Te Whare Kōhungahunga o UC | Early Childhood Learning Centre (ECLC)


116 Ilam Road, Ilam Christchurch 8140

Childcare Type
Education and care centre
0 - 5

Nau mai, haere mai, ki Te Whare Kōhungahunga o UC | Early Childhood Learning Centre. Kei te mihi ki ngā whānau hōu me ō koutou tamariki. Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa.

Welcome to Te Whare Kōhungahunga o UC | Early Childhood Learning Centre (ECLC), the University of Canterbury’s childcare and early learning centre. We accommodate children from zero to six years old and accept enrolments from students, staff and members of the wider community.

We are uniquely placed at the heart of the UC campus and are conveniently located for you to see your child at any time during the day. The campus environment allows our children to explore their surroundings in a safe and calm way. Often you will see groups of excited children walking through places like the Ilam Gardens and surrounding fields as well as visiting departments such as Zoology and Geology, the libraries and the University Bookshop.

We follow the New Zealand Early Childhood curriculum (Te Whāriki He Whāriki Mātauranga mō ngā Mokopuna o Aotearoa - The Strands of the Woven Web for the Children of New Zealand) and practise the principles of creative free play, allowing each child the freedom to discover their sense of self whilst participating in a stimulating programme. We also include Magda Gerber’s principles of primary caregiving into practice: when a child enters our care, we assign them a teacher who acts as their primary caregiver during the day with us. This establishes a consistent and trusting relationship between teacher and child, and when the child is ready, we encourage them to form relationships with other teachers and children.

Mātauranga Mātāpono | Philosophy

Our philosophy embodies the principles of the New Zealand early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki He Whāriki Mātauranga mō ngā Mokopuna o Aotearoa - The Strands of the Woven Web for the Children of New Zealand.

Te Whāriki He Whāriki Mātauranga mō ngā Mokopuna o Aotearoa

Whāngaia ka tupu, ka puāwai.

That which is nurtured, blossoms and grows

Our children, whānau | families and the teaching team form a warm, rich and diverse community of learners that is supported within the wider University of Canterbury. We value the opportunity this gives us to be part of the University environment and the access to other learning experiences on campus.

We recognise tangata whenua and that our unique bicultural heritage is founded in Te Tiriti o Waitangi | Treaty of Waitangi and that our children experience the languages, music, art and stories of the cultures of Aotearoa. We welcome, value and respect the diversity within our Centre irrespective of ethnicity, culture, religion, socioeconomic status, or gender differences.

We recognise the important role of whānau tangata and the importance of developing respectful, reciprocal relationships with tamariki and families. We value and respect the unique knowledge and contributions of whānau in the decision making process around their child’s care and education.

Teachers attend scheduled meetings sharing knowledge and engaging in reflective practice as well as discussing programme planning for each child. Through learning stories, observation and discussion, teachers enhance opportunities to build children’s learning dispositions and working theories.

In the under twos, we believe that any environment children come into contact with has a powerful impact on what they learn about themselves, the people and the world around them. We believe our children require the freedom to explore the environment in a calm and peaceful atmosphere at their own pace.

Following the principles of primary caregiving, we promote respect, empathy, and trust with our children. By providing a key teacher to each child, we enable the child to develop a trusting relationship with the teacher, which supports trusting relationships with other teachers and children. Respectful, reciprocal and sensitive relationships support children’s autonomy, self-regulation, positive sense of self, self-motivation, sense of fun and ability to cope with change. We promote an environment of free movement, where children are not placed in positions (such as sitting or standing) that they cannot get into by themselves.

Our over twos children enjoy an environment where they feel a sense of security, belonging and can have fun. We have an emergent curriculum that encourages and empowers tamariki to learn through play, both independently and alongside their peers and teachers. Our philosophy is underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early Childhood Curriculum. Children are viewed as individuals who are supported by caring adults to reach their full potential. The programme is based on the interests of each child and provides tamariki with time to investigate, explore, discover and to make sense of the world around them. Children are encouraged to be self-motivated learners and creative thinkers while building a foundation for life-long learning.

Our cohesive and dedicated teaching team provides a quality teaching and learning environment by developing and sustaining supportive staff relationships where we share and value individual and collective knowledge. We are committed to maintaining a high level of trained and registered teachers thus ensuring we offer a high quality programme.

Our learning environment is shaped by the values of:

Tuākana Tēina
The expert shares with the learner

I can be both an expert and a learner.

My siblings can be my teachers.

I can share my knowledge

I can take on different roles in different circumstances.

Learning together

I am confident to share my ideas with others

I share my knowledge through words and actions

I am a learner and a teacher

My teachers believe in me and allow me time to problem solve

My teachers know they have a lot to learn from me

Kindness and caring

I feel welcomed

My whānau are welcomed and included

I am respected and valued

I will show kindness towards others and it will be shown to me

I respect my environment

I know how to be a kind player.

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



Sessional Hours
Sessional Hours



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