Our History

We are a family of nine, living in rural Cambridge, and sharing our beautiful space with eighty or so pre-school children!

Our dream of opening a centre was in the pipeline for a very long time, and it is exciting to finally have it as our reality for some years now. Opened in 2009, we are supported by a a family that we have created ourselves of wonderful teaching and administration staff. Each of our teams have specialist teachers for the age group that they teach and draw upon each others' strengths to deliver fantastic quality programmes to your children.

A family business through and through, three of us work here in this wonderful space. Craig, always the handyman, takes care of business with the maintenance and creation of new play equipment and play areas, while Jo, the Manager, is a former midwife, turned qualified ECE teacher, who you will find in the office or on the floor with the children. Daniel is one of our fabulous preschool teachers, and Assistant Manager.

The smallest four Maddison children have all attended Little Einsteins,and have given our grounds, programmes and staff a thorough and successful test drive before moving on to school. We created exactly what we wanted for our own children, THE VERY BEST, and it is a model that has proven very popular with Cambridge families. Welcome!

Enjoy Reading our History!

Spice, Cracker and Sugar are the Centres' Miniature Ponies. The form the riding team, and the children can choose which pony they prefer to ride. They love to be ridden, groomed and cuddled. Spice loves being hitched up to the cart and taking the children for rides!
Cookie is our gorgeous cuddly Flemish Giant Rabbit. She loves to hop about in the class and cuddle the tamariki.
Lolly the baby minature donkey thinks she's a dog. She is best buddies with Cody, the German Shepard, and follows Cody about loyally. She's super snuggly, and loves people!

Building Progress

5th January 2009

Finally! We made it! Happy New Year Families, and it certainly will be for us. :) Amazing first day, just wonderful to see all the children meeting each other and exploring their new environment. Surprisingly, was not as chaotic as I had imagined, and everyone seemed very happy to be there. Everyone left at the end of the day very tired, including all the staff. So much to see and do, I think this will be quite normal for them all! Lots of children coming in for short visits in preparation for starting next month, so we are constantly meeting new little team members. Totally exhausted, but elated, and and I can't believe I am writing our last progress update, it just doesn't get any better than this! The next communication on this site will be the newsletter page, families will be emailed or posted a copy of our monthly newsletter, but we will also have it accessible online. Yay for progress!!!

13th December 2008

Open day was a huge success! Children were playing, the Funky Monkeys were grooving, and finally everyone could see what we had been talking about for so long! Our teachers turned out in force to meet their prospective Little Einsteins, and a fabulous time was had by all. All the children left at the end of the day excited to come back on the 5th of January to begin their journey with us. What an amazing turnout, thank you all for your wonderful support.

5th December 2008

WE HAVE GRASS! Suddenly the playgrounds actually look like playgrounds, and not dust-heaps! A crowd worked hard all day Saturday to lay the instant turf, and Craig will be spending the weekend tending it carefully, I'm not expecting to see him for a week or so!

And on the same day, a baby Cria... Yes, Petita 'unpacked', and had a darling little girl. All in all, a pretty productive week. Big week again coming up, Ministry visit on Thursday, then finally get to meet all of you on Saturday at the open day! Watch out for us in the Cambridge Edition this week, and enjoy this gorgeous sunshine, long may it last!

1st December 2008

Another great induction day, look at how our team has grown already! One more teacher and an office manager, and we will be officially fully staffed. We all met on Saturday morning to put the rooms together, it's amazing to finally see some order to our chaos, and I look at the rooms knowing my children are going to thrive in the environments that these talented people have created. We had our fabulous new chef, Beth, join us for the day to keep up our energy levels with the yummy and healthy food she intends to prepare for the children. We feasted on muffins and lasagne, vege platters and pies, she really is a keeper! All staff left on Saturday afternoon tired but satisfied with a job well done. Just a few more pieces of furniture to purchase and place, grass in the playground, and we will be good to go - everyone is just buzzing about the upcoming Open Day, and sharing all this with our families.

21st November 2008

It's all coming together nicely! We have finished our building, (Thanks Golden Homes for the AWESOME job you have done), and are in the process of sorting all our furniture and resources out. This is a huge undertaking by our wonderful team of teachers, a team that is now virtually complete. Jayne and I have really taken our time and strived to put together a warm, caring, energetic group of teachers that would work well together, and we have done a fantastic job, if I do say so myself! I can't wait to see them in action, and I'm sure you are all looking forward to meeting them on the 13th.

The kids have now been banished from the building, it's way too much like a toystore, and they are like little tornadoes, what a mess! They are however quite happy to retire to the sandpits, where they are auditioning all the sand toys. The more Laura (6yrs) sees happening next door, the more she wishes she was a preschooler again! But she has been helping her Dad make the concrete for the last few fences, knowing she can play on the weekends.

Little Einsteins' Christmas tree has been planted in the preschool playground where it can be in full view of all the children, and although it won't amount to much this year, should be large and fun to decorate for our first Christmas in 2009... Craig has the unenviable task of completing the playgrounds in this unbearable heat, the bike tracks are now dug and ready to be poured, and he has made a couple of great climbing features, one of tyres and one of posts. We are expecting the Ministry to visit in the first or second week of December, and it's just unreal how close we are to the licencing procedure! Lots of administration being done, policies being written, staff meetings, planning - Roll on the 5th of January!

13th November 2008

As Christmas fast approaches, you will be horrified to receive what will probably be your first Christmas Card of the year, FROM US! Reason we are getting in so early is not to make you panic about the upcoming silly season, but the card does double as your invitation to our open day in four weeks time.

Dirt, sand and concrete flying next door as the porches and footpaths go in, the sandpits get filled, and the mulch is placed for the swing-sets. There's a big trailerload of tyres for a tyre climb (that poor Craig is going to have to find the time to make!), and deliveries every day of resources and play equipment. We are so close!

Those that are inclined, please start saving your recycling bits (yoghurt pots, bottle tops, egg cartons, muesli bar boxes etc) for our soon-to-be-fabulous construction area, your help here would be much appreciated. We are interviewing four more lovely and very experienced staff next week, and hope to be on the verge of completing our wonderful team! Still looking for that perfect person to hang out in the kitchen and feed us all nutritious meals, so don't hold back, if you have some experience in this arena, bring on the applications!

Wee Poppy is getting cuter (but not much bigger) every day. She has a curly mane and tail, and is just precious. We are exposing her to lots of cuddles (Craig carries her around, which highly upsets her Mum!), to get her used to us. One of the Alpaca's is due to have her Cria shortly (when they give birth, the term used is 'unpack', which is very sweet), so we are hoping she has well and truly 'unpacked' by the time we see you all on the 13th. After another team of five baby bunnies, Fifi and Bob have been separated to try and cool the romance a little. It's totally crazy the rate at which they reproduce, and as a mother, I have to feel a bit sorry for her. As a father, the steady stream of offspring is giving Craig the deja-vu horrors, and he got Bob out at a rate of knots! The break will do her good.

Anyway, forgive me for the early Christmas Card, let me know if 'yours' doesn't arrive (some address details may have changed), and we will keep on keeping on so you can all admire the results on the 13th!

8th November 2008

Today we had a wonderful day with most of our teachers, who will be thoroughly tired out! They gave up a day of their weekend to indulge in some planning for their different areas for those first days and weeks that they will be meeting and welcoming your children to Little Einsteins.

We were all able to do some team building/bonding, and seeing how cohesive the group has become already, we really have done fabulously with our hiring. We know you will agree we have an awesome bunch! After pinning them down for pictures and profiles (not a popular part of the morning!), you can view these on the Staff page. Everyone had a look at the comprehensive range resources we have gathered so far, their gorgeous areas to work inside the building and the half finished playgrounds. General consensus was a very positive buzz, and everyone is really looking forward to opening and meeting you all.

3rd November 2008

Toffee finally stopped holding out on us and provided us with a beautiful wee girl to fuss over. Little Poppy was born on the 18th of October, she is absolutely darling and very cheeky!

Craig has been slaving away on the playgrounds, the sandpits are almost finished, and foundations going in for the swingsets. I've been having fun trying to work out the children's roster for next year, thank you for everyone for getting your forms in. Shopping for resources has been one of my more enjoyable jobs - it's so hard to choose though, I want EVERYTHING!

Our fabulous chef is no longer starting with us, which is very disappointing, but she has had an exciting change in her family circumstances, so congratulations to her! If you know of any one who can fill these very large shoes, please be in touch.

The floor coverings are being laid, and our first staff induction is scheduled for next weekend, so lots happening. It's going to be pretty hectic up until Christmas! The paint is on the walls, the air conditioning units in, we are just doing finishing touches really. I will be introducing more staff via the webpage after Saturday when I tie them all up to take their photos - isn't it funny how people HATE having their photo taken!

This is brief, but am finding there is not enough hours in the day, so quick update is better than none! Don't forget the open day on the 13th Dec, will send out invites soon, but calendar it now so you don't forget. I have confirmed my booking for the Funky Monkey's concert that day, so bring your dancing shoes!

14th October 2008

Well, I have to do another update to introduce our new additions. Two gorgeous little Calves called Mowgli and Bobby. Bobby is short for Bob the Builder, and not an allusion to his almost-status as veal! The kids had the honour of watching Mowgli come into the world on Sunday. He was a breech birth, so it wasn't very pretty, and I very much doubt my husband will ever be a midwife when I see how breech birth is handled with cows! We got a bit attached to wee Mowgli after this event, and decided to bring him home... with a buddy of course. They will eventually become a wonderful accompaniment to horseradish sauce, but we won't tell the kids that just yet.

The driveway was hot-mixed today, and is complete. Looks fantastic! In the process, had to work around a duck who had seen fit to lay her babies in the way. All is well, and she has since hatched the wee darlings and they have all toddled off no worse for their terrible positioning...

More enrolments pouring in as we near opening. Hope you all enjoyed the sun today, forecast is for more horrible RAIN! My drier broke down (hardly surprising when it has been supporting a family of ten throughout the past couple of months), and the repairman gave me an anxiety attack when he told me he would 'try' to have it ready before he goes to Raratonga in a couple of days... We could end up in a pile of trouble if he prioritises his holiday ahead of my domestic woes!

Guess what! TOFFEE STILL HASN'T HAD HER FOAL! I swear, this has been worse than waiting for my own children to arrive.

8th October 2008

Is everyone craving summer as much as we are? A bit of a tease with some summerish days, then all this rain again, it's a bit like Groundhog Day. Hope you are all coping with the school holidays, and having a great time. You will have all received a letter from me regarding our new start date, which is to be the 5th Jan 2009. Based on the handover date of the building and followed by licencing requirements, the decision was made that it would be too stressful for the children to open for a couple of weeks prior to Christmas, then shut again. I hope you have all diaried our open day also, a wonderful chance to meet the teachers, play on the equipment, see the building and resources and of course attend the concert that the Funky Monkeys will be playing especially for the children! This is the 13th Dec, and we really look forward to meeting everyone that day!

The painters are in the building! Not only that, but the driveway is kerbed and now being laid, it's really taking shape. Craig has been slaving over the playgrounds, and hopes that these are going to start coming together in the next few weeks. They are beautiful big areas, and we can already picture all your little angels running around having a ball. For those of you that have returned your forms confirming your start dates, days and times required with your deposit cheque, thank you so much. I am in the long, drawn-out process of re-forming the board to accomodate any changes to family circumstances from the time you originally enrolled, which for some of you was an extremely long time ago! :) For those of you that haven't, a reminder that there is a waiting list, and if I don't hear back, will have to reallocate your space to children on the list. :( There are a few families that have moved, and their letters returned to me, so you will hopefully catch up with me via email and let me know your change of address so we can keep you updated.

Can't believe how much the baby bunnies have grown (Mum must be just about to have more!), and we still have one left if anyone would like to give him/her a home, they are quite gorgeous.

Surprise surprise, Toffee still hasn't had her foal... Her tummy is dragging on the ground, and the midwife in me is watching her carefully for signs, but she just keeps happily on eating. Hmmmm.

Keep those forms rolling in so I can confirm your child's places, it's starting to feel like Christmas will be upon us at any given minute, and then we will be OPEN!

15th September 2008

Well yesterday it looked like Little Einsteins was getting a swimming pool. I was most distressed when the trucks arrived and put three septic tanks into the pool, it now looks like our water play area is going to have to be a little more traditional.

Fifi has delighted us with five new additions to the team, very gorgeous wee bunnies, it's just like Easter at the Maddison house! If any families would like a beautiful dwarf-lop ear, Fifi and Dora are proud parents that will be needing to rehome their little angels in the next six weeks to make way for their second litter. (Curly has had her name changed to Fifi, for unknown reasons, I'm still trying to get used to it...) Anyway, for the meantime it has taken my mind off Toffee, the miniature horse that refuses to have her foal.

Start date and opening date are in the process of final decisions, and letters will come out to you all to advise of the plan. It will be so nice when we all actually know where we stand, can get a bit frustrating in this process of building and working with different people who all have different agendas. We are getting there though, huge progress, and the Gib guys were actually over at the centre on Sunday! Very impressive. Lots of people next door, playing loud music as they work, fortunately they have fantastic taste in music and I can enjoy it while processing all my enrolments! Can you feel summer coming? Am loving the weather, hoping you are all getting a chance to get outside and enjoy it too!

3rd September 2008

It's been a bit of a slow week, no one on site, but as you can see from the photos, there has been wonderful progress! The bricks are on, and inside it has been fully lined with bats, just waiting for the Gib to go on. We had a lovely lunch meeting with our core team of staff last weekend, it was great for them to see where they will be working and envisage their areas, and of course to meet their new colleagues!

8th August 2008

Continuing rain hasn't dampened the progress, but the 'playground' is a complete bog! Next step for this is lots of instant lawn, as soon as the trucks etc have finished running over it! Fences are looking good and going up fast, the boys have been out there rain hail or shine, and now we not only have windows, but the beginings of a block exterior. It's looking fantastic. The airconditioning has been pre-piped, and is ready to go in! Toffee is just getting fatter and fatter, I would have thought her foal would have arrived by now, but the vet assures me it will happen - I had started to wonder if she was actually pregnant or just needed a diet... Should be anytime now.

24th July 2008

We must be almost ready for our roof shout! The roofing gang would have been thrilled with the gorgeous weather today, after doing most of their prep work in the pouring rain these last couple of days. It's incredible how fast the building changes as everyone goes full steam ahead, and the rain does not seem to have slowed anything down! Nick and Hunter enjoy sitting on the gate and watching 'their preschool' going up!

17 July 2008

I'm loving having to report to you all weekly! Now that we have begun, there seems to be no stopping us! The day the frames went up was amazing, we finally have a building. Trusses yesterday, incredible to see the roof take shape. Some of our new staff came yesterday for a walk through, and left buzzing and excited, as were finally able to envisage their areas. Craig has been working hard on the fencing, and little Nick has been giving him a hand. Baby Cole is a dream, two nights in a row slept seven hours... he knows I have lots to do and need my sleep, the little angel! Look forward to showing you some new stuff next week!

10th July 2008

The stuff that fairytales are made of this week, a floor, trusses, frames, timber, builders AND a new son! It's certainly all go. We missed the floor being poured on Tuesday as it was the same day Cole Russell Maddison made his grand entrance. A gorgeous wee brother and son, and newest member of the Little Einsteins infants area. Weighed 6lb 6oz, and is so far a dream baby - thank goodness, because we are REALLY BUSY NOW! More updates soon, enjoy driving past and seeing the scenery changing!

3rd July 2008

The rain is conspiring against our floor! The next fine day, it goes down. Fingers crossed for a change in the weather guys! Frames arriving this week, so that's awesome news. Floor is all boxed up and ready to go. The kids are having an absolute ball as we buy in resources ready for opening, it's a bit like Christmas as they trial all the centre resources for us, they are resigned to the fact that they are just 'borrowed', and belong to Little Einsteins! The house is currently full of trikes and scooters being test-ridden, which is a bit of a challenge, but gives them something to do in the rain!

We hired another wonderful intermediate teacher yesterday, which was really exciting, we are seeing the Centre grow despite the current lack of walls! Our intermediate area has followed the infants, in that we are now practically full. There are no full time spaces left, just a couple of Wednesdays and a couple of Thursdays. I don't expect those to last long! The preschool area (3.5years to 5yrs) still has a dozen or so spaces left. We have been delighted with the support Little Einsteins has been shown by the Cambridge community, there is obviously a huge need for early childhood care/education for local families, and we are looking forward to providing your precious children a safe, fun and wonderfully learning environment in the VERY near future!

19 June 2008

How's this for hot-off-the-press! Have just walked in from taking these site photos, it's about time huh? Workmen are on site, the floor is being prepped for pouring, and Craig has nearly finished the Gym exterior. Fantastic progress. Need this amazing weather to continue so we can forge ahead. Had to put in a couple of animal pics for the kids, it's been awhile! Poor Benny gets an unseasonal haircut, while Sienna gets a cuddle from her favourite girl! Thanks so much for all the emails congratulating us on building progress, it's nice to share the buzz with our families.

16 June 2008

Hi Families! Well I completely missed the boat with my camera, apologies, but it did happen. We had footings poured last week, while I was off-site.

Exciting stuff going on, we have contracted another two fabulous teachers last week, are expecting a 40 foot container of fencing, furniture and resources today or tomorrow, and have been promised a 'floor poured' by the end of this week!

Finally we are flying. Today we have a plumber with us all day working on the things that need doing prior to the floor being poured, it all feels quite surreal after such a long wait.

I will get some progress photos on to the page next week, I promise, but for now, just enjoy the good news, as we are!

5 June 2008

WE HAVE BUILDING CONSENT!!!
The best news, we are just rapt, and are now waiting on the builders and tradesmen to come and make the dream a reality.

Have been getting many phonecalls and emails from parents the last couple of days, and I know everyone will be pleased to hear that we have finally hit this milestone. Once the floor is poured, we will estimate an opening date. Not a lot of point until then, I don't want to have to change it again on you. One thing we have learned from this long drawn-out process is to take care when making firm statements if you are relying on many other people! They just might not have the same vision of speed! Will post update as soon as first tradesman appears on sight - will insist he poses for portrait!

More excellent news, we have all our 'heads' in place! Our Manager, and Head Teachers for each of our three areas have been appointed. I look forward to putting a photograph and profile of each of them on a new page, 'Meet the Team', so that you can begin to know who will be working and caring for your children, and see the wonderful people that we have been able to engage. I can't tell you how lucky we are with these ladies, they are a group of dynamic and passionate people who all have something wonderful and unique to bring to Little Einsteins.

We have also been interviewing some wonderful teachers to form the teams for each group, and this will be a continual process up until opening. We now have a Chef who has an amazing background of restaurant names in her career, and is opting for a change of pace with having small children of her own. Your children will be well nourished!
More very soon......

12 May 2008

Hi Families,
Firstly, my sincere apologies that this update has taken so long. We have been waiting every day for some positive news for you, and it's been a long time coming. We are getting calls from families who are concerned about our building (or lack of), so I am updating anyway. Although I am hoping that this will be the week for great news, I won't be holding my breath, as this has proved futile in the past! We know that many of you are as anxious for us to be up and running as we are ourselves, as you juggle work committments and family. We are still waiting for building permit, and are only waiting for 'detailed plans' to be returned to us from the architects. No amount of calling and pleading seems to be helping our case, and we understand that this will happen in their own good time. For whatever reason. Once we have this, our building permit should be complete, as we have provided (long ago) everything else that the council have asked us for. Please know that we are doing everything in our power to keep things moving, and once we are building, things should rocket along nicely. Our fantastic Building Manager, Russell Mathers, lives on site, and is highly motivated to see this project fly.

On a more positive note, we have had some wonderful staff applications and interviews going on. We have two fantastic final candidates for the position of Manager, and now the awful choice needs to be made, I would really love to have them both, they have so much to give to us! We have chosen our head teachers for the infants and the pre-school area, and in the process of making a decision on the head teacher for the intermediate area. Then we have to enlist a fantastic team of teachers to complete the picture so we are ready for this centre to open! We will be starting to add faces and profiles to the website in the near future, so you can start to get to know our team.

We had the bobcat in last week digging the floor for the outdoor storage area and the gym, was so nice to have someone working over there! Thanks Noel!
Bella the alpaca arrived finally from Christchurch, accompanied by her niece Dia. Gorgeous cuddly girls, the children are going to love handling and feeding them.
Despite extending the infants area, we have a waiting list now. It's still in the early stages, so if you have delayed enrolment, get it in and it won't be too long a wait. The intermediate area is going to be the next to fill up, with only 6 full time places left!

Although I know that you would much rather see building photos, animal photos will have to suffice again. Hairy McLeary and his yet-un-named buddy, (the guinea pigs) lounge in the sunshine. Curly, the lop eared rabbit is getting to enjoy his cuddles and Manhattan and Tango show off their cool new haircuts. Next update might include some building pics (fingers crossed guys!).

31 March 2008

Apologies that this update has been a long time coming. We hope that all our families had a lovely Easter break, and ate tons of chocolate (as we did!). The trip was very successful, we ended up buying lots of resources for the centre, but it was incredibly hard work, and on our return we promptly got revoltingly sick and confined to bed for a week. Hence the delay in my update! Pleased to be home, but can't believe how BROWN everything is. Our darling Centre animals are doing ok without the grass, we are feeding them silage, so they are still looking very well off despite the drought. We now have two preggy ponies, and two preggy alpacas... The Easter Bunny brought us two gorgeous lop-eared rabbits, and two guinea pigs with crazy hair-do's (the pet shop PROMISED that they will not reproduce, much to Craig's relief!).

We are growing. The under-two's area only has three full time spaces left before we have to start a waiting list! It's pretty incredible. We are having to stop the 'half-day' sessions, as it is becoming too difficult to fit people in. I will make that change to the website today also. There have only been a few people wanting half days, and for those already pre-enrolled, we will keep those for their children, but as the majority of people want full days, and a huge number wanting full weeks, we will be sticking to a minimum of one full day, and eliminating half day sessions. I apologise in advance to anyone who this may inconvenience.

Still no applications for that Cook's position I mentioned last month... Where are you all? Administrator position has been filled, thank you for all applications to date. Still looking for fabulous teachers of course, with the rate and speed that we are growing, will need a fantastic team in place come July.

If only we had a building consent.....

Yes, still in that process, but we are progressing well. We know once we get the builders over there there will be no slowing us down! Hopefully my next update will include the news that we have builders on site.

5th March 2008

A busy time, but not much visably happening. Still in the building consent process, the waiting is frustrating - for you as parents probably more than us! Lots of things to do while we wait, power now over to the site, drainage all done, lots of 'bits and pieces'.

I have been busy building a library and some resources, trying not to get too carried away, as am working undirected! Huge catalogues of fantastic learning toys are flooding in - so big that it would take me a lifetime to get through them all! Still looking for that 'perfect manager' to come along and show me the way - we hope to interview in May for this position. If you know of someone qualified and fabulous, give them a push in my direction! Amazing response from parents wanting to book their children into Little Einsteins, we have more than 20 children on our list already! Despite my determination not to, brought a couple of new animals, a funny-faced white alpaca called Petra, and a gorgeous mini-pony called Toffee. Both are... you guessed it... pregnant. There will be more baby animals than children if I'm not careful!
Designed our kitchen over in Rotorua, and narrowly avoided a marital spat over the 'single-oven or double-oven' debate. All the Mums will agree I'm sure that muffins for 80 or so children cannot be done in a single oven. I won that particular battle, the future cook of the centre can thank me at our interview! Little Einsteins chef, this could be a great opportunity for a super-capable, talented and organised Mum (or Dad!) out there who wants to return to work part time. I know just the perfect place to put your pre-schooler while you're working!

Craig and I are away for a while this month, from the 9th to the 20th of March. Keep your registrations rolling in during this time, but don't be alarmed if you don't get confirmation that I have received them until a little later in the month. Any enquiries are best sent through email, I will have email access, so will be able to talk to you that way. Will be keeping our eyes open while we are in Bali for any wonderful additions to the centre resources, and picking up all our fencing while we are there! Perfect time to be leaving Cambridge for a tropical destination, today has been wet and COLD!

18th February 2008

Loving the rain! Is keeping the dust down in our massive dirt pile. A great week, Biscuit, the minature pony, is confirmed pregnant, which means a new baby for Little Einsteins due on Christmas Eve! Bella will be joining the Centre, a white alpaca, who will also be having a baby, believed due about this time next year. Lots of enrolments flooding in - we are really looking forward to meeting all the families who will be a part of our Centre.

Final plans are now back! Very exciting, it means that the building consent process can now begin, which in turn means we are hopefully only 4-5 weeks away from seeing a building start to take shape! Watch this space! :)

Bella the Alpaca, currently still living in Wellington, but joining us soon!

January 2008

It's hard to believe that all this dust and dirt is going to be 'Little Einsteins'! Really exciting to see cars stopping to watch, and to check out our signs.