Both Parnell and Gladstone Park Early Childhood Centre's have won the New Zealand Heart Foundation’s Pa-Harakeke Gold Standard Healthy Heart award – five times!
This highest award has been won by only a few childcare centres, and recognises flourishing healthy practices and months of hard but incredibly rewarding work involving children, parents, whanau, and centre staff.
Inspired by the Healthy Heart programme, Parnell Community Trust developed its Green Kids Programme, which now plays a core role in life and learning at the two centres.
“It’s all about taking the very best care of our children and setting them up to be healthy for life,” says Parnell Trust's Chief Executive, Lyn Fox.
The Green Kids Programme encompasses healthy eating, physical activity, food and nutrition learning curriculum programmes and a commitment to extend these healthy messages into the wider community.
Parnell Trust's two early childhood centres recently became EnviroSchools, setting children on the path to help create a sustainable world. In addition to eating and helping to prepare healthy meals and snacks, the centres have vegetable gardens that recycle food and waste from worm farms.
“Parnell Trust is so proud of the healthy changes we’ve made at our centres,” Lyn says. “We’ve had huge support from parents and whanau and know that we’ve been able to have a positive impact on the futures of the children in our care.
“Through our KidsHQ SuperMeals, we’re helping to spread healthy messages to our community. Parents are so happy to see their children eating healthy meals.
“Parnell Trust’s vision is to take everything we’ve learned and share this with other Early Childhood Centres and their families. KidsHQ SuperMeals will be our way of ‘paying it forward’.
“We’ve received such inspiring support from the Heart Foundation, we want to share our learnings and help spread the healthy living message,” Lyn said.