What sets New Shoots centres apart from the rest
What sets New Shoots centres apart from the rest? We sit down with co-owner, director and founder, Michelle Pratt…
Tell us about your background and how New Shoots came to be?
Twelve years ago, Nikki Prendergast and I sat down together after many years owning and operating early childhood centres, and we asked ourselves, "If we could build our dream for children, what would this be?" Our desire was to create and provide children and families with a place that ‘felt right’.
What are some of the guiding principles behind the success of your centres?
Positivity. We're optimistic, enthusiastic, and fun by nature. We love working with other people in our sector, contributing our creativity and ideas. For us, being inspiring means understanding that we can make a difference.
We are purposeful. We live and act with intention and integrity and have defined goals that drive us forward every day. Trust is critical in early childhood education, and being honest and authentic to who we are and our intentions, means creating a safe and open environment for all who we interact with.
We are supportive. Instinctively, we desire to be supportive, encourage, and lift people up. We’re warm and caring in nature and desire to always bring out the best in people. Being supportive brings empathy, patience, flexibility, and diplomacy to our everyday interactions.
We believe that every person is unique, with something valuable to offer. We guide children in uncovering their own unique strengths, and in turn, they’re constantly teaching us.
A community focus is hugely important to us. We design our own centres – each one is unique and uses considered, high-end environmental design to create a space that perfectly suits the needs of the children and teachers, and encourages imagination and play. Using environmentally friendly design practises, all of our resources are ethically-sourced and provide varied learning opportunities. Our approach to learning is through play-based theory and our curriculum is key to the children’s development.
When do new parents need to start thinking about childcare if they’re planning on going back to work?
The reality today is that it's best to start looking when you find out you're pregnant. There are long waiting lists for many services across New Zealand so you'll want to be organised so you can make the choice that suits your family best. High-quality early childhood education is in premium demand, and you need to look at your choice as early as possible to avoid disappointment.
Stay tuned for the next part in our series, where Michelle talks us through what to look out for when choosing childcare | newshoots.co.nz