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Building Blocks Gives Tamariki their Best Start
17 October 2017

Tiny tots and toddlers attending two of Taupō’s BestStart Education and Care Centres are in healthy hands after becoming the first centres to complete Toi Te Ora Public Health’s (Toi Te Ora) Building Blocks for Under 5s (Building Blocks) process.      

Toi Te Ora has been working with all BestStart Education and Care Centres across the Bay of Plenty and Lakes districts to implement Building Blocks; but it’s Taupō’s Community Kindy Heuheu Street and Topkids Motutaiko who have raced to the finish line. 

Building Blocks supports early childhood education services (ECE services) to work on eight blocks with each representing an aspect of health and wellbeing, (healthy eating, physical activity, breastfeeding, oral health, sun safety, smokefree, safety and injury prevention, and communicable diseases prevention).  ECE services are encouraged to include fun activities, policy, and whānau involvement along the way and gather evidence to show achievements in each block. 

All ECE services implementing Building Blocks start by undertaking a ‘Paint your Picture’ activity which identifies health and wellbeing practices already in place, and those that need improvement.  In the case of Community Kindy Heuheu Street and Topkids Motutaiko, they then linked with local agencies such as the Heart Foundation, oral health promoters, and local sport trusts, and also involved staff, children and whānau.

When working towards the ‘Keep the Bugs at Bay’ block, Topkids Motutaiko used Storypark to share information with whānau about keeping unwell children at home.  Their ‘Kai Time’ block, saw the centre review their healthy food procedures to ensure only water and milk are served at the centre. 

Meanwhile, when learning about oral health, Community Kindy Heuheu Street took their tamariki on an adventure to a local dentist as part of their ‘Smile’ block.  Matariki was incorporated in to their ‘Kai Time’ block and saw tamariki involved in making healthy food for Matariki celebrations, as well as hosting a healthy breakfast event for parents and whānau. 

Sharon Kennedy-Muru, Health Improvement Manager at Toi Te Ora, says BestStart are doing a fantastic job in contributing to the health and wellbeing of tamariki.  “Early childhood education services are a key component in our efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of our families and future generations,” says Sharon.  “In particular, we’d like to say congratulations to Community Kindy Heuheu Street and Topkids Motutaiko for being Building Blocks trailblazers, not only for other BestStart centres, but for all participating early childhood centres.”

To find out more about Building Blocks for Under 5s visit www.ttophs.govt.nz/building_blocks



Image caption:
Building their way to health - Topkids Motutaiko’s Kirsten Porter (L) and Kylie MacPhail (R) Manager of Community Kindy Heuheu Street Centre, proudly hold their Building Blocks certificates.

Last modified: 15 Aug 2017
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