Westport Early Learning Centre

Phone 03 789 6683

Infants and Toddlers (0-2 years)

Primary Caregiving

Here at Westport Early Learning Centre we practice Primary and Secondary Caregiving as we feel this is very beneficial for young children. Primary caregiving in the infant and toddler area is a programme that follows children’s individual needs. Your child’s primary caregiver will ensure your child’s daily routines and needs are met within a secure and loving environment. When your primary caregiver is away a secondary appointed caregiver will resume those responsibilities. This allows close bonds to develop whereby children feel safe and secure and their needs are recognised and responded to by a familiar adult.

"In an infant and toddler program learning takes place through the interaction and relationships the
children have with adults who care for them, through the daily routines and through the children's play"

(Hutchins and Sims, 1999)


Reciprocal relationships and the interactions that occur within those are very important within the primary caregiving programme. Love and respect plays an intricate part of ensuring your child forms a healthy attachment with members of the teaching team.


Routines are viewed as valuable learning opportunities. Caregiving that is respectful to babies allows them to anticipate what is happening around them, and to them which is vitally important for the baby’s developing sense of well-being. The importance of time allows precious opportunities for warm reciprocal relationships to develop between your baby and their Primary Caregiver.

Here at Westport Early Learning Centre we believe it is important for our young children to form a relationship with one main teacher especially while they are settling to enable them to feel safe and secure, and know they will be responded to by a familiar person. 



Connection with whãnau

In the Koru area we realise the importance of quality relationships with family. The child and the whanau are one and cannot be separated therefore we strive to maintain continuity from home to the centre in relation to care routines and the child’s/family’s interests.


Good communication between parents and teachers are very important to us. We encourage open and genuine communication between kaiako (teachers) and families. Parents can feel confident to approach teachers with any concerns, as we believe they are the child’s first teachers and we value their knowledge.



Curriculum (Education Content)

Our main focus in the Koru area is to establish and grow positive and intimate relationships with children in order to know them well which then enables us to follow their lead. Here in the Koru area we also believe the holistic development (mind, body and spirit) of the child is most important. We aspire to allow our tamariki (children) to grow as confident, competent individuals who know they have a safe and secure place to grow, develop and learn. As a team we useTe Whaariki the National Curriculum Document that all Early Childhood Education Services use as the curriculum framework for developing their program and curriculum. In the Koru area we take part in daily routines such as group mat times where the teachers share stories, music and action songs together. Children have morning tea and lunch together where their independence is encouraged and those important milestones such as feeding themselves are supported. Children are given opportunities to take part in various activities such as messy play, sensory exploration, sandpit play, creating artwork using different mediums and techniques, taking part in baking etc. Our main focus in the Koru area though is to follow the lead of our babies and toddlers in relation to their learning, development and needs providing prompt and supportive care and appropriate experiences to foster this. This is shown in their personalised learning profile books and our individualised planning wall.