What should I look for in a kindergarten, preschool or education and childcare centre?
Choosing the right centre for your child is very much a personal decision.
A centre should help your child to:
Make sense of their world
Embrace new challenges
Co-operate with others
Set goals for themselves.
At what age should I enrol my child at Kidsfirst?
It's never too early to enrol your child. Some parents even choose to enrol their children as soon as they're born! The usual time is just before your child reaches 2 years of age. It's preferable to enrol your child well before their 3rd birthday. The majority of parents enrol their child at the time of enquiry, although you can enrol your child at any time. Your child must be enrolled before he or she can attend kindergarten. For more information on enrolment click here.
How long is the kindergarten day?
The length of the kindergarten day will vary slightly between kindergartens.
As a general rule:
All day kindergartens will generally operate for six hours day between the hours of 8.30 am - 2.30 pm. Within the six hours, parents/caregivers select whether their child comes for the mornings only each day or choose to stay for the full six hours.
Our Early Learning Centre in Aranui provides all day care and education for children from the age of three months. This Centre is open from 7.30 am to 5.30 pm, Monday to Friday throughout the year with a minimum close down period over the Christmas holiday period.
A number of our kindergartens still offer the traditional service with separate morning and afternoon sessions. Morning sessions operate between 3 and 4 hours a day, for the oldest group of children with afternoon sessions operating three afternoons a week and usually cater for a younger age group. Normally your child will first attend the afternoon sessions. When a space becomes available, and your child is next on the list, he or she will become a 'morning kindy kid' and will attend morning sessions 5 times a week.
What should I do if I have any questions about enrolment?
Contact the kindergarten you would like your child to attend and the staff will be happy to answer your questions and help you with enrolling.
How does Government 20 Hours ECE work with Kidsfirst?
Kidsfirst is a registered provider of the Government's 20 Hours ECE per week for children aged between 3 - 6 years. All Kidsfirst Kindergartens offer 20 Hours ECE per week but the amount your child may receive will vary depending on the kindergarten concerned.
Children attending our all day kindergartens or our early learning centre will probably be able to access the entire 20 hours per week worth of government hours. Whereas children attending a traditional kindergarten morning session may get up to 17 hours per week.
Normally our standard fee would apply for any hours over and above the 20 ECE Hours allocation or if your child is aged under three who will not meet the criteria as set by government.
How can my child come to Kindy free?
You can find out moreHERE.
What if my child has special needs?
We understand that every child is unique and adapt our programmes accordingly. Te Whaariki can be moulded to take into consideration the strengths and requirements of individual children in order to get them working to the best of their abilities. An Individual Development/Education Plan (IDP or IEP) will be developed for children who require additional or alternative resources. Children with special needs will be fully included and educated within our framework of Te Whaariki and extra support may be accessed.
Who can I talk to?
Kindergarten is a partnership with parents, whānau/family and caregivers. We like to take every opportunity during our conversations with you to share your child's progress and development. If you have anything you would like to discuss with us, simply ask or make a time to come back.
What will my child learn?
Our early childhood education programme provides a variety of experiences for your child, so they can learn to make sense of their world. It's important that children embrace new challenges, that they learn to co-operate with each other, and set goals for themselves assisted by our qualified teachers. We want to help your child have fun and get ready to become a confident and competent learner during their school years. For more information on the Kidsfirst curriculum, click here.