Centrally located in
Palmerston North and Feilding

Spacious, attractive, well established grounds provide both space and flow for children.

Our well-established childcare settings provide an environment for children to experience a direct contact with nature, stimulating an interest in taking care of the natural environment.

Puddleducks’ educational programme is based on needs and interests of the children that are attending. Programme planning is based on the emergent curriculum and is documented in the form of learning stories. We use Storypark to enhance programme planning. Families are encouraged to support us with planning and all teachers ensure parents are kept informed of their child’s progress by regular one to one contact with the parents.


The arts are a necessary part of a child’s development and a strong aspect of Puddleducks’ philosophy. Through the arts (drama, storytelling, puppets, music, art and craft) children develop confidence in sharing their thoughts, feelings and ideas through a wide range of different mediums. Children take part in science, reading, literature, carpentry, cooking, gardening, information technology, body movement and physical education.

At Puddleducks’ there are planned opportunities for play of the highest quality. Children have fun and learn at the same time, guided by skilled professionals who know how to extend their thinking during play. Children move between activities, exercising choices, developing independence and confidence. They learn about the world and start to understand how it works.

Yes, they play a lot –that’s why they learn such a lot too!


Primary care



Primary care is the core philosophy of our infant & toddler classrooms providing high quality childcare

A “Primary Caregiver” is the child’s special teacher who is responsible for care rituals, observations, communication with families and setting appropriate learning objectives. This does not mean that the child and their primary caregiver maintain an exclusive relationship. It allows the primary caregiver to become the in-centre expert on the child.

Each child is assigned a primary caregiver before they start their pre-visits. A primary caregiver has a focus group and a buddy. A buddy is another teacher who works alongside the primary caregiver with their focus group of children. The buddy knows the children and their routines to ensure the child’s needs are met at times if the primary caregiver is unavailable.

Infant needs are met foremost by their primary caregiver and then by their buddy teacher in order for them to establish a strong bond from the beginning. If a child has a preference to a particular teacher, changes may be made to acknowledge and respect this child’s feelings.

Infant and toddler care rituals are valued as special times and valuable learning opportunities

Teachers are flexible throughout the day and prioritise children’s needs, parents needs and break times to ensure consistent care.

Primary caregivers recognise learning and plan for each individual child, ensuring positive experiences. Within the team is a support system incorporating consistent primary caregivers who know children well and support their team members when needed. Relief teachers unfamiliar to the children do not participate in care routines. Relievers are encouraged to interact with children and support the teaching team with daily housekeeping tasks.

A caring and nurturing childcare environment is provided for our infants and toddlers. We recognise that each child’s emotional security is paramount and that this directly affects their learning and development. We maintain a peaceful and unhurried environment. Our daily routine is relaxed and flexible, allowing for each child’s home routines to be followed as much as possible, easing transitions between home and centre.


I really enjoyed visiting your centre when I was visiting our family earlier this year. It was great to meet the staff when I delivered my grandson one day and to observe how they knew all of the children so well. They were concerned about where they all were and what they were doing. I especially liked the way they took some time to have a chat with me about my grandson, while keeping a roving eye on all the children.
As we don’t live in the Manawatu area, we really appreciate my daughter-in-law sending us through the recounts that the teachers write about our grandson’s exciting and energetic activities at Puddleducks’. These recounts are amazing. We love the way that they really capture the essence of our grandson by including detailed descriptions of very focused and well managed activities and direct quotes as well. These bring a huge smile to our faces. I make a copy of the recounts and display them proudly on my photo board. All other family members like to check them out too!
Marilyn (Grandmother)


Free Movement



We encourage children’s motor development to progress naturally and unassisted. For this reason we do not have equipment such as bouncers, highchairs or walkers.

We believe the best place for infants’ physical development is on the floor where they are able to learn to move their bodies as nature intended, rather than being supported or restricted in devices which place them in positions they are not ready for.

Free movement allows children to develop agility, spatial awareness, co-ordination, balance, as well as good judgment about what they can and can’t do, thereby keeping themselves safe from harm.

When families enrol we talk openly with them about our Free Movement practices. For ease of transition our goal is for families to practice the same philosophies at home as we do at Puddleducks.


Fun at Four



Fun @ Four is an inclusive, optional programme for four year old children

Fun @ Four empowers children to learn and grow alongside their peers. Everyday there is a session where children and teachers practice using dispositions through games. Each game has an intentional focus to engage a child’s social and emotional, physical and cognitive thinking.

At Fun @ Four we believe that children are active learners in their own community. Fun @ Four uses a variety of frameworks including Te Whaariki, Schema learning theory and Meta-cognition theory with dispositions as the core; these all support children to develop the skills they need for life.

We believe the child’s responsibility at Fun @ Four is to drive their own learning by participating in the programme in their own unique way. They will do this by sharing their ideas and working theories, listening to their peers and teachers, and challenging themselves to move forward socially and emotionally, physically, and cognitively.

The Fun @ Four programme enables children to operate and see themselves as powerful individuals in a community. Games create the optimum opportunity for learning where children develop a positive view of themselves, and gain independence within a supportive group environment.

Fun @ Four activities are embedded with literacy, numeracy, science, arts and fine & gross motor skills as well as opportunities for social and emotional development.

The Fun @ Four environment blends skills with intellectual knowledge so by the time the children are of school age, they will be well rounded individuals ready to take on a new challenge.