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My child is 3 years old - do I have to enrol for more than 20 hours to access the 20 free hours?

No – you are welcome to use up to 20 hours in a week

Do you have a minimum number of hours?

We suggest no less than 2-3 morning sessions a week for a child’s wellbeing. Settling into education and care takes time and regularity. We find tamariki who have regular times and days throughout a week are more settled and find that transition easier than those who attend fewer hours.

Do I have to live in Aro Valley to enrol?

No, we take enrolments from all over the Wellington region. For some families, having their child in an early childhood learning environment close to work, is preferential. Our families come from Wellington CBD, Te Aro, Aro Valley, Kelburn, Karori, Brooklyn, Highbury and Mt Cook - as well as from suburbs outside the Wellington Central area.

Can I increase my hours after we have enrolled?

Yes, whānau who are enrolled get first option to increase hours when they are available before spaces are offered to wait listed whānau.

Can I decrease my hours once enrolled?

Yes, with 2 weeks written/emailed notice you can decrease hours at preschool if required

Can my child be enrolled in two early learning services?

Yes, you are welcome to split your week up if that suits your needs - just as long as your child is not enrolled at two early learning services at the same times. Please ask if you need further clarification on this.

Can I pay for more hours than just 8:30am - 2:30pm?

No, we have a licence from the Ministry of Education that shows our operational hours as 8:30am – 2:30pm and so you can only drop your child off from 8:30am onwards and they must be collected by 2:30pm at the latest.

Do I have to pay fees if we are away on holiday, or if my child is sick and doesn’t attend?

Yes – fees are required as your place is held while your child is away from preschool. After a 3-week continuous absence, there is a holding fee that is put in place to ensure your child’s space is kept for your return. If your child is going to be away on extended leave (more than 3 weeks) please discuss this with us in advance so we can explain the fee structure further.

My child is not yet toilet trained, do they need to be toilet trained before starting?

No – we have nappy changing facilities and support children to develop the skills required for toileting when they are ready. Families are asked to provide nappies each day or to leave a bag of nappies that are kept at preschool to be used as required.

My child still sleeps in the middle of the day, can they start at preschool?

We do not have a sleep room at Aro Valley Preschool. Children who require a daytime sleep usually finish at 12:30 and go home to sleep.

Can you teach my child to read and write before they go to school?

We will definitely support tamariki who have an interest in reading and writing but here at Aro Valley Preschool, we believe that a free play programme assists tamariki to transition to school better than a structured learning environment, so we don’t set structured learning times into our day.

What is the difference between the types of early learning services?

Aro Valley Preschool is a community, not-for-profit early childhood education service. We believe professional teaching is imperative for good outcomes for tamariki and so we pride ourselves on our teaching and relationship building. We do not use the words ‘day care’ or ‘child care’ as these terms are not reflective of our work, nor acknowledge, early childhood teaching as a profession. There are options for early childhood learning that include services that have longer days, and others that have some unqualified personnel, along with kindergartens, which offer very similar programmes to Aro Valley Preschool. There are also profit-based early childhood services, which are run as profit-making businesses. It always pays to check what qualifications and experience the teaching team has in any early learning environment you are looking at for your child.

We operate similar hours to kindergartens and have a team of fully qualified teachers. We have a smaller group size and lower ratios, so tamariki have opportunities to develop trusting and respectful relationships with their teachers in a small environment.