Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Do you have places available immediately or is there a waiting list?
Please check availability by contacting our office on 04-5771464. We encourage Parents to enrol as early as possible to secure your child’s future placement.
Q2: What is the minimum enrolment period?
Our minimum enrolment is 5 days (5 x 6 hour blocks)
Q3: Why do you charge an enrolment fee?
There are a number of administration costs which are incurred during the enrolment process; also, this charge covers transition visits once these begin. The enrolment fee also helps to ensure Parents have thoughtfully considered their commitment to the Centre prior to submitting an enrolment form.
Q4: If we decide not to go ahead with the enrolment, will I get my enrolment fee refunded?
The enrolment fee is non refundable.
Q5: Do you provide Information Evenings?
No, not at the moment. The best opportunity to find out about the Centre is to make a viewing appointment for the Centre to meet the Supervising Teacher and discuss what the Centre offers.
Q6: What appointment times are best for viewing?
The best time to view the Waiwhetu Centre is around 10.30am. The Avalon Centre is more flexible with viewing times. Appointments need to be co-ordinated through the main office.
Q7: When viewing the Centre, should I bring my child with me?
Yes, so long as you understand that you are entirely responsible for your child at all times whilst visiting the Centre. Also, that you are confident that you will be able to focus on any discussions which may take place during your visit.
Q8: Can I bring a sibling with me on the initial visit?
Yes, as long as the sibling is settled and a proper viewing can take place without the need for extra support.
Q9: Should both parents attend the initial viewing?
It’s a good idea for both Parents to view the Centre, if possible. It tends to make the decision making process simpler, however it is not absolutely necessary.
Q10: How early should I enrol my child?
If you want your child to start by a certain date, then you should enrol as early as possible, if you are flexible, then you should allow at least a 2 month window where possible. Generally, we can start children reasonably quickly.
Q11: Does my child need to be toilet trained prior to starting?
It depends which Centre you are enrolling in. The Waiwhetu Centre is able to cope with a limited number of children who require toileting support or nappy changing, however, at this stage, the Avalon Centre is unable to support nappy changing unless children are attending our under three old programme.
Q12: How many transition visits should I expect to happen before my child starts?
The Waiwhetu Centre requires a minimum of 3-5 x 1 hour blocks supported by a parent. This may be decreased if the child is older or shows a strong amount of confidence and independence. The Avalon Centre is able to transition a child with minimal parental support due to the staff to child ratio.
Q13: What if my child doesn’t settle after the initial transition visits are completed?
A discussion will take place with the Supervising Teacher as to the best way to go forward.
Q14: Once my child has started, how will the billing work?
We require parents to commit to setting up a weekly automatic payment, with 1 week advance payment. Payments are expected to cover 52 weeks unless a long overseas holiday is planned. In this case, we will dis-enrol your child and re-enrol upon returning and offer the first available placement.
Q15: Do you accept WINZ payments?
Yes, certain criteria is required for eligibility for the WINZ subsidy. Please discuss this with your WINZ representative by contacting your nearest office or visiting their website.
Q16: Do you offer 20 ECE hours?
Yes, our weekly fees are based upon parents opting-in to receive the 20 ECE hours. We do, however, rely heavily on Parents agreeing to pay the extra optional charges.
Q17: Do you have optional charges?
Yes, our website has all charges itemised under our Fees section, including optional charges.
Q18: How do you prepare children for school?
Everything we do at Shine underpins our aim at preparing a child for their transition into school. An important part of this preparation is to encourage parents to send their child to the Centre for 5 days - as soon as possible. Part of the rationale is the structure of the day, the intentionality of the Teachers to scaffold children individually, the prepared environment which continually offers children a variety of play and learning opportunities, which happen naturally because the children are in the environment. Also we know that children, who attend the Centre consistently from 3 years old, are very well prepared for their transition into school.
Q19: What is EDUCA?
Educa is a customised e-portal for parents to log into once a child starts at Shine. Parents will receive regular updates about planned excursions and general information about what’s happening at the Centre. Also, there is a personalised area where you can read profile stories about your child’s progress & development.
Q20: How do I connect to EDUCA?
Once your child starts transitioning into the Centre, you will receive an invitation from our office to connect to Educa. You will need to create a password and this will be required each time you log in to Educa.
Q21: What is your staff to child ratio?
At the Waiwhetu Centre, our staff ratio during the morning is 1:7, although it is sometimes higher than this. During the afternoon, the ratio widens to 1:10. Avalon generally has a higher staff to child ratio.
Q22: How many qualified teachers are at your centre?
We have five qualified Teachers at the Waiwhetu Centre, and three provisional trained teachers at Avalon Centre.
Q23: How many Montessori trained Teachers are at your centre?
Currently, the Waiwhetu Centre has two, and the Avalon Centre has two, however all staff have received varying degrees of in house training in the Montessori philosophy.
Q24: Does your centre provide lunches for children attending Shine?
Not at this stage. Children are asked to bring their own lunch boxes with a single serve lunch and a water bottle. We provide morning & afternoon tea.
Q25: Your website describes your philosophy as a ‘blend’, what does that mean?
The daily program at the Waiwhetu Centre incorporates Montessori work time for approximately 1.5 hours throughout the day. The blended curriculum incorporates Montessori methods and materials, the Atrium program, the literacy program and child initiated activities.
Q26: What is the Atrium programme?
The Atrium program is our religious curriculum, delivered once a week, to children in each classroom and gently introduces them to the concept of a loving God.
Q27: What happens during school holidays?
We are open throughout the school holidays. The Montessori program does not run during this time, however, special activities or excursions are planned to ensure that children experience a wide variety of learning opportunities.