First Steps Vardon

Vardon - girl
Vardon - Tug of War
Vardon - sport
Vardon - table
Vardon - looking
Vardon - art
Vardon - goat
Vardon - cooking
Vardon - car
Vardon - bike
First Steps Vardon childcare centre is conveniently located at the heart of St Andrews in Hamilton. The key value that underpins what we do is learning and play go hand in hand. We have a fantastic new playground which the children love. The well-resourced preschool is a lovely large open space where children can explore and discover allowing staff to supervise children easily.

Our centre offers education and care for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. The beautiful nursery allows infants and young toddlers to grow to their fullest potential. Through building relationships with infants and toddlers we enable them to trust and give them confidence to explore. They will learn about their world and gain a sense of who they are. We have transparent and collaborative relationships with whanau. This helps us provide individualised care, creating continuity between home and centre. We recognise the role of family as a child’s first teacher.

Our pre-schoolers are encouraged to be curious and creative and explore their own interests. When a child has a particular interest, an individual plan is created for that child. Children are encouraged to be independent and self-manage their belongings, staff are always on hand to assist when needed. There is a strong emphasis on creative arts, literacy and numeracy. There are daily opportunities that support children to be prepared for the transition into primary school as part of our Be School Ready initiative.

Our daily programme reflects our philosophy which is grounded in the values of free play and open exploration. We celebrate that we live in a multicultural society, while recognising the importance of tangata whenua. First Steps Vardon also provides delicious and nutritious morning and afternoon tea for our children.

First Steps Vardon staff are passionate and committed to providing excellent care and education for their dedicated age group. Qualified and supportive teachers are available to discuss any issues with parents as we understand that it is a big decision to enrol your child into childcare.

The best way to get to know us is to come in and see for yourself so come on in! We are always available to talk and show you around our lovely environment. We are open from 7.30-5.30 and have a range of session times to meet your families’ needs.

Video Gallery

Welcome to First Steps Vardon

kind words from our parents


Teachers are so friendly and Thalia is really enjoying her time during the day and I would like to thank everyone for taking care of Thalia and making her happy and secure in her second home.


My child has been attending this centre for a while now and I feel that she has come a very long way with her learning; this is due to the teaching from the amazing staff at the centre. The staff are very approachable, which is great when I have questions or if I feel my child needs extra attention on a learning task. They are always encouraging towards my child which I feel helps her learn and look forward to attending the centre and playing with her friends.

Primary teachers Shirley and Sandra who are part of the Hamilton West Community of Learners

The visit to First Steps at Vardon was impressive. I know my teaching colleague, Cherie, was super impressed with the layout and general environment of both buildings. She was very busy snapping photos all morning and has made many suggestions as to how we could improve our ‘play based’ curriculum and resources. We saw some great ‘simple’ ideas that won’t cost us a lot to develop. Both Sandra and myself commented throughout the day how passionate and willing to share all the teachers were. One thing that we noticed was how the centre and the ECE sector is incorporating elements from the New Zealand Curriculum (key competencies) into their practice. This is definitely an area that new entrant teachers could explore further – eg. How can we incorporate elements from Te Whariki.


As working parents, we are looking for someone to look after our kids that will treat them as we do. My 2 year old son, is his first time to be away from us for more than 1 hour but First Steps Vardon assures him that he doesn’t have to worry because he’s in good hands. Teachers are warm and accommodating, patience is commendable handling not just one but groups of kids with different personalities and attitudes is tangible proof they are doing great. Furthermore, when unforeseen circumstances come, and we need to change enrolled hours, they won’t easily turn you down, instead they help to accommodate the changes without compromising the welfare of every single kid. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Glad that we chose this centre for my boy. Keep it up and I will definitely recommend you to my fellow mummies out there.


Just wanting to say how thankful I am to the First Step Vardon Staff for always going above and beyond to try help out their families. In particular last week I had an issue with my car and the team was more than happy to take the time to help me get started and back on my way. I am so appreciative and I feel like this is not a special experience to First Steps Vardon as the staff are always so caring and friendly. I love sending my sons to daycare with such capable, kind and caring people to look after them.


Whanau Appreciation Evening

At First Steps Vardon as part of celebrating Te Wiki o te Reo Maori we held a Whanau Appreciation Evening

Visiting Our Friends

Here at First Steps Vardon, we value the importance of being connected to our other Best Start Centres. Our younger tamariki got to visit Top Kids Puketaha and see thier animals and explore their outdoor surroundings.This enables us in creating a communit

Grandparent’s Day

We held a Grandparent’s Day at First Steps Vardon recently and was an awesome day! Our children made and then decorated frames with their Grandparents and everyone had great fun in our photo booth!   The post Grand...