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 over two weeks (if possible), where you stay with your child as they familiarise themselves with the new environment.
Our team of teachers will work together with you to ensure your child has a great experience right from the start. Each child is assigned a key teacher who is responsible for their initial settling in, ensuring routines are followed and parent induction. For our children who are under 2 years of age, daily diaries are completed detailing the completed routines of the day for each child. Our team of teachers collaborate to record development updates and individual and group learning stories and discovery projects. We find that having a key teacher as a familiar point of contact in the first few weeks helps to reduce stress and increase trust and excitement about starting at Lollipops. Once your child is well settled, they are able to be engaged and feel secure with the other teachers in the team. As our teams are made up of a maximum of three teachers per learning area, this happens easily and naturally.
Once your child starts with us, feel free to visit, phone or text us 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
- 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 - we have found handing your child over to a specific teacher can be very helpful and saying “Teacher A will look after you until I come and fetch you”
- Our teachers always say “Mummy/daddy loves you and they always come back”
- Some children like to join other friends on arrival - it is always important to ensure that your child in not left on their own on arrival
- Always leave as soon as you have said your goodbyes
- Crying is normal when you leave, and we validate how your child feels to ensure that they self-regulate and feel comforted in this process. Rest assured any crying usually stops soon afterwards as they get on with their day!
- Some of our children like to go to our little deck area to wave goodbye to their parents and this has become a very positive ritual
- 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
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
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. Our centre has gained our Rito Award with the Healthy Heart Foundation. We have also been chosen to feature in an article in “Swings and Roundabouts” as an example of an outstanding centre that is committed to healthy nutrition and exercise.
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 and always include a serving of colourful vegetables. Morning and afternoon teas include pikelets, toast or crackers, scones, cheese roll ups, yoghurt, and are always served with a variety of seasonal fruits.
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 portfolios, which provide a hard copy for children to look through to revisit their learning 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 if you wish to discuss something in detail so that teachers can be available to give you undivided attention.
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). You can also text our Supervisor or Manager as they have centre mobile phones.
What happens if my child falls ill or has an accident at the centre?
We will phone you and/or your child’s caregiver to let you know. Any injury to the head, no matter how small, will be reported to you immediately. If your child needs immediate medical care and you or your emergency contact are unavailable, we will call an ambulance if necessary. In all cases 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.