Frequently Asked Questions

We have detailed below some common questions around the Centre and its operation. If you have any further queries or would like any further information, please don't hesistate to give us a call on 03 313 6733 or drop us an email on


We are open from 7.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday.

The Centre is closed for Weekends and Statutory Holidays.

Absences are charged at the normal session rate, however each child is entitled to 10 Holiday Days per year to cover extended time away from the Centre

Enrolment procedure

We encourage all prospective parents to visit the centre before making a decision (and would love to show you around!)

If you would like to proceed with a booking, please ask the centre staff for an enrolment form, or you can download a copy from this website (on our Enrolment Page)

Where the Centre is fully booked, our staff will confirm if you would like to go on the Waitlist for sessions as they become available.

Settling your child

We ask that parents bring their child into visit the centre as much as possible once a start date is given to build their confidence before their first day. If you are unable to bring your child in to visit the centre before their first day, we ask that you stay with them for at least a short period of time before leaving them.

The time it takes will vary with each child—from a week to several weeks. The staff will observe each child's progress and discuss this with the family.

Our aim is to have happy, secure children who have developed a relationship of trust with their teachers. We will work closely with parents and children to establish a positive and bond of trust to ensure each child and their families feel secure that Fernside Preschool is a great place to be!


Our programme is based on 'Te Whaariki', the national curriculum for early childhood education. We endeavour to provide a warm and friendly atmosphere at Fernside Preschool, and a stimulating and challenging programme and environment for every child.

Children are encouraged to make choices and are given opportunities to explore their world through play. Our programme is developed by observing the children and assessing their development.

The curriculum blends a mix of free play, activity choices and group learning times which run throughout the day.


We are required by law to keep a copy of the Certificate of Immunisation and Birth Certificate on file. Please bring this with you on the first day.

We take child safety very seriously, with all staff trained in First Aid and holding current First Aid Certificates. We maintain an accident and illness register at the Centre, to be completed by Parents and Staff

For the management of illness, we follow the guidelines from the Canterbury District Health Board. We do maintain 48 Hour exclusion periods in the event of vomiting/diarrohea, and ask you to please keep your child at home if they show any sign of syptoms for diseases noted in our Infections Diseases Policy (a copy of this policy is available from the Preschool Office)

Personal items

All personal items brought into the centre must be clearly named. Each child is required to bring to the centre each day a large bag (name tagged) with handles.

Personal toys can be easily misplaced or broken and suggest that they are not brought to the centre. However, a blanket or soft toy that your child uses as a comfort is welcomed as long as it is named.



Children are observed while at play in order for the teachers to understand, appreciate and respond to the development of each child. These observations are then recorded in the form of anecdotes, photographs, and samples of artwork.

This information is collected and developed in a portfolio for your child during their time here at Fernside Preschool, which you can view in both Hard Copy folder, plus online via our Secure Parent Portal

Rest time

For toddlers at the Centre, the children have the opportunity of an early afternoon nap/quiet time in an assigned bed.

For our nursery children, we follow home sleeping patterns for babies and will discuss your child's individual needs and requirements with you. It is encouraged that your child brings a comfort, such as a blanket or teddy, to the centre for their rest times.


The centre cannot accept responsibility for children being “dropped off” at the gate. Please ensure that your child is brought into the building and “handed over” to a staff member before you leave.

It is of extreme importance that you sign your child on the sign in and out sheets each day in the foyer, so that in the event of an emergency, we know exactly who is in the building.


When a child is under medication from a doctor it is essential that you sign the medicine book and that the medicine be given to a member of staff and not left in the child's bag. It is vital that medication is clearly named and prescribed by a doctor. NO medicines that are un-prescribed will be given to any child by staff.



Parents are also required to provide a sunhat for the summer periods and we recommend gumboots during the winter periods. These must also be named and kept at the centre.

Sunscreen is provided by the centre free of charge. If your child has skin irritations, a sensitive sunscreen can be provided by parents and kept onsite.