Childcare options in Hillcrest

Hillcrest has a few daycare, childcare and early childhood education options. Book a visit or enquire at any one of them with Kindello. We're here to help you find the perfect fit for you and your child.


Top-rated childcare in Hillcrest

Parents agree these childcare options are highly rated for location, staff, and more.

A picture of New Shoots Hillcrest Childcare Centre


4.92 (12)

Hillcrest - Auckland

New Shoots Hillcrest Childcare Centre

In the heart of Auckland’s North Shore lives New Shoots Hillcrest – conveniently located close to the popular family-orientated suburbs of Birkenhead, Glenfield, Northcote and Takapuna, and the business hub of Wairau Valley. A repurposed architecturally designed building, sustainably transformed into an early childhood centre that blends old and new, brick and steel, curiosity and comfort. The fascination of this centre begins at its core, the internal courtyard.

Floor-to-ceiling glass roller doors bring light inside, where beautiful archways are the perfect backdrop for our custom-designed furniture and diverse range of hand-selected natural resources. Complete with comfy couches, cosy rugs and high-quality light fittings, our home-like aesthetic will put your children at ease.

Completely enclosed and generous in size, it is the perfect place for outdoor play, open-ended exploration and self-discovery. Our large, bright and airy rooms all flow out onto this courtyard, giving tamariki of different ages the chance to interact, learn and grow together.

Inside and out, New Shoots Hillcrest is a place where children’s imagination is fostered, uninterrupted play is encouraged, and a lifelong love of learning begins.

If you are looking for your child’s home away from home on the North Shore, say hello to New Shoots Hillcrest. 

  • Community garden on site
  • Quality ratios and small group sizes
  • Multi-cultural
  • Handpicked & natural resources
  • Fees include nappies, meals, wetbag, bag and hat/beanie (season dependant)
  • Floor to ceiling glass roller doors bringing light inside the centre

Licensed for

60 children

A picture of Caterpillars to Butterflies Childcare

5.00 (1)

Hillcrest - Auckland

Caterpillars to Butterflies Childcare

We are a safe and nurturing environment for your child to love, learn and explore.

Our team of fun, caring and passionate teachers will encourage their inquisitive nature and creativity to help them become capable, competent and curious learners.

The bush

What’s more kiwi than getting into the bush as a child?

It’s the little things that make it special, like finding a “mean-as” stick, seeing a couple of Tui’s swoop by, lifting a leaf and uncovering a bug or just looking up at the sky through the trees.

What’s amazing is that it’s the same every time you go there but some how it’s different too. And we’re lucky enough to have a bit of New Zealand native bush out the back that we take our tamariki to.

But please - shhhhh, don’t say anything or everyone will want to come to our little piece of paradise.

Outdoor area

The large outdoor playground area has plants, real grass, and a raised garden with flowers and edible plants.

Plus there’s plenty of room for tamariki to burn off some energy, work on their monkey-bar skills, find a quiet space to chill out, jump in the large sandpit with diggers and build friendships - in short, have fun and learn along the way.

Our rooms

We are a boutique centre with a maximum capacity of 35 tamariki.

We have two main areas:

The Caterpillars Room (infants) has an average teacher to child ratio of 1:3 and a maximum group size of 15 children.

The Butterflies Room (over 2’s) has a maximum teacher to child ratio of 1:8 and a maximum group size of 20 children.

Licensed for

35 children

A picture of BestStart Hillcrest

4.50 (1)

Hillcrest - Rotorua

BestStart Hillcrest

At BestStart Hillcrest we value each child’s individuality, creativity and ideas and love and respect them for who they are. We are passionate about providing quality learning opportunities for all children that build and extend on their interests, offering many experiences to explore at their own pace.  Little Explorers, Big Ambitions

The wellbeing and development of all children is at the HEART of every decision we make.

Building relationships and working in partnership with our families is at the heart of what we do at BestStart Hillcrest. Our vision and philosophy acknowledge the importance of whanaungatanga, using a collaborative approach in ensuring children thrive. Our door is always open to our families and whanau, welcoming you to spend as much time as needed to settle your child into their new environment.

Wonderful environment - The natural environment plays an integral part in children’s learning, they are encouraged to value the natural world, to become kaitiaki (guardians) of their environment and surroundings.

All children have access to a beautiful outside play area where they can continue to explore, run, jump and engage with their friends. Our large spaces allow our children to use nature in their play such as picking flowers, vegetables and leaves. Our wonderful environment provides opportunity for children to explore and connect to the natural world. There are many opportunities during the day for children to be creative, expressive, lead, explore or just sit peacefully and watch the clouds float by.

Community learning - It is very important that our children make community connections, understand their place within our community and learn from our beautiful town. We arrange excursions and invite experts from our community to visit our centre to share their expertise such as Police, Librarians, Dental nurses and animal experts.

Infants and toddlers - At BestStart Hillcrest our babies are cared for by passionate teachers who specialise in working with children aged 0 to 2 years old. Our warm inviting indoor area combined with two spacious outdoor play areas designed for the younger children, offer them plenty of opportunities to explore and grow at their own pace. Our learning programme for our youngest children is nurturing, respectful and guided by each child’s individual needs and interests. Our teachers work with whanau and the wider community to provide an environment that empowers each child to succeed.

Project Hub - Our Tui Room is an exciting project hub, full of interesting, educational opportunities to discover, research and create. Our children are encouraged to plan and implement activities that are of interest to them and they are given the opportunity to experiment with ideas, ways of thinking and doing things. We also empower children to develop those all-important self-help skills, ready for that next part of their learning journey which is school.  Along with this, our unique Be School Ready initiative helps our children develop the skills needed for the transition from BestStart Hillcrest to school.

We welcome you to visit our centre at any time convenient to you.

Who is BestStart?

BestStart is for families who want more from early-childhood education. Safe, nurturing and educationally focused, we’re committed to growing caring people with curious minds.

Together we teach, learn and nurture.

Our vision is to work in partnership with families, whanau and communities to enable children to achieve their learning potential.

Ko tō mātou tirohanga hei mahi ngātahi i te taha o ngā whānau me ngā hāpori, kia āwhinatia ngā tamariki, kia tū pito mata ai rāatou, hei rangatira mō āpōpō.

We are committed to being a progressive and responsive leader in early-childhood education. We do this by enhancing our services, investing in our people, developing our support structure and continuously improving the educational outcomes and experiences of our children, families and the communities we serve.

Some facts:

  • We’re licensed to educate and care for 15,000 full-time children daily.
  • 18,000 families use BestStart services annually.
  • We have over 270 centres nationwide located from Whangarei to Invercargill.
  • Each centre is managed by a Centre Manager who is supported by a local Area Manager. This gives our centre teams ongoing quality training and support.
  • Te Whāriki, the world-wide acclaimed national early childhood education curriculum, is used in all centres.
  • We have over 4500 permanent teachers nationally. Over 90% of our permanent teaching staff are either fully qualified with a diploma or bachelor of teaching (ECE) or higher, or are in training. These figures are very high by national standards within the ECE sector.
  • We provide a two-year Advice and Guidance Programme for all recently certified teachers, providing further mentoring and training. This gives strong support for teachers from provisional registration to full teacher registration with the NZ Teachers Council.
  • We regularly spend around $4 million on teacher training per annum.

We’re for children

At our heart is our commitment and passion for children. Central to this belief is our focus on the holistic development of children. We support children to explore the world around them, learning through relationships, creating a love of learning in an ever-changing world. Exploration, friendship and fun are part of the journey.

We’re for good

BestStart is a registered charity owned by the Wright Family Foundation. We support initiatives and programmes within BestStart and the wider early-childhood education sector (ECE) that support good outcomes for all children. We do this because we want to make a positive difference to the lives of all children.

Innovation leads us

At BestStart, innovation guides our thinking. We advocate positive change for learners through our research and practice. We’re proud to be thought leaders within ECE, openly challenging ourselves to think differently to provide the best for our children, families and staff.

We’re responsive

Our centres reflect their children, staff and communities. We celebrate individuality, uniqueness and diversity, encouraging a spirit of empathy, understanding and collaboration. Through our responsive relationships and our curriculum, we support learners to choose their own path.

Our people matter

At BestStart people come first. When we grow and develop our people, everyone benefits. We strive for whakamana/empowerment, nurturing a culture of excellence with engaged, talented professionals. Their commitment, skill and passion light our way.

Licensed for

40 children

Childcare for every family

Get the childcare option that is right for you and your child.

Popular features for Hillcrest childcare centres

Other great childcare options in Hillcrest

A picture of Neemo Childcare Centre Hillcrest

Hillcrest - Auckland

Neemo Childcare Centre Hillcrest

Neemo stands for – Nurturing Early Education Moppets Oranga.

Our purpose-built childcare centres are friendly, warm and bright places and we strive to provide an environment filled with laughter and fun for children aged 0-5 years. Our learning spaces are well thought out and designed to accommodate every child’s individual needs.

Infants and toddlers:

Our practices are focused on caring for and respecting infants and toddlers. This is aimed at trusting the child to be an initiator, an explorer, and a self-learner.

Infants typically set their own routines and rhythms. We aim, to the best of our abilities, to maintain routines that are consistent to home. We provide a rich, safe, unhurried and challenging learning environment that encompasses a wide range of curriculum areas including story time, music time, messy play, visual arts, dance, pretend play, sensory play, sand play, and water play for the children to engage in, explore, and learn with in their own unique way at their own pace.


Our preschool areas are set out with resources that challenge every child’s ability and interests. It promotes the independence of children and encourages them to develop individually and in group settings.

We continually evaluate and adapt  our environment based on our observations of how children are learning  and interacting  within the environment. Any modifications  to our spaces are focused  on children’s best  interest. In addition we believe in building strong relationships with parents. As such, we define ourselves learning from each other and from our children too (AKO –the sense of reciprocal learning).

Our approach:

Our approach is focused on observing the interests of children while also incorporating strands of TeWhāriki.

Our teachers

Our teachers will encourage children to think for themselves, make their own decisions and work towards their own solutions. Our children will be encouraged to celebrate each other’s uniqueness, culture and strengths.   

Licensed for

58 children

A picture of Little Discoverers

5.00 (1)

Hillcrest - Hamilton

Little Discoverers

Welcome to Little Discoverers, we are a privately family owned and operated centre who wishes to support and teach our children/tamariki within our community.

We are licenced for 44 children, 34 over 2’s & 10 under 2’s, we have a health and wellbeing educator on site that caters for all the children’s dietary requirements each day. This includes morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea.

We are situated in Hillcrest, Hamilton East, and we aspire to have our children/tamariki out into the community every fortnight for excursions within our community to extend on their learning journey.

We also extend our contact with the local primary schools to help ensure when your child/tamariki reaches the age of 4 years of age they are preparing to school ready.

Licensed for

44 children

A picture of Rotorua Girls' High School Childcare Centre

4.83 (1)

Hillcrest - Rotorua

Rotorua Girls' High School Childcare Centre

Rotorua Girls’ High School Childcare Trust is a small community based early childhood service, for up to 30 tamariki from 3 months to 5 years old, providing a stimulating educational environment for all tamariki. This centre was established around 1985 to provide a service for the local community. Today people from the wider Rotorua community, many of whom are linked with the education sector, use the centre. We believe in strong links and ongoing communication between tamariki, parents, whanau, kaiako and the Trust. As a community of learners, we are dedicated to honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi in all aspects of teaching and learning through the engagement of dual heritage practices. The centre works with the Early Childhood Curriculum, Te Whariki, reflecting each child’s individual strengths and interests.

The centre is located within the Rotorua Girls’ High School grounds and is accessible via the school’s Miro Street driveway. We are close to the central business district of Rotorua which includes a varied range of social, economic and ethnic groups. Rotorua Girls’ High School Childcare Trust generally operates in conjunction with the primary school terms. The centre is open for approximately 43 weeks of the year, opening for shorter hours in the first three days of each holiday period, then closed until the new term starts.

Licensed for

31 children

A picture of Minimee Early Childhood Adventure

Hillcrest - Auckland

Minimee Early Childhood Adventure

Welcome to Minimee Early Childhood Education Adventure.  We are a reputable early learning centre in the heart of Hillcrest on Auckland's North Shore.  Overlooking the valley and out to the Hauraki Gulf and Rangitoto Island, our cosy learning environment in an early 1900's villa provides the setting for our children to explore their world, make exciting discoveries, and develop their thinking in a holistic and meaningful way.   Our teaching team offers the support and guidance children need to reach their potential and facilitate experiences that will help the children to develop a love of learning.  Our teaching is inspired by the Reggio Emilia and RIE philosophies and the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum document, Te Whaariki guides our practice.

Our opening hours are 7.30am to 6pm, Monday to Friday and we cater for children between three months to five years of age.  Healthy meals are cooked and prepared onsite by our centre chef.

We look forward to welcoming you into our centre.

Licensed for

50 children

A picture of Waikato Montessori Early Education Centre

Hillcrest - Hamilton

Waikato Montessori Early Education Centre

The Waikato Montessori Education Centre is owned and administered by The Golden Beads Charitable Trust. This Trust was founded by Diane Bhana with Shayne Frickey as co-trustee and has been established to further the development of Montessori schooling in the Waikato.  

Montessori is not a franchise and there is no head office or controlling body. Schools are free to offer their unique blend of facilities and local personality. We welcome your enquiry and review of our beautiful semi-rural Montessori Centre in Hamilton.

The classroom is the childrens’ home away from home, it is carefully designed to facilitate the development of independence and a sense of personal empowerment. We allow children to learn for themselves, to learn at their own pace, to cultivate a positive attitude to mistakes, to choose activities for themselves, and to be allowed to repeat actions as often as necessary.

Children select their own activities — parents are very welcome to ask the guides about the equipment and attend open times to explore the classroom for themselves.

Licensed for

60 children

A picture of Whaihanga Early Learning Centre

Hillcrest - Hamilton

Whaihanga Early Learning Centre

Central Kids Whaihanga is situated in the grounds of Knighton Normal School in the suburb of Hillcrest in Hamilton. Due to the proximity of the Waikato University, our centre provides quality care and education for children within a short distance of this facility and also for the wider community.

Whaihanga is a small intimate centre. All teachers are qualified and have a clear commitment to the Central Kids philosophy of using play as a vehicle for future learning.

We promote a strong family-like atmosphere supported by tuakana/teina relationships among children, and a ‘key teacher’ system effectively supports children’s sense of wellbeing and promotes responsive relationships with families. 

Our philosophy statement aligns to the Central Kids Strategic Plan, and is underpinned by the concepts of whanaungatanga, aroha, taonga o Papatuanuku and whaihangatanga. Whaihanga is an Enviroschool and a participant in the Para Kore programme with a strong commitment to sustainability and reducing waste.

We welcome you to visit us anytime.

Licensed for

40 children

A picture of Big Hugz Early Learning Centre

Hillcrest - Hamilton

Big Hugz Early Learning Centre

High-quality early childhood education in Hillcrest from birth to five years

Big Hugz Early Learning Centre offers a nurturing, safe and welcoming place where you child can experience high-quality early childhood education from qualified caring staff. Our team includes 90% qualified teachers and all of our team are well trained and truly enjoy working with children.

Currently licenced for just 39 children, Big Hugz has a warm and friendly feel and includes children and families from many different backgrounds and cultures.

Good food is of huge importance to us, and Big Hugz offers four homemade meals a day including morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and late snacks for your child. 

Environmentally friendly focus for early childhood education

At Big Hugz Early Learning Centre we want to protect the environment for the children we care for, so our centre is based on a number of eco-friendly principles.

The Hillcrest preschool has solar panels on the roof to provide electricity and eco-friendly cleaning products are used throughout the day. Rubbish is recycled wherever possible and new enrolments are given recycled reusable bags rather than plastic bags for storing dirty clothes.

Community and family centred early childhood education

It can be hard to leave your child in the care of others, but at Big Hugz Early Learning Centre you can rest assured that your child is in the best of hands. 

With just a small number of children, Big Hugz is a tight knit and friendly private daycare and we value the relationships with parents and whanau through day to day interactions, feedback about your child's learning and parenting courses to help you improve your own skills.

Children also get plenty of opportunities to interact with the local community as part of our community childcare focus which involves charity work, visits to nearby attractions and taking part in local events.

Licensed for

39 children

A picture of Hillcrest High School Community Ch-Care

Hillcrest - Hamilton

Hillcrest High School Community Ch-Care

Hillcrest Childcare is a non-profit organisation operated as a charitable trust by Hillcrest High School Community Child Care Trust.

We are a small community based, mixed age whanau centre. We believe children grow and develop best when they are secure in their sense of belonging. We encourage our children to be happy, healthy and confident young people, who make valuable contributions to their environment and community. We believe children’s interests are extended through meaningful interactions, individual exploration and self-discovery. We cater to our children’s changing interests and provide opportunities for them to gain a rich understanding of their world. We also have heaps of fun!

The Centre is located at the rear of the High School grounds, off Carrington Avenue. We are close to the University of Waikato, Ruakura Research Centre, Waikato Innovation Park and close to Silverdale, Knighton and Hillcrest Primary schools. Our community is lucky enough to embrace a wide range of age groups, ethnic groups and socio-economic backgrounds.

We have highly qualified staff with a low adult/child ratio. Because of this we are able to spend more time with each individual child and discover their natural abilities and interests. We then have time to work together to develop their interests further.

Transition to School programme 

Through our before school programme we gently prepare our older children for school by encouraging them to work together and to stimulate and extend their thinking through questioning, suggestions and sharing information. Children spend time working in a classroom setting and having fun with language, developing familiarity with numbers and doing short activities driven by the children’s interests. The Transition to School programme also encompasses visits out of the Centre.

Other unique features of the Centre:

  • Large shaded backyard complete with adventure playground, giant sandpit, slides, ramps, swings and more
  • Centre vege garden and fruit trees
  • Exciting School Holiday programme with theme days.
  • Access to the local library and walks to the local park to explore our community
  • Annual Centre excursions to the zoo, the theatre and other Hamilton attractions
  • A great community of parents, grandparents and other whanau
  • Ample, safe, off-road parking for drop-offs and pick-ups

Licensed for

34 children

A picture of Cambridge Road Community Kindergarten

Hillcrest - Hamilton

Cambridge Road Community Kindergarten

We are a family-centred community kindergarten

Cambridge Rd Community Kindergarten is a place of laughter, learning, inquiry, of friends & memories. Our kindergarten is located within the grounds of Hillcrest Normal Primary School - the transition to school couldn't get any easier.

We believe in empowering children to make their own choices, engage in adventurous play in a safe, fun and nurturing environment. All of our teachers are fully qualified Early Childhood Teachers & we are a registered Early Childhood Centre . We are a family-centred kindergarten, run by a parent-elected Committee. 

Our small session sizes (limited to 20 children per session) mean we can form close relationships with children, family & whanau. We encourage our children to be independent, self-managing and respectful of each other and their environment. We see children as competent, powerful and capable individuals.

Licensed for

20 children

A picture of Hillcrest Kindergarten

Hillcrest - Hamilton

Hillcrest Kindergarten

Hillcrest Kindergartens Waikato is well-respected for delivering high quality, affordable education and childcare. We have a well developed and resourced outdoor and indoor environment. Our programme focuses on children’s wellbeing and their interests. We welcome and have a diverse number of cultures attending.

  • Warm & welcoming staff who are passionate about teaching and learning.
  • Safe, caring and stimulating environment.
  • Well resourced and huge outdoor play area.
  • Children develop social interaction and respect.
  • Private online learning portfolios for parents (sharing photos, videos and stories about your child).
  • An exclusive early childhood partnership with the Enviroschools Programme (eg. recycling, composting, gardening).
  • In Partnership with Sports Waikato Under5 Energize to eat healthy, be active & have fun! 
  • Learning based on the NZ Early Childhood Curriculum, Te Whāriki.
  • Value family/whānau and kindergarten partnership.
  • Transition to school programme.

Licensed for

43 children