Services included in fees
- Superior staff to children ratios (up to double the regulated requirement, refer our staff policy)
- High proportion of qualified staff
- Purpose-built, architecturally designed childcare centre on a sunny flat section
- Central Johnsonville location with easy transport links
- On-site short term parking for drop-offs and pick-ups
- Regular excursions within walking distance of the centre (refer Excursions Policy)
- Fully flexible access from 7.30am to 6pm (or from 8.30am to 3.30pm where appropriate)
- Nutritious cooked lunches, and morning and afternoon snacks, including plenty of fruit and vegetables. Food can be tailored to meet individual needs, for example for babies starting solids or children with allergies.
- Access to water or milk/formula at all times for all children (parents are welcome to supply their own preferred brand of formula or expressed breast milk for storage in our fridge).
- Environmentally friendly policies - we encourage you to opt-in to our washable nappies scheme and we will wash them for you! Or we will supply nappies free of charge for all children up to 2 years, 6 months (no need to supply your own!). Further information about the use of washable nappies can be found on the"Cloth Nappies" page.
- Changes of clothing kept at the centre washed for you.
- Individual sleeping sacks provided for all children, washed regularly.
- Buggy storage for "Umbrella" style folding push-chairs - we encourage you to walk to and from the centre if you can (sorry but we do not have room to store larger "mountain buggy" type strollers)
Daisies caters for the care and education of 30 children Monday to Friday between 7.30am and 6.00pm. There are two groups:
- Koromiko: babies aged from about 8 months to toddlers aged about 15 months - or the age they demonstrate that they are ready to transition to the next group. Where possible, children of a similar age transition to the older group with their Key Teacher, and in consultation with families;
- Nikau: mobile toddlers and young children over the age of about 15 months.
Each child has a Key Teacher who assumes overall responsibility for the well-being, learning and development of the child, does most of the intimate care-giving for the child and is the main point of contact for the family. A "secondary" key teacher is also assigned for each child; who looks out for a designated child when his or her Key Teacher is absent. Secondary key teachers for Koromiko children may be in Nikau as this helps provide continuity for Koromiko children moving into Nikau.
Children do not interact solely with their assigned Key Teacher in set groups. Rather, the Key Teacher's role is to get to know these children and their families very well and ensure she carefully observes and documents those children's learning. The Key Teacher (also called primary caregiver) system is based on pediatric research (Emmi Pikler and Magda Gerber) that showed that infants and toddlers' sense of security is markedly enhanced when the baby or child has 'their' special person at a centre. It also enhances respectful relationships.
- Koromiko children have one Key Teacher per three children
- Nikau children under age 3 years have one Key Teacher per four children
- Nikau children aged 3 years and over have one Key Teacher for five children.
As children leave (e.g., start school) and new ones start at Daisies, or teachers change jobs, Key Teachers occasionally need to be re-assigned.
The ratios of Key Teachers to children do not translate to hour-by-hour teaching ratios, since not all teachers are interacting with children at all times. This is because teachers work at most 8 hours per day (while Daisies is open 10.5 hours each day) and because teachers need breaks. For the majority of the day, we have 6-7 teachers working with the children which broadly relates to ratios of 1:3 or 1:4 for children under the age of 2 years, and 1:5 or 1:6 for children over 2.
The regulated minimum ratio for education and care centres set by Government is 1:5 for children under 2 years, and 1:10 for children aged 2 to 5 years. In addition, Government regulations require a minimum of 50% of qualified and registered teaching staff. Daisies has over 80% qualified and registered early childhood teachers.
Our teachers are deployed in a number of ways during the week - for example, to allow small groups to go on excursions with a very high ratio, other teachers may remain behind on a lower ratio during the excursion period. Each teacher has up to four hours non-contact time per week to undertake other professional tasks such as reflecting on their Key children interests and compiling Learning Journals, planning learning programmes, updating displays and keeping the Daisies environment pleasing, writing for our newsletters, and so on.
An experienced head teacher is employed as the professional leader of the staff team so that a high-quality care and education programme is maintained. At least one other teacher is also designated as an educational leader to work with the head teacher in leading teachers in implementing the curriculum.
Daisies employs a full-time permanent reliever to help maintain continuity of care and education when qualified teachers are on leave. Casual relieving staff are employed on an as-needed basis.
Daisies is closed for statutory holidays, and over the Christmas-New Year period to provide a much needed break for our teachers and for the children too. In general, we will be closed for five working days plus statutory holidays from 3pm on the day before Christmas Eve until the second working day after New Year. Hours may be slightly shorter for the first few days back in the new year. The actual close-down period may be adjusted slightly depending on which day of the week Christmas Day falls. Fees will still be payable for this period so Automatic Payments should not be amended.