A running track, soccer field, extended operating hours, onsite doctor, catering and a bespoke natural environment are just some of the features 200 Auckland pre-schoolers will enjoy when the Rainbow Corner Group’s newest Early Learning Centre opens in Flat Bush shortly. The multi-million dollar project is a major investment in East Auckland by the Rainbow Corner Group, which owns centre-based early learning centres throughout New Zealand and PORSE in-home childcare and training.
Rainbow Corner Group owner Rrahul Dosshi says there is a global trend towards providing children with a more natural environment to play and learn in, moving away from sterile surroundings of many large centres. The Flat Bush centre will be one of a handful in New Zealand to have a biophilic philosophy at its heart, one that connects children with nature and using the natural world as the classroom.
“Our state-of-the-art and progressive Early Learning Centre has been designed to give children the best opportunities to develop, learn and discover at their own pace within a natural environment. The African-animal themed Centre features beautiful purpose-built wooden furniture, imaginative spaces and toys designed to inspire creative play while outside, the phenomenal playground encourages physical movement and exploration. There is definitely a ‘wow’ factor. It’s not your standard pre-school fare,” says Mr Dosshi. The complex spans 3,250m2 with a large outdoor playground that features play equipment plus a soccer field and athletics track. Biophilic principles come out of a philosophy first established in the 1970s by German-born psychoanalyst and social philosopher Eric Fromm. Biophilia’s basic principle is to incorporate natural elements into any building at every available opportunity. The Centre will open from 7am to 8pm, and those hours are among the first for a NZ early childhood education centre. “Over the past two decades we have been building and operating early learning childcare centres and have seen the need for extended hours from parents and caregivers. This is in response to the increase in people’s shift workers with their early starts and late finishes. It’s the future of centre-based childcare.” A commercial kitchen onsite will provide pre-school catering for both the centre plus deliveries to other centres and take-home meals for parents. ‘Wraparound’ services in the Flatbush centre also including a café, a GP practice, specialist nurse, pharmacy, podiatrist and physiotherapist. “Having a doctor onsite means we are able to respond quickly to any situation that may arise in the Centre and that is great comfort to parents,” adds Mr Dosshi. “With this Centre, we are responding to the changing nature of work and families’ childcare needs. All with a specific philosophy underlying to give children a very special experience. We are very proud of this Centre and know it signals a new phase in early childhood learning.”
About The Rainbow Corner Group
Established in 2006, The Rainbow Group of Companies is owned by Rrahul and Bhavini Dosshi, with substantial investments in both centre-based and in-home Early Childhood Education (ECE) businesses in New Zealand and abroad.
The company currently has five Rainbow Corner early learning centres in Auckland and one in Mumbai. A centre in Fiji and four new purpose-built centres in New Zealand are scheduled to open this year. The Dosshis also own in-home education provider PORSE, which currently supports 1,100 educators around the country caring for more than 3,000 families’ children; PET, or PORSE Education and Training; and For Life, an online education programme. The Rainbow Corner Early Learning Centre in Flat Bush is located at 417 East Tamaki Road.www.rainbowcorner.co.nz (09) 282 2464.
About Biophilic design According to proponents of biophilic building design, as humans have evolved, the divide between the natural environment and the built world has become greater, and the effects are negatively impacting us as a society. They believe children are too caught up in this artificial, electrical world of sterile buildings filled with modern technology and as a result, are now experiencing nature deficit disorder and biophobia, a fear of anything natural, which can significantly impact their development and wellbeing. Biophilic designed early learning centres aim to establish and nurture the instinctual bond between humans and nature from early childhood for lasting positive effects. A large body of international research has shown these benefits include better motor skills, positive self-image, improved coping skills, self-awareness, superior social interactions, empathy and intellectual performance.