“It takes a village to raise a child”
We want you to view Footprints as another home away from home – a place where you can come and relax, stay as often as you like and to be involved in your child’s exciting learning journey. We respect and acknowledge the knowledge you have about and can contribute about your child, and we like to involve you as often as possible in the life of the centre.
Footprints is divided into two spaces: the larger Heart Room, is a space for your 2-5 year olds, and inside this space, the smaller Soul Room is for your infant or toddler. The older Tuākana children in the Heart space, surround and protect the younger Teina children in the Soul Room. While they are separate spaces (so very young children have a safe space to explore their world uninterrupted), the view between the outdoor areas connects all the children and the space visually. Your child can interact freely, and older siblings can check in on younger siblings anytime.
The settling process is where it all starts. Parents can visit the centre as often as they like prior to their child starting. We believe that developing a trusting relationship with your child is the most important part of this process and understand that this takes time. During the settling process teachers will speak with you about your child’s needs and your aspirations for them and a first day will be booked in.
In the infant and toddler room (0-2), the settling in process is especially important. We will work closely with you to ensure the best possible transition, which will include multiple visits. We encourage you to change your child’s nappy in front of a teacher, so that we develop an understanding of what your child is used to. At another visit, the teacher will change your child's nappy in your presence, to ensure your child is comfortable. We encourage you put your child to bed for their first sleep at the centre, and be there when they wake up, to lessen any anxiety that your child might feel the first time.
Your child is welcome to bring special cuddly toys and items from home to help them feel secure throughout their day at preschool.
Getting Ready for the First Day
- Pack a balanced and healthy lunchbox for your child’s morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea. Your child will have access to drinking water throughout the day, but may bring their own water bottle as well, if preferred.
- Pack at least two full changes of clothes (If a child is toilet training they may require more). We foster independent dressing, and not all children will remember to place their belongings back in their bag, so please name clothing so we can help it make its way back home again.
- A seperate wet bag/swimming bag is helpful, so we can seperate wet/dirty clothes from clean clothes
- Pack enough nappies for the day (or you can drop off a box/bag for the week)
- Pack any special items needed for sleepers eg. dummy, cuddle toy, blankie
- A named sunhat needs to be supplied during the summer months.
Please sunblock your child as they get dressed in the morning and we will reapply at key times throughout the day.
Please let us know if you are toilet training your child, so we can provide support while they are with us at the centre.
Your child will have the opportunity to sleep or rest on a mattress, cot, or stretcher in a quiet space if needed. Infants are slept on a needs basis, and toddlers/preschoolers, who require a sleep, are typically rested after lunch. We will discuss your child's sleep routine with you on enrolment, so we can provide a soothing sleep routine similar to home.
Learning at Preschool /Ako
A typical day at Footprints Preschool will see your child, on arrival, settling to a snack at the table, a chat with their key caregiver and/or waving goodbye to you through the carpark window. This part of the day is kept routine and predictable so drop off is a calm and happy time. Your child will then quickly settle into play of their choosing, inside or outside. Play continues throughout the day, only broken by mealtimes (in the Over Twos), where your child will be invited to come inside, sit at the communal dining table, and participate in the kai ritual. If your child needs a sleep, a teacher will take them into the sleep room after lunch, and sit with them as they nod off. Later, when they wake up, the same teacher will greet them, and wait with them until they are fully awake and ready to rejoin play. At the end of the day, you will arrive to pick up your happy child, have a quick chat about their day with key teachers, and head home, feeling secure that your child has had a great day.
Your child is constantly learning during this free play time each day, developing their physical, academic and social skills with their peers. This development is captured in Learning Stories. Teachers will explain the learning they are observing in your child, and relate that to the goals of Te Whariki (the Early Childhood Curriculum Document). These stories will be shared with you via the Educa App, and in hardcopy in your child's folder in the preschool library. You are welcome to add your own family stories from life outside of preschool too.
We use Educa, Facebook, email, and the centre cellphone to keep in touch.
- EDUCA (an online child portfolio software) is used to share important information or news along with your child's learning stories.
- Our private Facebook Group is members only, so we can share photos of the day safely and easily, share centre updates, or new policies, and it's a nice easy way for you to get in touch of you have any queries.
- You can also contact us anytime via Email or you can ring or text the centre cellphone 027 295 2658.
Infants will also have a daily communication book, that will fill you in on daily routines (feeding, sleeping and nappy changes) at preschool, and generally how your child's day went.
Your child is welcome to celebrate birthdays (or any other important occasion/festival) at the centre. If you wish to supply a cake/food or activity for the special day just let us know and we will make arrangements with you.
Fees/Utu Whakauru (updated 2020)
0-2 year olds: $1 per hour For the first 6 hours each day, then $5 per hour after that.
3-5 year olds: Free For the first 6 hour each day, then $5 per hour after that.
Additional hours /Casual Rate @ $5 per hour
There are no conditions on receiving the above fees - all families are eligible.
We also accept WINZ subsidies and are happy to help you with any paperwork if needed.
Transition to School/Haere ki te Kura
After growing their independence, imagination, self care skills and empathy for others, your child will be ready to head off to school and more formal learning. This does not have to be on your child's 5th Birthday if you don't think they are ready yet. As your child nears their 5th birthday please let us know about your plans, any school visits, prospective start dates, and which school you have chosen.
This is a special time at the centre, as we celebrate your child's journey with us. We will be sad to see them leave, but so happy that they are ready to go.
Leaving/ Haere Rā
If your child will be finishing at Footprints for other reasons, we appreciate at least 2 weeks notice.
We will plan a special farewell for your child, and you are welcome to contribute something special to eat, or come along for one final afternoon tea.
ERO visits all ECE centres in New Zealand to assess how well they are meeting the needs of the children and the Childcare Regulations. Footprints last ERO review was in 2018. The next review will be in 2021.