A bit more about us

Established in 1987 (as Melody Childcare Centre), we are a not-for-profit community-based childcare centre located in the luscious grounds of the Ruakura Research Centre. Wondernauts is a charitable trust governed by a Board of Trustees made up of interested parents and local community members.

Our large purpose built centre boasts three individual rooms with expansive adjoining outdoor environments. We pride ourself on the quality of our resources and world-class facilities. Our latest addition to our already awesome facilities is a purpose-built bike track and set of quality bikes, which provides a great physical challenge for our children.

We have qualified and experienced staff, sensitive to the needs of the children, who offer an atmosphere that invites a child’s interest, stimulates creativity and satisfies their innate need to explore and discover the world around them. We have developed unique education programmes children have the option to participate in. Check them out here.

We operate an all-weather curriculum and we believe strongly in getting out and about no matter what the weather. We provide high-quality wet weather gear to enable children to be outside in nature every day. Research outlines the importance of education outside the classroom on children’s development, both physically, mentally and spiritually.

We strongly believe in encouraging risk-taking with children. Taking risks is a vital part of a child’s success for learning and development. For us, this means supporting children to take challenges which help increase their confidence and sense of capability through opportunities with potential risk. By involving children in the process of risk assessment within these opportunities we support them to make their own judgments on safety through thinking and reflecting on any potential harm from their play.

We strive to meet the needs of the child, the parents, and the wider whānau by providing high-quality childcare enabling parents to feel secure in the knowledge that their child is well cared for, confident and happy.

Hours and Fees

Wondernauts is open 7:30am – 5:30pm, Monday to Friday.
We are closed on all public holidays and for up to two days per year for teacher only days. There is no charge on these days.
Priority is given to current families; followed by children whose parents work for AgResearch and Innovation Waikato, and then the general public.
There is a minimum attendance booking of 6 hours per day, three days per week. Charges are for booked or attended hours, whichever is the greater.

Current fees as at 24th July 2023:
Over two’s $6.00 per hour, maximum of $230 per week.
Under two’s $7.00 per hour, maximum of $260 per week.
Over threes – 20 hours Free
Wondernauts daily fee – $3.00 per day
Wondernauts subscription fee – $2.50 per week.
There are six weeks per year at 50% fees for a holiday booked two weeks in advance.

Services we provide

Wondernauts pride ourselves on the exemplary care and educational services we provide. We strive to go above and beyond to help you and your family.

Unique educational programs

There are regular opportunities to participate in Kapa Haka, farm walks, exploring the campus, trips and excursions in the local community and our CROWN Programme (Children Reconnecting Outdoors with Nature).

Healthy nutritious meals

Wondernauts promotes healthy eating. We provide nutritious morning and afternoon teas. We also have the option of your children being provided with a healthy cooked lunch via the Wondernauts Lunch Scheme.

Hearing and vision checks

Each term a hearing and vision technician visit our four year olds to complete hearing and vision testing as part of their Before School checks.

Animal interactions

We believe in the value of children interacting with animals. Wondernauts has egg-laying chickens,  frogs and fish. Regular visits from kittens, dogs and rabbits also provide opportunities to interact with animals.

Nappies, wipes and sunscreen

We provides nappies, wipes and sunscreen.

Amazing facilities and resources

Qualified experienced teachers

We have a stable team of qualified, certificated teachers, passionate about providing quality education.

SunSmart Centre

Wondernauts has been awarded SunSmart accreditation by the Cancer Society Waikato, Bay of Plenty Divison, valid until November 2020.

Wet weather gear

We provide wet weather gear for all ages to enable children to get outside regardless of the weather.

Individual & class photos

Each year we have a professional photographer who comes to Wondernauts to take individual and sibling photos as well as the memorable class photos.

Portfolio books

We provide each child with printed and online portfolio books filled with photos, videos, art work and learning stories/assessments. Online portfolio books increases family involvement in children’s learning, enhancing support and improving educational outcomes.

Dental checks

Each year dental technicians visit Wondernauts to check on our over two years old teeth. This is a great introduction to good oral hygiene practices in a safe and familiar environment.