Little Pearls Mt Roskill Community Hub

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Raising a healthy, whole child who can fully participate in society requires wrap-around support and manaakitanga.

Little Pearls have been in operation for over 10 years, and in that time they have had many whānau and community members come through their doors needing support and connection. The organisation is the point of contact for providing them with pathways and assistance, connecting those who need help with those who can provide it. The First 1000 days in a child’s life is crucial to children’s overall wellbeing and success in later life. Whānau is at the core of this - if whānau is broken - society is broken.

We cannot do this alone. We want this to be a community driven space, that brings people and resources together.

The long-term goal for Little Pearls is to create a holistic learning and wellbeing hub attached to Mt Roskill Little Pearls Educare. This could be virtual or physical or both. It will be a connecting space, a hub of holistic support and manaakitanga, where the central point of contact, the hub, will be the early childhood centre.

Little Pearls already know that their children and whānau need support and connections in the following areas, and although they are currently providing most of this support it is becoming beyond their ability to do this as a standalone organisation.

  • Learning and education
  • Support for learning need, neurodiversity, speech language therapy etc
  • Participation
  • Some families have difficulty getting their child to ECE or affording to keep them there
  • Social, health, spiritual
  • Some families lack the resources to support the health and wellbeing of their children. 
  • Employment for our whānau members and those 

With support from an EPIT Innovation Seed Fund grant, Little Pearls is scoping the idea to see if it is feasible and then build a prototype plan for developing the idea. Little Pearls then want to test the prototype and scale it to their other centre with the hope of scaling it more widely to other ECE centres.

Approach to change

This is a ground up initiative driven by community for community. A human-centred design approach to change is being used, which typically involves going through the following phases: inspiration; ideation; implementation. During this seed funded stage the initiative will go through the first iterations of the inspiration and ideation phases in order to test the feasibility of the idea. 

Learning about

  • Collaboration within the community, forming relationships, investigating what others are doing and understanding the needs and community possibilities better

Generating ideas 

  • Coming together with key stakeholders (users) to ideate and create an action plan.

Impact for equity

  • Healthy happy children experiencing a better start in their learning. 
  • Children with diverse learning needs accessing the support they need.
  • Whānau receive wrap-around support for their social, physical, mental and spiritual needs.
  • Participation in early childhood education is more possible for those with financial or transport difficulties.
  • Whānau receive information and support to obtain employment.

About the organisation

Little Pearls Educare operates two early childhood centres offering care and education for children 3 months – 5 years. One of these centres is in Mt Albert and the other in Mt Roskill. They sit under the umbrella organisation The Pearl of the Islands Foundation (PIF) whose mission is to foster understanding and acceptance between people of diverse communities; education is one of their focus areas.

Nischal Chakravarthy
19 September 2023
min read

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