Removing barriers & improving access.

At Kidsfirst, every child is seen as an individual. Be it through self-directed play, understanding how they learn, or access for tamariki with additional needs, each child is given the support they need to achieve their potential as a lifelong learner. At the 2023 Values Awards, Kidsfirst Hargest Crescent was acknowledged for their commitment to improving the access for all of their children with the Board Award.

Utilising a mix of the latest methods of oral and visual communication, both in English and te reo Māori, kaiako developed practices to increase the oral language and literacy skills of not just those tamariki with additional learning needs, or for whom English is a second language, but for all tamariki at their kindergarten.

Their commitment meant engaging with challenging professional development, to ensure they had the correct tools to respond to the shift towards this type of inclusive, accessible education which is so important during the early years.

Through implementation of these new tools in their day-to-day kindergarten life, they opened up more opportunities for all kinds of learners, and now have multiple individualised plans running alongside one another.

Core boards are a great way of aiding communication.

The benefits of this are wide-reaching, as tamariki now arrive at the start of their kindergarten day confident they will be able to express themselves to their kaiako, through the use of developed visual or oral communication. Some methods employed include ‘core boards’ which act as a visual communication tool kaiako can wear at all times for tamariki to indicate emotions, or ask questions.

Working alongside the Ministry of Education’s Speech and Language Therapists, kaiako and tamariki have thrived amongst the development and implementation of these ways of communicating, and the feedback they have received from whānau and their community has been resounding.

This area of accessibility and being inclusive of all tamariki, whatever challenges might exist in communicating with them, was one of the themes of the 2023 Me Ako Tonu professional learning hui that Kidsfirst organises for kaiako.

It is so reassuring to see such practices being carried out within the kindergarten day on a sustained basis – reinforcing that everyone is truly welcome.

Every year Kidsfirst Kindergartens celebrate the individuals, kindergartens and teaching teams who have showcased our values in their mahi, with their generosity, hard work and enthusiasm for what we stand for and believe in.

Visual storytelling was one of the topics at Me Ako Tonu ’23. One of our guest speakers, Sarah de Heer from Ko Tahu Reo, gives a brief overview below…

Arrange a time to come in and see our kindergarten for yourself, get to meet our kaiako and see the kindy for yourself.
Get in touch if you have any questions or want to know more. We’re here and always happy to give you the answers you need.