Chrysalis Founders Dr. Darius Singh and Nikeeta Singh Propose "Gaia-Inspired" Pre-School in South Auckland

Friday 16 November 2018, 11:22AM

By Beckie Wright


Dr. Darius Singh and wife Nikeeta Singh, Directors of Chrysalis Group’s multi-award winning early childhood education centres in New Zealand, have proposed a new, innovative pre-school that will enable kids to “go back to basics.”

The new pre-school has been designed to encourage kids to get back in touch with nature. As kids now grow up in a highly-technological, instantly-gratifying world, Darius and Nikeeta push for this innovative solution that will reconnect children to the natural world.

The new childhood centre is shaped like a giant leaf and will be built on 0.4ha (1 acre) of forested land. If all consents are approved, the centre is scheduled to open in April of 2020.

"With increasing incentives to subdivide properties and lose backyards, the younger generation is really losing that connection with the Earth," Dr. Darius Singh said in an interview with NZ Herald. "We have a generation of children who believe carrots and potatoes grow on trees, milk comes from a fridge and who try to swipe across the pages of a book.”

"Kids seem to be distracted more, they seek instant gratification and they need to put in extra energy to simply sit still and focus," he said.

Lastly, according to Dr. Singh, the “Gaia (Earth) inspired” pre-school will be for “everyone and anyone”, with relatively low fees to make it accessible to children from all communities and suburbs.

Their Gaia inspiration stems from their core principles, employing teaching and learning approaches from ancient cultures and nature-based foundations – aptly called the “Gaia (Earth) based Education Principle.”

Dr. Singh will be presenting Chrysalis’ new Gaia Education Principle at the 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI) in Spain, held on the 12th, 13th, and 14th of November, 2018. As one of the largest international education conferences for professionals of the educational sector, Dr. Singh hopes to bring Gaia inspired applications in NZ learning environments to the international audience.

Dr. Darius Singh and Nikeeta Singh are founders of the Chrysalis Group of early child care centres in Auckland and Tauranga. For more information on their centres and learning systems, visit their website today at