About Us


We deliver excellence in Early Childhood Education.

Tamariki and whānau are at the heart of every kindergarten. We focus on the formation of supportive and respectful relationships with each family.

We love playing in nature. Our environments are fun places where we explore, discover and learn together.

Our kindergartens are part of the community and the children/tamariki are involved in their community through excursions, visitors and special events.

Parents and whānau are at the heart of every kindergarten and we aim to create supportive and respectful relationships with every family/whānau. We encourage families/whānau to stay or visit at any time to see what their children/tamariki are up to and participate in our programmes as they wish.

At kindergarten we employ only 100% qualified and registered kaiako. This means that every one of our kaiako will have either a Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood Education, Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) or equivalent as a minimum qualification.

We also ensure that our kaiako keep up to date with the latest educational research and trends through participation in high quality local, national and international seminars, workshops and conferences.

Our outdoor play areas are spacious, attractive and well-resourced.

We have a strong emphasis on being in nature and have our own section of land with native bush at Myross Bush where tamariki from all kindergartens are able to explore and learn about the natural environment. See Our Place for Discovering Nature – Taiao Tuhura to learn more about this.

Hours, Pricing and Enrolment

We offer a variety of hours and times to suit the needs of the community.

Our Kindergartens operate Kindergarten Day models which offer extended sessions up to a maximum of six hours per day. Within the six hour day there are options for morning or afternoon sessions.

Session times vary by kindergarten, to check your local kindergarten’s hours, see the Kindergartens section.

Some of our kindergartens are now full year kindergartens, which means that they remain open through the traditional term break closures during the year. They will have 3 Teacher only days during the year and will be closed for an extended break over the Christmas Period.

We also have one facility which offers full day education and care for children aged two to five years. The Cottage Kindergarten in Invercargill only closes for a three week break over the Christmas period.



Our fee is $4.00 per hour.

Under current government policy all 3, 4 and 5 year old children are eligible for 20 hours of free early childhood education. 20 Hours ECE is available at all our kindergartens and if you bring your 20 hours to selected kindergartens you will not be charged a fee for any additional hours.


We request a $5 per day per whanau (regardless of attending full or part day). This means if you have multiple children attending, it is still $5 per day per whānau.

The donation will be used across our kindergarten network to fund some of the direct operational costs of your kindergarten, as well as indirect costs. Costs include item such as;

-telephone, internet, power
-heath and safety expenses


We recommend enrolling your child at your local Kindergarten when they are two years old. Our system for enrolment operates through a waiting list, so entry age is dependent on the number of children on the waiting list for your location.

If you would like to find out more please complete the Enrolment form or contact your local kindergarten, our friendly teachers will be happy to help you.

Term Dates


Term 1: 24 January – 6 April 2023

Term 2: 24 April – 30 June 2023

Term 3: 17 July – 22 September 2022

Term 4: 9 October – 20 December 2023


13 January 2023 - 20 December 2023


The Southland Free Kindergarten Association is a licensed early childhood education provider, with 24 kindergartens throughout Southland.

We receive bulk funding from the Ministry of Education.

We are a non-profit organisation and are governed by an elected Board of Governors.

A General Manager is employed to implement board policy and to administer the association and its kindergartens.

Board of Governors

Our board consists of up to eight elected members as well as ex officio positions of General Manager

President: Victoria Sinclair

Vice President: Chris Kennet

Board members: Louise King, Micaela Bekhuis

General Manager: Patrick Edwards

Roles and Responsibilities

Our board’s key roles and responsibilities are:

  • Overall governance of the Association
  • Direction of the Association
  • Long term planning including financial, facilities and services
  • Policy development and review
  • Consultation and communication

Board meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month. All members are required to attend meetings on a regular basis, read mail and be well prepared for all meetings.