Our Philosophy

Focusing on the holistic wellbeing of your child at The Y Hamilton Early Learning Centre

At The Y Early Learning Centre Hamilton (formerly known as the YMCA) we believe in providing a happy, exciting and educational environment for all children to explore and learn, while being assured that they are nurtured, and their individual needs are met.

We scaffold the individualism of all children by incorporating the The Y values of, Caring, Respect, Honesty and Responsibility and strive to incorporate Whakawhanauatanga (family values) into our centre life in order to respect and acknowledge the dual heritage of Aoteroa and honour Te Tiriti O Waitangi.

We also provide an environment where children and their families from different ethnic, linguistic and socio cultural backgrounds are respected.

Our aim is for children to grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society.

Within our centre we base our philosophy on the four main principles of Te Whaariki and integrate these with our own Image of the Child, resulting in the following aspects


Our curriculum empowers the child to learn and grow through supporting them to become interactive learners and constructors of knowledge. Within the centre we believe that our children will develop independently with guidance and support from our teachers. The children will be given opportunities and empowered regularly through daily learning experiences. Staff will be aware of the development levels of the children and use this information to foster each child’s self confidence. Our staff use positive and encouraging language and wherever possible, the children are encouraged to make choices and decisions and set their own learning goals.

Kotahitanga|Holistic Development

Our curriculum reflects the holistic way that children learn and grow through acknowledging them as unique free-spirited individuals. Our teachers are proactive about introducing children to various cultures and are expected to be respectful of the beliefs of individual families. The teachers at The Y Early Learning Centre Hamilton are constantly working to provide an environment that is interactive, age appropriate stimulating and safe.

Whanau Tangata|Family& Community

The wider world of family and community is an integral part of our curriculum and we foster active participation from all three protagonists. At The Y Early Learning Centre Hamilton we believe that the inclusion of family and the community are an integral part of the positive development of a child. Our teachers take the children into the community where possible and are aware of the resources that are available in the community to support the centre, children and families.

Nga Honoga|Relationships

Children learn through responsive and reciprocal relationships with people, places and things and we encourage participation in meaningful relationships. The staff at The Y Early Learning Centre Hamilton are committed to role modelling and supporting positive relationships. Reciprocal relationships are paramount and our programme provides opportunities for children to gain a rich understanding of their world, and to learn through trying out their ideas with adults and other children.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi|Treaty of Waitangi

The Y Early Learning Centre Hamilton acknowledges and reflects the unique place of Maori as tangata whenua, giving children the opportunity to develop knowledge and an understanding of the cultural heritage of both parties to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Teachers reflect this in practice by ensuring programmes include tikanga me ona Te Reo Maori (Maori custom and language).