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Source: Eastern Institute of Technology – Tairāwhiti

1 min ago

“It’s like a second home” – Kimberley Crisp opened The Nest eleven years ago.

We always appreciate to hear what employers have to say about the quality of our students and graduates. Recently we chatted to Kimberley Crisp, who opened The Nest Private Kindergarten in Clive eleven years ago. Kimberley has been a long-time supporter of EIT.

30 years ago Kimberley was a hairdresser before she studied early childhood education. Later she trained at the Pikler Institute in Budapest, Hungary. Eleven years ago she opened The Nest, a kindergarten guided by the education principles of Hungarian paediatrician Emmi Pikler.

In a nutshell, the Pikler approach is a journey of the heart. “Relationships are everything, it’s a matter of life to children and adults. In other words, only if children are emotionally satisfied will they engage in play,” explains Kimberley. The Nest team focus on fuelling imagination and freedom in movement and play.

The kindergarten also runs above ratio. The 30 children have four teachers between them in a space that would allow 100. “Our environment is carefully set up to suit the children. It’s like a second home nurtured by a predicable rhythm, where children can create independently and extend themselves.”

Half of the month, Kimberley is working at The Nest, for the rest she is travelling around the country in her house bus delivering professional development for teachers.

Kimberley says that she has had very good experiences with EIT students and graduates. For instance, Nicole, an EIT graduate, has been working at The Nest since she attended a gateway programme in high school before completing her degree at EIT. “I would employ every single student that participated in a work placement at The Nest in a heartbeat,” Kimberley adds.

EIT graduate Nicole Brocklehurst, Teacher, The Nest

“I appreciate the EIT model. There is a huge emphasis on play and love in the relationship. EIT manages to have that sense of connection with not only growing academically but also personally. The students are grounded in practice.”  

For Kimberley the ideal employee has to be a nature and animal lover as the kindergarten houses two Labradors and one cat. “They must have the same commitment to growing as a person and as a teacher, share the same beliefs and be passionate about developing a community. It’s essential that they are an advocate and champion for children’s right to play.”

At The Nest, students get the same robust induction as the families. They are encouraged to attend professional development that Kimberley is offering in HB. “I really want students to leave with a shift in consciousness for themselves and in working with children.”