What to expect from the first week at childcare
The first week of childcare is full of emotion. For many parents, it can involve a mix of excitement, anxiety and a long list of questions! At Guardian Childcare & Education, our Educators are here to make sure your child’s transition to childcare is as exciting and seamless as possible.
From booking a tour and meeting our Educators, to stopping by for some orientation visits with your child, we’ve outlined the steps our Centres take to support your family on this exciting journey of learning and discovery.
Orientation Visit to Experience a Day in the Life at Guardian
At many of our Guardian Centres, after your child is enrolled, the Centre Manager calls to book in a couple of orientation visits.
As we want to make the transition and first week with us as seamless as possible, these visits introduce you and your child to what a day in the life at Guardian is like, and help prepare you for your new routine.
We want your chosen Centre to feel like an extension of your home, and our team as part of your family. Each Centre encourages children to choose a dedicated locker space, meet their peers and interact with the Room Leader who will join them along the way. Often, a couple of families who are about to start childcare will attend orientation together.
During these visits, we ensure the Education Leader is available to sit and speak with each family. This provides the opportunity to discuss each child’s current interests, goals and the child’s routine.
Our Educators use this information to program the child’s first few weeks at the Centre, supporting each child’s sense of belonging and security in a new environment.
Educators Take the Time to Learn Your Routine
During orientation and the first week at childcare, Educators make it a priority to learn as much as possible about each child’s individual routine.
This is important for Educators to understand what your child is interested in, when they eat, when they sleep, whether they have a comforter, what scares them, how to settle them and what they enjoy doing most.
The questions vary depending on the age and developmental stage of each child.
We’ll Set You Up on Storypark
At Guardian, we try to make it as seamless as possible for parents to be part of their child’s day with communication app, Storypark. The app allows Educators to privately share updates about your child with photos and stories showing what they’re up to.
Educators will set up time with each family to run through how to use Storypark. The app also allows parents to share their thoughts about the Centre menu for the week, learn about any special days and hear about any upcoming excursions, encouraging a stronger connection between families and educators.
Parents Are Encouraged to Spend a Little Time with Their Children
While the first day can be filled with tears (your child’s or yours!), Centre Managers encourage each parent to stay with their child for around 15 minutes on the first day, with a familiar face (usually someone from your child’s orientation) taking over from there.
From here, an Educator from the Centre will call you to give an update on your child’s progress during their first day and what they’ve been up to. Phone calls continue each week during the settling-in period, which can sometimes last six to eight weeks, or as long as a family requires.
Time Is Taken to Observe and Get to Know Each Child
On a child’s first day, they often naturally move through their new environments to explore. If they have already come on a tour, Educators observe what the child was engaged with, so it can be mentioned on their first day. As an example, in the Nursery, most children respond to nursery rhymes or sensory play – so these are always available for families settling in.
Click here for some practical advice about the first day at Guardian.
Learn about Your Child’s Menu
Many Guardian Centres have an in-house chef who prepares fresh and nutritionally balanced meals each day. These meals are planned to support each child’s early development.
Each cook encourages parents to share all dietary requirements and preferences for their child, as all of these things can be incorporated throughout the day, in accordance with nutritional guidelines, to support growth and development.
Learn more about our focus on nutrition.
We Encourage Ongoing Communication
Fostering good communication and relationships is central to everything we do at Guardian. We are very proud of our community mindset and encourage sharing, updates and talking with our families as much as possible.
Each fortnight, Centres send out a newsletter sharing any updates, the menu for the next week as well as any other news or insights. This is just one of the many ways that we will keep you updated.
From a tour to your child’s first day, our Educators are here to create a supportive environment to encourage a unique journey of learning and exploration. These are just a few of the ways that our Centres work with families to create a safe, supportive and nurturing environment for each child.
Want to learn more? Click here to book in a tour and learn about how we can support your child’s first week at childcare and their early learning journey.
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