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  • How do you deal with discipline at Early Years?
    The word “discipline” comes from the Latin word disciplina, which means to teach, learn and give instruction. We use a discipline model that is more akin to the original Latin roots of the word discipline. The adult’s role is that of a teacher and the child’s role is that of a disciple, pupil or learner. We believe forms of discipline such as “time out” which involves isolating a child for long periods of time, humiliating them, terrifying them with screaming threats or using other forms of verbal and psychological aggression can be harmful to a child’s mind and therefore are not part of our discipline model. At Early Years we use "discipline" situations as learning opportunities for children on how to manage impulses, calm down big angry feelings and be aware of how their behavior impacts others. As children learn to navigate the world, setting boundaries is critical in helping children determine right from wrong, safe from dangerous, etc. We find clear and consistent boundaries serve a critical role in helping children control themselves, think about others, regulate their emotions, and make good choices. The boundaries we create vary based on each child's temperament, stage of development and the context of the situation. The end product of our disciple model is a child that can grow to be an adult who knows how to cooperate, be thoughtful and can have meaningful relationships. Here's the type of questions we like to ask ourselves before we "discipline": Why did this child act this way? What lesson do I want to teach in this moment? How can I best teach this lesson? We find this approach to "discipline" provides a much calmer environment.
  • What is the daily schedule like?
    Children feel more secure and learn better when they have a predictable routine. We always cater to each child's individual needs, particularly with our infants and toddlers and aim to keep to the same routines you keep at home. At Early Years our general childcare routine looks like this: Arrival – Indoor / Outdoor individual choice and programmed experiences Bathroom / nappy change routine Morning tea Indoor / Outdoor individual choice, programmed experiences and project work Bathroom / nappy change routine Lunch time Rest time Bathroom / nappy change routine Quiet experiences Afternoon tea Group time – Story, songs, project discussion Indoor / Outdoor individual choice and programmed experiences Bathroom / nappy change routine Indoor / Outdoor individual choice and programmed experiences Departure
  • How are staff vetted?
    Before we employ staff at Early Years we do a thorough background check, including contacting referees, running a Police Check on them and verifying their Qualifications. All our staff are Police Checked and partake in annual self reviews. You can feel assured that every member of our staff has been screened for criminal behavior as well completed the formal training required to meet the Ministry of Education standards for providing high-quality early childhood care.
  • What's the adult-to-child ratio?
    The Ministry of Education mandate an adult-to-child ratio of 1:5 for under 2 years old and 1:10 for 2 years old and over.
  • Are children divided into groups by age?
    The needs of a 5-month-old can be very different to those of a 4-year-old. We provide both a mixed-age area and a safe space in a separate classroom for infants and toddlers who are not yet ready to join the main spaces. Because we are child-led we don't introduce infants or toddlers into the mixed-age area unless we are certain they are physically, mentally and emotionally ready. To ensure their well-being and sense of belonging they are often introduced to the mixed-age area for short periods of time to begin with.
  • How do you comfort kids who are upset?
    At Early Years we prioritise and show compassion to any child who is having a hard time. We will hug and hold a crying child until the tears have stopped if that's what they need, they will not be left alone. We will always get in touch with you if we are concerned your child isn't coping. Likewise if you would ever like to know how your child's day is going please feel free to give us a call.
  • Do the children get time outside?
    Young children benefit from active outside play. At Early Years the majority of our day consists of both indoor and outdoor play run simultaneously. The kids also have regular opportunities to visit the local park and playground next door, local beaches and bushland.
  • Do you provide an educational curriculum?
    Yes, we have a professionally researched education approach as the foundation of our centre’s model which draws upon several educational methodologies, including: Playcentre, Intergenerational Centres, Te Kōhanga Reo, Pacific Language Nests, Nature and Forest Kindergartens, Reggio Emilia and Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE). The theories of Constructivism and Progressive Education are the basis for our educational approach. This means we use a variety of learning resources and highly personalised learning based on the interests of the children. for further information check out our approach page on our website. Key points: A spiral curriculum – Enactive Representation – Iconic Representation – Symbolic Representation (Language-Based), Regulary revisit topics, more complex each time aka. Scaffolding Emphasis on learning by doing An integrated curriculum Entrepreneurship is valued A strong emphasis on problem solving and critical thinking Group work and the development of social skills is valued Understanding and action are the goals of learning as opposed to rote knowledge Collaborative and cooperative learning projects occur Education is for social responsibility and democracy Highly personalised learning, which accounts for each individual’s personal goals, occurs The integration of community servive and service learning projects into the daily curriculum The selection of subject content is by looking forward and asking what skill will be needed in our future society De-emphasis on textbooks in favour of varied learning resources An emphasis on lifelong learning and social skills Assessment is by evaluation of child projects and productions Uses intrinsic motivation, basing activities on the interests of the children
  • Is screen time permitted?
    We don't use screen time for entertaining or minding the kids simply because we think you would rather we were engaging with your child instead. We leave the screen time use for you to decide on at home. We do however use screen time as an educational tool, particularly with the older children who are at a stage of using symbols to portray their ideas i.e. words and pictures to communicate their learning and also to research topics of interest and discover things i.e. what is the name of the bird we just saw? This is done with adult supervision and guidance for the purpose of learning.
  • Are you able to provide regular updates?
    Communication is key when it comes to childcare. We are happy to give you updates throughout the day, particularly as your child settles into the centre, just let one of us know if you would like this.
  • Are meals and snacks provided?
    Yes, at Early Years we are committed to providing wholesome natural quality meals and snacks throughout your child's day with us. Our chefs are dedicated, passionate and trained in the specific needs of young children. Our nutrition programme utilises whole, unprocessed ingredients; low in refined sugars and no unnecessary additives. All food/kai is prepared on-site: In the Early Years kitchen you'll find lots of fresh produce and meals being prepared and cooked each day. Our chefs work with teachers and whānau to ensure the safety of children with food allergies, sensitivities and cultural requirements. If you have any concerns about your child's dietary requirements please feel free to discuss this with us, we are more than happy to help.
  • Are children required to be up to date on immunisations?
    Whilst, it is not compulsory for children to be up to date with immunisations we would always encourage parents to consider the benefits. At Early Years we have certain procedures in place to avoid sicknesses spreading within the centre, but it is not uncommon for children in any form of childcare to often pick up bugs, particularly when they are new to the childcare. Child immunisations can be good protection for some childhood diseases.
  • Is there a trained first aider on site?
    Yes, you can be assured that there is a trained first aider on site at all times in the event that something goes wrong, or your child has allergies or other preexisting conditions.
  • What procedures do you follow when a child is sick or injured?
    We don't tend to notify you until pick up time if your child has scraped their knee. If it is more serious like a bumped head or an illness a member of the team who is a trained first aider will assess your child for symptoms of a more serious injury or illness. If we are concerned we will contact you. If you would like to view our health & safety policy to get an idea of all the details in advance it can help prepare you for a situation that requires an early pick up or a missed day. To view this policy and its procedures please email us or ask to view it when you're next at the centre.
  • What’s your policy in the event of a late pick up?
    Even the most punctual parent should be prepared for a situation in which they just can’t get here on time (hey, stuff happens). For this reason, it’s helpful to know what our policy is on late pick ups. This is available upon request either by email or by asking at the centre. Because we have strict government mandated teacher to child ratios that we must adhere to it is important that you allow yourself enough time to collect your child before your child's enrolled time ends. Please contact us if you think you're running late, we would rather know ahead of time. As our centre closes at 5.30pm each day any late pickups after this closing time may incur extra costs as our teachers are not scheduled to work during this time. When you enrol your child you can name other people who can also collect your child from the centre (ie. a friend or a neighbour), this is a good idea in the case that you do find yourself running really late. A quick phone call to let us know any change in persons picking up your child is always appreciated too. If at any stage you would like to amend the named persons for collection on the enrolment form just let us know and we'll be happy to update it.
  • Do you offer a refund for missed days due to illness or vacation?
    Unexpected sick days, planned public holidays and sudden closures can all affect your child’s attendance. It is common for childcare services to charge normal fees for all absences that fall on a usual day of attendance (including sick days). If your child is off for three to six weeks for a medical reason, you’ll need to let us know and provide the government with a medical certificate to continue getting child care assistance. The government may also pay towards your child care (for up to 28 days) if you’re going overseas, or if your child is absent from care because of COVID-19. A long holiday discount is also available at Early Years, so it’s worth enquiring about this and giving plenty of notice if your child will be away from care on a family trip. We close for public holidays (like New Year’s Day, Good Friday and Labour Day). If a public holiday falls on a day your child is scheduled you will still be charged. You’re encouraged to read your enrolment form and our policies and procedures carefully before signing, so you know what fees you’re liable for. If you’re worried about the fees that you’re going to be charged please come and have a chat with us. It’s also important to research the child care assistance you may be eligible for. The Childcare Subsidy, 20 Hours ECE and a couple of other child care-related benefits help many families access early childhood education at a lower cost, so make sure you check out what’s available to you.
  • Do the staff provide toilet training support?
    Absolutely, when your child is at the stage of toilet training we will work alongside you and your child to provide consistency between home and centre. Our team are really experienced when it comes to toilet training and have a variety of ideas and methods for toilet training that can be adapted to meet your child’s needs and specific family circumstances. If you need any tips or advice feel free to ask a member of our team.
  • What is your visitation policy?
    Maybe you’re breastfeeding your child and would like to pop in during the day to nurse. Or perhaps, you want to drop in and see firsthand what your child’s day is like. There are plenty of reasons why you might want to pay a visit to our centre. Parents or legal guardians can stop by ANY time (announced or unannounced). We do ask that visits aren't disruptive to childrens' rest times or makes things harder for any child in the centre who is struggling with separation anxiety.
  • Are the toys regularly cleaned and sanitised? How about the space?
    In an era where Covid-19 and other illnesses are common in our community it is important your child's centre maintains a high standard of cleaning. None of us enjoy constant bouts of illness and the disruption this causes to life. Our staff practice and enforce appropriate hand washing habits, regularly sanitise toys and equipment and the cleaning of the entire space. If you would like to view our policies and procedures on cleaning please email us or ask to view them next time you're at the centre.
  • How do you handle naps?
    Naps are critical for development during the baby and toddler years and young children that go without them are more likely to experience poor sleep at night. At Early Years we like to find out what each child’s current sleep patterns are like at home so that we can keep similar routines for them at the centre. Keep us informed about your child’s routines and when things are beginning to change. We also follow children’s queues throughout their day with us, for example if a child seems more tired than usual or isn’t tired at all we will listen to that queue. In the afternoons we have quieter activities scheduled, which means the environment is more favourable for those requiring a nap. At Early Years we have two seperate rooms for children to take naps on their own schedule in. We have a procedure in place for monitoring children's sleep which ensures children do not have access to food or liquids while in bed and are checked for warmth, breathing, and general well-being at least every 5-10 minutes, or more frequently according to individual needs.
  • Does the facility have functioning cameras?
    Currently there are no cameras at Early Years, however this may be a future consideration as it can help to protect staff and children alike and ensures we can get to the bottom of things in the event that something goes down.
  • How do you deal with conflicts between peers?
    Social-emotional learning is a big part of everyday learning of preschoolers. Inevitably conflicts occur between children and can include anything from relatively harmless stuff (ie. grabbing the same toy) to more upsetting things (ie. biting). At Early Years we like to step in if we think the situation is escalating and help the children understand how each other is feeling before helping them to resolve the conflict.
  • What supplies should I provide for my child?
    Things to pack for your child: Any toileting requirements (ie. nappies, spare underwear) Baby/Toddler formulas or breast milk if required 1 or 2 spare changes of clothes Anything special your child sleeps with Please don't bring food into the centre, as we supply these. Also, some children in our centre have specific dietary requirements &/or allergies
  • Has the facility been baby-proofed?
    Yes, we have thorough procedures in place to ensure the youngest in our centre are safe. We have practical things in place like child safety locks, protectors, gates and even a dedicated classroom as well as dedicated staff who specialise in this age group.
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