It's been a long time coming!

Since instigating a Forest Programme excursioning from our previous centre some years ago, we have wanted to make this a dedicated centre, where children can not just visit, but have a base in a beautiful native forest.  We have spent more than a year searching high and low for the perfect place, and we have finally found our slice of heaven.   It has the ideal amount of challenge, a gorgeous area for our building, a clearing for lots of sunshine, and a gorgeous body of water - the The Waitakaruru Stream.  The stream is a major tributary of the Piako River, and has loads of local eels we can make friends with.

The stream has a wonderful history as a baptismal site for the local Māori people long ago, and we are investigating its importance as we work with the children to write our kaupapa to share with you. 

We know that as we work alongside and learn with children, everything that happens to them in our care will influence them - not just their cognitive development, but the way they think about themselves, their identity and the way they see themselves as learners.   We have a deep respect for the environment as the third teacher, and have our fully qualified teachers as a support system to the environment itself, following the lead of the children's interests. 

We aim to empower lifelong learners that have a strong connection to the land, a commitment to sustainability and an empathy for all life forms.  Learners that will go forward on their journey knowing who they are and how to articulate their needs, confident that they make a difference in the world and that they matter.

forest based daycare cambridge
childcare cambridge

Meet the team

Megan - Registered Teacher (Btchg ECE) | Childcare Cambridge

Kayla - Registered Teacher (Btchg ECE) - Forest Leader

 Kia ora my name is Kayla. I grew up on a farm, I have always been surrounded by animals, nature children, being the eldest of six children in my whaanau. I was the child with the goofy fashion, bare feet, covered in mud and I always had my head in the clouds.  My whaanau is a beautiful blended whaanau that has empowered me to follow my dream of being an early childhood kaiako. I am currently living in Morrinsville with my fiance and furry babies Allie (Golden retriever) and puss and boots (e rua ngeru/2 cats).  I spend my spare time traveling to new places, camping and raiding my parents' kitchen for food.

Tamariki have the gift of seeing the magic in every detail of the world and the way their minds work is beautiful. I was born to be a kaiako and I believe in encouraging children to express their ideas, to use their imagination and to follow their curiosity.  I am excited to be working at The Forest, reconnecting our tamarki with the magic of nature.

Sophie - Registered Teacher - (Btchg ECE) | Daycare Cambridge

Arnika - Registered Teacher - (Btchg ECE) - Forest Leader

Arnika grew up in the bush with her family, so this is a 'coming home' for her.   Diagnosed with dyslexia as a child, Arnika initially didn't think she could ever qualify as a teacher with her different learning needs, so is a true testament to the benefits of perseverance and resilience.  As she has worked extra hard for her degree she has become one of our most skilled teachers.   These are the very dispositions that we strive to instil in our children, and no one understands the importance and the benefits of these more than Arnika.

Arnika is another heart-centred teacher, who has been with us for many years. She is a fierce advocate for both children and education, and is the perfect complement to our team to lead adventures into the forest with your precious children. 

Arnika loves camping in the outdoors, and spending time with her daughter, friends and family.  She looks forward to meeting and working with all our prospective families.

Vicky  - Office Manager | daycare Cambridge

Jo - Registered Teacher - Btchg (ECE), BMid - Owner/Director

Jo has been working in ECE for twelve years, since she and her husband opened their previous centre here in Cambridge.   Children have always been her career choice, her and Craig have eight beautiful children, and prior to being a teacher, Jo was an independent midwife.  Working with families and children is a true calling for her.

Owning a large centre previously inspired the dream - the very small - fully qualified teachers - outdoors in nature every day - working with animals - dream.  As she learned what was 'best' for children through continual development and research, she and Craig began to plan.  The plan has been years in the making, and The Forest opening is the fulfillment of that dream.    

Jo and Craig and the passionate team of handpicked, experienced and passionate teachers are honoured to have your children come to The Forest, and incredibly proud of the environment and quality early education they are able to offer your whānau.  Welcome to the Forest!

Megan - Registered Teacher (Btchg ECE) | Childcare Cambridge

Katie - Registered Teacher - Dip Tchg (ECE) - Forest Leader

Kia Ora, My name is Katie. I have been an Early Childhood Teacher going on 13 years and have always loved caring for others, animals and nature. I feel privileged to be able to work in an environment where these are at the heart of what we do.

To be able to be a part of teaching the tamariki amongst nature is such a gift. I am looking forward to supporting them to discover the awe and wonder in our beautiful natural environment and the endless learning opportunities for them unfolding.

I believe in strong reciprocal relationships where our children are provided an extended family within our care. This is important to me as I have seen how lovely it is for my tamariki being comfortable and confident in their learning environments and how when they are they flourish. I want all children to be happy and comfortable to be themselves so they too can flourish in which ever direction their journey takes them.

My husband and I live in Te Miro with our two sons, we live on a little lifestyle block, with our mini farm of animals. We have the pleasure of contract milking on one of the beautiful local farms. I grew up in northland and in my spare time I enjoy going back up there to be with family and friends.

Sophie - Registered Teacher - (Btchg ECE) | Daycare Cambridge

Vicky - Office Manager - She-Who-Knows-Everything

Keeping all this awesomeness together takes some real talent and administrational strength, which is what Vicky brings to the play-doh table every day.  Vicky is multi talented, she does all the paperwork that goes with the centre (and that is A LOT OF PAPER), plus formats our newsletters, is the main communication between home and centre, facilitates our policy and key document reviews and generally makes sure we all have the information we need, when we need it.  

We all value Vicky's exceptional organisational abilities and the outstanding service she offers to families and children plus the humour and lightheartedness she brings to any situation.
Vicky is Cambridge born and bred. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in town with her hubby, three gorgeous daughters and a ragdoll cat that is the true boss of the household. Vicky loves being at the beach with family and friends whenever the opportunity arises.  

As a 'Forest Family' Vicky will be central to the team that you see each day providing quality care and education to your child, and excellent service to yourself.

Vicky  - Office Manager | daycare Cambridge

Hannah - Registered Teacher - Btchg (ECE) - Forest Leader

Having recently completed the Forest Educator's qualification with ERAFANS, Hannah is excited to be out with the children in the Forest encouraging their love of nature.  She is a mother to 2 pre-schoolers and married to a dairy farmer.  Hannah loves living rurally and when she and the children are not out exploring on the farm, the family enjoys spending time together at the beach, fishing, camping, biking and being with their wider whānau.  

Hannah is passionate about children learning through nature play!  She loves the wonder and awe tamariki experience immersed in Papatūānuku and gets excited to see children's creativity run wild and their imaginations activated when surrounded in natural spaces.  Hannah believes that nurturing relationships are key when working with children and from a secure base with their caregivers, tamariki can feel free to explore and extend their learning through self-directed play. She loves how nature encourages a slower pace, inspires, excites, and calms.  Hannah has been interested in the Forest Kindergarten concept overseas for a long time so feel incredibly excited and lucky to be a part of The Forest team here in Te Miro.

A Forest Education is what Every child deserves.

Contact us now to enquire about a space.