Our in-house chef prepares all meals fresh and we have processes in place to cater for special dietary requirements and food allergies. We take your child’s individual food requirements such as allergies, very seriously and we have well developed rigorous procedures in place to ensure your child’s well-being is paramount. Penguins is a nut-free environment at all times, and we use egg replacer and dairy free products in most of our meals. During your enquiry and enrolment process, please ensure you discuss your child’s requirements with us.
To ensure enough energy to play and learn the whole day, we provide 5 meals a day at Penguins. Breakfast is served for children who arrive before 8am, and consists of toast and/or cereal and milo. Morning and Afternoon teas are rolling meal-times guided by children’s natural hunger cues. Children are able to come to the table when they are ready and the meal is available for up to an hour. Morning and Afternoon teas consist of finger foods (e.g: sandwiches, vegetable platters, crackers and cheese) along with a choice of fresh fruit.
Lunch is time for children to come together in their rooms and enjoy eating alongside their friends and teachers. A hot-cooked meal is served, along with servings of mashed vegetables for our infants and toddlers (if required).
A late snack is provided for children picked up after 5.15pm (earlier for our infant rooms). This is usually a piece of fruit or a biscuit/cracker and is designed just to see children through the end of the day and not to fill up their tummies prior to their evening meal at home.
Our menu is planned over a four-weekly rotation which you can view in on our Health and Nutrition board. We review our menu annually to ensure we continue to provide the necessary variety of foods to assist with growing healthy bodies.
Ratios and Class Groups
Our adult/child ratio is regulated by the Minitry of Education, and we choose to provide more teachers in addition to our basic requirements. We have three ratio bands in place to ensure all children receive the right level of support and guidance at the right stage of their development.
Grouping of teachers and children is as follows:
Infant area (birth – 2 years) 7 teachers to 20 infants
Toddler area (2-2.8 years) 5 teachers to 25 toddlers
Younger Pre-School (2.8- 4 year olds) 4 teachers to 25 children
Older Pre-School (4.4 – 5 year olds) 4 teachers to 27 children
Each room is supervised and mentored by a Team Leader to provide additional support to the teachers. Our ratios also ensure that teachers can complete their administration time and rotate through lunch breaks while maintaining ratios.
Qualified and Registered Teachers
Our centre has high expectations of our team to ensure you and your child experience high quality care and education. We only employ teachers who demonstrate passion, enthusiasm and dedication to their work each and every day.
Our diverse teaching team supports the different backgrounds of children and families who attend our service. This includes a blend of youth and experience, teachers who are also parents, and those who join us from different corners of the world.
We have a high percentage of qualified and registered staff, and also employ additional staff who are currently in training, and those who have no formal qualification but are experienced. We ensure our teachers have access to, and participate in, regular professional development to further their knowledge, and our registered teachers must meet clear expectations as set out by EDUCANZ (Education Council of NZ).
To help keep you informed and part of your child’s learning journey we provide all children in the centre with a learning portfolio. This record becomes a treasured memento of all the wonderful adventures and experiences your child was involved in over their time with us.
A hard copy of this portfolio is always available for your child and your family to access in centre, or to take home and share. In addition we offer the opportunity for you to give consent for your child to have an online portfolio created for them via EDUCA (online portfolio provider). You will be given a consent form on enrolment and can elect to take advantage of this option if you wish. You will be given a consent form on enrolment and can elect to take advantage of this option if you wish.
Excursions out of the Centre are arranged from time to time as part of enhancing your child’s experiences. To make these excursions possible, we do ask for help from our Parents/Whanau, and we encourage you to attend where possible. This gives you the opportunity to become better acquainted with your child’s teachers or learn something new and exciting about what is happening for your child. More details are in our parent handbook.
- Lunch box days
- Family events
- Sunhat on enrolment
- Hearing & Vision Checks for 4 year olds
- Sunblock provided
- Nappy wipes provided
- Individualised learning plans
- Daily Journal (under 2’s)
- Drawstring bag (over 2’s)