What are the benefits of sending my child to Preschool?

The following information is taken from the Your Total Health website.

Many parents stress over the decision to send their child to day-care. However, the truth of the matter is that most children actually benefit from day-care and it helps to share these benefits with the parents. It is a lot easier for parents to send their children to day-care when they feel they are doing so to help their child rather than doing so simply so they can go to work. While there are many benefits of sending your child to day-care a few of them will be discussed below to help give you a better understanding.

If you stay home with your child he will learn to interact one on one with you, but he might be lost in a group. However, kids who attend day-care learn quickly how to assert themselves in a crowd, how to make friends, and how to socialize. Of course, some squabbles arise, but oftentimes the kids learn how to resolve the conflicts on their own. This takes some time but the longer your child is in day-care the better he will be at socializing and standing up for himself.

If your child has been at home with your day in and day out for five years and then all of a sudden has to go to kindergarten for an entire day you will probably be met with some resistance. However, if you begin sending your child to day-care then he will soon become accustomed to spending most of the day away from you and will really enjoy having his own friends. He will love coming home and sharing his day with you and telling you all about his new friends and activities. For this to be effective you can simply send your child to day-care two or three times per week. This is a nice break for the stay at home parent who could probably use some downtime and is a great way to prepare the child for kindergarten.

Also, daycares frequently teach preschool-aged children the numbers, the alphabet, and other things. If you have found resistance trying to teach your child on your own you may see that he responds well and learns at day-care. This is because there are lots of other kids learning as well and fitting in is important not to mention competing!

If you are interested in knowing more please talk to the team leader or come and see me in person.

A feature of our programme is ICT education and educational trips and outings, parent evenings and concerts. Immanuel preschool is actively involved in the ICT research project with the Ministry of Education. While fulfilling the requirements of the research the staff has been engaged in lots of professional development courses provided during this project which would enrich the centres’ environment and your child’s learning. Children’s learning is captured to be kept as a memory by taking photos, videos etc which are made available for the parents and the families.

Experienced and qualified teachers who would be working with your child enjoy observing your children, assessing their learning to know more about the child’s interest, needs and aspirations. Their learning experiences are carefully documented in the learning journey’s which are then available to the children and parents/whanau to revisit the learning of the children and when the child leaves to primary school the child gets to take their learning journey which might be then used to document their learning in the primary school and beyond.

Immanuel preschool aims at laying a strong foundation for the children by providing them with a wide range of formal and informal literacy and numeracy activities to go on par with the happy and fun childcare service. The schools our children attend after Immanuel are delighted with our children’s skills especially how well they ease into the primary school environment.

Reading and writing is a complex process where children need to develop a wide range of skills. Our programme is planned to encourage emergent reading and writing by providing them with a wide range of opportunities and resources and also one on one time. In order to prepare for school, we give lots of encouragement and it is very important for the parents to follow this up with reading and writing opportunities at home. It is also very important to talk to children and provide rich language experiences, the more you talk to your child the better their language will be developed.

Immanuel Preschool is a very multicultural centre where children from different cultures attend; learn songs in different languages etc. Many families in our centre have different cultural practices. We try to respect the values and customs of everyone. If you are aware of any inappropriate practices or have any suggestions please let us know.

We follow and use early childhood curriculum Te Whaariki. In conjunction with Te Whaariki, we also follow the seven essential areas from the primary school curriculum like Literacy, numeracy, music, social studies, science and technology, health and physical hygiene and arts. These are developed when children explore and discover using a variety of materials including Blocks, puzzles, Sand, Water, Exploring the nature, singing and dancing, listening to music or stories, drawing, painting, collage, play dough, clay, cooking, carpentry, computers, diverse outdoor environment, trips, school visits, library visits etc.

Early childhood training organisations approach us regularly for their students to gain experience at our centre. The students may make general observations of the centre and children. The students are not left alone with the children and they are supervised all the time.

We have a number of resource books and videos on a range of topic available for the parents to borrow. If you are interested in one of them please see the team leader.

Immanuel Preschool has a great educational, fun and learning technology tool called interactive board with Active primary programme which has a library to make the resources to extend the children’s fine motor skills, literacy skills, Numeracy skills, reading skills, social skills etc. Through an electronic pen, children can have access to a wide range of educational programmes which would help the child to develop readiness for school as well.

To cherish the memories of the children’s learning we do take lots of photos and videos throughout the year which are then used to document their learning journey, display boards, photo stories, movies etc. Your enrolment provides permission unless you state otherwise.

Immanuel preschool has a strong training and learning focus so that children become flexible and adapt to new environment easily as they develop strong relationships with all staff and all aspects of the Immanuel preschool environment. There are developmental milestones reached by each child before they move from Thriving Kiwis area into Flying Kiwis area. These are explained to the parents so as to ensure transitions are accomplished smoothly.

Parents are welcome to stay at the centre at any time. Children are different and they have different settling process so feel free to phone and check on your child at any time.

We take all care but accept no responsibility for the toys brought from home into the centre. We prefer children do not bring toys except on Fridays when children are given an opportunity to show and tell. Sometimes small items such as puzzle pieces, vehicles or dress ups and occasionally another child’s belongings find their way home, please return these as soon as possible as incomplete puzzles or missing items can be very frustrating for the children.

When dropping off and picking the children please make sure that the staff member is aware of their arrival. You must record your child’s attendance daily by signing in on arrival and out at departure. This is required for safety and legal reasons. Please check your child’s wall pocket and notice board. Check for any finished masterpieces in the basket or on the wall which is displayed as your child’s work is very much valued in the centre. Please do not be disappointed if your child does not always have a picture to take home not all experiences can be captured on paper. The experience of doing and anticipating is most times more important than the end results. Please take time and feel free to look at the display boards and talk to the staff about your child’s day.

Regular newsletters keep you informed about the programme of the centre. Please check for these in your child’s pockets.

Children at Immanuel Preschool children are privileged to have the advantage of frequent health visits which include plunket visits, dental checks, hearing and vision checks and B4 school checks. A consent form will be sent home for the parents to give permission for the child to undergo these checks.

We recognise Maori as the indigenous people of New Zealand and welcome the opportunity to use language and culture within our programme.

Immanuel preschool strongly believes in parent’s involvement in toilet training the child. When either of us feels the child is ready to toilet train, this will be discussed with the staff and parents/Whanau so that the toilet training can happen at home and centre simultaneously and the practices are consistent and are well informed to the child as well.

A daily report which consists of the information about the child’s sleep time, nappy change time, feeding times and also additional information about the child’s learning throughout the day will be given to the parent/Whanau during the pickup time.

Immanuel preschool respects the sleeping pattern of your child and we have provided for the children who require sleep during their stay at the preschool. Named bedding is provided for your child and care is taken that bedding is positioned in an appropriate way. The centre linen and beds are stored separately and washed weekly or after each casual child’s use as required by the Ministry of Health regulations. We aim to try to keep to your child’s individual sleep programme. Children are always monitored while sleeping either by a staff member being present in the room or by regular checks. Quieter activities and games are provided in the afternoons for the children who do not sleep.

If your child has a contagious illness you are legally required to keep them at home to prevent the spread of the illness. Children with head lice are not to attend the centre until appropriate treatment has been used (Doctors certificate may be required if staff are unsure if your child has an illness which may be contagious). If your child becomes ill while attending the centre we will contact you as soon as possible. In an emergency, we will take your child to an accident/emergency clinic. Full fees are charged if your child is away sick as overheads like staff salaries still have to be met. If you wish to discuss paying higher weekly fees to offset sick days please see the team leader.

We legally required to keep an immunisation register. Your child’s certificate of immunisation needs to be sighted by the first day of care. If you have chosen not to immunise we will discuss requirements with you. Immanuel Preschools policy requires us to inform you if your child is due for any immunisation.

No medication will be given without written permission from a parent or caregiver. Hand all the medication to a staff member on arrival and then complete a personal medication sheet and record your child’s name on the whiteboard. Arnica is rubbed on children bumps and bruises. If you do not wish us to use this on your child please speak to the team leader.

Food provided to the children should meet the Heart foundation requirements of “5+ vegetable and fruits a day’. Please pack your child’s lunch boxes with healthy food comprising of lots of vegetables and fruits. Please let us know any food allergies your child is suffering from so that the centre can take appropriate precautions. All perishable foods must be placed in the refrigerator. Sweets and foods which are not suitable will be removed from lunches and returned at the end of the day. Water is made available for the children all throughout the day. Some great ideas for lunch boxes are available at the preschool, see one of our friendly staff if you need a copy.

Children are encouraged to wear suitable clothing. As we have messy play incorporated in our programme (although we do encourage children to wear aprons) several changes need to be provided as we prefer not to leave children in wet/dirty clothes. A plastic bag for dirty clothes is much appreciated. All clothing must be named. The centre takes no responsibility for lost/damaged clothing or belongings, although we take all reasonable care. Check the lost property for any missing items.

Following the children’s interests and extending their learning is one of the features of Immanuel Preschool. children are provided with opportunities of going on a variety of field trips which are planned taking the interest of the children into consideration. The parents must specifically authorise their child to go on the trip and specific consent forms are given for the parents to give permission for the child to go on such trips. A minimum of $10-$15 is charged to cover the entry fee and the transportation fee.

At Immanuel preschool, children will be taken for short nature walks to nearby parks, libraries and other community centres. We also encourage the wider community to visit us at the centre and share their special skills with us. At enrolment time you sign a general authority for your child to attend these walks and trips.

Childs birthday is a special event in a few cultures and Immanuel preschool encourages this in our programme. If you wish to celebrate your child’s birthday you are more than welcome to do so by talking with the team leader or with one of the senior staff member. Birthday celebrations will be organised at morning tea time or afternoon tea time depending upon the parent’s convenience. Parents/whanau and the child’s friends are welcome to attend the celebration. Immanuel Preschool focuses on healthy eating habits and so a cake and fruits would be brought in to the centre to share with the children. If a parent cannot afford to do so the centre would encourage the children to make a cake to celebrate their friends birthday.

Immanuel Preschool believes that the environment is the third teacher for the child. So we strive hard to maintain the quality of the environment by continuously upgrading the resources and equipment of the centre. We complete a self-review checklist once a term to ensure that this best practice is followed up.