We understand it can feel a little daunting when your child is heading off to a new childcare centre. In order to keep stress levels low, we have put together some information that might help.
If you can't find the answer you are looking for, or need more information, please get in touch. We are always happy to help!
What are your policies around health and safety?
Health and safety are a top priority at our centre, and our policies are continuously reinforced by our staff. These include (but are not limited to) regular safety checks of all equipment, identification of and mitigation of any hazards, the storage of chemicals and hazardous items in locked cupboards, and educating children on personal safety matters such as walking inside, staying seated while eating, not throwing equipment and encouraging respectful caring behaviour at all times.
At our centre we have at least one first aid trained staff member per 50 children onsite at all times.
How will you help my child settle in?
To make the transition as stress-free as possible, we recommend several short visits prior to the start date, where you stay with your child as they familiarise themselves with the new environment. We recommend five visits for children under 2, and three for children over 2.
Our teachers will work together with you to ensure your child has a great experience right from the start. Each child is assigned a whānau teacher who is responsible for their settling in, parent induction, routines, development updates and individual discovery projects. We find that having a whānau teacher as a familiar point of contact helps to reduce stress and increase trust and excitement about starting at Active Explorers.
Once your child starts with us, feel free to visit or phone the centre at any time to find out how they are getting on – you might find this unnecessary once you see how much they love our centre!
How can I make the goodbyes easier?
We have learnt from experience that it is best to devise a regular routine for saying goodbye and discuss it with your child before arriving at the centre. Some tips to make it a bit easier include:
- Talk to your child about what activity you are going to do with them before saying goodbye (such as staying to complete a puzzle or reading a story)
- Keep the goodbye process short to minimise stress
- Always let your child know you are going to leave but will be back later to pick them up. If your child gets upset at this point, we recommend sticking to your routine
- Leave them with one of the teachers or some other children rather than just on their own
- Always leave as soon as you have said your goodbyes
- Crying is normal when you leave, however rest assured this usually stops soon afterwards as they get on with their day!
- Children will pick up on your emotions about coming to the centre. Make sure you have positive conversations about the centre and always ask them how their day was when you pick them up
What does my child need to bring with them each day?
The children at our centre are very busy which means there is often a need for parents to pack a few extra things. We recommend packing the following named items:
- Two or three complete changes of clothes, including underwear and socks
- Sunhat in summer
- Warm hat in winter
- Appropriate footwear
- Nappies if necessary
- Certificate of Immunisation and birth certificate before their first day
What sort of food will my child be eating?
Our children love meal times thanks to our awesome in-house cook who creates healthy, delicious meals on a daily basis. We like to eat ‘family style’ so that the children learn to eat at a table and can perfect their table manners. Our menu runs on a monthly cycle - lunches are a cooked hot meal of red meat, fish, chicken or vegetarian with rice, pasta or potatoes. During the hotter months we like to change this up and provide sandwiches, rolls and other fresh options so the children aren’t always having a hot meal on a hot day. Morning and afternoon teas include pikelets, waffles or crackers and cheese, scones, cheese roll ups, yoghurt, and custard. Meals are always served with a generous helping of fruit.
How do you communicate with parents?
We love to build close relationships with all our families and use an online tool called Storypark to share your child’s learning with you. We also create profile books, which provide a hard copy for children to look through with their friends and family.
Staff and management are always available to discuss any matter regarding your child and centre. We recommend that you make an appointment so that teachers can be available without interruption.
Do you participate in the 20 hours ECE scheme?
Yes, we do! Under this scheme if your child is aged 3, 4 or 5 they can receive fully subsidised care, up to 6 hours per day for a total of 20 hours per week. For more information, please get in touch.
What do I need to do if my child is sick and can’t come into the centre?
Please phone the centre and let us know (you can just leave a message if no one picks up the phone).
What happens if my child falls ill or has an accident at the centre?
We will phone you and/or your child’s caregiver and an ambulance if necessary. We will care for your child until you or the ambulance arrives. In the instance of an emergency, if we cannot contact any of the child’s primary caregivers, we will begin to contact the emergency contacts you have listed until such time as we can contact someone to let them know the situation.
What are your policies around immunisation?
We respect parent/caregiver choice around immunisation. If your child is immunised, please provide their Plunket book on enrolment so that we can photocopy their immunisation chart. If you have chosen not to immunise your child, please let us know on enrolment, so that you can be notified if there is ever an infectious disease/illness in the centre.
How can I find out more about WINZ?
Click this link to the Work and Income website: https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/products/a-z-benefits/childcare-subsidy.html