We understand it can feel a little daunting when your child is starting a new journey at an early childhood 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 suggest a minimum of three visits and welcome you to do as many as you deem necessary.
Our teachers will work together with you to ensure your child has a great experience right from the start. Each room has a Head Teacher who will oversee your settling-in period, parent induction, routines, development updates and determine individual learning priorities. If you have any questions during the settling period, please don’t hesitate to ask.
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. We will also send you updates on Storypark.
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
- If your child happens to get upset when you go, please rest assured that this usually doesn’t last long! Our teaching team are highly skilled at settling children into the programme and giving them the emotional support needed to feel comforted and secure
- If you are feeling ‘uneasy’ about the change in your routine, your child may pick up on your emotions and this can be unsettling for them. Remember to always speak positively in front of them to reassure them. We welcome you to come and discuss with our centre manager, Mel, any stress or anxiety you may be experiencing. Transitions are not always easy, and we are here to support you
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 on their first day
What sort of food will my child be eating?
Our children love meal times thanks to our awesome in-house chef 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. Once a week we have a sandwich day where the children can choose their own fillings and the older children get to make their own. Always a favourite!
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. Whilst we provide brief daily feedback at pick-up times, if you are wanting our full attention to discuss something important, we recommend that you make an appointment so that teachers can be available without interruption.
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?
Most accidents are minor and only require minimal first aid such as a sticking plaster, cuddle or ice pack. In this instance we would notify you at pick-up time and ask you to sign an accident form that details the incident and the care given. If your child falls ill and is deemed too unwell to remain at the centre or participate in the learning programme, you will be called to come and collect them. In the unlikely event of a more serious accident/illness, you will be contacted immediately and if necessary, an ambulance would be called.
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.