Libby-May McColgan, Penny Calder, Isla-May McColgan and Jackie Butt are the four generations at West Melton Kindergarten and Nursery

Four generations at the kindy

by Mike Isle

West Melton Kindergarten and Nursery was established in 2002 out of the need for an Early Childhood Centre and is now celebrating four generations of the family at the facility.

“We opened the centre to provide a caring family environment for children in our community to play and learn together. I cared for children in my home and continually received enquiries regarding the need for quality childcare. We were the first childcare in the area, and our learning centre was added a few years later,” says the owner, Penny Calder.

Since day one, Penny’s mother Jackie Butt, fondly called Gran by the centre children, has visited, helping where necessary — gardening, cleaning, dressing up for concerts and interacting with the families adding to the family culture of the centre.

“We built the centre on my grandparents’ original farm, which my parents had purchased so the family connections continue,” says Penny.

“My granny used to visit and loved watching the children and was very much a part of the local community. My daughter Libby works in administration, and her daughter Isla-May attends the nursery. Having four generations of our family around is really special.

“It is a privilege to teach and care for the children in our community. Our centre is built on strong family values, and we thrive to create a ‘home away from home’ environment for our tamariki. Our wonderful teaching team are all qualified and experienced. We enjoy parents and caregivers joining in because children are our greatest asset and we are passionate about ensuring they have the best start they can in our care.”

Visit the centre any time or for more information go to