Gaia (Earth) Forest Preschool New Zealand

A real Forest Kindy and so much more... World's first childcare centre fully inspired by the "Gaia (Earth) Education Principle" (i.e. Earth inspired building designs, environments, values, curriculum, & outcomes for children). This is truly "childcare like you've never seen before". Perfectly situated for families who live, work near, or commute through Manukau, Manurewa, Gardens, Flat Bush, Mission Heights, Ormiston, Takanini, Pukekohe, Papakura, Papatoetoe, Karaka, Drury, Waiuku and Pokeno.

Call 0508 773 724or Click Here to send us an enquiry ...

More videos of Gaia (Earth) Forest Preschool New Zealand...
Watch a brief live interview on TV3’s AM Show of our co-founder and director, Dr Darius Singh, about our new Gaia (Earth) Education Philosophy, Principles and Practices, which he and Nikeeta were invited to speak about at the largest Earth and Space Science conference in the world (Dec 2019, USA).
Watch a 3 minute story on TV3's The Project that aired on 26 May 2022 about Gaia (Earth) Forest Preschool

Where modern Earth Science Education meets Ancient Cultural Knowledge through our new Gaia (Earth) Education Philosophy to give you "childcare like you've never seen before!"

Give your child the gift of experiencing their first 5 years immersed in nature inside our 10,000 sqm ancient native forest as identified by the Auckland Council.





We are perfectly situated for families who live, work near, or commute through Manukau, Manurewa, Flat Bush, Takanini, Gardens, Mission Heights, Ormiston,  Pukekohe,  Karaka, Papakura, Drury, Papatoetoe, Waiuku and Pokeno. However, since our opening in July 2022, we have enrolments travelling from as far as North Shore, Titirangi, Howick and Awhitu!

View our 'photo gallery', and see extracts from international publications where founders Dr Darius Singh and Nikeeta Singh have been invited to present their vision for Gaia (Earth) Forest Preschool:

  • International Conference for Education, Research and Innovation, Seville, November 2018,
  • International Conference for Future Learning, Barcelona, December 2018,
  • World Forum on Early Care and Education, Macao, April 2019,
  • AGU100 - Advancing Earth and Space Sciences, Engaging Preschool Kids in Earth and Space Science, USA, Dec 2019.

Upcoming invitations to speak at global events are an ongoing testament to their vision, which is in high demand in the world right now:

  • 12th World Environment Education Congress, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Feb 2024,
  • Earth Charter Conference - Reimagining Education for Ecological Civilizations, USA, Apr 2024.


We have also published a summary of their international publication GAIA (EARTH) INSPIRED EDUCATION PRINCIPLES – A JOURNEY BACK TO THE FUTURE.

We are proud to be the first childcare centre in the world to deliver a fully immersed Gaia (Earth) based approach right across the spectrum. Essentially this approach is "Earth inspired everything ... from biophilic buildings, natural environments, well supported operations, deeply rooted and connected values, leading curriculum, innovative teaching & learning, and most importantly, VISIBLE outcomes for children."


Gaia (Earth) inspired Forest playground:

  • The Japanese practice of Shinrin Yoku, or Forest Bathing, is good for both physical and mental well-being. Research has found evidence of reduced stress hormone production, improved positivity (feelings of happiness), enhanced creativity and problem solving, and accelerated recovery from illnesses. For adults, the benefits include lower heart rate and blood pressure, and an overall improved immune system.
  • boost your child's well-being with essential Vitamin 'N' (Nature).
  • a genuine Forest Kindy / Bush Kindy / Nature Programme inspired by the Friluftsliv (open air) way of life in Scandinavia.
  • 10,000 sqm of NZ native forest to explore and play in each day;
  • beautiful and calming forest walkway as you drop off and pick up from the carpark;
  • shallow streams (with eels and fish) for our teachers and your child to discover and explore new life and changing scenes each day;
  • almost every NZ native species of trees is here to see, learn from, play around, and look after;
  • mud slide using our harvested rainwater for your preschooler to .... well you know the rest!

Gaia (Earth) inspired Biophilic Building:

  • we adopted biomimicry techniques to design a building into the shape of a single leaf;
  • the building itself soars off the ground on tree hut style supports, like a leaf reaching out to touch the sky or a giant waka emerging out of a sea of green;
  • solar cells (i.e. first array is installed - total of 120 photovoltaics to be installed at a later stage to power nearly all of the building's needs - mimicking life-giving photosynthesis functions of a simple leaf);
  • rainwater harvesting (i.e. modelling Earth's sustainability principles like a lotus leaf does) . This supplies all our non-potable water for outdoor play, gardening, mudslide, laundry, and bathrooms;
  • building foundations deeply rooted like a myriad tree roots growing into the Earth itself;
  • heated floors for our babies so they can sense a warmth coming from the Earth;
  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2) monitors in our sleep rooms that activate smart ventilation if levels get too high;
  • natural ventilation (i.e. a building that breathes on its own, and further enhanced by NZ's first UVC lamp filtered heat pumps - see below);
  • your child will feel what it's like learning, playing, eating & sleeping inside a leaf (a beautiful memory for your child when he/she becomes the next guardian of our world and everyone/everything in it).

Using Nature and State of Art UVC Technology to protect our children from bacteria and viruses:

We are thrilled to announce that Gaia (Earth) Forest Preschool is the first Early Childhood Education centre in NZ to install an advanced air purification system into our existing wall heat pumps. Using UVC technology by Steril-Aire, this has been independently tested to deliver an average of 6 times the disinfection output of other ultraviolet devices by the U.S. EPA and Department of Homeland Security. Test reports show that Steril-Aire UVC devices achieved 99.99% destruction in a single pass on airborne bacteria and viruses. Preschools in USA report enhanced HVAC environmental hygiene and reduced illness and absenteeism (

Just when you thought that our fresh forest air and nature-enriched environment was already a bonus for our tamariki in our forest preschool, we are going an extra step in providing even more protection for our little ones, teachers and community.

Gaia (Earth) inspired curriculum and teachers:

  • Our world class teachers are from South Africa, Philippines, UK, Ireland, Singapore, China, India, Spain, South America, Fiji & the Pacific Islands and of course from all over NZ. A uniquely genuine and authentic learning experience for your child from cultures all around the world.
  • Our early childhood education (ECE) curriculum follows the world class development - proven for over 20 years by the New Zealand Ministry of Education  - known as Te Whāriki;
  • The way we deliver this is inspired by existing philosophies of Nature based, Forest preschool, Reggio, Montessori, Emmi Pikler, Magda Gerber's Educarer, Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences, and Friluftsliv (open air) Scandinavian approaches for teaching and learning as we deepen and connect all of these approaches with common ground principles of Gaia (Earth) itself;
  • Your child will naturally absorb learning outcomes that will always find a way (like life itself) to connect with, show respect for, or see evidence in Nature via our environment. After all, Earth has been showing all life lessons and outcomes for 4.6 billion years, like "Resilience", "Innovative solutions", "Sustainability", "Balance", "Mutual respect", "Nurture", "Connectedness", "Adaptability", "Guardianship", "Continuous Improvement", "Perseverance", "Unhurried processes" ...
  • We want your child to be naturally connected to all of these ways of life every day by simply being here.


We are continually receiving emails of interest in securing a place, pre-enrolments, tours, & visits from parents and communities all over Auckland. Please contact us below to book in your tour of "childcare like you've never seen before"!

Contact Gaia (Earth) Forest Preschool New Zealand (49 Grande Vue Rd, Hillpark, near Auckland Botanic Gardens)

Phone: 0508 PRESCHOOL
Address: 49 Grande Vue Rd, Hillpark (near Auckland Botanic Gardens, off Hill Rd, with northern motorway on-ramp 500m away)

Northbound commuters: Exit at the Takanini off ramp, travel 5 minutes up Great South Rd to our preschool, then rejoin the motorway on-ramp 500m away to continue your commute Northbound to Manukau or Auckland CBD.

Southbound commuters to Manukau: We are only 3km from Rainbows End.

Perfectly situated for families who live, work near, or commute through Hillpark, Manukau, Manurewa, Flat Bush, Gardens, Ormiston, Mission Heights, Takanini, Pukekohe, Drury, Papakura, Papatoetoe, Karaka, Waiuku and Pokeno.
Hours: Mon- Fri 7am - 6pm

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