Information for starting Preschool

Information for starting Preschool

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We have several forms of communication with whānau, but our two main ways are via our closed group Facebook page (search Little Rock Preschool, Brighton and click “ask to join”), and the parent notice board outside the main door (please make sure you read it EVERYDAY!) We have a monthly newsletter which we send out via facebook, hardcopy, or if you prefer, by email. Please let your profile teacher know which is your best option, as well as which forms of communication are best for you.

Many parents chat to their child’s profile teacher via messenger, text or email, and teachers can share photos etc this way too. However, we are always available for kōrero kanohi ki te kanohi/face to face conversations at any time.
We also share information/ideas/learning via our large display boards inside the preschool.
Please make sure you have a look regularly for any updates. Kia ora.

Just inside the kitchen door is a pocket where notices/invoices/confirmation of hours forms will be. Please check this regularly too. Communication around your child’s learning journey is done via their profile teacher. This teacher will be available for any concerns or queries you may have, and will be the one to make sure your child’s learning is documented. This record is kept in their profile book, which is stored in the playroom. The children love to revisit them over and over again, and are a wonderful taonga to take with them into the future.
Communication around under 2’s routines is done between the child’s profile teacher and whānau by using the “Baby rocks” book – this includes when the child ate, and slept etc and is filled in during their day at Preschool so families are up to date with their needs. This goes home with whānau and then returned to preschool each day. If you are going to be late or absent, it is really appreciated to let us know via phonecall, or text. Kia ora.


Sign-In/Out: When you arrive at preschool you must make sure that your child is signed in, which is necessary both for billing, and in case of an emergency so we know who is present. Likewise, you must also sign them out on pickup. The clock in the kitchen is available to note what time you are signing in/out, and then initial beside it.
Children’s Jobs: On arrival, we encourage each child to do two jobs:
1. Put their lunchbox in the boxes on the trolley
2. Find the hook with their name on it and hang up their bag.

It is really important that children begin to identify their own stuff (and where it is located), including recognising their own name. In previous discussions with new entrants’ teachers they hope that children can recognise their own name on entry into school. If you give your child the opportunity to find their name early then they are in very good stead before they get there. For younger children, you could start by asking which one of two is theirs, or a couple that start with the same letter. You’ll be surprised by how quickly they will learn! Thank you for your help with this.


Backpack: Each child needs to bring a named backpack, big enough to hold a few changes of clothing (including socks, singlets, t-shirts, trousers, underwear etc). Whether your child is in early stages of toileting or not, messy/water play is always available and your child will often need a change throughout the day. When they are learning to go to the toilet several pairs of undies are essential! Although we do have a supply of spare clothes, this can run out fairly quickly – particularly in the summer months! Please make sure that every piece of your child’s clothing is NAMED! Make sure you also include a hat and jacket for your child, as well as any sleep aids your child might have (if necessary).
Nappies/Wipes/Bottles: Please bring whatever nappies/wipes/bottles needed for each day. Families often bring them in in bulk, which can be stored at preschool. We will let you know when they need replacing.
Lunchboxes: You will need to provide enough food for each meal that your child is here for (eg morning tea and lunch for standard sessions, and also include afternoon tea for extended sessions). If possible, please make sure your child’s lunchbox has a separate lid, as our tables are quite small and if the lid can be stored underneath the lunchbox while they eat it really helps! We have earned a Healthy Heart Award so all lunchboxes should contain healthy food, and we encourage healthy choices before a child eats other food. We purchase some extra food per week (a loaf of bread, and some fruit etc), which we use for baking experiences, but also if you are needing some extra help with food (as we all have Mother Hubbard days). We provide water, so no drink bottles are necessary, and we also provide any cutlery that’s needed.
Food that needs refrigerated/heated: Any food (such as meat or dairy products) needs to be stored in the fridge in the kitchen. We have a container at the bottom of the fridge that your child’s food can be placed into, and this is collected up for lunch. Please write their name on each item placed into the fridge with the vivid located on the sign-in sheet shelf. Heat-up items (such as noodles) can be left on the kitchen bench in the ‘heat-ups’ basket.


We have an open door policy to come in and spend time with your child throughout the day.
We look forward to having parents take part in their child’s preschool life, and there are a few ways to be involved:
Volunteers: Volunteering at Preschool is a great way to offer your time and lend a hand, but also gives you some half price childcare. What you can do can vary – you may have a hobby/interest/knowledge (such as kapahaka or te reo Māori) that you could share with the children, read some books to them, or help out with some jobs (such as fixing books, or cleaning chairs). Each hour of volunteering= 3 hours at half price. Talk to a teacher if you are interested.
Excursions: We love to take the children on a variety of excursions, but we always need parent help to do this as our excursion ratio is often much higher than our usual teaching ratios.
Policies & Procedures: Each month we review some of our policies, and we really value your input. These will be put up on the wall by the sign-in sheets, but also via Facebook. Once you have read through them, please mark any changes/thoughts on the sheet, and sign it. Our Policies & Procedures are located in the Manager’s Office, and are available at any time. They can also be accessed via our website.
Events/Celebrations: We have a few whānau events throughout the year, such as our end of year celebrations or Matariki. All whānau are welcome to attend.
Profile books: We love it when whānau add photos, stories or share insights to their child’s book as it really helps us to gain a bigger picture of who your child is, and how their learning fits together, both at home and here at Preschool. You are welcome to take Profiles home at any time (just let a teacher know you have it and return it as soon as possible). We will seek your family aspirations for your child’s learning every few months (through the “I am” sheet initially, two months later with the whānau aspiration sheet, then every six months with the whānau aspiration update sheet), and we will work with you to plan together for the next steps in their learning journey at LRPS. You are welcome to talk to your child’s profile teacher at any time about their learning.


We have a 48 hour policy in place for any unexplained vomiting or diarrhoea. Please see our Accident and Illness policy for more details. We also have a chart of common
childhood diseases, and their symptoms and exclusions, up in the hallway for your reference.


Please make sure that you don’t allow your children to climb on the gates at Preschool. The hinges can get lowered and it means that latch doesn’t lock when it closes – and therefore allows the opportunity for children to possibly escape the grounds. Kia ora. Please make sure that you check any door you go through that it has closed securely. In the busyness of start and end of standard day sessions there can be a lot of congestion in the hallways etc, so please be extra careful that you check that no other child has gone out with you. Never assume a child should be there! Kia ora.


Inside the front door are two kete/baskets with temporary change forms, or permanent change forms. Please make sure any changes you are wanting to make are in by 3pm on a Thursday, for the two weeks in advance of changes. Any changes received after this time, may be declined. Two weeks’ notice for absences will only require a 50% holding fee (and you are able to have four weeks a year at half price). Please place the completed forms into the kete in parent library (on sign-in shelf), which will then get processed.


Our children love to be close to their whānau while they are at Preschool, and we have found that by having a photo of their family on the wall it helps a lot with settling, as well as providing for rich conversations with tamariki. If you have one at home, please flick it to your profile teacher, or we can take one of you here at Preschool. Sometimes it is difficult to get all the family together so even some of them in a photo is special.


We have several baskets to store clothing throughout the day. Inside the playroom door are two baskets for coats and one for shoes/socks. At the French doors are baskets for hats, and for our spare gumboots. Any lost property is stored in a basket at the front door. Please remember to check this basket regularly – it is amazing what we find in there! Any unclaimed items are taken to the Salvation Army (approximately termly).


If your child is well enough to be at Preschool, but has some sort of health issue – such as a later round of antibiotics – then any medication needed must be written on our medication chart (underneath the daily sign-in sheets). We will seek verbal permission (which can be signed for later) but if the chart is not signed then we cannot give your child any medication, so please make sure you do this. Medication must be in a well named bottle (and any pharmacy bought medicine, such as ibrufen must have your child’s name clearly marked on it). Please do not provide medication in a syringe as we must be able to see what we are giving the child. Kia ora. For any ongoing health issues, a health plan will be made up.


We really encourage toys that belong to your child to be left at home, due to the high chance of breakage or chance of misplacement. If they do bring one in, children are encouraged to share their toy, otherwise it will be stored in their bag (or kitchen, if necessary). As our Preschool philosophy encourages peace we do, however, not allow weapon play at Preschool – please keep any toys of this nature at home. Thanks.


Our Preschool is now a “Cashew” Free zone, due to allergies. Please respect this, and also check any museli bars that you might provide your child – there are several that contain cashews, and these must be excluded too. Thanks heaps.


Children’s art will be dried overnight and then stored in their file on the floor just inside the main door. Please remember to check these regularly, as they can build up quite fast!


Children who are 4 years old are offered the opportunity to take part in the fortnightly beach programme, which runs from 9:15-11:15 on alternating Wednesdays.


A child’s birthday is acknowledged at Preschool on their actual birthday, or as close to it as possible. 1-4 year olds get their own cupcake and we sing “Happy Birthday/Rā whānau”, at Morning Tea time or Lunch time. When a child turns 5 we celebrate with their own theme day (something that they have chosen (such as Princess day, pancake day, or excavator day etc), and we also share a farewell mat time with them. Whānau are welcome to join us for this mat time, and although it is usually at one of our routine mat times, we can work with families to make sure it is at a time that suits you. The child gets to make their own crown to wear, and then we have a conversation with the child about their time at Preschool by looking through their profile book, and then singing “Happy Birthday/Rā whānau ki a koe” with a playdough cake. The child receives a certificate, and then gets to choose their own favourite song that we do at Preschool, before we sing “Happy School Days”. (When a 5 year old is staying on at Preschool we celebrate with a cupcake on their birthday, and then we have their farewell day when they leave.
Children leaving before their 5th birthday also get to celebrate their time with us with a theme day, and a shortened mat time).


Once a child is 4 and a half (and going to attend Big Rock School) a ‘Little Rockets’ programme is available on a Friday from 9-10am in the new entrants class as a way of making the transition from Preschool to School much easier. The new entrants’ teacher and principal come down to visit at times. We are developing our collaboration with the School (such as buddy reading, and Rm 1 visits).
Children are able to stay with us until their 6th birthday (and can continue to receive the Government’s 20 free hours). Once they have turned 5, many children stay on a few extra weeks anyway, in order to start at the beginning of the new term. We will work with you and what is best for your family