Hours of Operation
We are open for your convenience from 7:30am-5:30pm, Monday to Friday.
We ask for your co-operation in dropping off and collecting your children within our hours of operation. We are unable to accept children into the building prior to our licensed opening time of 7:30am and if you are going to be delayed in collecting your child, please call us. A late fee is charged for the 2nd and any subsequent times your child is collected after our closing time. Please refer to our Fees and Late Pickup policy for further detail.
We are closed on all public holidays and for approximately two weeks over the Christmas/New Year period. Our closure dates vary annually depending on where Christmas falls, so please check with reception, or on our parent noticeboards should you require the exact dates. The centre will close at 1.30pm on the Friday prior to Christmas day (or the day before) for two weeks. Full fees are applicable on this day, however, no fees are charged for the 2 weeks we are closed.
The process of enrolment begins with a tour through the centre and the opportunity to ask questions. After your tour, you will receive an information pack which includes our current fee schedule and an enrolment form.
Should you wish to enrol your child, you will need to submit your completed enrolment form. Your child is then added to the appropriate waiting list. No fee is charged to be on our waiting list and you may withdraw your application at any time.
Your child’s place on the waiting list is determined by application date, so we recommend you complete and submit your enrolment form as soon as possible.
Make sure to indicate on your enrolment form whether you are able to be flexible on which days or the number of days enrolled as often there is an opportunity to accept children earlier if there is some flexibility. If you wish to change your enrolled days once your child has started, you are placed on a waiting list for the opportunity to do this. We can accept children on casual days in addition to their usual days. Please note that this is not always possible if the centre is experiencing high levels of occupancy on the day requested.
Please be aware that inclusion on our waiting list does not guarantee a place in the centre. You will be contacted should a place matching your enrolment request become available.
We provide care and education for your child from approximately 3 months through to 5 years of age. We are happy to consider extended enrolment options through to 6 years of age should we be able to accommodate this at the time requested, and/or if special circumstances apply.
A minimum of two days per week enrolment is required and you have the flexibility of attending between 6 and 10 hours per day between our opening hours.
Confirmation of Enrolment
Your child’s enrolment is not confirmed until the following have been completed:
- Enrolment form
- Direct debit form
- Payment of administration fee & first weeks fees
- Proof of Immunisation status
- Proof of identity
- Key policies signed off
Upon accepting a place to enrol with us, you will need to pay a deposit which includes the administration fee and the first week’s fees that are applicable. Your deposit and completion of a Direct Debit form secure your enrolment. The deposit is non-refundable should you be unable to start your child in the centre. Fees are then paid by Direct Debit on a fortnightly cycle. A copy of our fee policy is included in your enrolment pack.
Holidays and Absences
We understand that your child may occasionally be absent for reasons such as a family holiday or illness. Please be aware that your child’s usual fees will apply in such circumstances as fees are based on enrolment and not attendance. We do not provide a holiday rate/reduced fees while you are away. You will need to notify reception of any prolonged absences as additional fees will apply if your child is claiming the 20 hours ECE subsidy.
Our centre offers the 20 hours ECE subsidy which is provided by the Ministry of Education to all 3, 4 & 5 year old children (providing they have not started at Primary School). This is not based on household income, however, to be eligible you must complete a 20 Hours ECE Attestation form. This confirms with us that you are not attending another early childhood centre at the same time as you have applied for funding at our centre.
Working for Families
Work and Income provide a childcare subsidy to help cover the cost of fees for eligible families. You can make direct contact with WINZ or ask for a copy of their application form at our reception.
Notice to Withdraw
We require two weeks notice should you wish to withdraw your child from the centre. We will then finalise your last debit and remove you from our schedule.
Our parent handbook is provided to families at the time of enrolment and is a useful guide regarding the operation of our service. Please take some time to become familiar with its contents or to ask our staff any questions you may have. Our policies are regularly reviewed throughout the year at which time you have the opportunity to add your comments.
A current copy of our policies can be viewed in reception, and important policies are provided on enrolment, and others displayed on notice boards for quick reference.
Education Review Office
The Education Review Office (ERO) visits all centres at regular intervals to observe, evaluate and report publicly on the education and care of students in schools and early childhood services. Early childhood services performing well are reviewed once every three-four years.
Reviews of centres are readily available to the public, and you can read a copy of our latest report in reception or alternatively they can be accessed on the ERO website.
Open communication is essential in building successful relationships and ensuring relevant information is received by those who need it. We have implemented a number of communication strategies to ensure you are kept well informed, which will help make you feel very much a part of your child’s time at Penguins:
- Centre Wide Newsletter online
- Facebook page
- Notice via Educa
- Individual room boards
- Individual portfolios
- Individual portfolios accessible via Educa
- Penguins Daily Journals for Infants
- Nappy change/toileting charts and sleep times in each room.
Be sure to make good use of these for staying up to date with centre activities and to pass on to us any information from home that we may need such as changes to contact details. We encourage you to talk with us freely and look forward to your contributions.