Early Years owner Michial Wood is baking muffins at her early childhood education centre in Stanmore Bay when Hibiscus Matters arrives to meet her. All around are the sounds of children enjoying their day.
Qualified early childhood teacher Michial loves this lively atmosphere – she and husband Lawrence have four children, aged 9-17 years, and they also take in foster children, so it’s busy at home too.
“Family holds great importance to us,” Michial says. “And our goal is to cultivate a family atmosphere at Early Years.”
She has always wanted to care for children, having grown up in a large whānau. She began her training as a teenager, straight from school, and has been in the sector ever since.
This is the couple’s second centre – they previously had one in Christchurch.
Early Years is a small, independent business that caters for up to 40 children, aged 0-6, with five teachers and a facility that includes space for all kinds of learning, woodwork, art, water play and a dedicated space for the under-twos. There are two outdoors areas, and the location at Blue Heron Rise, provides easy access to a nearby park – visits there are loved by the children, Michial says.
The centre follows a child-led philosophy in which children are respected – inspired by Reggio Emilia and the RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers) beliefs of Magda Gerber.
“There is also a nice mix of different cultures in our centre, which makes everyone in the Coast community feel welcome,” Michial says.
Business Directory: Early Years