A Proud History, an Exciting Future

From birth right through to starting school, Pioneers offer high quality early years education for Dunedin children and their families. We are a not-for-profit organisation and have been providing community-based education for children in Dunedin since 1975.

In 2016, 40 years after the original Dunedin Community Childcare Association was founded, our organisation adopted a new name. ‘Pioneers’ links our proud history to an exciting and progressive future in early years education. Our name has changed but we remain true to our original mission and values.

Since day one, our purpose has been to support the needs of the Dunedin community, providing families with more than simple kindergarten or daycare. We will nurture your child‘s first steps on an exciting educational journey, supporting them as they explore and thrive.

Pioneers offer a range of options to suit the modern family. We currently operate five fully licensed and chartered early years education centres in Dunedin and have 40 educators providing a home-based service. All our services meet the Ministry of Education’s Early Childhood Regulations and are reviewed regularly by the Education Review Office.

All Pioneers educators are highly qualified to deliver quality education programmes based on Te Whariki Matauranga mo nga Mokopuna o Aotearoa the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum.

We are governed by an Executive Committee consisting of parents, management, staff and educator representative.

Our Head Office for our five centres as well as our home-based service is situated at 5 Cavell Street, Musselburgh.

Our history

The pioneering spirit of the men and women who worked tirelessly to establish one of the earliest childcare organisations in Dunedin lives on in every aspect of our organisation. From the teachers and home-based educators who nurture the children on their educational journey, to the children themselves - the young pioneers who love to discover, explore and challenge themselves every day. Here’s how the Dunedin Community Childcare Association was founded:

Stage one began with the provision of a full day centre originally occupying two adjacent wooden villas in Forth Street which are now to be found at 86 Elm Row and 76 Russell Street.  The financial impetus was provided by an International Women’s Year grant of $5,000 with encouragement from Dunedin Teachers’ College, Work and Income New Zealand and the enthusiastic people of Dunedin.  Stage two commenced in April 1978 with Dunedin Community Childcare Association starting the family daycare home-based scheme, offering alternative child care options for the families of Dunedin.

"
The best teachers are those
who show you where to look,
but don’t tell you what to see. Alexandra K. Trenfor "
5 Centres and 40 Home-based Educators throughout Dunedin