About Us

mō mātou
Children playing in tunnel

Our mission is to empower children to discover, learn, and grow in a warm and supportive home-based setting.

An educator and child
Little boy playing
Girl playing with building blocks

Hi, I'm Cara Day, founder of Building Blocks, a home-based childcare service born from a passion for combining early childhood education with a fun and supportive environment for educators and families alike. My journey began in 2008 in Palmerston North as an educator, leading to the inception of Building Blocks in 2011, driven by the need for flexible, quality childcare.

Cara, the founder of Building Blocks

The Foundation

As a mother and grandmother, I value early childhood experiences deeply. Building Blocks champions the home as the initial learning environment, laying the foundation for a child's future. We are committed to excellence in home-based education and childcare in Manawatu, offering services tailored to the needs of each family.

It Takes a Village

We embody the proverb, "It takes a village to raise a child," fostering an environment where children are supported by their broader "village" to become confident individuals. Our childcare solutions are designed to support the whole family, balancing emotional and financial considerations.

Supporting Families

Family collaboration is our core. We offer Whanau Subsidies to ease the financial burden of childcare, treating every family member as an individual with unique needs. Our services are customized to support these needs effectively.

Exceptional Educators

Our educators are exceptional, meeting high standards and adhering to Ministry of Education regulations for home-based care. They are dedicated professionals committed to providing a safe and nurturing environment.

Caring for children is a profound responsibility we take to heart at Building Blocks. We are dedicated to offering education and care that lays the groundwork for a bright future, remaining a steadfast partner in nurturing the next generation.

Enrol your child at Building Blocks

The Building Blocks Philosophy

Ko Tātou Tēnei – This is Us

At Building Blocks, we believe success starts within a home environment. We value and celebrate whanaungatanga as we believe this is the essence of meaningful partnerships where every individual in our community is supported, valued, and accepted. We grow and maintain a strong sense of belonging that is built upon respect, laughter and a little bit of magic that is brought by all our people.


Our Guiding Values

Building blocks believes it takes a village to raise a child.

Mā te pā tamaiti e wakatipu


Striving for excellence ensures we are not satisfied with mediocrity or complacent in the standards we set for ourselves


When we are trusting we courageously expect others to act fairly and with integrity


We show loyalty when we support goals, ideas, and outcomes that are mutually beneficial through a shared sense of honesty, trust, and forgiveness


We demonstrate playful qualities when engaged in fun activity and share in the joy of laughter for others


We show compassion when we act on feelings of empathy, kindness, and service for the empowerment of others


We display initiative by being ready and able to think creatively, solve problems, and take risks

Laugh, Learn, Play

Meet the Team at Building Blocks

Where passion meets purpose under the guidance of our proud founder, Cara Day. With a heart dedicated to fostering fun, laughter, and early childhood education, Cara embarked on her journey in 2008 as an educator in Palmerston North. Recognising the challenges faced by working parents and the undervaluation of educators, the vision for Building Blocks crystallised in 2011.

Cara, the founder of Building Blocks


Founding Director

Hello there! I'm Cara, the proud owner and founder of Building Blocks ECE, a place where children's imaginations run wild, and their curiosity is nurtured. I embarked on this incredible journey in 2011, driven by my passion for early childhood education and my belief that every child deserves a colourful, laughter-filled environment to grow and learn.

Outside of my professional endeavours, I'm a mother to four wonderful children who continually inspire me with their boundless energy and zest for life. Parenthood has taught me to embrace curiosity and view the world through the innocent eyes of a child, finding joy in the simplest of things and celebrating every moment.

I have a deep appreciation for the diversity of human experience and firmly believe that everyone brings something unique and valuable to any relationship. Whether big or small, every person deserves to be recognized and empowered to reach their full potential.

As a grandmother, I've discovered that being a part of my grandchildren's lives is an absolute joy. It's a constant reminder of the magic that surrounds us if we're open to seeing it, and it reinforces my belief that learning should always be an enjoyable adventure.

In everything I do, I strive to instil a sense of empowerment in those around me, encouraging them to embrace their strengths and pursue their dreams. After all, life is too short not to make the most of every opportunity and spread a little magic wherever we go.



Lead Coordinator

Kia ora, I’m Sonya Smith, Lead Coordinator of Building Blocks. I’m a passionate early childhood teacher with well over 20 years of experience, most of which has been in the home-based sector as both an educator and Coordinator.  

I have a strong belief in wholehearted parenting and teaching, which shows in the way I interact with everyone who enters my life.  I am passionate about children growing to be confident and self-driven lifelong learners through real life experiences, while having fun.

I am a proud Mum of four – Madison, Hannah, Alysha and Dominic, as well as my fur baby Timmy.




Kia ora koutou, ko Trix tōku ingoa, learning is a lifelong journey that starts in the home.  I started my formal training to become an Early Childhood Educator volunteering in a centre when I had two young children at home 16years ago.  Wanting the best of both worlds to gain a career in a field I was passionate about as well as having time with my children at home.

In today’s society we are racing around from one place to another not having the time to see the beauty our world offers.  Every day when I am in the company of children they remind me of the wonder, awe, and curiosity they have as they investigate their world mindfully, slowly, and repetitively.  

My personal philosophy revolves around viewing learning through a holistic lens, creating a nurturing space for the growth of connections between people, places and things fostering reciprocal and responsive relationships.  The journey a fellow colleague and I started last year, researching nature-based programmes, has me passionate about making connections to places in our communities with our children and educators.




Kia ora, ko Jacqui Reedy tōku ingoa, and I am a Coordinator for Building Blocks.

I began my career as a teacher in early childhood education in 2005 when I first started teaching in a local childcare centre. As I grew my roots there and in other ECE settings over time, my idea of what quality care and education looks like for our tamariki was formed. It was then strengthened when I found my heart in home-based education in 2017 when I returned to work after having my first-born. I now have 3 beautiful boys, all of whom are part of our home-based family at Building Blocks.

I believe that environments where whānau partnership and belonging is valued, where children’s identity is honoured, and where children’s natural curiosities and joy of play are the curriculum are essential elements of quality education - these can truly be found in home-based education. I have seen how a calm, loving and authentically child-led environment positively influences the early learning journey of tamariki, and as a Coordinator I feel privileged to work alongside Educators who offer these amazing places for tamariki to grow and thrive.




Kia Ora

My name is Renee and I have been working in Early Childhood Education for over 19 years, seven of which have been spent at Building Blocks. During this time, I have gained a lot of knowledge, grown as a teacher, embarked on a leadership journey, and developed a deeper understanding of child development. One thing that has remained constant in my teaching philosophy is the importance of building and maintaining strong, trusting relationships with children, parents, whānau, and colleagues.

These relationships underpin the essence of how we communicate and how we ensure that everyone can achieve educational success. Leading and supporting an inclusive environment where everyone within our community shines, is something that I am very passionate about. I value and uphold qualities of respect, trust, commitment, passion, and loyalty when working with children, whānau, and educators.

Part of my role in supporting educators is empowering their teaching practices so that they can deliver a high-quality, unique programme within our Building Blocks curriculum.

I am particularly passionate about Music and Movement, as I understand the amazing benefits and positive impacts they have on children's brain development, emotional well-being, and communication skills. I aim to implement a Music program each term to inspire and enrich the young minds within our Building Blocks community.

I feel honoured to work for Building Blocks, and I am grateful that as a team, we work hard to deliver quality Early Childhood Education. Each of us brings our own passions and strengths to ensure that diversity is not just a word we say, but something that is felt by all members of our community.

“Hapaitia te ara tika pumau ai te rangatiratanga mo nga uri whakatipu”

“Foster the pathway of knowledge, strength, independence and growth for future generations” -Maraea Hopa Cribb



Office Administrator

Hi, I'm Megan Greig. As the first point of contact for many, I seamlessly blend administrative expertise with a passion for nurturing children.  I embody our values, ensuring every interaction reflects our commitment to fostering confident lifelong learners. With a background in banking and customer service, I bring a wealth of skills and a keen eye for detail to support our team of staff, educators, and families.

My dedication extends beyond the office. As a mother of three children, I understand the importance of creating nurturing environments. My family inspires me to infuse love and magic into everything I do, both at work and at home.



Hey there, I'm Zivana – You'll often find me chasing after our adventurous toddler and our trusty dog, soaking up the beauty of rural living or at the front desk as you enter our building. We like to explore nature trails or just goof around in our backyard. I'm all about spreading kindness and making a difference in my village. Whether it's organising our social club events or lending a helping hand. I'm there with a smile and a willingness to help. My passion is bringing people together and making our corner of the world a little brighter. So if you ever want to join in on the fun or simply share a chat over coffee, I'm here 😊



Hi, I’m Jo.

Whether it's guiding you through office procedures or lending a listening ear, I'm here to offer support and assistance with a kind heart and a genuine smile. My role is not just about handling queries; it's about making your experience as pleasant and smooth as possible.

Beyond the office doors, my life is filled with the joys of family and community. I proudly embrace the title of Nana Jo to ten wonderful grandchildren, each one a treasure in my life. Interestingly, I'm not just "Jo" to everyone—I'm often affectionately called "Nan" by many of the children we care for. It's a term of endearment that warms my heart and connects me to them in a special way.

While my days may be filled with office tasks and assisting others, my roots are firmly planted in the serene landscapes of the Pohangina Valley. It's there, amidst nature's embrace, that I find solace and fulfilment. In addition to my professional responsibilities, I devote my time to volunteering at our local community centre, where I have the opportunity to give back to the place I call home.

So, whether you need assistance with office matters or simply want to share a friendly conversation, know that I'm here for you with a smile and a willingness to help.

Our team's commitment echoes Cara's passion, striving to be the best home-based education and childcare specialists in Manawatu. We are devoted to providing flexible, high-quality services that are meticulously tailored to meet the unique needs of each family we serve. At Building Blocks, we believe in the power of collaboration, laughter, and learning as we build a foundation for the bright futures of the children we nurture.

Join our Team & Become an Educator

Don't just take our word, see what these great families have to say about us!

As both M’s and my first experience with daycare/in home care, I am so happy that we decided to go with Building Blocks and had the care and support from our educators and the team at Building Blocks. I wanted her to be part of a smaller group, like a family and that’s exactly what I got. From the shy little baby she was at the start, to the outgoing and friendly girl she is now, in large part I thank her Building Blocks family.

The P Family

We absolutely loved our time at Building Blocks. Our educator is the best! She goes above and beyond for her families. Our journals were amazing, I felt like I was there on their outings. D totally loved his time there and we always recommend Building Blocks

The B Family

Beyond satisfied with Building Blocks. Totally satisfied with our educator, wish you had educators where we are moving to!!

The W Family

I am so thankful for our educator, she went above and beyond! We loved the activities L got to experience at Building Blocks & the updates / pictures.

The C Family

M loved going to music and playgroup. She is always super excited to leave the house on those days.

The G Family

Our educator is a warm and inviting home educator who has welcomed and loved my children like one of her own. Her family has become part of ours & we are so very lucky to have met her. She is everything you could ask for in a carer.

The S Family

Extremely satisfied with our educator. Would definitely recommend you guys to anyone.

The D Family

Absolutely would recommend Building Blocks.

The S Family