“A community of learners where learning is viewed and valued as a lifelong journey, filled with potential, exploration, wonder and delight.”

Welcome to Tots Corner – Northcote

Conveniently located on Onewa Rd, this historic villa has offered high quality early childhood education and care since 1993. Tots (as it’s affectionately known) is licensed for 37 children from 6 months to school age. This converted villa has three spacious learning spaces, naturally separating into two environments for children aged 2 to 5 years and a third nurturing space for children under 2 years. The large front yard is designed to offer challenges for the older children with a separate safe multi sensory outdoor environment for our under 2’s.

We offer education and care between 7.30am and 5.30pm Monday to Friday and are open all year except for a two week period over Christmas and the New Year. This gives children and teachers time to re-energise both mind and body.

“The centre has a history of positive ERO reports that affirm the provision of effective leadership and high quality programmes for children. These characteristics continue to define the centre”. Education Review Office Report  (2013).

Our Team

Our teachers/ kaiako are all registered, passionate and dedicated to providing high quality learning experiences and environments for children and their families. We have a deep commitment to ongoing self-review and continue to engage in multifaceted professional learning.

“Professional Development has resulted in teachers promoting education as a process that is collaborative and recognises children, parents and whanau as valuable partners.” 

ERO (2013)

Learning Space

The environment is viewed as the ‘third teacher’, a philosophical stance that necessitates a richly resourced environment, valuing both aesthetics and beauty as a teaching tool that is flexible and dynamic.  Stimulating children’s engagement, imagination and exploration of both learning materials and spaces.

“Well resourced learning areas encourage children to explore the environment, and promote their curiosity and theorising about the world they live in.”  ERO (2013)

The visual presentations on our walls show exciting investigations inspired by the children’s interest and echo the children’s voices. It is a place where the inspiration of the Reggio Emilia philosophy meets New Zealand culture to create a challenging yet supportive and encouraging environment.

“Children are highly engaged in the centre programme. Purposeful learning experiences and good use of resources support them to develop as confident and competent learners.” ERO (2013)


“ A place of security, a place to live, and a place to raise the young.”

A very special place for our youngest children 6 to 24 months.  The Nest is located in the heart of the house, with a spacious sleep room that opens off the main play space. A separate outdoor garden is accessed off the villa verandah by wide accessible steps. The two teachers are supported by a teacher aide, who together strive to provide a calm, nurturing environment, supported by strong relationships that foster a sense of belonging and well-being.


An inviting space for our two to three year old children, who are competent and capable, encouraged to be independent explorers and learners, whilst building relationships with others. A wide range of opportunities are available to them to support discoveries, creativity, prompt problem-solving and challenges as they play together. 

Good use of space allows children to extend and develop their imaginative play and experiences. ERO (2013)


A space where our older children are entrusted to make their own choices, encouraged to pursue critical thinking and facilitate complex play opportunities. Teachers enhance opportunities for investigations, problem solving, imaginative and creative play with the use of carefully selected provocations, meaningful conversations and a variety of resources and tools.

“There are high levels of sustained and self-extended play. Children cooperate and collaborate in ways that recognise others rights, demonstrating well-developed social competence and care for others”. ERO (2013)

A Culture of Research

Our curriculum is encapsulated by two fundamental approaches that guide and inspire our work with children and adults. We recognise the socio cultural basis of learning in the early years based on Te Whāriki, the NZ Early Childhood Curriculum and critically reflect on the principles that underpin the Reggio Emilia Approach.  This in turn enriches our curriculum.

The ongoing pedagogical research between teachers/kaiako, children, parents and the community creates many opportunities for authentic teaching and learning. The knots and complexities that emerge from these encounters support us to look and think more closely at the education we offer our children.

“Research is a habit of mind…… It is a response to curiosity and doubt. It con­structs new knowledge, makes for critical thinking and is part of citizenship and democracy. Research is not a solitary activity, but a process of rela­tionships and dialogue.”  

Carla Rinaldi & Peter Moss  (2012)

Kāhui Ako – Community of Learners

Tots Corner is an active participant in the Northcote Community of Learners (NCoL),  together with Northcote College, Northcote Intermediate, Northcote Primary, Onepoto and Willow Park Schools and Northcote Baptist Community Preschool.

Our priority is to build a community that inspires learning. We aim to grow community support for a cohesive educational pathway that delivers success for all Northcote learners from early childhood through schools and beyond.

 Ahakoa he tino rerekē hoki te  ao o te kura ki te ao, o te hau kainga, ka tupu tonu, ngā ākonga. Mehemea he maha ngā arawhata i waenganui I ngā ākonga kia whiti ai ki ngā huarahi wāia, ōtira ki ngā whenua, o tauiwi.

Viviane Robinson 2011 (translated by John Marsden)

‘Although the worlds of school and home may differ greatly, students will thrive if there are enough bridges between them to make the crossing a walk into familiar, rather than foreign territory.’ Viviane Robinson 2011


10 + 9 =



95 Onewa Rd, Northcote, 0627 Auckland


09 480 7025