time you and your child spend with us to be the very best it can be. We hope that the aspirations, hopes and dreams you have for your child while they are with us align with the values and beliefs we hold as our philosophy.

As we word together to build respectful and reciprocal relationships with you, we begin to know your child and your whanau as unique and special individuals.

Communication is vital for this to happen effectively and it is our aim that you are kept well informed about our daily routines, policies and procedures and the education of your child.

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Our Team

Sara Stewart
Director & Teacher

  • Diploma of Teaching Early Childhood Education
  • Registered Teacher with the New Zealand Teachers Council

"I love my work.  Each day is different and offers new opportunities for learning; for me personally, for children and for teachers,  to make every day as awesome as it can be."

Kavita
Teacher

  • Bachelor of Teaching Early Childhood Education
  • Registered Teacher with the New Zealand Teachers Council

"Namaste, Sara and I trained together and now we work together as colleagues and friends.  Working at The Cottage

is very satisfying as my values and beliefs are nurtured while I am able to nurture and support children in their learning and development."

Kayla
Teacher

  • Bachelor of Teaching Early Childhood Education
  • Registered Teacher with the New Zealand Teachers Council

"I love working here because there is a massive emphasis on relationships. I am captivated by the level of relationship each teacher has with each child."

Maree
Teacher

  • Bachelor of Teaching Early Childhood Education
  • Registered Teacher with the New Zealand Teachers Council

"For 25 years I have been a passionate and dedicated educator and advocate for our young children. My own learning journey is on-going as I seek to know more to help support and empower children in their individual and group learning journeys. I believe children are our taonga (treasure) for the future and this moment of their lives should be filled with wonder, joy and love."

Dharlia
Teacher

  • Graduate Diploma in Teaching Early Childhood Education
  • Registered Teacher with the New Zealand Teachers Council

"I love that our children experience a true kiwi childhood here.  One where they get to create and play in an expansive outside space, with real grass, mud and sand in all kinds of weather."

Jan
Teacher

  • Diploma of Teaching Early Childhood Education
  • Registered Teacher with the New Zealand Teachers Council

"I love that we have the time to engage and really get to know our children in a calm loving environment."

Monica
Teacher

  • Monica has worked in ECE for many many years, as well as raising a family, something that reflects her work as a teacher

Beth
Teacher

  • Studying towards a Bachelor of Communications

Deb
Morning Tea
Co-ordinator

  • Food maker wonder, always with a warm smile

Testimonials...Respect, Kindness & Joy

Why we chose The Cottage for our precious little people

Thank you for being such amazing caring teachers... providing an environment for Ava to grown, laugh and play... she is so ready for school...
...Saskia LOVED The Cottage, and she has had such a successful and easy start to school.
...being the WONDERS in our little person's WONDERFUL first years. I can't think of a better start to Williams life. We will miss you and hold you all dearly in times to come!
Merry Christmas. Thank you for being a great teacher. Sid likes making stuff like guns, telescopes and pictures.
...so much gratitude for starting my kids off on a learning journey that is creative, positive and so much fun!
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...
...we found not only a kindy but a sense of community that quickly turned into friendship:)
Not only have you felt to us like extended family, we have felt supported ann empowered as parents along the way. You have played a major role in his development and who he has become and we will be forever grateful.
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.
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
Sara Stewart

Call Sara Now

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Drop in

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

181 Taha Road

RD 1

Waimauku

Auckland 0881


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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

Waimauku

Auckland 0881

Email

Messenger

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