Nurturing Strong Foundations | Atawahi Tuapapa

PHONE: 577 1464


Find answers to some of the more typical questions we get asked. If you have other questions not covered here then please let us know.

Do you have places available immediately or is there a waiting list?

Please check availability by contacting us on 04 577 1464 or via our contact form. We encourage Parents to enrol as early as possible to secure your child’s future placement.

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.

What is the minimum enrolment period?

Our minimum enrolment is 5 days (5 x 6 hour blocks)

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.

If we decide not to go ahead with the enrolment, will I get my enrolment fee refunded?

The enrolment fee is non refundable.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

How many transition visits should I expect to happen before my child starts?

Both Centres require a minimum of 3 x 1 hour sessions supported by a parent. This may be decreased if the child is older or shows a strong amount of confidence and independence and will be discussed with the parent.

What if my child doesn’t settle after the initial transition visits are completed?

A discussion will take place with the Transitioning Teacher as to which is the best way forward.

Does my child need to be toilet trained prior to starting?

If a child is 2-3 years of age, we are able to support toilet training in partnership with parents. It is important that parents and staff are in unison when it comes to helping a child move towards independence, and eventually self master these self care skills.

Does your centre provide lunches for children attending Shine?

Avalon – We do not provide any morning tea, lunch or afternoon tea. Please provide a lunchbox and a waterbottle.

Waiwhetu – We do have a food provision programme which a child can join. If the decision is to not join a lunchbox and waterbottle needs to be provided.

What happens during school holidays?

We are open throughout the school holidays. (Christmas holiday times to be communicated during third term. Usually open) 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.

Your website describes your philosophy as a ‘blend’, what does that mean?

The daily program at both the Avalon and 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.

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.

What is your staff to child ratio?

Our staff ratio is 1:10 for 2–5 year olds. Our staff ratio for children 6 months to 2 year olds is 1:5.

How many qualified teachers are at your centre?

We have six qualified Teachers at the Waiwhetu Centre, and four qualified teachers at the Avalon Centre.

How many Montessori trained Teachers are at your centre?

Currently, the Waiwhetu Centre has two, and the Avalon Centre has one, however all staff have received varying degrees of in house training in the Montessori philosophy.

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.

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 may suggest dis-enrolling your child and re-enrolling upon return and offer the first available placement.

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.

Do you offer 20 ECE hours?

Yes, our weekly fees are based upon parents opting-in to receive the 20 ECE hours.

Do you have extra charges?

From time to time extra activities require additional fees. You can see examples in our New Parents section.

Our fee structures or each Centre can be found here:


What is Kinder m8?

Kinder m8 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.

How do I connect to Kinder m8?

Once your child starts transitioning into the Centre, you will receive an invitation from our office to connect to Kinder m8. You will need to create a password and this will be required each time you log in to Kinder m8.


Renee’s Preschool years have now come to an end! We would like to thank you for all your hard work, support and encouragement that you have given our daughter during her 2 years in the centre.

She loved every minute of it and always came home full of enthusiasm and stories to tell.

We can’t thank you enough for making her years so happy! Renee will miss all the teachers and friends at Shine. The whole family thanks you all!