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The DEN offers discovery education for children in a home-like, purpose built environment set on two acres of natural, outdoor play space.

We cater for children 3 – 6 years and occasionally we have vacancies for 2 year olds.

Please see our Facebook page for more details or enquire below.

The DEN - Discover Education in Nature

Cato Road, Park Island, Napier
Phone 06 281 2588
Hours 8.30am - 3.30pm






A unique innovative approach to early learning and education in nature


Continuity of child teacher relationship to ensure a strong sense of belonging to support healthy emotional regulation, a sense of ownership and security.


An inclusive environment that acknowledges and respects diversity to develop and grow the next generation of resilient global citizens.


A curriculum designed to foster passionately curious children with two acres of natural playspace that provides rich and meaningful learning experiences and education in nature.


School Programme -our unique innovative approach to early school aged learning (numeracy and literacy) based on a curriculum to support natural body and brain development for children aged from 5 years.


Ensure communication and collaboration between the child, the parent/ whanau, the environment and the teacher, including a digital parent information forum.


Committed to growing knowledge and connections to the preservation  of our land and awakening an awareness of the value of nature to ensure our unique outdoor environment for this generation and the next.


The DEN staff and teaching team and are responsive to community cultural and linguistic identities and practice culturally responsive teaching and learning.


Our vision is to design a place where quality early years education is delivered in a natural setting with a sensory and movement focus. We were lucky to have this experience as a child but have struggled to find something similar for parents today.


Sindy Cormack

Sindy Cormack - Owner/Director

Having predominately held leadership roles in the banking industry being blessed with two energetic boys (aged 8 and 6 years) has brought a new focus into my life. They have taught me that they need room to move and explore, to develop their senses to become strong and courageous. I’m thrilled to see this become a reality in The DEN. Being able to offer our children a unique and innovative place to come, play and learn – I couldn’t be more proud!


"When we were looking for a kindy for our youngest child to attend, we wanted to find a centre that provided high quality education through free play and holistic development. The outdoors is particularly important to our whanau and we wanted him to be in a rural-style setting, with plenty of natural material and space, but still within the city.

The DEN ticked every box and more! The open-ended play equipment, large open spaces, and unstructured schedule allows for high level free play and authentic learning for the tamariki.

We have felt so welcomed by all the staff at the DEN who have taken the time to get to know our whanau and to ensure our son has a strong sense of belonging to the centre. The low teacher-child ratio means the tamariki are well supervised and their learning is well responded to and extended. 

The learning stories written about him show the Kaiako really see him as an individual and are engaged with his learning and development. The communication with whanau from the centre staff is excellent. We are so happy we found the DEN!"


Cato Road, Park Island, Napier


Centre 06 281 2588
Sindy 027 365 7689