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?
Transitioning to a new centre can be daunting at times for children. There are many ways which we can help this process run more smoothly for your child, whānau and educators.
Starting at an early childhood centre is a milestone that's often anticipated with great excitement and joy, but also with lots of crying and uncertainty from your child and even yourself!
For children, the main source of anxiety around entering an early childhood centre is that they have absolutely no idea what to expect. For parents, the main source of separation anxiety is worrying that their child will feel abandoned. These are all natural emotions for you and your child, but over time we assure you that your child will settle into comfortable routines, create friendships and thrive from the stimulating and educational environment. Here are a few suggestions on how to prepare yourself and your child for early childhood learning.
How can I help my child adjust to ECE?
Introduce your child slowly by visiting several times with and without your child. This is important to allow them to bond with their new peers and teachers. This also allows the teachers to observe how your child is going and if they need further visits and support.
Encourage your child to socialise
You can make settling in easier by getting to know the other children in the setting yourself and talking about them at home. By getting to know the other children you can encourage your child to take part in groups by using the other children’s names and saying “hi”.
As parents, we can help by being steadying and supportive while they settle in. Talk positively about where they’ll be going and what will be happening, the new things they’ll try and new friends they’ll make.
Consistency is key when it comes to making early childhood learning a part of your child's new routine. Simply going together on a regular basis will provide your little one with a strong sense of anticipation. Keep your goodbyes short and sweet so that your child knows what to expect but doesn't prolong your departure. When you pick him up at the end of the day, reinforce the idea that you came back, just like you said you would. This way, each day's drop-off won't feel like you're both starting teary and upsetting goodbyes all over again.
Don't sneak away
It might be tempting to bolt from the room, but your little one will feel more afraid if you suddenly disappear. The best way to handle the separation process is to begin by sitting next to your child while they interact in games and activities, be there as a safety net not a companion. Once you've said your goodbyes, it's best to leave so that your child doesn't become preoccupied by your presence. Seeing your child involved in an activity is a good cue that it's time for you to go.
Resist surprise visits
Once you've left your child, resist the temptation to go back and check on her/him. If you're always checking up on your child, you risk the reciprocity of your child checking on you constantly. It is extremely helpful for families to develop a team approach with their child's teacher. This way, family can feel safe and confident that their child will be well cared for when not there. Trust the teacher and trust yourself; have confidence that you made the best decision for your child.
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. Morning and afternoon teas include pikelets, toast or crackers, scones, cheese roll ups, yoghurt, custard, and are always served with a generous helping of fruit. We are proud to have the gold Heart Foundation tick.
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. 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.
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.