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!
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, typically we recommend short, frequent visits one to two weeks prior to the start date, where you stay with your child as they familiarise themselves with the new environment. These planned visits will be coordinated by the classroom head teacher. We also recommend starting with shorter hours in the first week if needed; this helps to ensure a gentle start.
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 teacher who is responsible for their settling in, parent induction, routines, development updates and individual learning programme. We find that having a key teacher as a familiar point of contact helps to reduce separation anxiety and increase trust and excitement about starting at Pascals.
Once your child starts with us, feel free to phone the centre at any time to find out how they are getting on – you might find this unnecessary once you see how much they enjoy being in 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 or some other children rather than just on their own
- Always leave as soon as you have said your goodbyes
- Crying is normal when you leave, however rest assured this usually stops soon afterwards as they get on with their day. You are always welcome to call the centre to check
- Children will pick up on your emotions about coming to the centre. Make sure you have positive conversations about the centre 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:
- A water bottle (from 15 months and upwards)
- Two complete changes of clothes, including underwear and socks
- Sunhat in summer
- Warm hat in winter
- Appropriate footwear
- Nappies if you prefer a particular brand
- 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 master their table manners. Our Healthy Heart Gold Award menu, created in collaboration with a Heart Foundation nutritionist, runs on a four-week cycle: lunches are a cooked hot meal of red meat, fish, chicken or vegetarian with rice, pasta or potatoes. Morning and afternoon teas include freshly baked savoury or fruit loaves, toast or crackers, scones, cheese roll ups, yoghurt, custard, and are always served with a generous helping of fruit or vegetable sticks. Please let us know if your child has any religious or allergic restrictions and we will try our best to cater for them.
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. Additionally, we have weekly classroom newsletters from the teaching team, and monthly centre-wide updates from our Centre Manager.
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 are welcome to 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 to pick up your child, or an ambulance will be called 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.