Not-for-profit care and education for children from 4 months.

Who we are

MARC Early Learning Centre is a not-for-profit, community-based early childhood education service located on Mt Albert Rd. We are in the grounds of the Mt Albert Research Centre, which houses Plant & Food Research and ESR.
The original centre was a converted house which gives it a homely air. We were founded by parents who worked at the Research Centre when it was known as the DSIR. The centre was originally called MiniMARC but changed its name in 2013, when we expanded to keep up with demand for our services.
We continue to have a high level of parent involvement in running of the centre. The centre is governed by a committee of parents and staff who meet monthly.

Centre access

Access and car parking facilities are via the Mt Albert Research Centre driveway to the left of the centre. Parking is on the Right at the bottom of the driveway and is limited to ten minutes. 
Parents who walk or cycle to the Centre can come in by the secured gate on Mt Albert Road. Push chairs can be left on the deck by the staffroom.

Opening hours

We are open Monday to Friday between the hours of 7.30 am and 5.30 pm.  Although we are open for 10 hours a day, children generally attend for up to nine hours a day. We are closed on Public Holidays and a week between Christmas and New Year.

Staff/Child Ratio

We offer an excellent ratio of staff to children, which increase the time teachers can spend with each child, and the standard of overall care and education. MARC ELC has a ratio of one staff member to three babies. (Ministry of Education requirement 1:5). For over twos the ratio is one staff member to seven children. (MOE requirement 1:10).
Additionally, we have low staff turnover, resulting in a stable, comfortable environment.


As a not-for-profit centre and because of our relationship with Plant & Food Research, we can offer very affordable fees while maintaining high quality care. Your can find a current fee schedule in the centre when you visit.
When a child starts to attend we ask you to pay two weeks fees in advance. Thereafter, fees must be paid fortnightly. Fees must be paid whether your child attends or not. Fees are not charged when the centre is closed over Christmas but are charged for other public holidays.

Parent Involvement

Parents know their child best so we like them to share information regarding their child so we can get to know them. We would also like to share information from the Centre with you. In this way we are able to build a partnership. We use Storypark, an online learning system, to communicate with parents.

What to bring/What is provided

MARC ELC provides a home cooked morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. If your child has special dietary needs, please discuss these with the Head Teacher. There is a menu sheet on the wall by the sign-in sheet so you can see what your child has eaten.
We support nursing mothers and will fit in with any arrangements which make it possible for mothers to continue breastfeeding. If your baby is being bottle fed, we provide standard formula, please supply a named bottle. If your child needs a specific formula, you can provide this.

Settling In

It is quite normal for any child to take time to become accustomed to a new environment and new people. We have a settling procedure in place to ease your child’s transition into the centre. The amount of time varies, so it is important to discuss how much time will be needed. There are no fees while your child settles in.

Nappies and Clothing

MARC uses cloth nappies and launders them. Children will be sent home in a disposable nappy. Children not yet toilet trained should have a change of clothing. Clothing should be named to make it easier for the staff to return the clothes to the right person.

Daily Routines

Sleep times and nappy changes are recorded on a daily basis. You must sign your child in on arriving and leaving for safety and administration.
Write a note beside your child’s name if they need medication, as we require written approval to administer it.
You must inform us if someone other than the usual person is to pick your child up. We will not release children to any person who is not specifically approved by parents.  Please phone to inform us if your child is not coming in for the day.


Children with severe coughs and colds, diarrhoea, vomiting or other contagious illness should not be brought to the Centre. If a child is diagnosed with any contagious disease please contact us so that we can inform other parents if necessary.