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Kanuka Corner co-owner and early childhood teacher Enger Pelosi-Fear said affordable housing in the Timsfield subdivision had prompted young families to move to Hawea and caused a ``population boom''.
She said Kanuka Corner would provide daycare and operate during school holidays to cater for working parents.
She said the philosophy behind the centre would ``resonate'' with the local community and be based on environmental sustainability and the New Zealand forest schools programme.
Co-owner and early childhood teacher Pip O'Connell said the centre was designed to encourage the children to ``get out into the great outdoors'' and would include a special playscape.
Eight children have enrolled but it was licensed to take up to 31 children, she said.
Kidsfirst Kindergarten in Hawea Flat is the only other kindergarten in the area.