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!
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. From there we can also build in several independent visits where you come and settle your child into the classroom with the teachers and then leave for an hour or two, building their confidence until they are attending their planned booking.
Our teachers will work together with you to ensure your child has a great experience right from the start. In the nursery each child is assigned a primary caregiver/teacher who is responsible for their settling in, parent induction, routines, development updates and individual discovery projects. In the preschool and prep rooms your classroom team leader will support you and your child through those classroom processes, ensuring you have all the information needed for a stress-free transition.
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! And if you would like us to give you a call during the day at any time during those first few weeks please just let us know.
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 can be a common emotional reaction when you leave – this does pull on our heart strings, however rest assured this usually stops soon afterwards as children settle into their day! If it doesn’t, we will phone to let you know and work out together how to best move forward from there for the wellbeing of your little one
- 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, socks and shoes if toilet training
- Sunhat in summer
- Warm hat and jacket in winter
- Appropriate footwear
- Nappies if necessary
- Certificate of Immunisation and birth certificate needs to be supplied with the enrolment form prior to starting visits
What sort of food will my child be eating?
Our children love meal times thanks to our awesome in-house cook who creates delicious Healthy Heart meals on a daily basis. We like to eat ‘family style’ all together, so that the children learn to eat at a table, can perfect their table manners, and have opportunities to extend self-help and social skills. Our menu runs on a monthly cycle - lunches are cooked hot meals of red meat, fish, chicken or vegetarian with rice, pasta or potatoes. Morning and afternoon teas include Healthy Heart recipe versions of foods such as pikelets, toast, crackers, scones, cheese roll ups, cakes, smoothies, yoghurt and custard. Meals are always served with a generous helping of fruit.
How are allergies, food intolerances and cultural food preferences catered for?
As part of enrolment and pre-visits your classroom team leader will check in with you regarding any food related preferences and help you fill in a food form for them. This goes to our chef who ensures appropriate food preparation processes are in place as well as being documented in the classroom for the teaching team. From there, if there is a serious allergy, we will ask for further documents to be filled in and develop a clear emergency medical plan with you.
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.
Twice yearly families are invited to come in and chat to their child’s planning and assessment teacher, providing opportunities for families to contribute to their child’s learning based on the early childhood curriculum Te Whāriki learning outcomes.
Regular centre newsletters are sent out keeping you up to date with centre news. Several times a year the centre holds informal social events that are open to all families providing opportunities for families to connect with each other and with their children’s teachers.
Do you participate in the 20 hours free scheme?
Yes, we do! Under this scheme if your child is between the ages of 3 and 6, they can receive up to 6 hours per day for a total of 20 hours per week free. 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.
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.