Useful information about our Albany early childhood education centre
Our team looks forward to welcoming your child
At Reach for the Stars Early Learning Centre we know that choosing the right childcare for your family is a challenging and important decision. Reach for the Stars Early Learning Centre offers children a nurturing environment where they can have fun, learn, and feel loved.
If you would like to arrange a visit please contact us, or drop in to the centre, where our centre manager will be very happy to show you our wonderful environment – both in and outdoors. If you wish to begin the enrolment process, please complete and submit the enrolment form. This will enable us to begin the process of welcoming you and your child to our centre.
Hours of operation
We are licensed to operate between 7.30am and 6.00pm, Monday to Friday. We ask for your co-operation to ensure your arrival and departure times are within our hours of operation. Your child may not be signed in or dropped off at Reach for the Stars before 7.30am. Late fees apply to any child picked up after 6.00pm.
Please ensure you drop off and pick up your child at the times they are enrolled to ensure our teacher/child ratios remain at an optimum level. Please sign your child in on arrival and out on pick up on our Sign In Sheets. These documents serve two purposes 1) to fulfil a licencing requirement and 2) should there be an emergency it is imperative we know which children are on the premises and all are accounted for.
We are closed on all Statutory holidays and we close mid-afternoon on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Full fees are applicable for any Statutory holiday that falls on a day when your child would normally attend. Usual fees will apply if your child is absent as fees are based on time enrolled, not attendance. We ask you to contact us by phone or email to let us know if you child will be away for the day. An answerphone is available outside our opening hours. Reach for the Stars Early Learning Centre offers a holiday discount of three weeks per year at 50% fees. The holiday discount applies for holidays taken in week blocks (as per your enrolled days) not individual days.
It takes time for a child’s immune system to keep up with what they are exposed to and as a result almost all children will experience some type of illness when they begin attending an early learning centre. Please be assured we have robust cleaning and hygiene processes and procedures. This is something nearly all children go through, either at a pre primary school facility or if they do not attend one of these then at Primary School. Be prepared for this and have some support on hand if required.
We will notify you immediately if your child shows signs of illness and needs to be collected. We do this to ensure your child can be cared for, and to minimise the spread of illness at the centre.
Guidelines of contagious diseases are provided by the Ministry of Health, and we follow these guidelines strictly. We can provide a copy of these if required.
You can choose whether to immunise your child or not, but Health Regulations state that we must see written evidence of your child’s immunisation status when you enrol and whenever age appropriate immunisations take place. If there is an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease at Reach for the Stars Early Learning Centre, children who are not immunised will not be able to attend for the duration of the outbreak. We are advised of this timeframe by the Ministry of Health (MOH).
If a child requires to be given medication either prescription or non-prescription a Medical Authority Form must be completed and signed daily for both short-term illnesses and long-term conditions. Please talk to us about completing these forms and arranging medication.
Settling your child
To support your child in settling well and for the experience to be a positive one we ask that you spend some time with your child at Reach for the Stars Early Learning Centre prior to them starting regularly. This helps your child to become familiar with the centre environment with your support. We will organise a visit schedule that works for you and your child. We usually find 3 visits of approximately an hour are a good number. The first one you stay with your child in the new environment, the second depending on how things are going you stay for a little bit and then leave them for a while, third visit is usually the time a child is left for an hour on their own.
Each child is different – some settle quickly and others may take a little longer. If your child is taking longer to settle, we will work with you to manage this. It is always recommended to give your child a goodbye kiss and cuddle, let them know you will be back soon and then leave. Prolonging a goodbye can cause anxiety and confusion in your child as they will sense your reluctance to leave. If at any stage we feel your child isn’t coping well without you, we’ll be in touch.
Transition between rooms
When your child shows signs of being ready to transition to the next room your child’s teacher will work in collaboration with you and the next teaching team. Our primary focus will be to ensure the transition is a positive one where children embrace the challenge of the new learning environment. While there are guidelines regarding the child’s age for transitioning to the next room – this is not the only factor we take into account. Children are ready at different ages, and stages of development occur at different times for different children. The time we recommend is the time for a child to transition is tailored to individual children’s needs.
While the existing teaching team will share their knowledge of your child with the new teaching team we encourage you to come and meet the new team and to share your knowledge of your child with them first-hand. No-one knows your child like you do.
At Reach for the Stars Early Learning Centre, our team embraces our responsibility to create an environment which upholds the bicultural heritage of New Zealand and the principles of partnerships inherent in Te Tiriti O Waitangi. We do this because we acknowledge, respect and appreciate the fact that Maori are the Tangata Whenua (people of the land) here in Aotearoa/New Zealand.
We also celebrate a rich and diverse cultural environment where, languages, rituals and symbols of children’s own and other cultures are protected and promoted.
At Reach for the Stars Early Learning Centre we take the children in our Shooting Stars preschool room on excursions. This offers them different opportunities and the chance to build on the learning they are doing at the centre. Ratios for these trips are one adult for every three children.
So far our varied excursions have included Auckland War Memorial Museum, MOTAT (Museum of Transport and Technology), Kiwi Valley Farm, Auckland Zoo, the Annual Christmas Tree Display and Matariki Concerts at local schools.
We also aim for a whole Centre trip once a year. Children Under the age of 2 – have a one child- one adult ratio.
We encourage our families to form a partnership with us at Reach for the Stars. There are many opportunities to engage with our team; whether it be face to face quick catch ups a drop off and pick up, written emails, or responses to our posts on Educa (our Online App). Should you want a longer period to speak to one of our team please organise a time to do so. This allows our children to remain engaged with the children in their room. We hold events throughout the year where we encourage parents and extended families to attend, and other opportunities where the parents and families can participate and lead their children’s learning, along with our annual Christmas Party, where to the children’s great excitement Santa always attends.
Would you like to enrol at Reach for the Stars Early Learning Centre?
If you are planning to enrol your kids in daycare in Albany and would like to choose Reach for the Stars Early Learning Centre for your family – you can drop in or arrange a visit to the centre or start the enrolment process by completing the form.
Our team looks forward to seeing you and showing the education and care we can provide for your child.