Ilam Early Learning Centre
The UCSA's Ilam Early Learning Centre provides early childhood education for the children of UC students. The service enables those parents to attend their own lectures, tutorials and employment. Where places are available, we also cater to the children of staff and the community.
“Ko te tamaiti te kākano, te pūtake o ngā mea katoa”
The child is the seed, the origin of all things
- We believe every child is important and deserves a quality early childhood education.
- Our qualified, friendly teachers build great relationships with each child and their family, supporting them to grow as confident, successful, lifelong learners.
- We pride ourselves on high-quality teacher/child ratios that you will not find in many other centres.
- We provide a fun, safe and nurturing environment that supports children in their learning.
- We have a large outdoor environment, and value the importance of play and physical challenges.
- Our passionate, knowledgeable teachers use effective teaching strategies to encourage children to learn through their own individual strengths and interests.
- We value the diverse range of cultures that contribute to making our centre a dynamic learning environment.
Our centre is licensed for up to 65 children, ages six weeks to five years and is divided into four areas of care, which have the following excellent teacher-to-child ratios:
- Infant room 1:3
- Toddler room 1:4
- Junior room 1:6
- Senior room 1:8
Our very experienced babies’ teachers create a warm, safe and nurturing environment. We ensure individualised programmes adjust to the infant's own rhythms, informed by a strong partnership between parents and staff. The daily programme is based on replicating the routines already established in the home environment as much as possible to build familiarity and trust.
In the Toddler Room, the daily programme consists of unhurried meaningful routines, interactive group time and planned learning moments. We have a beautiful outdoor area that encourages physical, active play and a love of nature.
The dedicated teachers provide a wide range of learning experiences that foster language development, social skills, critical and creative thinking, problem solving and much more.
Importance is placed on helping children to develop emotional awareness. Teachers focus on helping children to understand and express their feelings appropriately as they interact with each other and build relationships and friendships.
Our Junior Room is a place where the teachers can build close and caring relationships with children, and foster friendships between children. The small group size supports us to plan well for individual and group learning, and facilitate opportunities for children to enhance their leadership abilities and mana.
As we share an outdoor space with the Toddler Room, our Junior Room children learn to care for their younger friends and support them in their transitions into the Junior Room. Our Junior Room children also have frequent visits to the Senior Room, so that they build a sense of familiarity for their later transition. We foster rangatiratanga – leadership, whānaungatanga – relationships and manākitanga – respect and caring for others. This supports our children to excel in their learning and sense of connection to the wider community.
In the Senior Room, we believe in providing experiences that empower and enhance children’s sense of self-worth and confidence, and we celebrate children’s successes and achievements.
Children enjoy resources, challenges and support for their widening interests and increased capacity to persevere and become effective problem solvers.
A major feature of the Senior Room is the large outdoor area, where children are encouraged to value the natural environment and take a role and responsibility for its care. Children are supported to take calculated risks and persist with challenge, helping them to build resilience and confidence.
Teachers support children as they prepare to transition to school by equipping them with the skills and knowledge they need. These include relationship building, communication, numeracy, literacy and self-help skills, as well as the ability to negotiate and resolve conflict.
Children have a shared morning tea of fruit and bring their own lunches.
Ilam ELC's sessions are based on the needs of student parents. Core sessions are 9.15am to 12.15pm, and 12.15pm to 3.15pm. In addition to the core sessions, parents can extend the hours by 15 min increments to ensure they have the flexibility to attend their lectures. Flexibility can be made on a case-by-case basis around exam days.
The centre is open during both semesters and through summer school, mid-November to mid-February, with a three week close-down over Christmas and one week close down in the July semester break.
Students who have re-booked in advance for the following February will not be charged if the child is away during the summer semester. The centre can help with WINZ subsidy applications.
The centre has a discounted rate for University of Canterbury student parents, with capped fees at 37 hours per week.
|Students||Staff & Community Users|
|Under 3||Over 3||Under 3||Over 3|
|Hourly Rate (outside of sessional hours)||$6.20||$6.60||$7.00||$7.50|
|Long Day Weekly Rate||$230||$297|
($160 if using 20 hours ECE)
($170 if using 20 hours ECE)
|Long Day: 8 - 5||$58.60||$59.40||$65||$67.50|
|Morning: 9:15 - 12:15 |
Afternoon: 12:15 - 3:15
|Short Day Weekly Rate||$200||$198 |
($66 if using 20 hours ECE)
($75 if using 20 hours ECE)
|Short Day: 9:15 - 3:15||$40||$39.60||$44||$45|
We are open from 7.45am to 5.15pm Monday to Friday.
The Ilam Early Learning Centre is situated on the Dovedale Campus. Use the entrance to Carpark 1 off Parkstone Avenue. Parents are able to park in our 10 minute carparks for drop off and pick up. Bikes are available if you wish to leave your car at the Dovedale campus and bike over to the main campus.
For further details on the centre, and to arrange a visit, please contact Sara, the Administrator, or Karen, the Head Teacher, on 03-348-4336.