It is a non-profit, community based private centre managed by a committee made up of preschool parents and backed by support and some funding from the Ministry of Education.
The centre has four permanent staff members.
Principal of the school Stephanie Forbes has been working at the school since May 2005.She is a qualified ECE teacher with a Bachelor of Teaching ECE Degree qualification having graduated in October 2018.
Forbes says, “What I love best about teaching early childhood children is that no day is ever the same.”
“We never know what the children will say or what games they will come up with.
“Their creativity and imagination constantly astound me and I love to watch them grow and thrive, as they gain their independence from mum and dad and make friends.”
Teokotai Taio, one of the teachers since April 2017, is currently working towards her Diploma of Teaching ECE qualification. she is also participating in the Concurrent Pathways teaching programme through the Ministry of Education in order to gain her teaching registration.
Maori speaking teacher aide Rima Aretere has been with the school since May 2015. Recently she completed her Certificate of Teaching ECE and is working towards her Diploma of teaching ECE; along with the children the staff also learn how to speak Cook Islands Maori.
Elliot Hunt is also a teacher aide since February 2017, she has completed her Certificate of Teaching ECE and is working towards her Diploma of teaching ECE.
Currently the kids are learning about zoo animals and also plan to have a dress-up day later this term.
Teaching and learning at Blackrock Api’i Potiki is based on the ECE Curriculum, provided by the Ministry of Education.
The curriculum is based on the idea that children of this age group learn through play. They are allowed plenty of free time to explore the environment and choose for themselves where they want to play.
Fees to attend the school are $20 per week if your child starts at 8am and goes home at 12pm, and $30 per week if a child stays on till 2pm. Fees must be paid in full one week before the end of each term.
Blackrock has a healthy food policy, therefore, parents are asked to provide a healthy lunch - no junk food especially chips, lollies or fizzy drinks.
Hours are 8am-12 noon, or 8am-2pm.
More focused attention to written numbers and text take place once in the Primary Prep group (those who will be attending primary chool soon).