Welcome to the Homai Early Childhood Centre, BLENNZ website.


Homai Early Childhood Centre (HECC) is a licensed and chartered early education centre for children aged from birth to 6 years of age who are blind, deafblind and low vision and their whānau.  It is located on the BLENNZ Homai Campus in McVilly Road, Manurewa and is one of the core services of Blind and Low Vision Education Network NZ.  The centre has a roll of approximately 22 children.  Attendance is always limited to 1 or 2 sessions per week, so children are able to attend a community centre in conjunction with HECC.

Vision Statement

Every BLENNZ learner is well prepared to achieve in life.


Mission Statement

To enable learners who are blind, deafblind or have low vision to reach their full potential, BLENNZ provides quality education and specialist teaching services in partnership with whānau, educators and the wider community.



The following beliefs underpin the BLENNZ approach to teaching and learning.

  • Parents and whānau are the prime educators in their child’s learning
  • Education is focused on the learner within the context of whānau, community and culture
  • Learning occurs through active engagement in meaningful environments
  • Learners have unique needs requiring specialist learning and teaching approaches
  • Learners have the right to equitable access to education
  • Learners have a right to belong and to realise their potential as participating and contributing members of society
  • Team collaboration promotes positive outcomes for learners


Core Values which guide all the activities of BLENNZ are:

  • Respect
  • Trust
  • Honesty
  • Transparency
  • Fairness
  • Empathy
  • Integrity
  • Manaakitanga
  • Arohatanga
  • Awhinatanga
  • Kotahitanga

The services and programmes of BLENNZ are aligned to support the principles and intent of government priorities, goals and strategies for education; the aims of the Disability Strategy for an inclusive society and the removal of barriers; and the principles of best practice in blindness education.

The children and young people of BLENNZ are represented across the various levels of education: early childhood, primary, and secondary.  While their education settings are diverse, the large majority of learners attend their local school or early childhood setting.  Their means of communication and literacy include tactile material, braille, print, dual braille and print, sign, augmentative, and alternative communication modes.

Admission to Homai Early Childhood Centre

The criteria for admission to HECC is enrolment in a Visual Resource Centre. Referral forms for admission to BLENNZ Auckland Visual Resource Centre are available from BLENNZ, Auckland Visual Resource Centre 09 2667109 or from the BLENNZ website.

Placement is determined on an individual basis through consultation with HECC staff, the child’s whānau, Resource Teachers Vision and other involved professionals. In accordance with our inclusion policy, enrolment is on a term by term basis, and the BLENNZ team regularly reviews the placement of each child enrolled in the centre. When it is appropriate, children will transition to a community early childhood centre or to school.


Each child’s programme of learning is individualized in consultation with parents, whānau, Resource Teachers Vision, HECC teaching staff and other involved professionals.

These team members work together to create an Individual Plan based on parent/whānau priorities.

HECC  programmes are developed using Te Whāriki and Stepping Stones: the Expanded Core Curriculum.  All experiences are planned to support and complement other programmes and activities in the child’s home and local community.


HECC is staffed by two qualified early childhood teachers and up to two education support workers and an Administration Coordinator. The programme of learning for each child is supported by their  Resource Teacher Vision, who also visits the child at home and in their local community.

As required additional specialist consultation can be provided by an:

  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Speech Language Therapist
  • Music Therapist


HECC staff welcome and promote the involvement of parents and whānau within the centre.  Communication between centre staff, Resource Teachers Vision, parents and whānau is considered critical to the effectiveness of the HECC programme.

Tuesday Whānau Group Sessions (9.30am – 12.30pm)

Introduction to the centre often occurs when children, parents and whānau attend the Whānau Group Sessions.  These are whānau focused sessions where an adult family member participates in sessions with the child.  Siblings and other family members are also welcome to attend.

Whānau attending this session have the opportunity to meet with other families of children who are blind and low vision while learning strategies and techniques to assist with their child’s learning and development.  A wide selection of resources and activities are available. Loan books including tactile, twin vision and audio, are available through the Blind Foundation’s Homai Special Formats Library. A maximum of 14 children are enrolled in this session.

Monday (9.30am-1.00pm, Friday (8.45am – 12.45pm)

The children attending these groups are either blind or have moderate to severe low vision.  These sessions provide an adapted and expanded curriculum with a focus on children learning through play and real experiences to be both independent and interdependent. Links to the community are built through monthly excursions.  The environment is set up with the children’s current interests in mind.  As many opportunities as possible are taken to feed in early literacy, numeracy and other curriculum areas to extend the children’s experiences.

The children have access to the BLENNZ therapy team by appointment if required.

Enrolment at a centre in the child’s local community is strongly promoted.  Links are maintained to ensure an appropriate and holistic educational programme is delivered across both centres and the home.  This group has a family focus and where possible, parents/whānau attend the session with their child.  A maximum of 14 children are enrolled in these sessions.

 Early Childhood Immersion

Approximately five Early Childhood Immersion Courses are run in HECC each year.  Small groups of children, parents or guardians and Resource Teachers Vision from across the BLENNZ network  come together for a common purpose.  The participants stay on the Homai Campus, usually for two nights, and they attend a mix of workshops, discussion groups, resource making sessions and have social time together.

BLENNZ Special Character Statement

The Blind and Low Vision Education Network NZ (BLENNZ) is a special character school which in 2014 provides national education services to approximately 1,500 blind and low vision learners from birth (or diagnosis) to age 21, including those who are deafblind, or with additional special needs.  BLENNZ is one of eight state schools nationally which have been legislated to provide residential provision for learners. Established on 1st February 2005, BLENNZ has just completed its thirteenth year.

BLENNZ is a national school with a national community which includes children and young people, their families and whānau, partner service providers and sector organisations.


2 thoughts on “ABOUT

  1. Dear manager

    My name is sunghee (Sue) Kim and I am a qualified ece teacher.
    I am interested in your centre so I would like to ask you about an opportunity to work
    with you as a reliever. Is it available?

    • Thank you for your inquiry. At the moment we do not have any vacancies for relievers. We require teachers to have experience and a strong interest in teaching children who are blind or have low vision. You can forward you CV to ecc@blennz.school.nz

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