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The Couple Blazing A Trail In Early Childhood Education

Amit and Ritu Jain's new ECE Centre in Balmoral opened in March this year. Photo: Supplied

A Kiwi-Indian teacher and an analytical chemistry aficionado are turning Auckland into a playground for children, one playschool at a time. 

Ritu Jain decided to throw her hat in the Early Childhood Education (ECE) ring back in 2018 when she established Little Climbers. 

“Early education wields immense transformative power. Effective childcare can lay a strong foundation for every child’s future,” says Ritu, who has more than 14 years of hands-on experience in both home-based and centre-based childcare in Aotearoa. 

A New Zealand-qualified and fully-registered ECE teacher, Ritu holds a master’s degree in science, having honed her expertise in understanding the intricacies of child development. 

Complementing her passion and expertise is her husband Amit, who has a deep background in analytical chemistry, science and business management. 

Armed with a master's degree in analytical chemistry and science (MICA) and a Certificate in Small Business and Project Management (CSBM) from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, Amit brings a unique blend of scientific acumen and managerial prowess to the table.



Amit says his journey into the realm of early childhood education was driven by his innate desire to make a tangible difference in society. 

Drawing from his experience in operating and managing businesses, including leading R&D labs in multinational pharmaceutical companies in India and New Zealand, he seamlessly transitioned into the childcare sector, leveraging his technical, scientific, and management expertise.

Since their first venture in 2018, the couple has expanded the business to open four more Little Climbers centres across Auckland–Mangere (Dec 2018), Dannemora (Apr 2022), Otara (August 2022) and Pukekohe (January 2023).

In March this year, the couple launched their sixth centre, a new purpose-built boutique learning centre in Balmoral. The new facility goes by a different name–Smart Kids Educare. 

“Smart Kids Educare served the community until May 2023, offering nearly a decade of service from a previous location before moving to this new purpose-built facility.

“With the previous operators seeking an experienced childcare provider to apply for licenses, we decided to continue the legacy by adopting the trusted name,” says Amit, explaining why they didn’t name their latest centre Little Climbers.

Together, Ritu and Amit form a formidable team, their hands-on approach to management ensuring each centre operates at the pinnacle of excellence, providing a nurturing environment where children can thrive.

Amit's strategic oversight in finance, HR, marketing, and governance, coupled with Ritu's pedagogical insights and commitment to quality, has propelled their business to the forefront of early childhood education in Auckland. 

As active members of the Early Childhood Council (ECC), they stay abreast of sector changes, continually evolving their practices to meet the evolving needs of young learners and their families.

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