our philosophy

Pohutukawa kids is a ‘home away from home’ for our tamariki – warmth, trust and aroha are all woven into the fabric and essence of our philosophy. Our image of tamariki is based on the belief that they are competent, inquisitive, active explorers capable of their own learning journeys, as well as inspiring others.

We acknowledge the Te Tiriti o Waitangi as our founding document of New Zealand. We are committed to embracing our bi-cultural heritage, cultural diversity – all tamariki are unique.

We acknowledge Te Whariki, where the learning partnership between kaiako (educators), parents, and whānau/families are supported. Kaiako (educators) weave a holistic curriculum in response to tamariki’s learning and development in the early childhood setting and the wider context of the child’s world.

Providing ‘quality care and education’ is at the heart of what Pohutukawa Kids does.

  • We will nurture and educate your tamariki within a secure, stimulating and positive environment
  • We strive to support tamariki’s sense of mana whenua (sense of belonging).
  • We value collaboration as vital to the success of the programme and we see ourselves as a community of learners.
  • At Pohutukawa Kids we are committed to developing respectful relationships (whakawhanaungatanga), valuing open communication and promoting inclusiveness in all that we do.

nurturing educators

Educators are carefully selected, police vetted and health and safety checked. A qualified and experienced early childhood teacher visits the care location and has regular contact with your child and educators. Ongoing training and professional development is provided for educators to ensure children are being involved in meaningful experiences which support and enhance children’s learning and development.

Pohutukawa Kids Educators provide a range of learning experiences and play equipment in homes but also have the flexibility to utilise opportunities in the local community to further extend the children in their care.

educator / child ratio

One educator and a maximum of four children (a maximum of two under two year olds at any one time) which allows Pohutukawa Kids children to enjoy individual attention as well as a quality programme. This includes fun and active learning experiences at home, and in the community.

weekly playgroups

These are provided by Pohutukawa Kids and are run by an ECE Teacher. At these sessions children enjoy age appropriate free play. Individual programmes are designed specific to individual children's interests and talents.

regular excursions / outings

We recognises the benefits of stimulating children within the home, as well as utilising resources within the community. This provides a wealth of opportunities for children to socialise. This in turn builds confidence in forming relationships with others.

interest packs

To meet the learning and developmental needs of children we provide our educators with monthly packs. Our educators choose from a wide range of resources for their pack that ensures the current interests and needs of the children in their care are being met.

our staff



Raelene Somerton

Kia ora, I’m Raelene and I’m one of the coordinators at Pohutukawa Kids.  I have 3 girls of my own, with my youngest having gone through home-based care. I have been involved in early childhood for the past 20 years, with over 8 of these years being in home-based care and education. I have the privilege of working beside children, families and educators, building upon children’s interests and strengths and celebrating their individuality every day.   Seeing the quality time spent with a child at such an important stage in their lives within home-based care drives my passions and is why I love what I do.

Cassandra Blumfield

Kia ora, I’m Cassandra and I work as a Co-ordinator alongside the amazing team at Pohutukawa Kids. I am a mum myself and have over thirteen years’ experience working in early childhood education. I am passionate about supporting tamariki, whanau and educators in our community, sharing my knowledge of early education, developing genuine relationships and working to build a stronger community where our tamariki will thrive. I believe that children benefit when they have people in their lives who love, nurture and protect them. I see home based education as a pillar for this care of children, where loving educators teach and guide children in their homes.


Tamara Douglas

Kia Ora from Wairoa, my name is Tamara and I am excited to have joined the fantastic Pohutukawa Kids team. I have been involved in education for the past 13 years, firstly within the primary school sector and more recently as an ECE teacher.  Since having my own three children I have realised the importance of quality early childhood education as it builds strong foundations for life-long learning.

Establishing respectful, reciprocal relationships are at the heart of learning and in-home education supports this by offering small ratios, home-like environments with educators who nurture and support each child.

Debbie Moorcroft

Hi, I am Office Manager at Pohutukawa Kids. I am married with two grown children and I have background in office administration and reception. I believe that it is crucial to have quality early childhood experiences in the first five years of life. Working within this environment is both uplifting and rewarding. I look forward to meeting and supporting parents, educators and children in any way I can.


Natalie Torrance

Hi, my name is Natalie and I have been involved in Early Childhood Education for over 7 years, starting when my youngest was just young.

I have a Secondary Teaching Diploma, Exercise Science Degree and I am currently studying towards my Diploma in Tertiary Teaching. I have two children, Micaiah and Noah, who inspire me every day.

My passion is in inspiring and building teams of educators who work collaboratively to achieve high levels of positive outcomes for your child.

Sharon Mogford

(relief co-ordinator)

I have been working professionally with children for over 20 years. I am a mum and nana, and I am lucky to be able to spend time with my two young grandsons on a regular basis. I have been working with Pohutukawa Kids for over 5 years, previously as a fulltime coordinator. My philosophy of childcare and development revolves around the importance of play-based learning. I am passionate about supporting educators to provide the best care and learning for children.

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