When your child starts
We encourage new parents to bring their child along on their enrolled days as many times as they like before they start. This helps the child feel comfortable with the staff, centre environment and routines. This is also a good time for you to get to know more about the centre.
All children settle at their own pace, and the teachers are always happy to discuss ways of settling that suit you and your child. For most children, it works well if they are left for relatively short times to begin with. You are more than welcome to telephone the centre if you have concerns or just want to check how your child is doing. Leave a message if the phone is not answered as the teachers regularly check the messages.
Every child has a cubby hole, shared with another child who comes to the centre on different days. This is where bags are kept. The children quickly get to know their own cubby hole and enjoy the independence of getting their things in and out of them. Often they put art work in their cubby holes. The other place that art is kept is in a box near the table where we do our art activities. It’s great if you can clear the art box regularly. Many of our children are prolific artists and the art box fills up quickly – great for greeting cards and wrapping paper if you have a prolific artist in your midst!
We provide a small afternoon tea for children while they’re waiting to be picked up at the end of the day. Usually this is fruit or vegetables that parents bring in (one or 2 pieces to put into the fruit bowl each week) or sometimes it might be some baking or cooking that we have done together during the day.
What to bring for your child each day
A nutritious morning tea and lunch in a named lunch box and drink bottle. For health and safety reasons we require that no sweets, peanuts or food containing peanuts (e.g. peanut butter of fruit and nut bars) or glad wrap be included in the lunch box.
A coat and hat on cold days, or a sunhat and sunscreen on sunny days – please dress your child in old clothes as we do lots of messy play. At least one change of clothes, more if your child is especially fond of water play. Please name all clothes. We accumulate an astonishing amount of lost property! Named disposable nappies.
Bedding (named sleeping bag or blanket plus bottom sheet) if your child requires a sleep.
Thoughts about toilet training
Discuss toilet training with the teachers before bringing your child in wearing no nappies for the first time. The creche is a very busy place and children who are learning will still have accidents, probably more often than they have at home where there are fewer distractions. Pack lots of spare clothes and (to begin with) some nappies so that any child who gets distressed or is obviously holding on the first few times can be put back in a nappy. Toilet training will go better if your child is able to pull pants on and off by themselves. It’s really important that clothes be easy to manage – overalls can be tough, for example.
We do not provide potties or training seats, but the children’s toilets are specially sized and therefore easier to manage than toilets at home. We also don’t provide rewards, e.g. stickers, but we do provide lots of praise and encouragement.
A number of our children have food intolerances and allergies. This is why we ask families not to bring in peanut products. Although children bring their own food, it’s important for teachers to know about food issues, so that we can be vigilant when there is shared food, e.g. on special occasions. Please talk to us about this when you are settling your child. Some families arrange to have special baking in our freezer so they know their child won’t miss out if birthday treats are brought in that may not be completely OK for them.
Birthdays, yay! Nothing quite so important for a small child! We love to celebrate with the children so feel welcome to talk to the teachers about bringing something in if your child has a special occasion to celebrate.