ChildForum Office of Pre-Primary Education

ChildForum Office of Pre-Primary EducationLead advisor on early childhood care and education 
National membership 

Publisher of the New Zealand-International Research in Early Childhood Journal


Amazing Honeybees all the buzz in early childhood education

Jason James Honeybees Preschool winner of Early Childhood Education AwardIs building type or location relevant to the quality of an early childhood education centre? Some people say it is.

But Honeybees Preschool proves that being wedged between corporate offices in a commercial building opposite the Sky Tower on a busy Auckland central street is no impediment to providing quality for children and parents.

The preschool was announced as a winner of the My ECE Award for Excellence at the ChildForum national summit of early childhood service providers.

The Award was presented by ChildForum’s chief executive Dr Sarah Alexander to the preschool’s co-owner Jason James.

Jason said that the idea to set up the preschool arose out of need: “when we were looking for childcare for our little boy, we couldn’t find anything amazing enough for him… we knew from our research how important the early years are for learning and development.”

From the very beginning, Jason and his sister-in-law Marisa Lupis, who is a qualified early childhood teacher, sought out the best people for their team.

“The most important thing for us in setting up a centre was to get the right teachers – those warm, kind, full of energy type of people who can go from intellectually discussing the impact of a teaching strategy on social-emotional competence, to calming an upset child with a heart to heart hug without skipping a beat.”

He added: “There are regulations and educational codes we uphold of course, but quality is on top of that.  Quality comes from our team of people who have their own extremely high standards that they establish together and support each other to make happen.

“Quality to me is that feeling you get when you come into the centre, we always talk about the love in the walls, and it’s the same feeling I believe our children have – warmth, acceptance, joy… like you have come home.”

It would seem that parents and families agree with this view.  Honeybees Preschool achieved a rating of 4.9 out of 5 on parent reviews posted on My ECE in the past year.

Parents comments include:

  • When our second child was old enough for childcare, I tried to look for something a little closer to home, as that would have been easier for us. However, there was nothing that came anywhere close to the quality offered at Honeybees.
  • In other daycare centres we’ve been to; it feels sometimes that your child is just a number. At Honeybees, your child’s individuality is celebrated and nurtured.
  • The owner and teachers are actively interacting with the children; they know what is going on and they really take care of them.
  • We had a real bad experience before and we can safely say that Honeybees saved us from a major development problem with our son.
  • The food Honeybees prepare is simply delicious. I love that my little one is having nutritious food, but also interesting and diverse flavours.

Jason puts winning the My ECE Award down to having a ‘dream team’ that he trusts to get on with the job.

“Our team are all so incredibly capable and professional and smart and creative and funny and kind and resourceful and patient and authentic and inspiring and I could just go on and on!

“I am so proud for our centre, our families and our special team of teachers to receive this recognition,” Jason said.  

* The Award included a framed certificate for display, $200 for the preschool, a voucher for free staff training on injury prevention, a beautiful bouquet of flowers and box of chocolates.

To find out more about Honeybees Preschool go to its website here. 

See what parents have to say about Honeybees Preschool here.


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