Our Philosophy

Our philosophy is to welcome children and their families to be partners together with us at Rabbit Patch. Our commitment to every family in our care is to offer a warm, nurturing, home-like environment where every child feels safe, happy and has a strong sense of belonging. Where meaningful relationships both within and between groups of children, parents and teachers are developed. One of the focal points of our philosophy is the image of the child, who the child is, and who they could be, as well as who they should be.

The philosophy of Rabbit Patch is based on the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum – Te Whaariki with a strong inspirational influence from the educational philosophy of Reggio Emilia in Italy. Rabbit Patch believes in the individual child and the rights of that child.

Listening and communicating are key elements of our philosophy. We believe every child needs time to think, talk and play. We believe that play is childrens learning, it builds resilience. Play is empowering and provides the opportunity for discovery, questioning, theorising, cooperating, and social and emotional interaction, which are necessary for growth and healthy self-concept.

Play allows children to make choices and uncover information. Play is childrens work. Teachers are learners alongside the children. Together they participate and collaborate in the vast array of experiences offered in the carefully crafted, rich, and challenging environment at Rabbit Patch. Taking our inspiration from the Reggio Emilia Approach we work hard to provide classrooms that are full of beauty. These become “the third teacher.” They inspire the children and encourage them to question and seek answers through their own working theories. The teachers role is to extend and deepen childrens ideas and theories by nurturing and guiding research. Through careful observation, documentation, thoughtful questions and deep reflections, our teachers work in partnership with the children to extend thinking and develop explorations. The children are given time to reflect, revisit and react to their learning investigations.

“The philosophy is an important part of how this service operates. The Reggio Emilia approach is highly evident in the way teachers relate with children, the set up of the environment and the way the programme responds to children’s interests and wonderings.”

Education Review Office
December 2013

We celebrate and respect each child as a unique free-spirited individual who is a competent and curious explorer. We see them as spontaneous, expressive and fascinated by their world. We believe each child is capable of constructing their own knowledge.

We invite you to come on this journey with us.