What will my child be doing?
We provide a Reggio-inspired programme which mixes free play with teacher-led learning.
Children learn through play, and so the majority of the time our children play at activities which interest them, supported by our teachers. We have a wide range of activities available for them, including drawing and painting, puzzles and matching games, construction sets and block play, dress-ups, the sand pit and our playground. Teachers supervise and take advantage of the "teachable moments', when they get actively involved to expand children's knowledge and excitement about a topic that's caught their interest. We believe that children should have a wide range of resources to choose from, so when you visit us, you will see lots of things to play and build with within their reach, so that they can explore them at will.
Before our meal breaks, we have mat time. Mat time is another group time which allows children to practice sitting on the mat (just like the big kids at school!) to hear stories, sing songs and jump and dance together. Sometimes we even do yoga sessions! On Wednesday mornings a group of teachers and children will go for a Park Walk to Windmill Park. This is where we get to put our Forest Kindergarten ideas into practice, as children explore the natural environment and bring back items that interest them - anything from bugs to leaves.
Our three and four year olds can also participate in learning groups. These are teacher-led activities which take place in the early afternoon while the younger children are asleep. Learning group activities allow children to practice skills such as using scissors, holding a pencil and recognising numbers and letters. Even more important, they learn to speak to a group, take turns and follow instructions. Best of all, they don’t even realise they’re learning these things because they do so in a play-based setting, doing science experiments, playing games and listening to stories. Learning groups are held in English and Mandarin.
Later in the day as children begin to go home, we will often sit together and read books and sing songs as we wind down from the day.
A typical Red Kite day
|7.30am||Centre opens. Some children have breakfast, then it's free play|
|11.15am||Tidy Up Time followed by Mat Time|
|11.40am||Lunchtime. We sing our Karakia and then eat together|
|12.00-12.30pm||Naps begin for younger children; older children have quiet play|
|2.15pm||Tidy Up Time followed by Mat Time|
|3.00-5.30pm||Free play. A late snack is served if children are hungry|
Nutrition & meals
Morning and afternoon tea are offered every day. Seasonal fruit is an important component of our snacks, but they also include cheese, rice crackers, yoghurt, sandwiches and raw vegetables and dips such as hummous. We offer generous portions so children can eat as much as they need, with milk in the afternoon too. Children always have access to their own drink bottles and bring them to the table when they eat.
For lunch, we offer parents the choice of a cooked centre lunch or a lunch box from home. Cooked lunches are brought in from an expert company which also provides fresh foods to the major supermarket chains; in this way, we know that standards are extremely high and any potential allergens have been disclosed.
For families who have time to prepare them, lunch boxes can be great preparation for school. Children learn to manage containers and wrappers and become familiar with the whole process of sitting down at lunch time and opening their lunch box. We can heat food where appropriate. As children sit and eat in a group, they become familiar with different foods. They also enjoy showing their friends what’s in their own lunch box.
Providing a healthy lunch box
We encourage families who send lunch to provide healthy choices for their children. Please be aware that due to allergies among the children we are a nut-free centre. This includes all edible nuts. Healthy options for lunch boxes include:
- Dairy (cheese, yoghurt, milk) or dairy substitutes
- Sandwiches or bread rolls
- Lean meat and other protein (eg eggs, tofu, legumes)
Mix and match one item from four of the groups above and add a water bottle.
Keeping you up to date
We love to keep you up to date with what your child has been doing during the day, and share pictures and learning examples so you can see your child exploring their world and having fun. Apart from seeing you at drop off and pick up time, our primary way of communicating is via an app called Kinderloop where we post about your child's activities, which are shared with you during the day by teachers. We also share centre activities, which all parents can access. You can post about things your child has been doing at home, too, so that we can keep exploring your child's interests at preschool; your child's feed is private and available only to teachers and to you. You can choose to add extended members of your family to your child's Kinderloop feed if you'd like to - it's a fantastic way of keeping family in other places up to date with what your child has been up to and posts can be made in many languages. Our Kinderloop service is included as part of your child's enrolment with us.
We also use WeChat and Facebook posts.
20 hours free
Red Kite Preschool offers 20 hours of early childhood education at reduced rates for parents and caregivers. In fact, your child's time with us might even be free.
The New Zealand Government funds all children in New Zealand for 30 hours of early childhood education per week (a maximum of six hours per day.) For three and four year olds, up to twenty of these hours can be funded at a higher rate, to allow early childhood centres to offer those twenty hours free of charge.
We follow the precepts of the NZ Early Childhood curriculum, Te Whariki. You can find out more about Te Whariki here.
If you require more than twenty hours or six hours per day of care per week, you will be asked to pay a parent fee, but it will be at a lower rate than we would otherwise charge. See our fees schedule (available from the Centre) for more detail.
Parent reviews & ERO Reports
The Education Review Office (ERO) evaluates Early Childhood Education Centres periodically and publishes the results of its findings. ERO reports are based upon how well placed the preschool in question is to promote positive learning outcomes for children. Red Kite had its first review with ERO on 23 July 2019 and we were disappointed to find that this was merely a "compliance review", a procedure for new centres to confirm that we meet regulatory requirements. Hence the report says little about our teaching standards. However, we remain in the normal three-yearly review cycle alongside other centres with a "well placed" rating.