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.
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 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|
Red Kite Newsletters
Early Childhood Education (ECE) in NZ
Early Childhood Education (ECE)
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.
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.
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 is far less detailed than we had hoped and says little about our teaching standards. You can read parent reviews on Google, here. The ERO report can be found here.
Morning and afternoon tea are offered every day. Seasonal fruit is an important part 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. We do not provide a cooked lunch; instead, children bring a lunch box from home. We think this is the best way to get children to eat - here's why!
Children are able to eat familiar food. Healthy centre food won't help your child if it’s not being eaten. You as parents know what your children like. Our experience is that children eat better when food is familiar and their food preferences are catered for.
It’s 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.
Another little step towards self-confidence. As our 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 our families 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.
Foods to Avoid
- Fruit leathers (very high in sugar)
- Potato chips (popcorn makes a great substitute)
- Chocolate and lollies
- Edible nuts and nut spreads