We understand it can feel a little overwhelming 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 three visits prior to the start date, where you stay with your child for the first visit as they familiarise themselves with the new environment and teachers.
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 Little Wonders.
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 – although you might find this unnecessary once you see how much they love our centre!
How can I make the goodbyes easier?
Separation distress or anxiety is a normal part of a healthy parent-child relationship. Separation anxiety is more prolific at the beginning of a child's attendance at the centre. They may also revisit some of these emotions from time to time as changes occur in their lives both at home and at centre. With the right support and guidance, this separation distress will ease relatively quickly.
Ways that you can assist your child with coping:
- Start preparing your child for the separation before you arrive at the centre
- Talk about the teachers and children that the child will see at the centre
- Talk positively about what he/she might do during the day - choosing something or someone of interest may excite them
- A goodbye ritual proves helpful, as the child is able to become familiar with the routine of separation and knows when you are going to leave. E.g. reading one story, then a hug/kiss and wave goodbye at the window
- Keep the goodbye process short to minimise stress
- You should always depart immediately after saying goodbye, as lingering too long may contribute to further or prolonged distress for your child
- It is important that you do not "sneak away" in an attempt to avoid distress - this will decrease your child's sense of trust and increase their anxiety
- Always leave as soon as you have said goodbye
- 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 it and always ask them how their day was when you pick them up
- Please feel free to return early at the end of the day and spend some time with 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
- Footwear appropriate for physical activity
- Nappies if necessary
- Formula if necessary
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 to meet our Healthy Heart Pa Harakeke Award. 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 three week rotation - lunches are a cooked hot meal of red meat, fish, chicken or vegetarian with rice, pasta or potatoes. Morning and afternoon teas include pikelets, crackers, scones, muffins, yoghurt, custard, and are always served with a generous helping of fruit.
How do you communicate with whānau?
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.
The team 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). Our administrator is available between 8:30 am and 3:00 pm.
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, if required, seek the appropriate medical assistance. We will continue to care for your child until you arrive.
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.