Who is BestStart?

BestStart is for families who want more from early-childhood education. Safe, nurturing and educationally focused, we’re committed to growing caring people with curious minds.

Together we teach, learn and nurture.

Our vision is to work in partnership with families, whanau and communities to enable children to achieve their learning potential.

Ko tō mātou tirohanga hei mahi ngātahi i te taha o ngā whānau me ngā hāpori, kia āwhinatia ngā tamariki, kia tū pito mata ai rāatou, hei rangatira mō āpōpō.

We are committed to being a progressive and responsive leader in early-childhood education. We do this by enhancing our services, investing in our people, developing our support structure and continuously improving the educational outcomes and experiences of our children, families and the communities we serve.

Some facts:

  • We’re licensed to educate and care for 15,000 full-time children daily.
  • 18,000 families use BestStart services annually.
  • We have over 260 centres nationwide located from Whangarei to Invercargill.
  • Each centre is managed by a Centre Manager who is supported by a local Business Manager and a Professional Services Manager. This gives our centre teams ongoing quality training and support.
  • Te Whāriki, the world-wide acclaimed national early childhood education curriculum, is used in all centres.
  • We have over 4500 permanent teachers nationally. Over 90% of our permanent teaching staff are either fully qualified with a diploma or bachelor of teaching (ECE) or higher, or are in training. These figures are very high by national standards within the ECE sector.
  • We provide a two-year Advice and Guidance Programme for all recently certified teachers, providing further mentoring and training. This gives strong support for teachers from provisional registration to full teacher registration with the NZ Teachers Council.
  • We regularly spend around $4 million on teacher training per annum.

We’re for children 

At our heart is our commitment and passion for children. Central to this belief is our focus on the holistic development of children. We support children to explore the world around them, learning through relationships, creating a love of learning in an ever-changing world. Exploration, friendship and fun are part of the journey. 

We’re for good
BestStart is a registered charity owned by the Wright Family Foundation. We support initiatives and programmes within BestStart and the wider early-childhood education sector (ECE) that support good outcomes for all children. We do this because we want to make a positive difference to the lives of all children.

Innovation leads us
At BestStart, innovation guides our thinking. We advocate positive change for learners through our research and practice. We’re proud to be thought leaders within ECE, openly challenging ourselves to think differently to provide the best for our children, families and staff.

We’re responsive
Our centres reflect their children, staff and communities. We celebrate individuality, uniqueness and diversity, encouraging a spirit of empathy, understanding and collaboration. Through our responsive relationships and our curriculum, we support learners to choose their own path.

Our people matter
At BestStart people come first. When we grow and develop our people, everyone benefits. We strive for whakamana/empowerment, nurturing a culture of excellence with engaged, talented professionals. Their commitment, skill and passion light our way.