Early childhood centre celebrates 10th anniversary

Pre-school fun: Edukids Best Start Elles Rd staff members and children celebrate the 10-year anniversary at the centre on Friday.

DRESSING up, playing party games and eating birthday cake were some of the ways EduKids Best Start Elles Rd staff members and children celebrated their 10th year anniversary last week.

Early childhood teacher Melissa Johnstone said everyone who attended enjoyed the day.

‘‘It’s been good to see everyone come together which is what it is all about. Seeing the kids smiling and everyone having a good time has been fun.’’

Throughout the 10 years, the early childhood centre had established great connections within the community, she said.

Some of the community initiatives the centre was involved with included excursions to the community garden at South Alive, Polyfest and they were in the process of establishing a Lilliput Library, she said.

‘‘We are quite an innovative centre so we are always thinking outside the box and trying to get our kids out in to the community.’’

The preschool had a diverse range of teachers and had 105 children enrolled with 75 licensed per day.

‘‘It’s a privilege to be a part of each child’s learning journey and they are very capable and confident learners and they all bring so much to the centre.’’

The feedback from families throughout the years had been positive, she said.

‘‘I’ve been here for nine years and our families keep coming back, so we see a lot of siblings and cousins coming back, and I think that speaks volumes.’’

Edukids Best Start Elles Rd officially opened in July 6, 2012, and the centre was blessed by a grandfather of one of the children at the centre, she said.

Before the preschool existed, the space was occupied with The Strathern Inn which was a bar and restaurant built in the 1870s.

The building identified as an archaeological site under History Places Act 1993 and approval for demolition from NZ Historic Places Trust was granted from the Invercargill City Council.