Respectful Practice

“If we could truly respect and trust our infants, our whole attitude would change.
We would worry less, enjoy more, and become part of the miracle”

Magda Gerber.

At The Secret Garden Childcare relationships are valued as essential for all to thrive.

Through our commitment to respectful practices teachers deeply value and empower children and families, enhancing their confidence and self image through relationships developed on trust also valuing a powerful image of the child acknowledging their strengths, interests and capabilities. Attachments with key caregivers enable children to form a safe base from which to explore their environment and develop confidence in themselves as learners.

Our environment is warm, welcoming and inclusive and promotes manaakitanga, kindness, dignity and respect where teachers support healthy emotional and social development and a foundation of positive self identity.

Social Competency

“Our task is to help children communicate with the world using their potential strengths and languages and to overcome any obstacle presented by our culture”   Loris Malaguzzi

At The Secret Garden our aim is to support all children to thrive in their relationships with others and reach their highest potential socially and emotionally building and supporting their social competency. We respect and value the individual rights of each child and provide a collaborative learning environment where children are to develop the skills and strategies they need through mindful practices to work with and alongside others in a peaceful and respectful ways.

The Reggio Emilia approach

The Reggio Emilia approach led by Italian Loris Malaguzzi is a world renowned philosophy which holds a powerful image of children who are viewed as confident, responsible independent and curious full of potential.

At The Secret Garden Children are encouraged to be researchers, problem solvers and higher order thinkers. Through various projects children are able to work collaboratively developing the skills they need to be life long learners. Our environment is created in a way which is aesthetically stimulating with numerous opportunities for children to engage their minds, curiosity, deepen their understandings and connections to their world also explore their creativity.

Perceptual Motor Programme

“A moving child is a learning child”

At The Secret Garden we are committed to providing the very best learning foundations for children developing self motivated learners that love to learn and have the skills to access and interpret the information they need to meet their learning potential.

Through our perceptual motor programme we empower children in a fun challenging physical environment developing the essential skills they need to equip them best for formal learning. Young children who possess adequate perceptual motor skills have better co-ordination, greater body awareness, stronger intellectual skills and a more positive self image.

Research also shows that perceptual motor development is critical to children’s brain development and essential neural pathways, enhancing their abilities to read and write. Physical activity builds the neural pathways needed for children to have greater academic readiness and success in learning.

Growth Mindset

“If parents want to give their children a gift, the best they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort and keep on learning”   Carol Dweck

At the Secret Garden we are inspired by the work of Carol Dweck and Guy Clayton and aim to grow learners who are resilient, independent, resourceful, creative, curious and have the capacity to think about and explore ideas more deeply.


“The Earth is a fine place worth fighting for”   Ernest Hemingway

Enviroschools is an environmental action based programme where young people are empowered to design and lead sustainability projects in their schools, neighbourhoods and country.

Both our centres are involved and inspired by the Enviro school programme. Our environment viewed as the "3rd teacher” provides numerous opportunities to develop close relationships and respect of the physical and natural environment, nourish and care for Papatuanuku, engage with the natural and living worlds and develop a sense responsibility, sustainability and Kaitiakitanga.

Connecting to the wider community

Excursions are highly valued at the Secret Garden as a critical part of building connections and knowledge of the wider community also enabling us to build our knowledge of children’s identity and support a successful transition processes.

Excursions provide teachers and children with valuable learning opportunities also develop our understandings of how best to work together to provide an optimal learning environment. We are very fortunate to share a van with a local School and also have regular access to the local community van.

Keep up to date with what we are up

The Secret Garden Childcare Centre, 3 months - 5 years. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


(06) 323 0506
1459 Waughs Road, Feilding

Palmerston North

(06) 358 8900
165 Tutaki Road, Palmerston North

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