Early Childhood on Stafford – Frequently Asked Questions
The team at Early Childhood on Stafford welcome any questions about early childhood centre policies and practices, as well as any other questions or concerns that parents/whānau may have. From childcare subsidy information to our sick child policy, we have listed some of our most frequently asked questions below.
Do you have minimum hours that my child must be booked in for and what are they?
Yes we do. This is to ensure that your child settles into the centre much more easily. Our minimum attendance hours are designed to make sure the children attend more in a week than they are away. This constancy will help make settling into their ECE stage of life much more successful.
Consistent and regular times allow your child to attach to staff and their peers, making their transition into our centre much more child friendly. For some children this is their first time away from their parents/whānau, which can be really hard for them (and of course you).
Do you have primary caregivers?
Early Childhood on Stafford (ECOS) does not have primary caregivers as we believe that children themselves will attach to the adult of their choice. We call our centre a “whānau centre” where the children will develop relationships with constant, present adults and they will seek out whom they feel more secure with. Our staff work with both under twos and over two year olds outside, and we have separate rooms for the indoors where space is provided for the very young to work alongside staff in a safe and less busy environment.
How do I enrol or plan a visit ?
You can enrol or enquire by clicking on this link (link to enquiry form) or from our Contact Page, and we will be in contact with you shortly after your email has been received.
Please make a time to visit with the centre as we will then be able to ensure that Sue or one of the other staff are available for as long as you need to allow time to ask questions and to get to know a wee bit about us. TO commit to a centre is a big step and we want to ensure that you have had all the time needed to make this decision. If a visit is not booked then we cannot guarantee that we will have staff readily available to talk and answer any questions you may have.
If my child is sick how long do they have to stay away?
Early Childhood Education centres are a hotbed for passing on infections like colds or ‘flu’, so we rely on all parents/whānau to make good decisions regarding child health. We are very busy environments and are not a place for children who will struggle to cope when they are feeling unwell. The rules are simple and considered and are uniform in most place. Your child is to be kept away from the early childhood environment until:
– 48 hours since the last bout of vomiting or diarrhoea has past.
– 24 hours after they have been administered their first round of antibiotics. This allows the antibiotics to begin to work and to allow your child to be able to cope with a busy day at ECOS.
If children return too early they will not only pass on their illness to other children but will often fall victim again to the bugs.
If they have a temperature or are not themselves e.g lethargic , unhappy, over tired, upset – we will ring parents/whānau and ask that they be collected as soon as possible.
What do I need to supply for my child to attend?
This will be discussed with you on enrolment, but below is an outline of what this will usually consist of:
Coats, waterproof footwear such as gumboots, spare clothes in a bag in case the original clothes get soiled/ wet/dirty. In summer we supply sun hats, but you are most welcome to supply your own child’s sunhat
Sleeping toy, baby formula/breast milk if unable to be present to feed, nappies, cream for nappy rash etc.
Sleep toy if sleeping at centre and nappy cream if needed.
What if my child has a special diet or allergies?
This will be discussed at enrolment and we will work with you to ensure your child’s dietary needs are met. We also do not charge for special foods (within reason) as this is part of our centres commitment to feed all children once they are eating solid food. We do not however pay for formula or disposable nappies due to the wide variety that whānau use.
How can I be involved in the centre when my child starts?
You are welcome to stay whenever you want if you want – most our whānau are either working or studying so there are not many times that they can do this. If your child is unsettled during their start of their ECOS experience it may be a good idea to stay at the pick-up time if you can (but make sure you have signed them out on the tablet first to avoid any extra charges). This will allow your child to interact in a more settled manner without the fear of you leaving them. There are also social events like the disco, the Matariki shared meal, centre breakfasts, and Christmas picnic. We also ask for whānau feedback on policies and other operational matters.
You are also welcome to help on Centre large group or small excursions. Please let us know if you are available for this.
Do I have to pay when my child is not attending a previous booked time due to holidays, illness, or a day off?
Yes, unfortunately all booked time must be paid for – we staff according to those ratio demands and it costs us to do so. If you are going away on holiday we suggest that you reduce your child’s booking to the minimum hours, which are displayed on our homepage here. There is no charge for children if the centre is not open i.e. Public Holidays, or emergency weather events – but if we are open and you choose not to use the booked time you will still be charged for it.
To calculate the value of 20 hours free do I just subtract 20x the hourly rate?
No. There is a surcharge for enrolling a three-plus-year-old due to the extra administration required and this will apply until your child/ren leave. The true cost of 20 hours ECE is that the funding given by government does not equate with what we would have been receiving before this was introduced so we reached an agreed community decision in which we would charge a subsidy to help offset such costs. This is outlined in more detail in the following downloadable PDF.
If I am unhappy with something to do with ECOS or my child’s early childhood education experience, what should I do?
We want you to be happy and comfortable at ECOS, and because we are in a people industry we realise that sometimes things happen that work against positive feelings. We believe most problems arise out of miscommunication and that these can be easily solved. Please ring us (Sue or Russell) or send an email to let us know your concerns and we will work with you to solve the issue. We are committed to working hard to maintain a strong and positive relationship and open channels of communication.
We also have a formal complaints process, which can be downloaded in PDF format below or we can send by email on request or supply a printed copy directly from our office.