FAQ Kindergarten

What is a kindergarten?

Who will teach my child?

Where is my local kindergarten?

What are the hours?

Kindergarten terms for 2017 are?

What ages do a kindergarten cater for?

What if my child is younger than 2?

What do children learn?

What does it cost?

How does the 20 Hours Free ECE Scheme work?

How do I enrol my child at kindergarten?

Can my child attend kindergarten and daycare at the same time?

What will my child need to take to kindergarten?

Do children need to be toilet trained?

Should I bring my child to kindergarten if they are sick?

What is the policy on food allergies?

What food should I bring for my child?

What is a kindergarten?

‘Kindergarten’ literally means the children’s garden.  Kindergartens are a special place where children, teachers, and families connect and build great communities. 

At our kindergartens, children are encouraged, inspired and nurtured to discover, experience and learn about the world around them.

All indoor and outdoor areas, furniture and resources are designed for young children.

Kindergarten is the start of your child’s early education where they develop important life skills and learning dispositions that assist in their transition to school. 

Who will teach my child?

All of our kindergarten teachers are qualified in early childhood education and are passionate and dedicated to children’s learning.  Each kindergarten has a head teacher, teachers and support staff.  We offer high quality learning programmes based on New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum; Te Whāriki.

Where is my local kindergarten?

We have 21 kindergartens across Tauranga city including a kindergarten in both Whangamata and Murupara.  Find your local Kindergarten click here and pop in and say hello!

What are the hours?

Hours vary per kindergarten.  School hours are normally up to 6 hours.  However, various session times are available.  You can choose the sessions and days that your child will attend. Availability will vary between kindergartens.  Please discuss your needs directly with the kindergarten.

Kindergarten terms for 2017 are?

Term 1 - 23 January to 13 April
Term 2 - 1 May to 7 July
Term 3 - 24 July to 29 September
Term 4 - 16 October to 20 December

What ages do a kindergarten cater for?

Kindergartens cater for children aged between 2 and 6 years.

It’s a good idea to contact your chosen kindergarten early (well before your child turns 2) so you can discuss your child’s enrolment and availability. 

Please contact your local kindergarten to find out more click here.

Is your child younger than 2?  Home based education caters for children from 3 months.  Please contact your local home based educator’s click here.

What if my child is younger than 2?

Home based education caters for children from 3 months.  Please contact your local home based educator’s click here.

What do children learn?

Children will learn and develop:

  • Develop early numeracy, literacy and science skills 
  • Feel confident about who they are and develop responsibility and a sense of independence
  • Develop effective communication skills
  • Be creative and expressive through activities such as painting, music, collage, movement, dance, finger painting, drawing, cutting, pasting and story sharing
  • Build friendships with other children and relationships with consistent teachers
  • Develop fine motor skills e.g. writing, cutting and grasping pencils
  • Experiment with sand and water
  • Learn about limits, boundaries, routines and tools for conflict resolution
  • Participate in gross motor play e.g. climbing, throwing, kicking, balancing and lifting
  • Persevere, problem-solve and take risks
  • Learn through trial and error
  • Explore through experimenting, questioning and curiosity
  • Develop confidence and celebrate their attempts and successes
  • Have fun and develop a passion for learning.

What does it cost?

Compared to other childcare options, kindergartens are popular because of their low cost and their high quality education.

Inspired Kindergartens is part of the government scheme, which allows all children over 3 years of age, to receive 20 hours free early childhood education (ECE) a week.  However, we have extended this scheme, offering 30 hours free ECE for children from 2 years of age per week. 

The Ministry of Education funding does not cover all kindergarten costs. To assist with expenses that will enhance your child’s kindergarten experience, we ask families to make regular donations.

Donations ensure kindergartens can maintain a high standard of education, including employing only trained and registered early childhood teachers.  All donations received from families are retained by each kindergarten and channelled back into children’s learning.  These donations assist with meeting the daily running costs of each kindergarten.

Donations are based on the following scale:

Part day session (up to 4.25 hours) $3 per child
All day session (over 4.25 hours) - $5 per child 

All donations paid to the kindergarten can be claimed on an annual basis to receive a 33% tax credit refund from IRD.

How does the 20 Hours Free ECE scheme work?

The government pays for all children over 3 years of age, to receive 20 hours a week of free early childhood education.

This scheme is available for everyone, regardless of whether you work or how much you earn.  You can choose to use as many or as few hours of 20 Hours ECE as you want, up to 6 hours a day and 20 hours a week. 

Inspired Kindergartens have extended this scheme, offering 30 hours free ECE for children from 2 years of age per week. 

Find out more about the 20 hours ECE scheme on the Ministry of Education website.

How do I enrol my child at kindergarten?

Please contact your local kindergarten and arrange to come in and meet with a teacher.  That way you can meet the teaching team and have a look around.  You are welcome to visit any time.

You can complete an enrolment form either onsite or take it home to complete.  A teacher will discuss your child’s needs and answer any queries you have. 

The kindergarten will then contact you when a space is available and arrange a suitable start date.

Can my child attend kindergarten and another daycare at the same time?

Yes. As an example, it is possible for your child to attend kindergarten and a daycare centre on different days of the week.

Note: that your child cannot be enrolled at two centers for the same hours.

What will my child need to take to kindergarten?

Each day your child will need to bring:

• A spare set of named clothes
• A sun hat in the summer months
• Nappies if required
• A small lunch box with healthy food/kai and a drink bottle
• A bag with your child’s name clearly printed
• Any other items that are part of your local centre’s daily routine.

Do children need to be toilet trained?

No.  If your child is still toilet training just let a teacher know.  Here are some toilet training tips to help with this process.

Should I bring my child to kindergarten if they are sick?

If your child is feeling unwell or displaying any of the symptoms below, we ask that they remain away from their kindergarten and return 48 hours after the final symptom. 

In particular, watch for:

• Vomiting
• Diarrhea
• A high temperature
• An unidentified rash
• Conjunctivitis (unless medical treatment has been applied for at least 24 hours)
• Any other symptoms of a contagious illness
• Head lice (after treatment)

If you are unsure about whether your child can attend, please discuss with the teaching team.

Ministry of Health Infectious Diseases Chart (which includes exclusion from school) click here  

What is the policy on food allergies?

Occasionally, we have children with severe food allergies.  Please avoid bringing peanuts, nuts or eggs to the kindergarten. This includes nutella, peanut butter, peanut brownies, peanuts or nuts of any kind, hardboiled eggs or egg sandwiches.  If you have any queries, please talk to the teaching team at your local kindergarten.  

What food should I bring for my child?

Our teaching teams promote healthy eating both at the kindergarten and at home. Please bring a small lunchbox with healthy food / kai for your child. You may wish to limit waste with ‘litterless lunchboxes’ that have enough compartments to keep various snacks separate and clean.   

Fresh water is available at all times for children to drink.