Three Trees opens
by Mike Isle
New Zealand’s newest and arguably most innovative, early childhood learning centre opened its doors in Rolleston this week with a near-capacity roll of 95.
Three Trees Early Childhood Learning Centre, the brainchild of business partners and co-owners Jenny Tippet and Libby Cunniffe, offers a holistic approach to learning based on integration with nature and the outdoors.
Mrs Tippet said the children at the centre will be able to explore and develop in a fun yet nurturing environment, with the freedom to lead to their own learning through uninhibited discovery within an on-site forest and a strong outdoor focus.
“Children learn most effectively when connecting deeply with nature through play experiences, and Three Trees had been designed with the deliberate intention of capitalising on the pristine natural environment in which the centre was located,” she said.
Three Trees motto is “With nature we live, through nature, we learn” valuing the natural environment and resources.
The site was originally a hardwood forest, and many of the original trees have been retained, supplemented by extensive planting of New Zealand natives.
Mrs Tippet said the centre catered to 0 to 6-year-olds and had a capacity of 130, so there were still a few vacancies, though it was the centre’s policy to keep the student to teacher ratio low.
Three Trees employs 17 fully qualified and registered teachers.
After the centre featured as a front-page story in The Record last week, an open day at the centre on Saturday attracted 300 visitors.
Situated in Dynes Road, next to Foster Park, Three Trees Learning Centre is open from 7.30am until 6.00pm on weekdays or visit threetreeslearningcentre.co.nz.