Gemma and Mike Smith created a purpose built early childhood education facility to meet the needs of their community for high quality childcare. They opened it in Lake Hayes Estate, Queenstown in 2012 and called it Little Rockets (Educare).
They created a ‘natural environment’, a ‘home away from home’ that families, staff and children enjoy and want to be a part of, a place where children have a strong sense of belonging and form lasting and meaningful relationships with friends and teachers.
Gemma has huge respect for the dedication and passion that the Gems team brings to work on a daily basis. She is proud to say that, "their level of commitment and outstanding work ethic is so evident in the standard of service that has been established since we opened. We hope you and your children enjoy the team as much as we do."
Inspired by the theories of Pikler and Reggio where the environment is the third teacher, they believe that children will develop as independent thinkers and learners through a play based programme where children are free to explore, socialise, communicate and investigate. In other words, a “natural start in life”.
Gems includes a unique farm school, and a kitchen garden where the children grow the food they eat. The Kitchen philosophy is based on ‘Grandma’s Kitchen,’ where everything is prepared from scratch, good old nutritious home-style food. Lunches are usually cooked, taking pressure off families at the end of the day.
What Gem’s staff particularly love about early childhood is that you never stop learning, and this in turn deepens their enthusiasm for ensuring that Gems provides the best early childhood education possible, ensuring that each child who leaves Gems is confident, happy and has the learning skills they will need for the rest of their life. For more information on forest schools Queenstown, preschools Queenstown and early childhood education please visit the website at http://www.gems.net.nz .