Over the 30+ years that we have been caring for and educating children there have been a number of questions that we are asked most often. We have answered these below and hope they help you as you consider your childcare options. If we haven’t answered your question below, please feel free to contact us, we are only too happy to help.
What should I look for when choosing a quality early education centre?
When looking for childcare for your child here are 7 things, we recommend you consider:
- Interactions. Teachers should be, interacting, listening, supporting and enjoying the children. Children should be engaged, involved and happy.
- Staff retention. While there will always be some teacher movement, a sign of a good centre is a core team of stable staff.
- Role of a teacher. Teachers are there to work with children not to do duties that takes their time and attention away from the children e.g. laundry, food prep, housekeeping duties.
- Environment. Is there enough indoor and outdoor space and equipment? Is the equipment age appropriate and does it challenge and interest the children?
- Safety and hygiene. The physical environment should be safety checked by staff daily and examined by appropriate contractors regularly. A housekeeper should take care of day-to-day cleaning and commercial cleaners should be employed to clean at the end of each day.
- Communication. Receiving regular communication in a variety of ways is key to ensure an authentic relationship between centre and child.
Education Review Office. ERO’s reports provide information for parents and communities about strengths and next steps for development for each ECE service. To read Summerfield’s latest ERO report go to: https://www.ero.govt.nz/review-reports/summerfield-early-learning-centre-09-09-2016/
What are your child: teacher ratio’s?
Our child: teacher ratios are well above the Ministry of Education’s requirements, which ensures a high level of dedicated care, interaction and education for your child. In our Pipi Room we have a 2:7 teaching ratio for infants and a 1:4 ratio for toddlers. Our Paua Room has a 1:6 teaching ratio and the Pohutukawa Room has a 1:8 teaching ratio.
Are your teachers qualified? Or what qualifications do your teachers hold?
We understand the integral role our teachers play in your child’s wellbeing and development and ensure a robust screening and interviewing process. We are very proud that 95% of our teachers are qualified and certified Early Childhood Education Teachers.
Do you have spaces available now?
Although we tend to have a waiting list, we do from time to time, have spaces available immediately. Please contact us to find out if we have space for your child now.
What are orientation visits?
Our orientation visits are designed to help your child transition smoothly from being at home to spending their days at Summerfield. Prior to starting with us we will contact you to arrange a series of visits at no cost to you. These visits allow you and your child to begin to establish relationships with the teachers and to become familiar with routines and the environment at Summerfield.
How do I prepare my child for their time at Summerfield?
You can help your child prepare for their time at Summerfield by:
- First prepare yourself. You need to feel comfortable with the centre you’ve chosen and confident your child will be well looked after. Your child will pick up on your confidence & this will help them feel secure.
- Talk positively about Summerfield. Tell them about the fun things they will do (e.g. painting, playing, climbing etc). Your child will pick up on any worries you have about the centre so it’s important you ALWAYS speak confidently and positively about Summerfield when your child is around.
- Encourage independence appropriate to their age. For example:
– For an infant or toddler, give your child some time to explore on their own.
– Encourage toddlers to sleep independently. Rather than rocking your child (or lying in bed with them) sit beside your child and pat them.
– For an older child, urge them to carry their own bag, feed themselves, and put their shoes on independently.
If we haven’t answered your question above, please feel free to contact us, we are only too happy to help.