BestStart Harrison Street

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Harrison - babies
At BestStart Harrison Street we support our children to build their self-esteem, social skills and self-help skills to encourage a love of learning. We care for children from 0-6 years old and are open all year, only closing for public holidays.

Growing A Community

Our centre whanau and community are an important part of centre life, as we all come together to enrich the lives of our children. This reflects our vision of growing a community.  We love to give back to our whanau and community in as many ways as we can.

Here at BestStart Harrison Street, we know that children are active learners and we support their independence and choices, following their interests and extending their skills and knowledge. We nurture their relationships and support their learning and development through playful exploration so they can be happy, confident and capable learners.

Flexible and convenient – We provide quality education for children from birth to school age and have a wide variety of booking options to meet each child and family’s individual needs. We’re conveniently located in central Whanganui and are open from 7.30am – 5.30pm and throughout the school holidays. We also provide healthy and delicious morning and afternoon kai.

Sense of belonging – Parents and children experience a sense of belonging at BestStart Harrison Street. Families are at the heart of centre life and we value the rich diversity and contribution every family brings to our centre. Connections with our whānau community is core to our vision and centre philosophy. Our teaching team are open, friendly and welcoming and value the aspirations and expectations whanau have for their child.

Cultural connections – We acknowledge and promote New Zealand’s bi-cultural heritage by embracing and developing a deeper understanding of Te Ao Maori. We are proud of the cultural heritage of Aotearoa, New Zealand, the cultural diversity of our own community and of the exciting world around us.

Be School Ready – As part of our programme, we provide a Be School Ready initiative which helps children develop the skills needed for a happy and successful transition to primary school. This is a holistic programme, which fosters exploration, problem solving, and social development while extending on children’s interests. This includes:

  • Promoting social competence – such as sharing, turn taking, initiating and maintaining friendships, participating in routine and sustained engagement.
  • Promoting emotional competence – such as being able to express emotions appropriately and respect the emotions of others, self-regulation and self-confidence.
  • Promoting a curriculum based pedagogy – such as numeracy, literacy and science skills that children will learn through play, as well as the practical self-help skills.

Our learning spaces – At BestStart Harrison Street, our play and learning environments are divided into three rooms to help support children’s individual learning and development. We have a warm, homely centre, with beautiful natural environments, perfect for children to explore and flourish. We have a wonderful loving teaching team to cater to your children’s needs, and help your child learn and grow.

Infant Room (Koru Room) 0 – 2 years

We form genuine bonds with our children and whānau.

Toddler Room (Pounamu Room) 2 – 3 ½ years

​Our natural environment provides children endless opportunities for exploration, discovery, and wonder moments.

Preschool Room (Te Awa Room) 3 ½ - 6 years

​We have a great team of innovative teachers who are always observing, researching and incorporating different ways to engage the children.

Video Gallery

How I learn
Te Awa Community Kindy Room
Poumanu Room

kind words from our parents


I chose TopKids Harrison Street due to it’s learning through play system and the great teachers. Play based learning helped Kadyn transition to school in so many ways. He gained motor skills, maths skills, social skills, and problem solving skills all of which he uses at school now.


Ty is excelling at school and I’d like to thank TopKids for all their work and effort teaching him what he know now. Keep up the great work, top job TopKids Harrison Street.


I love how you guys do so much fun stuff with the kids that I as a parent don’t have time to do and when I go to pick my child up I love hearing about her day and all the new little things she is doing and getting up to.


Thanks ladies, you are making this transition super easy for my daughter by being SO supportive.


I would like to say what an awesome welcome our family received from everyone at TopKids Harrison, friendly staff and a big thank you to Kelsey for the video of Vaughn having a kanikani, his father and I so loved it. We have noticed our son is coming home showing us new things he is learning, those are awesome moments.


My children have been attending Beststart Harrison Street for over a year. I chose this childhood centre after hearing good things about it and after visiting just once, my heart was set on it. This has proven to be an excellent choice for my sons! I am so impressed with the staff who are caring and compassionate. They go well beyond their duty to make my boys and I feel cared for, safe, and part of a wider community. I honestly feel they see their job as a vocation, not just a job (that includes the amazing Centre Administrator!) Being a fulltime worker this attitude has been vital to my feeling confident that my boys would flourish being in fulltime care, as I naturally had my concerns. Multiple staff have also been amazing when I have had difficulties or needed a listening ear. The atmosphere is calm, the building clean and ordered but colourful and fun! The learning my boys receive is amazing! I receive frequent updates on my sons and am able to give feedback often and freely. My eldest recently transitioned to school and BestStart Harrison Street did an amazing job in making this transition seamless and special. Now in national lockdown, the staff continue to provide activities, encouragement and support. I am so thankful to all the staff at BestStart Harrison Street


My baby started at BestStart in Feb. I was a bit nervous as we had come from another kindy and I wasn't sure if she would settle and fit right in. She sure did show me up! She acted as if she had been there forever. She would not have adjusted so quickly and comfortably without the love and support we both received from her amazing teachers and fellow classmates !! I love the fact I am updated on everything and feel welcomed everyday we come in to class . It helps knowing that she is loved and well looked after as I set out to work . The environment is amazing with stations set out everyday , hand washing and water available which helps with independence also !! I’m so grateful and thankful for each and everyone of the teachers and the continuous support we are receiving through lockdown as well!


My son attended BestStart Harrison Street a few years ago and I had no hesitation enrolling my daughter as well as we had nothing but positive experiences. I can tell that all staff genuinely care for and take an interest in the children. My daughter has a great relationship with all of her teachers and there are many creative learning experiences provided for her to participate in. I feel confident that she is in very good hands while I am at work and know that she is getting the best care possible. This caring attitude has continued during the lockdown with everybody invested in keeping in contact. I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to the BestStart Harrison Whanau.


Palaeontologists at work

Learning about dinosaurs is our latest exciting class project!

Akongia I nga kaupeka o te tau – Learning about the seasons…

Kei te korerotia i te ahua o te rangi – Talking about the weather….

Whanganui Wearable Arts

We created a Wearable Arts Night – creating 35 costumes mainly out of loose parts!