At Christopher and Robin Early Childhood Centre we base our care and education upon these three philosophies:

  • Reggio Emilia
  • Schemas
  • RIE by Magda Gerber

These approaches enable us to provide care tailored for each and every child.

To provide a safe home away from home and to encourage children to take a growing responsibility for their own quality learning and behaviour and to achieve this with a Christian emphasis, in partnership with the family.

At Christopher & Robin we will:

  • Nurture and provide a warm, caring environment for each child
  • Encourage a child's family to engage in their care and education as a co-operative venture
  • Contribute to the child feeling in control of his/her own learning
  • Expose the child to a wide range of expressive media to develop the spontaneous joy of successful learning
  • Equip the child with strategies of "how to learn" including the confidence to take risks
  • Allow the child time to reflect in order to achieve quality 

We are inspired by the philosophy of the Reggio Emilia approach and its principles of respect, responsibility, and community. This is achieved through exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment based on the interests of the children.

The Reggio Emilia philosophy is based upon the following set of principles:

  • Children must have some control over the direction of their learning;
  • Children must be able to learn through authentic experiences of touching, moving, listening, seeing, and hearing;
  • Children have a relationship with other children and with material items in the world that they explore and
  • Children must have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves.

The Reggio Emilia approach to teaching young children puts the natural development of children as well as the close relationships that they share with their environment. We view the environment as the “third teacher”. We believe it gives children important messages and cues. In other words, the environment ‘speaks’ to children - about what they can do, how and where they can do it and how they can work together.

Schemas are repeated patterns in children’s play. More specifically, a schema is a thread of thought which is demonstrated by repeated actions and patterns in children’s play or art. Children repeat actions over and over again, as if testing something out – and indeed they are. Knowing about schemas helps us to understand the patterns we see in children’s play and why they are so driven to repeat them.

Some examples of schema play are:

  • Transporting: Picking thing up, moving them and dumping them. Loading prams and trolleys up with objects and moving them from place to place.
  • Transforming: Materials which change shape, colour or consistency. Nothing stays clean.
  • Trajectory: Horizontal, vertical or diagonal movement of things or self. Things flying through the air, child moves at a run.
  • Rotation: Things that turn, loves wheels, exploring curved lines, loves circles.
  • Enclosing/enveloping: Surrounds things, likes getting inside a defined area. Loves boxes or wrapping themselves up in layers of blankets. Hides.
  • Connecting: Joining things together, ties things up.
  • Disconnecting: Opposite to connecting. Takes things apart or scatters parts around.
  • RIE (resources for infant educarers) and Magda Gerber philosophy
We understand that an unhurried day is more comfortable for infants and adults. We know that transitions and routines can happen at natural moments, providing a background framework rather than a fixed daily structure. We value care moments as precious opportunities for learning and building strong relationships.
Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE)

In order to foster quality care RIE encourages:

  • Basic trust in the child to be an initiator, an explorer and a self-learner
  • An environment for the child that is physically safe, cognitively challenging and emotionally nurturing
  • Time for uninterrupted play
  • Freedom to explore and interact with other infants
  • Involvement of the child in all care activities to allow the child to become an active participant rather than a passive recipient
  • Sensitive observation of the child in order to understand the child’s needs
  • Consistency, clearly defined limits and expectations to develop self-discipline
  • All four of our children have been through Christopher & Robin ECC and cannot speak highly enough of the care and love they have given each of our children. The staff are so kind and caring and any ideas or issues that we have had, have been listened to and dealt with in such a professional manner. Our children all settled in so well to the centre and were always excited to go. I love the portfolio’s that the centre does, it captures all of their learning and progression throughout their pre-school years and our older children still enjoy looking back on their folders even at age 6 & 8 yrs old!,

    I cannot speak highly enough of the dedicated staff that care for little Madison now. When your little two year old runs to the teacher for a cuddle in the morning, you know that they are so happy to be going. There is always so much that goes on during the day I am amazed with some of the things that Madison is learning already! The children are able to explore their environment and things that interest them.

    Thanks so much for all the hard work you put in to caring for our little ones – you are amazing!!!

    Jo & Wayne Blomfield

  • Our family has grown up and it is time to leave the family nest at Christopher & Robin.  It is with Summer coming of age 5 that will see us departing on the 18th of February with some sadness, never the less full of the wonderful memories and the on going influences of the education you have provided to James and Summer.    Without a doubt you are the BESTEST (if there is such a word) and we are grateful for the love and caring of all of us throughout the past 5 years.

    What we liked about C & R:
    The staff – you are the glue;
    The food – Debbie you spoil the kids;
    The Christmas shows – treasured memories.;
    Greg & Dorice – Always approachable.
    Charity Support – keep this up it’s an important part and families do appreciate the gifts of help.  We will continue to support it after we have gone.;
    Flexibility – always finding or offering a solution without offence.; Culture – embracing our heritage.

    A big thank you to everyone,

    Jason and Bronwynne Hodges

  • My two children Dane & Lewis Bertinshaw both attended Christopher & Robin. Lewis started at the age of 2 and stayed there until he started school, Dane started at the age of 3 and stayed there until he started school.

    Christopher & Robin to me was a solid foundation for my children to begin their early years of education and I recommend them to everyone.  I found the quality of learning was high and I liked how it was integrated into fun play.  Going into school both boys were well prepared.

    Both my boys were very happy at Christopher & Robin and still often ask to go and visit. From time to time staff would change.  This never effected my childrens comfort or learning and I had full confidence in whoever Dorice & Greg employed.

    The Bertinshaw Family

  • I cannot express how happy we are with the service of care our son received at Christopher & Robin ECC.  You provided him with great structure each day which gave him a chance to explore and learn while having fun, and this has definitely helped set him up with a great foundation to start off his school years.  You also teach the children invaluable life skills that Lincoln will carry with him for the rest of his life. 

    All the teachers are truly amazing and you all became a part of Lincoln’s family while he was there; ‘our home away from home’ .  

    Thank you so much.

    The Cooksey-Otautaha Family

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