Hello, we are Catherine and Steve, the proud operators of Dandelions and Dragonflies Childcare and Learning Centre.
We live in Te Kowhai and have four beautiful children. We started our childcare journey early in 2017 when we recognised the need for a centre in Te Kowhai. It felt like a natural fit for us and lined up with our family values and community focus.
We are now really excited about continuing our journey and being able to offer childcare to the Onewhero community. As working parents we understand the difference a quality daycare can make in the lives of busy families. We are also excited about being able to offer not only a lovely indoor learning space but also a beautiful rural setting with lots of outdoor space, grass, animal friends and gardens as we believe there are so many learning opportunities outdoors.
We are committed to ensuring Dandelions and Dragonflies delivers the highest quality of education and care, as well as being a real ‘home away from home’ for your child. We believe it is a huge privilege to care for your precious little people, so thank you for considering us.
My name is Kerryn Smith. I have been a teacher for over 20 years now and throughout my journey my love and passion for children has blossomed and flourished. I just love watching our children hard at work, figuring out how things work, exploring the wonders that is life and that magical moment when discoveries are made.
I predominantly work with the older children, within this group I foster children's creativity and imagination through allowing endless time limits and peaceful spaces for magical moments to unfold.
Children's wellness is also something that I hold close to my heart. Through exploring tools and practicing techniques children are able to express themselves, build emotional resilience and intelligence, grow their strengths and foster compassion for themselves and others.
My practice is strongly inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy and I am passionate about the values that this practice has to offer to our whanau. I believe that all partners (child/ren, teachers and whanau) are viewed as equal learners throughout children's discoveries. Through working alongside these young discoverers I am able to help foster, support and extend on these learning journeys.
As a dedicated professional I am always looking to enrich my own practice and therefore I research to further my knowledge around children's interests and development which is paramount to my personal learning journey.
“We teachers must see ourselves as researchers, able to think, and to produce a true curriculum, a curriculum produced from all of the children.” - Loris Malaguzzi
I also view the environment as the third teacher, and therefore I believe all spaces need to be welcoming, inviting and open ended. Natural resources are tools which children can use to inspire investigations and understand the natural world around them. Through providing children with spaces that offer these attributes we spark imagination and wonder, opening a world of discovery and individuality.
It is my aspiration that children within my care will become confident individuals with a strong understanding of who they are and what they believe in.