03 385 3636 eccc.inc@xtra.co.nz
Established in 1978, the Educational Child Care Centre Incorporated has provided many years of quality care and education.

With an average of of 28 children daily aged 0-5 years, our teacher/child ratios are higher than those required by the Ministry of Education. Our experienced, trained teachers (B Tch Lrn, Dip. Tchg) are genuinely interested in providing a nurturing, creative environment to fully develop your child’s potential.
Our programme has a mixture of structured and free play sessions, enhanced by our large playgrounds.


We are here:
96 Gayhurst Road, Dallington, Christchurch 8061.
Ph 03 385 3636

Educational Childcare Centre Inc.

96 Gayhurst Road,
Dallington, Christchurch 8061.
Ph 03 385 3636

Click HERE to download our latest information booklet

The ECCC Story

The Educational Child Care Centre was established in 1978 by a group of high school teachers who had a vision of quality childcare and education for their children.

So the hard work began in setting up a not for profit community based centre run by a committee and a dedicated teaching team. In 35 years the families and teachers have changed but the principles remain the same.

At the ECCC we are all about relationships. We believe that the fundamental step prior to being able to do anything else is forming warm relationships. When a child feels a sense of belonging they grow into a strong capable person ready to take on any challenge the world may throw at them! Equally important is the relationship between the centre and home.

We love to hear family stories and aspirations and we eagerly share what has taken place in the child’s day. We strive to find new and exciting ways of sharing information through profile books, web page, txt pictures and Facebook. Communication is the cornerstone of a great centre family relationship. You will always be welcome to spend as much time as you like in our centre.

We have many long serving teachers and some fresh faces too… the perfect combination of experience, maturity, vitality and warmth, there will always be someone to gel with and meet your individual family’s needs.

Our under two environment is well resourced for young explorers. We nurture key teacher relationships to encourage strong attachments and to develop a unique understanding of each individual child’s needs.

We provide much higher ratios than the Ministry of Educations 1 to 5 requirements, we prefer to have 1 adult to 3 three under two children and 1 adult to 7 children in the over twos.

What about the learning? Well where do I begin?…whether it be in our fantastic outdoor environment or in our warm, eclectic, somewhat retro indoor environment there is always something exciting and stimulating to do. We provide many opportunities for baking, creating art masterpieces, music, dancing, playdough, waterplay, reading, puzzles, sandpit play, riding bikes or climbing the huge weeping willow.

While the majority of the day is child directed free play supported by teachers we do also have two structured group times. During group times children will separate into their own peer group and do age appropriate activities promoting language and literacy and numeracy. These structured times are fun and an inclusive way to introduce all the concepts for a foundation of life long learning.

So if this sounds like a place you would like to visit then come on down and have a look around… spend 2 minutes or 2 hours and see what you think. I look forward to meeting you soon.



Our Aims
  • Centre Management is committed to provide quality full-time care and education for children 0-6.
  • To provide experienced qualified teachers to foster the childrens’ full potential and to ensure their needs and rights are respected.
  • To provide a programme and curriculum which allows children to make choices and participate at their own level to enable the children and their families to learn and grow.
  • To provide a creative and stimulating environment from which children learn and develop physical, intellectual, emotional, social and language skills; facilitating smooth transition from home to day care and on to school.
  • To provide an environment as an extension of home, which is open and caring so that warm, respectful and reciprocal relationships develop between children, teachers and parents.
Our Philosophy

The Educational Child Care Centre is a non-profit making, Incorporated Society.

The members of the society are the parents. Qualified, registered, experienced teachers are employed to provide full time education and care for children 0–6 years of age.
We believe that our teaching ratios should be higher quality than the Ministry of Education minimum standards. We pride ourselves in providing an environment as an extension of home, which is open and caring so that warm, respectful and reciprocal relationships develop between children, teachers, parents and whānau.
Our teaching practices respect and acknowledge the principles set out in “Te Tiriti o Waitangi” through Te Reo and Tikānga Māori, as well as meeting the diverse needs of the multi-cultural community of our centre. We respect the children’s individual needs and differences.
We aim to promote their enquiring minds and high self esteem with quality programmes. These will stimulate and encourage the children to learn and develop to their full potential, becoming life-long learners.
The Educational Child Care Centre follows “Te Whāriki”, the Early Childhood Curriculum of Aotearoa. The Principles and strands of Te Whāriki are woven through out our assessment and planning and reflected in the children’s profiles.
We believe children learn through play. The majority of the time the children have free choice to play wherever they wish, in our extensive and natural outdoor environment, or in our well-resourced indoor setting. We also believe children need limits and boundaries and time to rest and relax as part of their day.
Most importantly the needs of the children are our first and major considerations.

Our Fees

Our Centre is open for 48 weeks per year from January to December.

The cost is $5.75 each hour or part of each hour.

Children aged 3 to 5 years old can receive 20 ECE funding for up to 6 hour per day to a maximum of 20 hours per week. We ask for an optional payment of $1.25 for each of these hours to help offset the cost of colour printing for the profile books and sun screen etc.

Ministry of Social Development (WINZ) childcare subsidies will be deducted from the child’s weekly fees.

Your child’s place on the roll may be retained for up to six whole weeks on an advance payment of a retainer of 40% of the current fees to enable families to have holidays together or should your child need to have an operation etc.

Please note that NO retainer is required while the Centre is closed over the four week Christmas break.

Statutory holidays and other absent days will incur full payment. A late fee of $10.00 per each 15 minutes will be charged after 5:00 pm.


ECCC has a great atmosphere and I knew it was the best fit for my daughter as soon as I had my first visit. The teachers are friendly and attentive and each child has a special bond with them. There is a lot of room for creativity and each child’s unique interests are catered for and developed. My daughter has thrived in the few weeks she has been attending ECCC and has settled well. She is currently toilet training and the teachers have been a big help with making sure she makes it to the toilet, and that any accidents are dealt with kindly. I would recommend ECCC to any parent and encourage you to check it out and see what I mean!


Amy Chiles


We transferred to Educational Child Care Centre in February 2014 from another centre. The teachers were very warm and welcoming and made us feel like part of the centre family. Our son Makaii settled in well and made friends very quickly. It has been great to see the developmental growth that Makaii has undergone since being here.




Our children love going to ECCC. They get so much opportunity to play, explore, do art and craft and go on adventures around the preschool and even further at times. They get prepared for school whilst still being allowed to play lots, care for others, be polite and learn to share. The centre has a wonderful warm feeling and every morning when we arrive, we are welcomed with smiles and friendly teachers. ECCC is the best preschool we could hope for our children, thank you!!



Our Staff

Sarah Matenga


Bachelor of Tch; Lrn E.C.E., Registered Teacher

Kia Ora, my name is Sarah Matenga, I am the Principal/Licensee at the E.C.C.C. I have worked here for eleven and a half years and I love it as much as the day I started.

I have been an Associate Teacher (responsible for teachers in training) for 8 years and I am the Health and Safety Officer. I work both on the floor and in the office.

I particularly treasure the time I have with the children and work hard to maintain close relationships with them despite the limited hours I have on the floor with them.

I have four awesome children of my own, Josh who is 21, Joy who is 18 and is relieving long term a the E.C.C.C., Nika who is 17 and my baby, Reuben, who is 15 and who also attended this centre when he was a wee fella.

My goal is to see a centre flourishing with happy, confident young learners. I believe that the relationship with the family is the key to our centre and to our happy, settled children.

Lisa Barron

Assistant Supervisor

Bachelor of Tch; Lrn E.C.E., Registered Teacher

Kia Ora, my name is Lisa Barron and I am the Assistant Supervisor. Alongside Vanessa I am one of the four year old teachers and together we are responsible for the planning and profile books for our four year olds. My areas of interest are transition to school and perceptual motor programmes (PMP).

I graduated in 2009 and have been teaching at the E.C.C.C. since the eventful year of 2011. I am a fully Registered Teacher and an Associate Teacher.

I am also a mum and have two school age children, my youngest attended the E.C.C.C. I believe that children learn best when they have strong relationships with teachers and peers, feel safe, respected and have fun. To me the E.C.C.C. is a very special place.

Vanessa Burrell

Diploma of Teaching E.C.E., B.A. And Grad. Dip. Tch (Secondary), Registered Teacher

Kia Ora, ko Vanessa toku ingoa. I am a qualified and fully Registered Teacher and I have been teaching at the E.C.C.C. for 11 years.

I am one of the four year old teachers. My areas of interest are self-review, art and literacy.

I enjoy learning new things and in 2013 I am learning raranga (flax weaving). I am also the Union Representative for the staff.

I have two daughters who are at primary school, they both were at the E.C.C.C. from when they were babies until they were 5. I believe that children learn best by experiencing warm, responsive relationships. I believe it’s important for teachers to get to know children and their families.

Shirley James

Bachelor of Tch; Lrn E.C.E., Registered Teacher

Kia Ora, my name is Shirley James and I have been a teacher at the E.C.C.C. for 12 years.

I am the three year old teacher and I am responsible for the planning and profile books for this age group. My areas of interest are language and art.

I graduated in 2004 and am a fully Registered Teacher and an Associate Teacher.

My teenage daughter helps out at clean up time in the afternoons. I believe that young children learn best through everyday play in a supportive environment that scaffolds learning and social competencies.

For me, the three things that ensure children’s success in learning are respect, relationships and fun.

Annie Fox

Bachelor of Tch; Lrn E.C.E., Registered Teacher

Kia Ora. My name is Annie. I work in both the under twos and over twos at the centre with Nicola so I have a wonderful balance in my day.

I have a great interest in literature and language and these two ages are full of potential conversations. I was lucky enough to do my training hours at this wonderful centre and have been here since 2004.

I graduated with my Diploma in 2006 then upgraded to a degree in 2008. I am a fully Registered Teacher and an Associate Teacher. I have two wonderful teenage children who are the light of my life and keep me on my toes.

Nicola Forrester

Bachelor of Tch E.C.E., Registered Teacher

Kia Ora. My name is Nicola Forrester and I have taught at the E.C.C.C for the last 7 years.

I am a fully Registered Teacher and also an Associate Teacher, mentoring students for over a year. I work mainly with the two year olds and babies.

I am responsible for programme planning and profile books for the two year olds, alongside Annie.

I believe that the foundation for a child’s learning and development is a strong relationship with their teachers and a strong sense of belonging within the centre.

Kirsten Oates

Cert in E.C.E., Cert in Infants & Toddlers

Hi my name is Kirsten Oates and I have been teaching at the E.C.C.C. for 25 years.

I have a Diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education and a Certificate in Infant and Toddlers. I work mainly with the under twos along with Nicola and Annie. This is an area I feel very passionate about and young children never stop amazing me.

I am married and have two gorgeous teenage sons, who also attended the E.C.C.C. when they were young.

My family and my job is the reason I wake up happy every day!

Leanne Heyward


Hi my name is Leanne Heyward and I began working at the E.C.C.C. in April 2007 as a Teacher Aide.

Over the last six years I have been given the opportunity to develop my skills and I have become more experienced which has allowed me to work closely with the children. I work in all areas of the centre but have a particular interest and enjoyment in the under twos area.

I believe the children and their families who attend the centre need to feel safe, happy and cared for while they also feel it is a fun place to be. Like a home away from home.

I have two children of my own who are now teenagers and I am very proud of.

Sarah McRae

Diploma of Teaching ECE – provisional registration

Kia Ora, my name is Sarah. I have been teaching for over 20 years and have been relieving here since September 2013 and have been permanently employed since July 2014.

I am married to Reed and we have 2 teenage boys, Campbell & Robbie. I work alongside Vanessa as a teacher of the 2 year olds and also in the nursery as a transition teacher.

I am currently working towards full teacher registration with expert guidance from Lisa.  I feel privileged to be working in this high quality learning environment where children are cherished.

Joy Matenga

Hi my name is Joy Matenga. I started relieving casually at the centre over 6 months ago and have recently been given a permanent relieving position. I am also Sarah’s daughter.

I have worked and bonded with the children since being here but have a special relationship with our two year olds.

I love working here and hope to get more work and responsibilities in the future.

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