Educa and Baby Connect
Your child’s experiences at are recorded in their own portfolio, enabling you to look over your child’s time at anytime at the centre and for years to come.
We use Educa (for toddlers and preschoolers) and Baby Connect (for the nursery). These apps provide portfolios using a smartphone app that means you can feel close when you’re far away. Your child’s teachers can send you real-time updates, photos and videos throughout your day. These applications are available on your phone which allows us to communicate those special moments to you, like your child’s first steps, learning a new activity or even eating something new for the first time.
All of your child’s experiences at Cottontails are recorded via Educa or Baby Connect and put into your child’s portfolio, enabling you to look over your child’s time with us for years to come.
The information collected from these observations is analysed regularly to make assessments of the children’s learning and development. We then use these assessments and observations to plan new ways to extend your child’s unique interests and abilities. Through these apps we can share notices, events, reminders, policies, messages, conversations with individuals and get immediate responses.
Via email, you will be provided with a unique username and password to your child’s online portfolio so you can view at any time. You can download apps for Educa or Baby Connect on Android and iOS devices using the link below or just search the Apple App store or Google Play Store using the term Educa or Baby Connect.
The system is secure and the information contained within this system will only be accessed by you and our team – information, observations or photos will not be shared with anyone else.
Every day has a basic routine. This is to create a comforting and safe foundation from which children can explore. However, learning and activities within the centre are regularly changed with the goal of stimulating, supporting and creating opportunities for imaginative, creative and scientific play.
All children are provided with good quality, home cooked meals by our friendly chef.
Parents as partners
Working in partnership with parents is paramount to children’s learning and development, Cottontails prides itself on the collaborative approach between parent and setting on the child’s learning and development.
Talking about your child’s learning may happen informally at the beginning or end of the day when you drop off or collect your child from nursery. Engaging in a conversation with your child’s Key Person can often produce useful information about new interests or experiences that can be used to plan exciting and challenging learning opportunities at nursery and further create activity ideas that can be shared with parents to do at home.
We recognise at Cottontails how busy parents are so we utalise technology tools to support a regular two way flow of communication such as Educare, Baby Connect, newsletters, phone calls, texts and emails. As part of our ongoing development we always welcome suggestions to improve our processes to ensure as parents you are happy and involved as much as possible in your child’s daily life.
Parents are always welcome to share observations and concerns with staff.
A range of play equipment is available to help children develop their skills. Safety was paramount in the design and implementation of the outdoor play equipment.
Great care is taken to choose materials that will create an inspiring sensory experience.
- Real life props, such as brushes and gardening tools
- Small-world toys to help build a child’s imagination and language skills
- Construction play such as building blocks, to help children develop fine motor skills, spatial awareness and problem solving
- Physical play equipment such as tricycles, balancing beams and tunnels to encourage physical activity
- Creative play kitchens to build a child’s imagination, creativity and coordination
- Dress up – including role play, den making, and small group activities
- We take safety seriously having policies, reviews and training for all staff
- We use the very best R10 rated flooring in wet areas to prevent slips
- All spills are cleaned up immediately by staff members
- We work closely with the council to make sure every aspect of our centre exceeds the health and safety expectations set out by the council
At Cottontails we provide natural, home-style meals from the team at Nurture
Kids at www.nurturekids.co.nz, that have been developed by a Cordon Bleu Chef, following the strict guidelines of Ministry of Health’s Eating for Healthy Toddlers/Children and the Heart Foundation’s Healthy Heart.
All meals have been designed to appeal to children’s taste buds while being high in protein and fresh vegetables, low in fat and sodium, with no preservatives, no added sugar and no artificial flavours/colours and are nut free.
Examples of meals include:
- Beef Mince Bolognese Pasta Bake
- Creamy Chicken & Sweetcorn Pie
- Mac ‘n Cauliflower & Broccoli Cheese
- Poached Salmon & Broccoli Pie with Potato Topping
- Teddy Bear Pasta Bake with Roasted Pumpkin and Spinach
Cottontails makes every effort to make mealtimes enjoyable and an opportunity to learn. Meals are served family style, so that children can experience the social aspects of mealtimes, setting the table, talking about the foods they are about to eat and then helping clearing away after themselves. All meals have been designed to appeal to children’s taste buds while being high in protein and fresh vegetables, low in fat and sodium, with no preservatives, no added sugar and no artificial flavours/colours and are nut free.
Children at Cottontails will get the opportunity to learn how to grow and pick their own food in a supervised environment. Meals are served both inside and outside on our fabulous deck. Children can sit with their friends in a happy, engaging environment.