Click on any of the images above to read about the activity

Kia ora from Aspiring Beginnings Early Learning Centre

We are your local early learning centre:

  • For children from 3 months of age.
  • That has a small family focused environment for up to 40 children.
  • That was established by the community & still owned by the community.
  • That is not for profit, putting any profits back into children’s quality education.
  • Open from 8.45am until 4.30pm, 47 weeks of the year.

Read our latest news & views below….

Dept of Conservation talk with Chrissy

W-Sitting and the effects on your child’s growth

“W-sitting” is a position that is too commonly used by children when seated on the ground. In this position, a child sits on their bottom, with knees bent, feet tucked under, and legs splayed out to each side in a “W” configuration. Because this position is so common, most adults do not realize that use of this position can have negative ramifications on children’s growth and development.

Please click here to download an article by Jean McNamara, PT (ADVANCE for Physical Therapists, 1995) about why W-sitting is not recommended.


A&P Excursion 2014

With our amazing 20+ volunteers, off we walked to the 77th annual A & P show. 1st stop was the the boer goats.  One of the big ones charged the fence which gave some of us such a fright!

Then we headed around the ring to watch some horse riding and jumping. We stopped at the home industries tent which is always one of our favourites because we like to see our art work on display and find out if we have won anything for our produce. We were so excited to see we won 1st place for our Crab Apple jelly…made with the apples from the tree at AB’s!

Time for morning tea and while we were enjoying a refreshing drink,  Mr John Key our NZ Prime Minister turned up which was a very unexpected surprise!

One compulsory stop each year is the sheep and alpacas. Then off to check out the farm equipment and some flash looking cars.

Phew…what a busy fun filled morning with lots to see. By now we were ready to start walking back for a specially prepared picnic lunch.

A big thank you to all our helpers for coming along with us, it was great to be out and about exploring our community.

Continue reading 'A&P Excursion 2014'»

Learning at Aspiring Beginnings


Rakau Rhythm Whariki time

Using rakau sticks to make rhythms and tempo changes with a beat on the ground. Drumming makes vibrations for instant feedback.   Soft and hard feelings, sensorial experience.  Loud and quiet.


Parachute play – Whariki time

Language of rhythm – fast and slow, sharp and soft. Mathematics and size – up and down, big and small. Listening and responding to music and instructions.


Balloon play

Balloon play for balance, hand eye coordination, cooperation communication and problem solving skills.  Understanding materials.



AGM (Annual General Meeting)

Please come along to our Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 8th April starting @ 7.30. We would love to share what we have achieved over the last 12 months and our vision for 2014/15.

Cybersafety – What is it?

Cybersafety’ is:

−  the safe and responsible operation/use, at any time, on or off the centre site, and by any person, of the centre’s Internet facilities, network, and associated ICT equipment/devices.

−  the safe and responsible use by anyone, of any privately-owned ICT equipment/devices on the centre site, or at a centre-related activity.

The Internet, and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) play an increasingly important role in children’s learning, and in the administration of ECE centres. Teachers have a pivotal role in developing the attributes of cybercitizenship in children. Cybercitizenship implies that users of technology are safe, confident and act with integrity. A Cybersafe learning environment is one where ICT is used safely and responsibly to support effective learning and teaching.

To support this we need to have in place a Cybersafety policy. This consists of 3 different sections:

−      Cybersafety Policy  (Click here to read and download the user agreements)

−      Cybersafety Use Agreement for parents/caregivers

−      Cybersafety Use Agreement for all employees of the centre

Please familiarize yourself with the contents of this policy so we may all be safe and responsible users.

Wanaka Library recommended reads

Here is 4 books Frankie discovered in our local library that we highly recommend

Kids Behaving Bravely: Raising a Resilient Child If family circumstances keep changing such as moving house, new siblings, change of job or financial circumstances, this book gives great ideas about developing resilience in children – the ‘bounce back’ skills. 
Lots of activities to help develop bonds between parents and children using rough and tumble. Starts out with simple and easy, leading to more complicated moves.
Explains current research on brain development in preschoolers and why it is important to nurture babies.
A ‘good enough’ parent only has to be competent 50% of the time, phew!
Useful information to look at if you think your child is a worrier, or  worrying too much about something.

Wheels Day

Since we have returned  from our summer break, the teachers have noticed that  there is a huge interest in bikes. We have discovered that some tamariki had bikes for Xmas, some had scooters, and others are trying to learn how to ride without  training wheels. The tamariki have been sharing stories about what they get up too at the skate park. This then got the teachers thinking how can we respond?

Lets have another wheels day

There were lots of scooters and bikes, and even a skateboard. The enclosed hockey turf area is perfect for all different “toys with wheels”. Today however we had to hope the rain would stay away long enough. Luckily we had a fun filled morning sharing, racing, trying out new bikes and scooters and having a great time exploring.

What a great Wheels Day…


Wanaka Sun edition – 19/2/14


Healthy Habits Workshop

When: 2nd April 2014
What time: 
7-9 pm
Where: at Mt Aspiring College

A Sport Central initiative together with Oral Health, the Heart Foundation and Active movement are offering a Healthy Habits interactive workshop focusing on the importance of instilling healthy habits in under-five year olds. Activities will include making your own home-made equipment, creating innovative games, label reading for food and choosing healthy alternatives.

For further information don’t hesitiate to contact

Amy Robin (B Ed Tch)  |  Education & Fundamental Skills Advisor  | Sport Central

Phone 03 445 1142  |  Mobile  027 436 7172  |  Fax 03 445 1649

Email  Web  |  42 The Mall P.O. Box 133 Cromwell 9342


Speech Therapy Screening

We are very pleased to advise that from the proceeds of a generous grant from the Elsie & Ray Armstrong Trust, we are able to provide communication screening for children over 3 1/2 years of age for 2014 with Susan Helmore from Communicate (

CommunicateHow often: At the beginning of each month
Location: at the centre
Start Time: 09:30
1st session: Monday 3rd March
2nd session: Monday 19th May
Cost: Free to our enrolled families

With parental consent, your child’s listening, speech, language and voice will be screened during a short, fun session with pictures and books.  
The screening session will take approximately 10-15 minutes. Parents are welcome to attend the communication screening session, particularly if the day of the screening is not a typical preschool day for your child.

Following the screening assessment, families will receive written feedback as to your child’s communication skills. If they require a review or further assessment, options for this will be provided and discussed with their teacher.

Library visit

Thank you to the Wanaka Library for coming to read to the children and sharing their wonderful collection of stories. The Library is located in the centre of town on Dunmore street, next to Creek cafe. Every Wednesday they offer a kids story time and crafts session from 10.30 to 11.30. For more information call 4430410

Library visit

Thank you Central Lakes Trust

Central Lakes TrustWe are so pleased to open this year with extra shaded outdoor space. A huge thank you to Central Lakes Trust for helping to make a three year dream a reality.

Shade sails


Happy holidays to all our wonderful families.

We will return in 2014 on Tuesday 21st January.

If you would like to leave us a message please feel free to email and we will promptly reply upon our return. 

Merry Xmas to you all


Gift a Summer Garden

We are selling seed packs ready for sowing for this Summer/Autumn season.


Only $10 for 5 different varieties (rrp $14-$17 in total)

Beans Slenderette Carrots
Scarlet Nantes
Pea Progress Lettuce Silvia Rocket


All 5 varieties tried and tested in Central Otago by master gardeners;
Dr Compost and the Worm Lady (aka Ben Elms and Frankie Dean).

Successive sowing every 3 weeks until the end of Jan will give a continual supply of vegetables for your kitchen all summer and autumn.

These seed packs make excellent gifts for the gardeners in your life. Even if you are not an avid gardener this is a great way to start.

Support Aspiring Beginnings by buying them for your friends and family.

“The tamariki have carefully measured out the seeds, prepared seed trays, sown seeds, weeded our vegie garden and watered everything. Support their learning of the food journey from garden to table.”


Thank You “Stars in your Eyes” and the “Wanaka Musicians Society”

Stars in your eyes

Aspiring Beginnings ELC would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved in the collaborative approach of  “Stars in your Eyes” within the Wanaka community.  The wonderful entertainment provided and then the generosity towards the Wanaka community in providing the opportunity to apply for musical resources.  This year was slightly different in that we had to specifically itemised what we would like, which, with the involvement of the children was an exciting proposal.

After much consideration we applied for and received ukuleles, dancing ribbons, drums and tambourines from Trade Aid for the Kaho children (older children) and wooden shaker eggs and drums for the Tipu children (younger children).   The dancing ribbons have provoked learning through dancing, encouraging relationships and expressing themselves.  The drums have been utilised for discovering rhythm and beat, soft/quiet, hard/loud.  The Tipu children are discovering a variety of sounds and rhythm utilising the shakers and drums.  Once again a huge thank you to all those involved and feel free to visit anytime to see the resources in play.

The Aspiring Beginnings Teaching Team

Annual Christmas Party 2013


Thank you to all the families who came along to the Christmas party and making it such a fun afternoon. Congratulations to the Mayousse family who won the meat raffle kindly donated by New World. Through the generous support of New World Wanaka and our families we made $90.00.

Continue reading 'Annual Christmas Party 2013'»

Family Get Together

This is a chance to meet up with other Aspiring Beginnings families.

 WHEN: Every 2nd Saturday of the month from 10am.

 WHERE: at the Dinosaur Park, down at the lake front.


Come and let the kids have some fun together outside of AB’s. This is an informal opportunity for new and existing parents to AB’s

to meet up with other families.

“See you there”.

Mt Aspiring College – Students in the Community 2013

All Mount Aspiring College Year 13 students have placements in the local community, in various roles to benefit the community and integrate the students into Wanaka life. This unique programme is the only one of its type in the country.  This year we welcomed Gen Scurr and Harriet Varney, both students who once attended our centre in their early childhood years.  We were super excited to have them come back. Thank you to Mt Aspiring College for offering us the opportunity to be part of this wonderful initiative.


Students in the Community program

Plunket require a car seat service technician

Plunket Car Seat Service Technician

(Upper Clutha, 3 hours per week)

A paid position has become available for a part time Car Seat Service Technician for the Wanaka Plunket Car Seat Service. This is a great opportunity to develop your customer service skills in a community focused environment.

To be successful in this position, you will need:

  • To have a keen interest in child safety
  • To be a great communicator
  • Office experience (cash handling is essential)
  • To work school holidays
  • To be prepared to undergo training and security check procedures
  • To have a current drivers licence and be able to travel.

For more information or to apply for the role please refer to or contact Alison Kennedy on (03) 445 9934 or

What is a B4 school check?

The B4 School Check is a nationwide programme supported by the
and offers a health and development check to groups of children turning four.
The checks are an important public health initiative and aim to identify children who will benefit from referral to services and additional assistance before starting school.
The purpose of the check is to promote healthy development and to help identify any health, behavioural or developmental concerns that could affect the child’s ability to learn at school. The check also ensures that if needed, appropriate and timely referrals to services are made. The B4 School Check replaces the School New Entrant Check which is to be phased out over the next year.
The service is free for 4 year olds. You will be sent an invitation from your local B4School Check provider for you and your child to attend a check.
The checks are provided by registered nurses such as public health nurses, practice nurses and Well Child/Tamariki Ora providers supported by Vision-Hearing technicians with you present as you know your child best. The settings for delivery of the checks range from general practices, early childhood education Centres and Kohanga reo, community halls and marae, mobile clinics and home visits. Checks take about 45-60 minutes. If you or the nurse think your child has a possible problem or difficulty, the nurse will discuss this with you and offer to refer you to other services that may help. The nurse can also help if your child has missed out on any immunisations.
To find out more about the B4 School Check you should talk to your family doctor or nurse, Well Child Tamariki Ora provider or public health nurse.
Visit the Ministry of Health’s website or call the toll free 24 hour Health Advice Service Healthline - 0800 611 116

The Bee Swarm hero

How lucky were we to have our very own bee keeper equipped to remove the unwelcome swarm of bees that came to visit on Wednesday.

Did you see the story in the Wanaka Sun?

bee swarm

We have more pictures….. Continue reading 'The Bee Swarm hero'»

Happy Birthday Aspiring Beginnings

Happy Birthday to us

Sixteen years ago the Upper Clutha Community saw their vision for an Early Learning Centre catering for working families become a reality.  Back then we were next door to the Wanaka Primary School and even though the primary school has now relocated, we remain in the same location as always offering a warm friendly environment for preschool learning.

Come visit some time….120 Warren Street.

Pilot Andy RAF visit

Teddy’s dad came and spoke to the tamariki about aeroplanes what it was like to be a pilot.  He used to fly planes for the Royal Air Force and now for Air New Zealand.

We saw some fantastic video of Teddy also flying a plane. He was piloting his Mum, Dad and his big brother Seb. We were very impressed that someone so small could fly a plane!

Dylan thought he could ‘Fly to the moon,’ in the very big fighter jet that Andy used to pilot.

Nieko asked, ‘Why do you fly them?’ Andy said he liked being up high where he can see for miles.

Maybe there is a future pilot sitting amongst the children?



Chalk Educated Toys 2013 Fundraiser

Chalk Educated Toys has been New Zealand’s favourite fundraising program for many years.  Parents can buy great quality toys at the best prices and support our centre at the same time. Contact us on 034431181 for a 2013 catalogue or alternatively order direct from the website  & quote our special unique order code (301287) so we receive our 20% donation to spend on valuable educational resources.

Don’t delay, get those Christmas orders in before you miss out.

Bug Farming Project

Bug Farming Project


Bug Farming Project



Playground equipment

Our playground equipment is purchased through Tredsafe and is New Zealand’s only certified Early Childhood Playground manufacturer specialising in mobile, interchangable, playground equipment. We share their philosophy to create stimulating, interactive playground equipment, where:




children have the opportunity to grow
and develop, realising their limits in a safe, challenging environment.






This playground structure gives children responsibility to choose the setup ensuring the outside environment is child centred and dependant on their emerging interests and we have the opportunity to purhcase additional equipment to attach as and when we require or can afford it.  If you are able to help us purchase some extra pieces we would love to hear from you.


Farmer Brett Free Range Eggs

Farmer Brett free range eggsWe are once again selling “free range eggs”
as a fundraiser for only $5.50 a dozen.

The supplier is Farmer Brett, who has a hobby farm in Tarras. The hens were originally saved from a battery farm and now have a much happier and healthier lifestyle. Thank you to Tania & Lachy for supporting us with this fundraiser.

How can I stop losing items to lost property & support Aspiring Beginnings?

abacus fundraisingHelp to stop our lost property overflowing by naming all belongings. We all know that biro and markers eventually wear off. Why not name your child’s precious belongings more permanently with Abacus Fundraising. Their online order process is very simple and every order you make will support our centre with a minimum of 20% of sales going directly to our school.


abacus fundraising
fundraising lables  abacus fundraising  abacus fundraising

On behalf of the management committee we thank you for your support.


DR Compost spring gardening workshop

The one and only Dr Compost has been spreading Wanaka’s gardening lore far and wide with his new gig as a writer for Weekend Gardener. But he hasn’t forgotten his roots! His Spring gardening and composting workshops, funded by QLDC, are on again to help people grow delicious veggies in this harsh climate.

Dr Compost will be holding only one Spring gardening workshop in Wanaka this year, so don’t miss it. Raised beds, seedlings, what to plant when – he and master gardener Frankie Dean (Yes…our very own Frankie dean) have over 30 years local gardening experience.

Thursday 19th Sept, 6-8pm at Aspiring Beginnings, Warren St. Bring a Gold coin donation. Continue reading 'DR Compost spring gardening workshop'»