Because whānau place significant trust in us when making the decision to place their child in our care, it is essential to build whanaungatanga to maintain that trust, foster connection and ensure we know our whānau first, before we are able to get to know, and settle their child. Creating an environment where tamariki feel safe and loved, and where whānau feel welcomed, comfortable and that their aspirations have been heard, is what lies at the heart of all ‘times of transition’ at Kindercare.
At Kindercare we recognise the need to prepare each child in our care, and their whānau, for the significant adjustment that occurs during any times of transition. We embrace all times of transition as intentional opportunities to support tamariki and whānau, giving them time to become familiar with a different setting, ease into new rituals and routines, and help tamariki to settle without the need to have their whānau/caregiver present. Integral to this is working in partnership with whānau to create a place where aroha and trust are built and nurtured, along with the assurance that we are here to meet their needs.
At any time when a child is transitioning - whether visiting the centre when newly enrolled; or when transitioning between rooms; or when preparing a child for transition to primary school - our team will consistently kōrero with whānau, so that together, the time of transition encompasses the following:
- Accommodates the unique circumstances of whānau. Central to planning the possible number of transition visits needed, and the time frame for these, is ensuring the child’s wellbeing remains paramount.
- Ensure each child is signed onto the roll in the room, and signed off again when they leave the room at the end of their visit, and that whānau sign the visitors register on arrival and leaving the centre.
- Kaiako reflect ongoing flexibility to tailor the transition visits, as they gain greater understanding of the individual needs of whānau and tamariki.
- Reflecting Best Practise, which ensures each child feels safe and loved at any time when they are in our care, during any time of transition, Kaiako will ensure they are immediately responsive to the needs and cues of each child.
- Kaiako will be intentional in ensuring each child is given the time and opportunity to ‘bond’ with a consistent Kaiako in the room, to nurture a trust a relationship of trust. This may involve some flexibility around routines and Kaiako juggling activities in the room, and outside to support the best outcome for the transitioning child and whānau.
- Intentional planning to prepare for transition visits, so Kaiako are mindful of ratios, and continuing to support the care and learning of all tamariki in the room.
FURTHER DETAIL: TRANSITION VISITS FOR NEWLY ENROLLED CHILDREN
- Decisions about how long whānau/caregivers stay with their child will be made to ensure we support the best outcome for the child.
- Ideally, and where possible, begin with an introductory visit, with whānau present. Kaiako can then plan subsequent visits (and time frames around these) in consultation with whānau, culminating in a final visit when whānau/caregivers are given the opportunity to leave the child in the room for a period of separation.
- Kaiako are encouraged to kōrero and involve whānau in decisions about the possibility of them leaving their child’s room, to either remain in the centre (perhaps for a coffee) or, if their child is settled, to wait in their car during the visit, or to leave the centre for a short period. If leaving the centre is mutually agreed on, Kaiako will ensure whānau understand the importance of remaining in close proximity to the centre; providing a current mobile number so they are contactable at ALL times; and that whānau will return to the centre immediately if they are called.
- Kaiako intentionally plan and prepare for transition visits, including additional support from a key person in the centre, so that there is time and opportunity for whānau, child and Kaiako to build connections. Planning is also essential to ensure Kaiako are mindful of ratios, and continuing to support the care and learning of all tamariki in the room.
- In the rare instance that a child does not settle, the Centre Director, in consultation with whānau, will review the decision to enrol, and/or review the transition process to best support the child and whānau. This review is only when all efforts to settle the child have been unsuccessful and the environment is, in Kindercare’s opinion, not suited to meeting the child’s individual needs.
FURTHER DETAIL: TRANSITION VISITS FOR CHILDREN CHANGING ROOMS
- Ensure Kaiako kōrero with whānau to plan an orientation visit to foster manaakitanga by introducing them to the new Kaiako by name, giving them an understanding of the room routine, room layout, Educa, and new expectations of the room. Nurture whanaungatanga by providing regular opportunities for whānau to ask questions and share their expectations and aspirations for their child.
- Kaiako will share the localised curriculum and work supportively to partner with parents to keep them updated about their child’s wellbeing during each transition visit.
- Kaiako in the home room need to ensure that important, individual details about the child are clearly communicated in advance to the team in the room the child is transitioning into. This includes information like allergies, chronic medication, particular needs etc.
FURTHER DETAIL: TRANSITION VISITS FOR CHILDREN LEAVING TO START PRIMARY SCHOOL
- Kaiako will intentionally plan and implement our Transition to School program so tamariki feel confidently prepared to leave the early childhood environment.
- Kaiako understand the goals of the curriculum in our Transition to School room: to develop the social, emotional, physical and cognitive competencies and skills tamariki need for school readiness; recognise and remove any potential barriers to learning; and support a positive transition into primary school.
- Kaiako will kōrero with whānau to establish what their needs and aspirations are for their child preparing to transition to school, including the possible number and timing of transition visits. Working in supportive partnership with whānau, Kaiako will also talk through how our program encourages and fosters school readiness, prepares their child for different routines through the day, and what they can possibly expect as their child enters the formal learning environment.
- Keeping the child’s wellbeing at the heart of the transition process, our Kaiako will actively build whanaungatanga with local primary schools to ensure New Entrant Teachers have a genuine understanding and knowledge of each child transitioning into their school.
- Kaiako will take time to pause and recognise what individual tamariki may need as they prepare to leave the centre during their day, for a transition visit. When they return to the centre after a school visit, our knowledge and close relationship with each child, and our responsiveness to their cues, will ensure they feel lovingly supported as they readjust to the early childhood environment and re-settle back into our care.
Last Review date: 24 February 2022