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Education Programme

 
At Nestlings we have adjoining inside spaces for our babies and toddlers (under 2s) and for our 2 year olds which gives us the flexibility to join together or to be separate according to the needs and interests of the children.  We have a commitment to honouring the Treaty of Waitangi and each centre is on a journey to make Tui a bicultural place for all children.
Our 15 babies have 5 teachers who have a passion for teaching and nurturing this special age group. This excellent ratio means that we have the time for individual attention, if that is what a child needs. 

We treat all children respectfully but particularly the babies who are so totally dependent on us.
Teachers create a healthy atmosphere of being together with real encounters, with the baby participating in all their care routines. For instance, we do not pick up a child, wipe their nose, wash their face, take them off for a nappy change without telling the child what it is we would like to do and asking for their participation. If we wanted to change a child we would have a conversation.  Speak to him about what is going to be done, what kind of clothes are going to be put on him.   About which part of his body will be touched.  Talking to him, informing him, not only while the action is being done, but also before it is started:  “I am going to put your arm in the sleeve of the jacket.  Yes, this arm.  Thank you.”  At only a few months the baby will lift his arm when the teacher’s hand is reaching for it.  What a pleasure for the adult, and what a pleasure for the baby to do this dance together!
We choose to have about 18 two year olds with 3 teachers. We have a large space inside to cater for the exuberance of 2 year olds, and for the multiplication of equipment so that there is less need for the children to share. We all know about 2s and sharing! This is one of the skills we work on as the child grows nearer to 3. We are very fortunate to have a large outside environment that the babies and 2s share and that provides space for children to be alone or work with others.  Changes happen frequently in this area in accordance with children's interests and the teachers' enthusiasms but a feature always is our gardens.  We believe that all of us have an entitlement to work and play in a pleasant environment.

In our programme, children are mostly free to choose what they will work on and the routines they are involved in are respectful and gentle, taking the child's emotions and well being into account.  We are supportive of transition times, when children are arriving or leaving, as some find this quite hard from time to time.  We offer snacks and lunch for extended periods so that children can choose when they feel ready to eat.  Toileting is a matter of reminders rather than a 'must do now'.  Sleep time happens if a parent requests it and the child is willing (although we do make having a sleep/rest a very peaceful experience).

We encourage children to respect the rights and needs of other people through role modelling between teachers and with children.  We have our own special way of acting positively with children to help them manage their emotions and act in ways that do not hurt themselves or others.


 
Every day these experiences are provided in the centre:

* reading, storytelling; music, finger plays, rhymes;

* modelling; (e.g. playdough);

* building or construction; (e.g. recycled materials, blocks)

* art; (e.g. painting, finger painting, collage);

* drama; (e.g. dolls, dressing up, role playing)

* manipulative; (e.g. puzzles, clothes’ fastenings)


* exploration and experimentation with science and maths; (e.g. water, sand, gardening)

* outdoor activities and equipment; (e.g. swings, balls, boxes)