For over 60 years the children of Albany have started their educational journey at Albany Community Preschool, one of the few not-for-profit community-owned early childhood centres on the North Shore.
The centre began life as the Albany Community Kindergarten back in 1960, when it was founded by a group of local parents - Jean Barker, Mary Church and Gloria Elder.
In the very early days sessions took place in family homes, then over the decades the preschool was located in various community buildings, including the Albany Hall and the Holy Cross Church Hall.
In 1996 parents and centre staff began lobbying the North Shore City council for a suitable permanent site to relocate the preschool, leading to the current location on the Albany Domain.
The area the preschool is situated on was originally called Ōkahukura - place of the Kahukura, an atua (god) related to rainbows, an important connection to the past that’s reflected in our bright rainbow logo.
In November 1998 our purpose-built preschool was finished, with every nail hammered a tribute to the extensive fundraising undertaken by the preschool’s hardworking parents and teachers.
That same community spirit exists today. Parents have shaped the preschool from the very beginning and continue to be involved whether it’s joining our parents’ committee or as simple as having their say on our centre policies – all of which are made available for parental comment whenever they are updated.
We also believe the community is another classroom and value the links our children have to the wider environment around them – we might take a walk to the local library or put on a show for senior citizens – as we know the benefit of our children understanding their wider place in the world.
We hope that Albany Community Preschool will continue to nurture local tamariki for many years to come.