Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon

Kia ora and welcome to the Otago University Childcare Association (OUCA).

We are a community operated Early Childhood Service administered by the Manager and an elected Board. We provide a high quality early childhood education for children through the provision of 100% qualified registered teachers and excellent teacher-to-child ratios.

Over 50 years ago the OUCA was established by students and staff of the University for children of students and staff. We continue that tradition today by giving priority to this group of children.

Our guiding principles: It's all about the children

  • We will be guided by parents/whānau in decision making concerning their children
  • We embrace Te Tiriti o Waitangi and endeavour to implement bi-cultural policies and practices in our centres
  • We respect and celebrate the cultures of all our centre families
  • We seek to foster self-esteem, confidence and a disposition to learn in each child
  • We recognise the varied abilities of each child
  • We create a warm, accepting and welcoming atmosphere for children and adults
  • We ensure that our learning environment will attract and retain quality staff

Our history

The Otago University Nursery Association was established following a meeting of interested parents on 11 November 1968. The Rev Gaze offered All Saints Church Hall as the venue, this was accepted. In March 1969, the Centre opened as an Incorporated Society with 24 student parent members.

The organisation moved to Cumberland Suite (an old two-storied house), opposite the old gym, on 21 August 1971.

On 19 October 1971, the University offered the premises at 525 Great King Street. Major alterations, to cater for 30 children, were completed in November 1972 and it opened in February 1973.

On 10 January 2007 following the merger of the Dunedin College of Education and the University of Otago, the College of Education Early Learning Centre came under the umbrella of the OUCA as the College Centre - Rōpu Tiaki Tamaiti.

On May 5th 2014 the Nursery, Preschool and Fulltime centres moved to 551 Castle Street North, to four purpose built centres , including a Bilingual centre - collectively known as Te Pā. Rōpu Tiaki Tamaiti (College Centre) continues to operate from 137 Union Street East

Our board

Parent Representatives

College: Sara Kidd
Te Maioha: Lucy Bell
Te Puna: Niki Hazelton
Te Uru: Tomás Ribeiro
Te Pārekereke o Te Kī: Johnny Nu'u


Tomas Ribeiro

Deputy Chairperson




University of Otago Council Representative

Tanya Syddall

OUCA Staff Representative

Jenna-Lee Pfeifer

Education Sector Representative

Alex Gunn

Student Advocate

Shirley Kong

Mana Whenua Representative

Amie Curtis

Our policies

Back to top