WELCOME NAU MAI HAERE MAI
Our mission statement is “To inspire a lifelong love of learning within our centre and our community”. Our vision is to provide freedom for children to explore in a prepared, stimulating and beautiful environment where they can develop independence and respect, which will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
Working with Others
We believe that the best way to meet your expectations is by working closely with you to provide the best education and care for your child. We aim to create an open door policy for parents and whānau so we can work together in achieving positive learning outcomes for your child. Parents and whānau are invited both formally and informally to contribute to their child’s experiences at the preschool. We will keep you updated with what is happening at Pebbles via the whiteboard outside for daily news, the weekly emails, Educa and the website for general information. We appreciate your input and value your say, please feel free to talk to us at any time.
Enrolment is finalised upon completion of the enrolment form and the fee schedule. We also ask to sight and copy your child’s birth certificate and immunisation records. Please inform staff of any relevant changes to your enrolment details. It is crucial we have up to date information.
Settling In and Arrival
Please feel free to visit as often as you like before your child starts in order to help with the transition. We would expect a minimum of two visits before your child starts at Pebbles. On arrival, please sign your child in and encourage your child to put their named lunch box, morning and/or afternoon tea box and a named drink bottle on the lunch box shelf. Please encourage your child to select a cubby hole for their coat and bag. All of your child’s belongings will be stored in the cubby hole. If your child feels the need to bring in a toy from home, please put this in your child’s cubby hole.
Our early childhood curriculum, Te whaariki, supports children’s developing social competence and understanding of appropriate behaviour and all behaviour modification strategies will reflect this. We believe it is very important to promote self esteem and that there are three main areas of self esteem: Existence-they are affirmed as significant individuals, Accomplishment-they take pride in their efforts and achievement, Failure-they learn that failing and losing is not the end of the world and can be a valuable learning opportunity to grow and attempt things differently next time.
It is important that we fully understand the needs of your child when they start at the centre. All special needs should be identified on the enrolment form and discussed with the Head Teacher at the time of enrolment. This information will be passed on to all staff and will be recorded as appropriate. If you are at all concerned about your child please make an appointment to discuss your concerns with your child’s key teacher or Head Teacher. If we are at all concerned about your child, the Head Teacher or key teacher will make a time to meet with you.
Please ensure your child has plenty of healthy choices in their lunchbox. We are a nut free centre and would like to encourage healthy eating. Please inform a teacher if your child has an egg or egg sandwiches for lunch. All food for the fridge should be named and placed in the white tray ontop of the lunch shelf. We are happy to re-heat food, please ensure the food is in a named dish and placed on the white tray for the fridge. All rubbish and uneaten food will be returned in the lunchbox.
The core values and principles of Maria Montessori influence our programme at Pebbles. They emphasize that children are intrinsically motivated and they will succeed when their learning activities incorporate movement and opportunities for independence. Furthermore, children will become self-disciplined when they are empowered to choose learning activities designed for specific developmental and learning needs. Our classrooms are prepared learning environments and our teachers are committed to building positive, respectful and reciprocal relationships.
Our Early Childhood Curriculum, Te Whariki, aspires that children will “grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society.” Te Whariki is made up Principles, Strands and Goals. The core curriculum and the emergent curriculum are integrated to provide a successful learning journey for your child. Learning will happen throughout the day on an individual basis as well as a small group and whole group experience. Our daily programme has been created to incorporate the core and emergent curriculum and to ensure an exciting learning journey for your child. Please see our Planning Boards and feel free to add any comments to the plan and discuss any ideas with the teachers.
Parent Teacher Evenings
We believe in building on our positive relationships with family and whanau and aim to organise at least one parent evening a term. Two of these will be socials and two will be more formal. We also have a parent teacher evening twice a year where you will be invited to come along and talk to the teachers about your child. Together we will set some goals for your child and discuss the next steps.
We value children’s learning and we use Learning Journals to keep evidence of each child’s learning journey whilst attending Pebbles. All children will have their own learning journal, this will be stored at the centre and is available for you to look at and share with your child at any time. Please let a staff member know if you would like to take the learning journal home. We encourage you to add your comments and ideas to every learning story, we appreciate your input and value your say. Please write on the story, anywhere you like, or discuss your thoughts with the teachers. We would like to reflect a ‘multiple voice’ being any family member, any teacher or person working with your child and, of course, your child’s own thoughts and ideas on their learning journey. Staff will update the learning journals on a regular basis, with the aim of one learning story a month. It will be yours to keep and treasure when your child leaves the preschool.
Educa is an online source which Pebbles subscribes to in order for you to view your child’s learning stories, photo’s and any updates of the latest interests and happenings in each room. This is a great tool for teachers and family/whānau to use and is very user friendly. Family members from all around the world can now be updated with your child’s learning journey, once you have accepted the Educa invitation and confirmed the email address. You can even download the app on your mobile phone to check the latest updates. Please feel free to encourage your family members to add any comments, we love to hear from you!
The traditional villa has been carefully renovated to maximise the indoor/outdoor flow and to provide adequate space to implement the planned and emergent curriculum and the prepared environment. All core curriculum areas have been thoughtfully catered for and are available for the children at any time. The property has been renovated to 100% building code and is extremely safe for children, a strong perimeter fence surrounds the garden area and a security system has been installed. All access gates to the centre are totally secure and can only be opened by adults. We aim for a “home from home” experience for children and their families.
Please dress your child “ready for action!” They will be busy all day and do not want to be limited in any way by their clothing. Whilst art aprons will be worn for messy work, clothes will still get dirty. Please dress your child in named, suitable clothes that they can manage independently. Please always bring two changes of named clothes for your child every day. Please ensure your child has a named sunhat and a warm jacket every day. If your child loves carpentry, they will need to wear ‘closed in’ shoes whilst at the carpentry table.
Please ensure your child’s clothes and personal belongings are all named. Lost property will be placed in the lost property box located in the signing in area. At the end of every school term, all lost property will be donated to charity.
Staff and Supervision
All staff have been carefully selected for their dedication to excellence in Early Childhood Education and have been trained in Pebbles Montessori Preschool Policies and Procedures. There is always a Person Responsible on site who is fully trained and has a first aid certificate. We prefer the child/staff ratios on site to be 1:8 for the 3-5 year olds, 1:6 for the 2-3 year olds and 1:4 for the under twos. Off site our ratios are a minimum of 1:4
Please call the centre if your child is going to be absent. All absences will be charged at the full rate. We are not open on public holidays and there will be no charge. All families can take a two week holiday at a 50% reduction on fees each year. The centre will be closed for up to two weeks over Christmas.
20 ECE Hours
All three and four year olds are entitled to 20 hours early childhood education (ECE) per week. We ask for an optional charge of $1.50ph to help with baking, excursions and Educa. The Ministry of Education have a three week rule: if a child is absent for three continuous weeks the 20 ECE subsidy will stop. This includes holidays and sickness. If this happens then the centre will charge the family at the full rate.
Collecting your child
If a person arrives to collect your child whose name is not on your enrolment form, then we are obliged (for your child’s safety) to keep your child in our care until you have been located for consent. To save embarrassment for all concerned, we would appreciate prior notification from you on this matter.
Signing your child in and out
Each day when you arrive and when you collect your child, it is essential that you sign your child in and out of the daily roll book with your signature and the time. We need to know that your child has arrived and has gone home safely. Please remember to keep to your booked times to ensure we are operating within Ministry of Education guidelines regarding staff ratios.
Parent Noticeboard and Parent Library
Please see the Parent Information Noticeboard in the signing in area for all relevant and recent information regarding Pebbles and Early Childhood Education. Amongst other relevant information on the noticeboard you will find a copy of The Regulations 2008. In the Parent Library you will find The Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, The Early Childhood Curriculum Te Whariki, Pebbles Montessori Policies and Procedures, ERO reports and details of the expenditure of any Ministry of Education funding received by the centre. Please ask a staff member if you would like to take this information off site.
We will celebrate every birthday and the 5th birthday we will invite parents and whanau to join the celebration and bring in a healthy treat to share. The birthday child will be made to feel very important on their special day and will have a birthday entry in their Learning Journal.
We love using recycled materials and welcome almost anything, with the exception of toilet rolls, polystyrene trays, soap powder boxes and medicine containers. Please put all your treasures in our recycled area. Thank you.
Please remember that we are in a residential area and we would request that you respect our neighbours and their driveways. Please park in the car park provided and use our cycle stands as appropriate.
Our staff are trained to deal with all emergencies. In the case of a serious accident involving your child the staff will contact you and take your child to the nearest medical facility. In a civil emergency the staff will remain at the centre until all children are collected or will go to the Civil Defence Assemble Point and will inform all parents of their whereabouts via the whiteboard and a sign on the front gate.
The children will experience trips in our community on a regular basis. The ratios when out on a trip will be 1:4. There will always be two teachers on every trip. Other excursions and any trips involving transport will require a permission slip. We hope to organise a monthly trip and parents will be encouraged to come along and help. Please see the Head Teacher if you are able to help, the trip will be displayed on the whiteboard and the newsletter.
The programme has a detailed child protection policy, which includes the reporting of any suspected child abuse to the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services. Photographs and videos can be taken of the children for Pebbles use only. Parents will be asked to sign the enrolment form to allow their child’s photos to appear on our website and in the newsletter. Our facebook entries will have no facial recognition photos of any child.
The programme has a complaints procedure displayed on the noticeboard in the entrance. If you have any concerns or problems please approach the Head Teacher or the Centre Manager and they will be happy to assist you with your concerns. Alternatively, address your concerns or complaint in writing to PO Box 28069, Beckenham or email Belinda@sumner.net.nz
It is recommended that all children be immunised. When a child is enrolled at the centre, the Operations Manager will ask for evidence of immunisation. A register is kept on all children so please inform us of updates to your child’s immunisation records. If you chose not to immunise your child, the medical officer may request that your child be excluded from attending the centre if there are any reportings of people infected with vaccine preventable diseases in the local community. During this time normal fees will be expected.
If your child is feeling unwell please keep them at home. If a child becomes ill during programme hours, parents will be called and asked to collect them.
Health and Medical Conditions
Health and medical conditions of your child must be provided on the enrolment form. Medication will only be administered to a child with prior written consent of the parent/caregiver. All children who need medical treatment on a regular basis, including asthmatics, will be on a medication plan which needs to be renewed every three months.
Review and Evaluation
All Policies and Procedures have a review date and will be reviewed on a bi-annual basis according to the Policy Review Schedule. Parents, whanau and all staff at the centre will be invited to contribute to the review process. We will display the policy to be reviewed on a clipboard by the signing in area and will invite comments. We want to provide the best possible care for your child and will be constantly evaluating ourselves in order to achieve this. Please do not hesitate to let us know if there is anything at all you are concerned about or think we should know. You can discuss with the staff, email or call us at any time.