Parents Yue and Jim Castiglione had a strict catalogue of requirements when looking for a preschool for their two children. Caring staff, a safe and nurturing environment, and well-resourced facilities were at the top of their list, along with the stability of long-serving teachers who can connect and foster strong relationships with their young charges.
They soon discovered that ACG Remuera Early Learning school delivers all these criteria and more – and the family couldn't be more pleased with their choice to enrol at the centre.
"ACG Remuera is like another home for the children," confirms Yue. "As a parent, I feel totally confident and comfortable that my children are being well cared for. They are loved, respected, encouraged and supported to develop.
"We have attended a few ECE (Early Childhood Education) centres in New Zealand, and ACG Remuera is the best. The children are all very happy, the teachers are highly trained and experienced, and the routines provide structure and discipline in a warm, friendly and welcoming atmosphere. In addition, it offers great value in terms of fees charged."
The Castiglione siblings are thriving under ACG Remuera's inquiry and play-based learning approach. As an active and independent toddler, Sienna enjoys dancing, riding tricycles, building blocks and listening to stories during her days at the centre. Meanwhile, older brother Jackson (who is nearly five) is a considerate and gentle young man who can often be found reading books, playing with dinosaurs and Legos, or constructing models in the sandpit.
"Both Sienna and Jackson received an exceptional level of care and attention at ACG Remuera," says Yue. "Sienna adores her teachers and loves spending time playing with them. She enjoys being helpful by looking after other children with her teachers. And Jackson loves the opportunity to play on the various outdoor equipment with his friends, likes participating in 'Show and Tell' and is crazy about dinosaurs.
"The teachers go above and beyond in their roles. They help spark interest in a range of activities and adventures and encourage my children to explore and make the most of the many exciting and educational resources available.
"For example, when Jackson first joined ACG, we were very impressed when his teacher, Manju, quickly learned about his favourite pastimes, providing him with a lot of Legos and dinosaurs as well as interesting books. With her help and guidance, Jackson worked on a project about dinosaurs and volcanos. Activities like this encourage children to learn, explore their interests, and then use their imagination to build projects and stories."
ACG Remuera's expert team also ensure parents are given a glimpse into their children's days and receive regular reports about progress and development.
"We are sent daily updates and dedicated monthly reports," confirms Yue. "The teachers post daily updates and photos on the children's activities on StoryPark. Plus, Sienna's teachers record her routine in detail, including meals, nappy change and sleep times."
The fact that ACG Remuera has an on-site kitchen is another bonus for Yue.
"I know I can rely on the centre to provide healthy and interesting meals for my children, which is incredibly convenient and means I don't have to worry about preparing a diverse range of options myself."
But for the Castiglione's, the staff at the Early Learning School makes all the difference.
"Kelly, the Centre Manager, was the reason that prompted us to enrol Jackson at ACG Remuera. She genuinely cares about the wellbeing of all the children and is actively involved in looking after them. Under her warm and measured leadership style, her teachers are happy in their roles, providing a strong basis for children to feel safe and encouraged to explore as they play, learn and develop their skills."