This is an exciting time for you and your child. Every child should have a least one orientation visit prior to starting at their centre so they can get to know the educators and the environment. Multiple visits spread over different times of the day are encouraged, so you can get a feel for how the centre operates.
A specific time will be made for your family to meet with the Centre Director and educators. You will be introduced to the daily operations of the centre including things like staff rosters and family events. You will be invited to discuss your expectations of the centre with the Centre Director, and talk to your child's educator about your aspirations and expectations for your child. Also, things like programs and practices within the room, children's routines and rhythms, will all be explained to you.
During the orientation visits, your child will meet the children at the centre so they can begin to form relationships and become familiar and comfortable in their new environment. They will join in on activities and meals happening that day, and find out important information about the centre, like where to find the toilets, playground, and where to place their belongings.
What to expect on your first day?
Leaving your child in someone else's care is never easy - for parents or children. It's natural to feel a bit anxious. Rest assured, our educators will be there to help you both through the process of dropping off your child and saying goodbye.
On your first day, areas will be set up for your child including a locker or basket for their belongings and a family pocket for parent information. Formal communication will be provided to you at the end of the day to let you know how your child settled in and what experiences and relationships they have engaged in. Your child's educators will also stay in touch during this important first day to let you know how things are going. At the end of each day you can talk to your educator to see how your child is settling in. You're welcome to read through the educator's observations to get a fell for how well your child in adapting to the change as well.
The Centre Director will continue to make regular contact with you during these first few important weeks, to check that your expectations of the centre are being met and that you are satisfied with the level of communication and rapport with your child's educators. The educators in your child's room will also be in contact with you to discuss the routines within the centre and room, and share with you the experiences your child has participated in during the day,
Most children - and parents - settle in happily after a couple of weeks. But don't worry if your child takes a little longer. Talk to the Centre Director or your child's educators, and together, we'll find a way to turn those separation tears into see-you-later-smiles!
What should I bring to the centre?
Each centre has different requirements for what to pack, consider packing:
Sun-safe hat which protects your child's face, neck and ears.
Sunscreen is supplied at our centres however you are welcome to bring alternative sunscreen if your child has allergies or sensitive skin.
Change of clothes and underwear
Bib or two (if required)
Comfort item (if required), such as a toy or blanket
Dummy in a sealed, named container (if required)
Sleeping sheet set or blanket, and a pillow, for nap time. We do not allow pillows in cot as per safe sleeping requirements (if required)
Bottles, formula or expressed milk (if required)
Water bottle with a lid or a sippy cup