271 Tweed Street, Invercargill 9812
1 Ayreshire Drive, Mosgiel 9024
Wee Nippers Early Childhood Centre
Wee Nippers Early Childhood Centres are proudly owned and operated by George Crossan and Simone Flight of Wee Nippers Childcare. We are parents too and Wee Nippers is based on what we wanted for our children when they were pre-school age. We want Wee Nippers to have a balance of play and learning, adventures inside and outside, and to support families and their busy lives.
Learning and play can come from the simplest things. We learnt so much about this when our children attended a wonderful Montessori pre-school and have wanted to emulate this approach to nurturing joyful, caring and self-motivated learners at Wee Nippers.
As working parents we understand what our Wee Nippers parents and whānau need to support their busy lives. We believe that supporting families and whānau will benefit our community’s development now and into the future.
Our children live in a dynamic world and we want them to have the confidence to master all that it has to offer. Our Wee Nippers Centres reflect childhood in Aotearoa New Zealand whilst also drawing on the richness and diversity of modern New Zealand.
In December 2015 and April 2019 the Education Review Office (ERO) conducted reviews of Wee Nippers Early Childhood Centre in Invercargill. In December 2017 Wee Nippers Early Childhood Centre in Mosgiel was reviewed.
As new Centres, the process and thoroughness of the reviews was both rewarding and positively challenging. Wee Nippers is proud to have received positive reviews and considered next steps to integrate into what we are planning for the next three years at both Centres. We invite our Centre and broader community to read the reports.
Centre Manager: Rachel Cade
Centre Administrator: Kimberley Hutchings
Centre Manager: Natalie Tisdall
Centre Administrator: Marie Finnie
It was pretty simple finding a name for our Centres. It’s what we’ve always called our kids. Then tie in being part of surf lifesaving clubs the past few years and our coastal city locations and we our theme built from there. It’s a happy coincidence that in Invercargill our name is in our address - tWEEd Street.
How much fun is it to get the chance to design a purpose built early childhood centre? We’ve had a lot of help from some pretty switched on people. We started in March 2012 in Invercargill with a clean slate, two sunny sections, weather on our side and a great construction team led by Henderson Construction later, Wee Nippers Invercargill was finished by October 2012 and opened in November 2012. Building Wee Nippers Mosgiel started in December 2014 with a construction team led by Stevenson & Williams. We made a few tweaks here and there but it was great to discover that our designs for Invercargill had been pretty well on the mark. Wee Nippers Mosgiel opened in August 2015.
Right from the start we wanted the playgrounds at Wee Nippers Early Childhood Centres to be something special. We worked with Playscape who live and breathe cool playgrounds and we love what we have as much as the kids. While we’re not green fingered enough to feed Invercargill and Mosgiel, our vegie gardens provide great learning, dirty hands and yummy, fresh supplies for our kitchen.
George and Simone’s children came up with the names of the four rooms in both Centres. They wanted the names to represent starting small and getting bigger and stronger. So they came up with using New Zealand plants, trees and birds. In Invercargill, we start with our babies in Koru then our toddlers in ToeToe. Our three to fives are in Kowhai and Rata. In Mosgiel, our babies are in Piwakawaka, our toddlers in Hoiho, and our three to fives are in Pukeko and then Kiwi.
Cabbage trees have always been a favourite tree of ours and we wanted them to be part of our logo and the Centre design. The Cabbage tree often grows alone and for that reason is said to symbolise stoic independence. We’d like to think that Wee Nippers kids will become independent, confident standing on their own two feet, and ready for primary school. Another happy coincidence in Invercargill is that we just happen to be on a Cabbage tree lined street.
Ordering resources and furniture is like opening the door to Santa’s workshop. Take a couple of parents and some great teachers and you get a pretty awesome list of must haves. So we have a lot of traditional favourites as well as modern classics. We limit plastic where we can favouring wood, metal, and natural materials. We try hard to resist the dress up box but don’t you agree that some days just need a little extra colour or sparkle?
Good food fuels healthy minds and happy people. Our Centre Cooks work each day to provide morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and a late snack for the children. We cater for all food requirements and you may just find that your Wee Nipper comes home asking for things that you never thought that they could be convinced to eat. We are very proud that Wee Nippers Early Childhood Centre in Mosgile has been awarded gold and Invercargill has a level 2 Healthy Heart Award. (Please note: The cost of meals is included in fees for children paying full fees. For children receiving the 20 ECE hours, as funding does not cover this cost, we ask for a small charge to cover the cost of food.)
We have the benefit of some great teachers who aren’t just registered, they just keep on studying for more knowledge and qualifications. They come across some great resources and we thought our News & Stuff section was a handy way to share some of this learning. We also use our Facebook pages (Invercargill and Mosgiel) to share links to interesting reading and fun stuff we find.
George and Simone’s children attended Capital Montessori in Wellington. With 100% qualified Montessori teachers it was wonderful to experience the nuturing of children to become joyful, caring and self-motivated learners. With this experience we have sought to entwine Montessori principles into our philosophy at Wee Nippers. We wouldn't claim to be a Montessori pre-school as we know that isn't possible unless you have fully trained and qualified Montessori staff. So we encourage our teachers to have an understanding of the principles and practices of Montessori along with the teachings of other approaches such as Reggio Emilia.
Our experienced and qualified team of teachers provide warm, fun, attentive care for our Wee Nippers children. In turn, Wee Nippers offers a rewarding, well resourced, and supportive environment for our teachers. Wee Nippers Early Childhood Centres are run by Centre Managers who report directly to owner George Crossan.
Cnr Ayreshire Drive and Factory Road, Mosgiel 9024
271 Tweed Street, Invercargill 9812