We believe that social competence is learned by having opportunities to make contributions.

At Rabbit Patch the children have the opportunity to work in groups, in the context of relationships, strengthening their whanaungatanga and make their own contributions. The programme is structured around the image of the child as capable and competent providing opportunities for them to take responsibility, resolve differences, co-operate, listen to each other and problem solve.


Our programme is designed to support developing in young children certain dispositions, such as being reflective, inquisitive, inventive, resourceful, resilient, empathetic, tender, courageous, friendly, generous, caring, compassionate, and humourous. Others might be wonderment,  puzzlement, and searching for evidence.


Our role as teachers in supporting social development in young children is through individualised guidance, in an environment rich in manaakitanga, warmth and support. We offer a rich and varied curriculum that engages children in interesting and stimulating ways.   We recognize children learn by being engaged, feeling they are being listened to, having their own thoughts and ideas recognized and valued, and having the opportunity to contribute.

Social competence is most likely to be acquired and strengthened in an atmosphere of warmth, acceptance, respect, and deep faith in the child’s capacity to grow and develop. Individuals can realise their potential only within a community”.   Lilian Katz

“Competence in building and maintaining relationships with others involves a complex interplay of feelings, thought and skill. While these components take a long time to learn, their foundations are laid early in childhood by responsive, patient and supportive parents, teachers and other adults, and in a context of a variety of opportunities to interact with peers." Lilian Katz