History, Background and Location - Developing the Magic
Magic Garden opened its first purpose-built centre in February 1998 - Magic Garden East Coast Bays Care and Education Centre. This was the first centre that Jenni, the founder had designed and owned. A few years later three more centres were built at Northcross. The East Coast Bays centre was sold in August 2007, leaving the three remaining Magic Garden centres within one purpose-built complex at Northcross in Browns Bay.
These three centres were opened in 2001, 2003, and 2004. The three centres cater for children from 0-5 years of age with rolls of:
Infants and Toddlers - 25 children
Over Two years - 40 children
Over Three years - 40 children
These centres were designed so that families can have uninterrupted continuous care during the whole preschool period.
In November 2020 the centre was sold to Jo and Paul Blair. Jo Blair is a qualified Early Childhood teacher.
Magic Garden is led by Sharon Andrews, who holds a Bachelor of Education (ECE) and is a fully registered teacher.
Each centre has it’s own supervisor, assistant supervisor and a stable, competent staff team of qualified early childhood teachers. Magic Garden employs only talented and passionate people.
What makes Magic Garden special and magic?
The centre name has special significance. The name 'Magic' was chosen because the preschool years are a time when 'magic' things happen to children in their growth and development. 'Garden' is reflective of the concept of kindergarten, the preschool garden where children play. 'Care' comes first when looking after young children, and when a child is happy and settled 'Education' happens.
From it’s inception Magic Garden has been inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy and practices from northern Italy, and Magda Gerba/RIE™ practices, alongside the New Zealand curriculum, Te Whãriki, and the cultural values of the area. The Reggio pedagogical approach has been described as being the best and most innovative approach in the world (Newsweek, 1991). The Magda Gerber/RIE™ approach for 0-3 years is based on respect for the child, and complements the Reggio approach in style. These approaches naturally build on, expand, and extend the New Zealand curriculum, Te Whãriki. These influences have impacted on everyone who comes to Magic Garden: the management, the teachers, the children and parents.
The centres are purpose-built and have space to develop in a Reggio manner. It is here that the environments are designed to be the third teacher; where the concept of the image of the child as being a competent, capable learner collaborating within a community of learners is held; where strong relationships with parents and all adults are valued; where listening to the child is important to be able to interpret and elaborate their ideas; where documentation of children's learning in multiple ways traces the children's experiences and work.
We encourage you to visit the Reggio Emilia website at www.reggiochildren.it