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.
Our teachers will work together with you to ensure your child has a great experience right from the start. Each child is assigned a key caregiver who is responsible for their settling in, parent induction, routines, development updates and individual discovery projects. We find that having a key caregiver as a familiar point of contact helps to reduce stress and increase trust and excitement about starting at Active Explorers.
A crucial aspect of a smooth transition comes down to a parent’s attitude. If your attitude is warm and full of trust in the teacher, then your child will settle in quickly. If your child picks up on the fact that you are worried, anxious, or feeling guilty about leaving them, it can take a lot longer.
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 – don’t prolong the hard part!
- Always leave as soon as you have said your goodbyes
- 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
- If your child is crying, please don’t expect the teacher to peel them off of you. It’s much better to pick them up and place them into the teacher’s arms. This lets your child know that you trust the teacher
- 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
- Named drink bottle filled with water
- Appropriate footwear, along with a spare pair
- Nappies if necessary
- Certificate of Immunisation on their first day
What sort of food will my child be eating?
Our children enjoy a delicious cooked lunch each day, and we have fruit or crackers for morning tea, afternoon tea, and late snacks. We like to eat ‘family style’ so that the children learn to eat at a table and can perfect their table manners.
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 preschool. 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.
You are part of the He Waka Eke Noa Community of Learners Group. What does this mean?
He Wake Eke Noa is a Community of Learners (COL) - a group of secondary schools, primary schools and ECE centres that come together to work for good transitions for children. We are very lucky to be part of a COL group that is forward thinking and dedicated to children of all ages. This group offers regular meetings with teachers from all three areas of education and runs professional development, centre/school visits and so forth.
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.