Discovery Junction


36 Cholmondeley Avenue, Opawa, Christchurch 8023

Childcare Type
Education and care centre
0 - 5

We welcome you, your tamariki and your whānau to our peaceful environment at Discovery Junction Early Learning Centre, where our kaiako provide quality care and education for infants, toddlers and tamariki aged from 3 months to 6 years.

Many things make Discovery Junction truly special. Being a purpose-built, colourful and character-filled early learning facility. Having a friendly group of people to work with and learn from. Nutritious meals, lots of toys, plenty of room to play indoors and out. The list goes on...

However, the one thing that truly sets us apart from other preschools and kindies is the location, location, location. Being over the road from St Marks Primary School, and less than a kilometre from Opawa Primary is a big bonus for many parents. It makes it easier to drop off and pick up the kids. It means the transition from ECE to primary is going to be more straight forward.

Our boutique centre is situated in a tree lined street in Opawa with lots of local places to visit all within walking distance. There’s a library, a rest home, and Risingholme Community Centre (which includes a playground, river and historic house) just down the road. Plenty of green space to kick through some leaves on a crisp winter’s day on a guided day trip with your early learning friends.

Our learners get to know the area and many will take the friends they make at Discovery Junction through to their primary school days. Our little neck of the woods becomes theirs. A place for learning and for creating ever-lasting foundational memories.

Our spaces

We have four age appropriate learning spaces catering for young minds at various developmental stages. These areas are packed with games, puzzles, arts supplies, books, mirrors, and playthings crafted from natural materials.

(0 - 2 years) Moehewa means to dream. To look to what is possible and what might be.

Our moehewa space is an enriched environment of love, kindness and calm – true to the nurturing processes of primary caregiving. The flexibility of this space allows tamariki to collaborate with their whanau and primary caregiver.

(2 - 3years) Kaihopara means to explore. Here venture forth and create new pathways.

Our Kaihopara space is true to tamariki led learning and is an environment of support, guidance and freedom of choice. In this room we continue to offer primary caregiving to those who require it and transition tamariki into a key teacher model as they begin to show signs of independence.

(3 - 4 years) Tuhura means to discover. This is where we start to find our own feet and our own place in the world - while being supported by friends and whanau.

Our Tuhura space is designed around observing individual goals while acknowledging and embracing whānau aspirations for each tamariki. We encourage tamariki to explore and discover while understanding limits and boundaries on all aspects of indoor and outdoor tamariki led play.

( 4 - 6 years) Waewae kai kapua means adventurers. This is where the journey of learning through discovery begins.

Our Waewae kai kapua space is true to celebrating all tamariki as being unique individuals, and is where tamariki have the opportunity to discover and learn through free play in small group experiences that incorporate essential skills for a seamless transition to school.

Exploratory play

Discovery Junction Early Learning Centre is a space for education, exploration, development, and nurturing for tamariki aged from 3 months to 6 years.

A collaborative approach

As an early childhood collaborative, Discovery Junction Early Learning Centre provides a supportive atmosphere where tamariki, kaiako and whanau come together to discover and grow.

Tamariki-led learning

Our uniquely holistic approach to early childhood education is built on a philosophy of tamariki centred learning through play that embraces the great outdoors.

Better kaiako - tamariki ratios

Many New Zealand early learning centres have a tamariki/kaiako ratio of 1:10 for tamariki over two years of age and 1:5 for tamariki under two years of age.

We cap our ratio at 1:8 and 1:4 and it is often much less. That way, growing minds get the attention they deserve being guided through their exploration of the stimulating environment around them.

Learning through nurturing

Our approach and curriculum supports children to set the pace for their own learning and develop according to their individual interests and also group interests.

Along with the use of Te Whāriki, we incorporate aspects of the RIE Philosophy and the Reggio Emilia approach into our programme. We value ourselves on providing a home away from home for our tamariki. Warmth, love and nurturing are woven through our philosophy ensuring that tamariki have the opportunity to nestle with people and nature.

Active participation

Our tamariki are active participants in their own learning journey and given opportunities to access the vibrant, earthy wonders of the outdoors.

At the same time, tamariki are developing social interactions with peers and engaging as competent and confident learners.

This allows them to build a degree of resilience through self-awareness, self-motivation and self-regulation.

Te Ao Māori

We value these tikanga

guardianship of people and the environment.

sharing, caring and nurturing.

fostering a sense of belonging.

The Education Review Office | Te Tari Arotake Mātauranga (ERO) is the New Zealand government’s external evaluation agency. It evaluates and report on the education and care of learners in schools, kura, kohanga reo, puna reo, and early childhood services.

ERO Report

3D Flythrough



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