Settling and Well-being
We understand that infants are our most vulnerable citizens and that entrusting your precious infant to someone outside your family circle can be an emotional experience. You may have many questions you need answers to in order to feel reassured that your infant is settling and their well-being is our primary focus.
During the orientation process be sure to ask as many questions as you need to and remember it is perfectly natural to feel nervous, anxious or teary….we always have tissues on hand!
Our approach to infant care and education is founded on respect, trust and having secure relationships between ourselves, your child and you as their parent/whanau.
Our practice in this area is underpinned by the work of educationalists Magda Gerber/Emmi Pikler and their belief that as adults we should respect that each child has a developmental timeline imprinted at conception and that they will grow and develop as this timeline dictates and not through the unnecessary intervention of adults. Your child’s journal has information included to support you in understanding this approach.
Our teaching practices provide for unhurried, meaningful interactions, and teachers will be very aware of your child’s non-verbal cues. We do not rush your child to move through milestones such as sitting, standing, or walking, but wait until they have the strength and desire to achieve these themselves. Our teachers ensure they work in tune with your child’s individual rhythms and routines.
We operate with small group sizes, with 8 children in our Pukeko room and 11 in our Kereru room. Your child will have a primary caregiver who is responsible for the day to day care of them, including care routines such as meals and sleep-times.
Your child’s primary caregiver is also responsible for the completion of their daily journal and learning portfolio, and will also take the lead during your child’s orientation and settling in period.
You will notice in our infant environments that we do not have high chairs, jolly jumpers or excersaucers, to ensure your child’s movement is free and natural. It is essential for successful learning moving forward that your child develops a strong, supportive mid-section. With this in mind, our teachers will not place your child on their tummy unless this is a position they can get in to themselves, and we will not prop your child on pillows. Your child will be held by their primary caregiver during meal-times and bottle times until they are strong enough to sit and do so themselves.
In both our infant areas, we have combined sleep and play spaces to ensure your child can hear and see their primary caregiver. This means that in our Pukeko room there will be times within the day where children may be sleeping while others are eating or playing. You may question how your child will experience restful sleep while others play around them? While it may be difficult to understand as a parent, your child will soon adjust to the background noises of centre life. By the time your child transitions through to the Kereru room, they will generally be sleeping once per day at the same time as their peers.
As with all children in the centre, your child will be observed and planned for from an individual perspective and our teachers understand and recognise the important ways your infant will be learning. This will include references to schema (exploratory behaviour patterns) and exploration using their senses, such as messy play, touching different textures, and water play experiences.