The WHETU (Star) Room is the name given to our Toddler and Young Children’s area and is for children 2-5 years old.

Staffing

All our teachers are qualified – This means they either have (or are in training towards) a Degree or Diploma in Early Childhood Education.  They are all trained in CPR and First Aid and subject to a police check.  We also have a commitment to ongoing professional development for all the staff.  The Whetu room is always staffed by four qualified teachers and a teacher aide.

Ratios

Our ratio for our 2 year olds is 1:6 and for our 3 and 4 year olds it is 1:8.  This exceeds minimum government regulations, allowing us to ensure quality is maintained.

Key Teachers

Upon enrolment, your child will be assigned a key teacher to settle them into the centre or help them transition from the ATAWHAI room.  Communication is vital to this process.  Teachers are always available at drop off and pick up times to exchange information with parents and are happy to arrange other times for discussions.  All teachers have relationships with all the children and families, but the Key Teacher can be the first point of contact for parents and the best person for the parent to talk to if there are any changes or concerns about their child and/or their routine.

Having this valuable relationship with a ‘Key Teacher provides continuity.  This helps the child to feel secure in their new environment, giving them confidence to form relationships with other children and staff.

Meal Times

Educare provides all meals for children, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea.  The cost of this is $0.50 for morning and afternoon tea and $3.00 for lunch.  We are committed to the provision of nutritional, varied and balanced meals with quality ingredients.  The kitchen is able to cater for children with special dietary allergies and needs.  All children eat together family style and are encouraged to try new foods and eat their main meal before a healthy pudding is offered.

Nappies and Sleeping

Parents are required to supply their own nappies.  We support the use of disposable or cloth nappies.  Each child has their own basket within the nappy room and parents can choose to keep this stocked or put a set of nappies into their child’s bag each day. Teachers will work with the parents on their child’s toileting and sleep routines.

Daily Programme And Routines

8:00 – 8:45
  • Welcome children and families
  • Information sharing
  • Self-selected learning experiences
9:30- 10.30
  • Morning Tea
11.30
  •  Mat Time in 2 groups
11:45
  •  Lunch 
12:45 – 1:30
  • Farewell morning children
  • Greet afternoon children
  • Information sharing
  • Self-selected learning experiences 
12:15
  • Afternoon sleep time and Free Choice of Activities 
2.00 –  3.00
  • Afternoon tea
4.00
  • Mat Time
4:15 –  5:30
  • Farewells and  Information sharing

Learning Environment 

The classroom has been organised to provide an environment with an open plan layout which is conducive to research and autonomous discovery both for individual children and groups of children working together.

The learning environment is prepared to enable the children to make their own choices and follow their own interests and is laid out to provide areas to self-select a variety of materials and resources. The art area encourages children to look at shades, colours and textures and consider how to use them. The science area provides a selection of natural materials for the children to explore and find out about their properties, as well as resources to encourage children to find out about the wider world.  Children are also given the opportunity to express themselves through imaginative play in the home corner and through drama and role play using everyday resources and dress ups to reflect their experiences of the wider world and stories. Moving in response to music and using musical instruments to accompany familiar songs is encouraged.  The book corner is furnished with comfortable couches to encourage children to select and read books alone or share them with their peers, parents or teachers.  There is a wide variety of construction toys available for self-selection to encourage the children to use their imagination, problem solve and design. A writing table with a selection of writing implements, note books, envelopes, an alphabet chart and name cards encourages emergent writing.  Resources are available to sort, count and match to numerals and children are encouraged to develop an understanding of mathematical concepts such as size, shape and quantity during their play.