We would like to place the spotlight on our Sustainable Little Learner Community Childcare Centres who are doing amazing things for our young people and are dedicated to minimising waste to create a sustainable environment.

This week we asked Nikky Tauranga from Country Bears Nature Childcare about Country Bears unique stance on sustainability and what ways they are able to minimize waste in the centre.

What makes your learning environment unique?

To achieve and support our values and vision we are privileged with an established 5-acre rural property unlike any other centre in the area. Being situated away from the main road, we can venture out beyond the fence to our paddocks of long grass, mature bush (or as our children know it as “our forest”) and large gardens which provide a diverse natural setting for exploratory play & learning.  Environments like these are pinnacle to our centre and provide an endless route for exploration, fostering a love for the earth, nature and towards healthy living

How has using Little & Brave Eco Nappies changed your outgoing waste?

Since using Little & Brave, our general rubbish has reduced considerably, which makes us feel so good that all those nappies are not going to landfill.

Which memories of your centre would you like the children to take away with them when they leave?

That the children have a love for learning assisted by discovering the wonders of nature as they head off to school.  That empathy and respect is paramount to all living things through relationships and connections to Papatūānuku (mother earth).

Which kinds of changes have you seen develop within your centre in terms of sustainability?

We use Little & Brave nappies and Eco-store products that are child friendly and free from nasty toxins and chemicals for all our cleaning.  We use a neighbour, Pioneer Toys, to create our tables and chairs using recycled NZ timber.

What environmentally sustainable practices have you adopted at the centre?

We minimise the use of plastic wherever we can source an alternative, recycle where possible, food scraps go to our local Animal Sanctuary, we endeavour to be bee-friendly and planting that encourages insects and birdlife, we collect rainwater or ‘sky juice’ as the children call it!

Is gardening or composting a part of your centre learning?

We do gardening with the children throughout different seasons and hope to plant more fruit trees in the future.  We have some garden beds that will be utilised to grow vegetables that the children can then enjoy as our amazing Chef prepares home cooked meals every day.

How do you teach sustainability to the children within your centre?

Encourage children to learn about the importance of reducing waste through our curriculum, discuss how it affects our water and sea life etc.  Teach children to give their food waste to animals, to respect all living things, growing of seedlings etc

Country Bears Nature Childcare are committed to minimising their social, environmental and ethical impact. Country Bears Early Childhood Centre is the longest established learning centre in Kumeu. Nestled among the natural beauty of West Auckland’s native forest, we are so pleased to welcome them to our Sustainable Little Learners community.

They are located at Country Bears Nature Childcare, 79 Oraha Road, Kumeu, Auckland.

If you have an early childhood centre, daycare or local kindergarten and would like to learn more about how Little & Brave can help you become more sustainable, please email hello@littleandbrave.co.nz