ENVIRONMENT AND RELATIONSHIPS
Daycare for Infants and Toddlers
The infant and toddler’s area is a calm and inviting environment, where relationships are at the heart of all practices.
Through key teachers and a small group of children, children form close and trusting relationships based on love, respect, acceptance, and kindness.
Key teachers also provide an environment where every child is seen, heard, and known.
We follow the natural rhythms of each child, where unrushed and flexible experiences are individualised to their needs, strengths, and interests. These are all at the heart of everything we do.
What is Quality Care for Infants and Toddlers?
The well-being of children in daycare is dependent on the quality of care they are receiving. But what do quality care and best practice look like? The next few sections will be laid out to answer just that.
Small Group Size
We have a maximum of nine children per day, which ensures that all teachers get to know your child well.
Within a small group, it’s easier for children to have and hold the teacher’s attention, form friendships with other children, hear each other talk, and engage in lots of shared interactions and collaborations.
Lilliput Preschool is a small and personal centre, this is vital in developing secure relationships.
Through responsive and respectful relationships with all children, teachers know each child well, their strengths, interests, and preferences.
This also flows into developing relationships with whānau.
Developing a warm, trusting, supportive relationship with whānau is always important in early childhood and especially in the early years, as whānau and teachers work collaboratively to provide the best experiences possible for their child here at Lilliput.
Low Teacher to Child Ratios
Having an excellent teacher/child ratio ensures we meet children’s needs for secure relationships, where teachers have time and space to really get to know the children and whānau, where they speak and understand each other’s language.
Due to our quality ratios, we are able to take time to slow down and enjoy your child, providing them with an environment that is both calm and peaceful.
When interacting and doing routines with your child we ensure we pay full attention to them, as this ensures your child feels valued and this is how we build and maintain a strong relationship with them.
Lilliput prides itself on relationship-based teaching, therefore key teachers are vital for quality care and education. Having a key teacher involves having the same teacher doing the ‘routine’ aspects of your child’s day.
This enables consistency and familiarity for your child and a chance for them to build a special bond with a particular teacher. Sometimes key teachers are away so your child will also have a secondary key teacher who will also know and understand your child well, including their individual routines.
Our key teacher system is based on research, which states that intelligence is not an inherited gene, rather is gained from the baby’s experiences in their first thousand days. During this stage, our brains are wiring themselves for the rest of our lives, so whatever we are exposed to in the first thousand days is how our brain will be wired.
This is why it is crucial for your baby to form a secure attachment with their key teacher, where they have plenty of opportunity for cuddles, one on one conversations, and where they build a close and responsive relationship based on trust, respect, acceptance, love, and kindness.
It is through these relationships with you and us your child’s brain is being wired for a complex and social world, rich in language and endless opportunities, thus increasing their potential for lifelong learning. During care moments your child’s key teacher will ensure they slow down and enjoy these times with your child as these are the most important interactions for developing a trusting and respectful relationship.
Your child’s key teacher will invite your child to be actively engaged and involved in their routines by including them every step of the way. Therefore, encouraging a cooperative relationship, where the teacher and child are in partnership together.
LOW TEACHER TURNOVER
At Lilliput, we constantly have over 80% trained teachers, and more often than not we pride ourselves in having 100% trained teachers each day. Our teachers are dedicated to keeping up to date with current research-based on early childhood education.
This ensures we are continuously providing a challenging, nurturing, and supportive environment for all children. Through our research, we are able to make informed decisions to ensure we are always providing the best education and outcomes for all children.
For children to grow to their full potential, they need trusting and familiar adults. Building relationships is crucial for children and the number of people that a child forms an attachment with must be protected and limited. For this to happen Centres must retain their passionate and dedicated teachers. Lilliput is a happy and supportive place to work and provides not only our families but teachers with a home-away-from-home.
We pride ourselves in low teacher turnover and do our absolute best to protect our smallest whānau members by ensuring our infants and toddlers only have teachers whom they know working in the infants and toddler’s area.
MAKING EDUCATION FUN
Te Whāriki, our Early Childhood Curriculum, is a play-based curriculum. Lilliput Preschool also believes uninterrupted play is the best way for children to learn, where children have the agency to create and follow their own ideas, strengths, and interests.
This way children build upon their knowledge and skills, in areas and ways that excite them while being supported by our knowledgeable teachers. Uninterrupted play allows children to achieve milestones in their own time and in their own way.
The role of Lilliput teachers is critical to successful play-based learning, and here all of our teachers recognise the robust learning which play creates.
Our teachers ensure that children have plenty of opportunities to explore, experiment, discover, build relationships, and solve problems in imaginative and playful ways.
Our teachers thoughtfully and strategically create environments that offer rich and engaging play opportunities, while catering to diverse interests, children’s prior knowledge, skills, and strengths.
Teachers are also mindful to ensure they are supporting and stretching their thinking by sensitively engaging in meaningful learning conversations with children that stretch their thinking and encouraging social skills, mixed with endless amounts of movement, music and laughter is the basis of our infant and toddler’s learning.
Freedom of Movement
Based on research our children should be given the freedom to move their bodies how they like. With this in mind here at Lilliput Preschool, we believe a child should be given the opportunity to move freely. For this reason, we do not use high chairs or other items that restrict children’s ability to move freely.
If your child can not climb into our chairs by themselves, they will sit on their key teacher’s knee when eating. We also try to refrain from putting a baby in a position in which they can’t get into themselves.
Positions such as sitting/propping up, placing them on climbing structures or the slide, tricks, and standing your child. However, if your baby is used to these positions from home life, please feel free to discuss it with us as we will always ensure we meet your aspirations for your child.
Each child has their own portfolio at Lilliput. The portfolio will include regular learning stories that document your child’s interests, learning, and development.
You are welcome to take your child’s portfolio home at any time to look through yourself or to show whānau and friends. Lilliput also uses an online portfolio system called Educa.
Through the Educa website, you and other whānau members (Grandparents, uncles, aunts, etc) can log on and access and your child’s learning stories.
Educa also provides parents/whānau with an easy way to add feedback and comments. Feedback and comments about your child’s learning and development at home are always appreciated.
In the sleeping room, we have calm, relaxing music continuously playing in the background. Your child will have their own cot or mattress that they sleep on. This helps to develop a feeling of security and belonging, as your child knows their own special place for sleeping. When going to sleep, their key teacher will cuddle and snuggle them into bed, following the routines they are used to at home. The teacher will stay in the sleep room with your child until they have drifted off to sleep, then they will be physically checked every 5 to 10 minutes.
We encourage you to bring a notebook with you, each day your child attends. Each day we will write about how your child’s day has been. We will include how they have slept, eaten, activities they have enjoyed, and any other appropriate information from the day. Please feel free to write any messages you have for us in their notebook. As well as the notebook, we will also communicate with you verbally, at the beginning and end of each day. If we are wanting to communicate with you during the day, we have a cell phone in the infant and toddler’s area, which is a quick and easy way for us to communicate. Whānau is always welcome to ring or text us on this phone at any time during the day.
Language is all about using simple gestures with your hearing child to allow you to communicate long before they have mastered the intricacies of speech.
The main advantage of baby sign is that it allows our babies to communicate with adults which in turn reduces confusion and frustration. One question which is often asked about baby sign is, won’t teaching Baby Sign Language delay my baby’s speech?
However, studies have proven the opposite to be true. You are never using the sign on its own, it is always accompanied by the spoken word.
Signs can actually aid in the acquisition of language as it requires using a physical movement in connection with a word – this helps ‘cement’ the word in the baby’s memory until he/she has mastered all the skills necessary to produce speech.
The basic baby signs we will use will be based around meal times and will include; more, finished, drink, help, eat. If you have any questions please feel free to talk to any of the infants and toddlers’ teachers.
Hours of Operation
MONDAY – FRIDAY
7:30am – 5:30pm
SATURDAY & SUNDAY
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Drop Us a Line
Don’t be shy. Let us know if you have any questions!