Active Explorers

Our Active Explorers centres are a group of family-orientated, high quality vibrant and stimulating early childhood education facilities, where creative thinking is celebrated through enquiry – based learning.

Active Explorers, celebrating and growing enquiring minds.

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About Us

Active Explorers are inspirational places of learning for enquiring minds; where our highly-trained staff teach foundation skills so necessary for life’s challenges.

Here the love of learning is genuinely lived out. The busy, vibrant hum that greets you when you enter a Active Explorers learning centre tells you you’re in a place where children are engaged and absorbed and loving it.

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Whats New

Mother's Day Market at Active Explorers Mana

Active Explorers Mana held a Mother's Day Market and managed to raise an outstanding $287.10 for Te Whare Tiaki Wahine Porirua (The Womens Refuge).


Active Explorers Farnborough took a trip to Raglan

A great beginning to a real understanding of the plight of the Maui Dolphin.


Making ANZAC cookies at Active Explorers Highbrook

Today we made ANZAC biscuits with the children at Active Explorers Highbrook.


ANZAC Day at Active Explorers Mana

On Tuesday 24th of April, Active Explorers Mana held a special ANZAC ceremony in their playground.



  • A huge thank you to you and all your staff for the exceptional care H received during his 3 years at Active Explorers. It has always been clear to me that your staff are truly dedicated to providing a nurturing environment and quality learning opportunities.

    The R Family

  • Our daughter attended Active Explorers Central City for two months, while our family was visiting Christchurch from overseas. The facilities and staff were friendly and capable. We were pleased that our daughter experienced New Zealand culture and learned a few Maori words. Payments were affordable and easy. We would definitely recommend Active Explorers Central City to other families.

    Joshua Davis

    Joshua Davis
    Central City

  • The staff at Active Explorers Broadway made me and my two children feel welcome from the day we arrived. As a working mum, they made me feel at ease to leave my kids it a warm and welcoming environment which has encouraged their development. I have seen my children grow in confidence so much since joining the lollipops family and set in place the start of their learning journey. I would highly recommend Mel and her team to anyone. 

    Sophie Richards

  • I would like to take this opportunity to thank yourself and every single staff member at I-Kids; in particular, the Junior Centre Teachers for their amazing commitment and care to helping support and educate Reid.

    Reid has enjoyed his time here and flourished, he will miss all his buddies and teachers immensely.

    Again, thank you for all the great help and support you have all shown to Reid and myself.

    Arika Felise

  • I like to think of Active Explorers as our second home. Being with them for almost three years, we have gained a sense of belonging and connection with all staff and can tell our children's learning is valued. I often think 'would Memphis-Rose know what she does now, if she were at home with me all these years?'. I am not qualified to teach her, I don't have all the resources to develop her Te Reo language and preparation for school, so for me this has been a big investment that I will never regret! The centre make such an effect to incorporate all family and cultures into events, such as GUFF day, Matariki and other various occasions, that it is something to look forward to each year. I always feel up to date with what my children are learning with the regular stories that are published on Storypark and chitchats with the staff. I have referred various people to the centre as I am confident they will love it as much as me!

    Alisha Paewai

  • I am so pleased we found IKids Kaiwharawhara. After initially enrolling our son into another childcare facility and finding that we were not comfortable with him in there, it was really refreshing to meet Anne-Marie (centre manager) and to find a centre that shares similar values and ideas about childcare as our own. Anne-Marie couldn't have been more accommodating - not only did she have a place for our son almost immediately but she was very reassuring when answering the ton of questions that I had as an anxious first time mum!

    The teachers in the infants room are great and our son seems really happy there. I can leave him for the day and not worry about him as I know they do a great job. He even sleeps and eats better at IKids than he does at home! A sure sign that he has settled well.

    Tash & Adam

  • Just wanted to put a word out there in case someone is looking for a lovely preschool: Monkeys & Munchkins in Tai Tapu. Have had my children there for two years and I really like it!

    The thing is... I'm about to move to Southland and as I was googling the preschools there, I realised that it's actually really hard to find preschool reviews. I thought there'd be some sort of a... directory or something where lots of people have left their thoughts, kind of like TripAdvisor but for preschools - but nope, nothing.

    So I'm putting a good word out here in case someone moves into Cracroft area and starts googling for preschools, kind of like I am doing for Southland at the moment.

    So... Monkeys & Munchkins at Tai Tapu. A wonderful preschool! It's actually taking me 15 minutes just to drive there from Cracroft, but I've been so happy with them that I do not grumble about the drive.

    In addition to almost always looking forward to going there (except for when they're ill etc), I love that when I pick my children up in the afternoon they tell me with excitement about the stuff they've done. There's a constant rotation of activities, sometimes there are outings (my son is still raving about a bus trip they did months ago), bouncy castle for Christmas etc.

    There's a Transition To School room where 4-year-olds go each morning to practice their letters and numbers and other school skills; in a reasonably quiet, small group environment that gets them ready for school.

    I've become friends with several of the teachers there and it has given me an insight into why teachers like this preschool, too. Staff turnaround is low and people stay there for years. Also, my son has several special education therapists who have visited the preschool as part of their work (physiotherapy, speech therapy etc) and they have all said that my children are very lucky to be in such a wonderful preschool.

    It's reasonably small. Kids know each other, parents get to know each other. The centre manager cares about the place and works hard to keep it a place where people are happy.

    I've actually been really lucky to have discovered it (I used to live in the area so it actually used to be the closest preschool to me at the time), because it has given me such joy to have trusted the place so much. I love the feeling that whenever I am leaving my kids there, I know they are having a good time.

    And even though it has become such a pain in the a** to get my 2-year-old OUT OF THE PRESCHOOL in the afternoons ("No, I play!" she demands pretty much every time I come to pick her up), it's lovely to see that she RUNS towards the preschool every time I let her out of the car in the mornings. "Peescoool!" she screams in her 2-year-old style. "Peescoool!"

    I love the place. My kids love the place. I know that several of the teachers genuinely love the place. Some of my friends whose children go there love the place.

    And I just want to put a good word out there.

    Thank you, Monkeys & Munchkins.

    Maria Grace
    Tai Tapu

  • I am absolutely heartbroken to have to pull our daughter out of your centre - she has been very, very happy with Vanessa in the Infants Room and we have the greatest respect and affection for the whole team. I was pretty concerned about leaving my little girl in day-care at four months old but she has absolutely thrived. She is noticeably more social, settled and confident than other babies in our antenatal group which tells me I made the right choice.

    The entire infants room team, and the wider staff, have been incredibly kind and patient. Vanessa and Lynney in particular seem to hold very genuine affection for our daughter and go to great lengths to ensure she is happy, secure and receiving appropriate developmental opportunities. Every morning our daughter shrieks with delight when she sees her teachers and we've never, ever had tears at drop-off time.

    We've shared our daughter’s Storypark content with our extended families - the grandparents in particular have appreciated seeing these lovely updates as both my parents and my husband's parents live out of town. Thank you for this.


  • My son (2 yrs) is the youngest of 3 boys and up until he started Active Explorers Hokitika he had minimal interactions with children his age. I've watched him in the nursery and I am amazed how he has learned to mingle and play with other children. It is very exciting seeing all the new skills he is learning.

    My son absolutely loves Active Explorers Hokitika. He has recently changed from 2 days per week to fulltime in the space of a month and the staff have made the transition so smooth for him and I.

    I drop my son of at preschool in the morning and I know that he is well cared for. My son is always so happy when I pick him up and the connections he has made with his teachers is so heart warming to see. As a parent I have always struggled with the idea of preschool but the staff are great and made it so easy.

    Thank you so much!


  • We believe teachers and staff are not praised as often as they should be because you are what help mould our future generations. Thank you for being a part of our boys lives, helping to develop them, cuddle and encourage them.  Over the last three years you have all become a part of our family and you have all helped raise our boys to be confident and fun loving by nurturing their needs, wants and desires.  It’s sad to say goodbye as they move onto another chapter in their lives.  But this is not goodbye it’s a see you later.