The parent handbook contains plenty of useful information. You can download it here (link to parent handbook)

A typical day at NNS

9.00am Welcome to all our children and families. Families must sign in and read notices and daily diary. Please apply sunscreen to your child.
9.15am Indoor or outdoor interest-based activities which will include small and large group experiences.
10.15am Transition to morning tea.
10.30am After morning tea return to interest-based activities, which will include small and large group experiences.
12.15pm Transition to lunch time.
1.00pm Transition to rest and relaxation time: story and music, quiet reading, storytelling.
1.30pm Offer quiet activities to non-sleepers.
2.00pm Children pack away their sheets, mats and get prepared for home.
2.15pm Continue with activities, games and large and small group experiences.
3.00pm Farewell children and families. Families sign out and read notices and daily diary.

What to bring each day

  • Spare set of clothes including socks and underwear (size and season appropriate)
  • Bag to carry things – small enough to fit in children’s locker
  • Hat with a brim that covers back of neck, ears and face
  • Comfortable shoes that support the foot eg with laces, buckles, or velcro. Thongs and slide-on shoes are difficult for children to run and climb in and are not recommended. In the warmer months children may go barefoot at times.
  • Lunch and morning tea and a drink bottle with water only.

What should parents do?

  • Sign your child in on arrival and out on departure
  • Read the communication diary in the sign in area. Record any messages to staff in communication diary, e.g. absences, changes to pickup routines.
  • Apply sunscreen to your child’s face and body before departure.
  • Ensure your child places their sheet bag in the sheet basket.
  • Ensure your child places their morning tea in the basket provided.
  • Please provide a healthy lunch in a small container or paper bag and ensure your child places it in the fridge.
  • Ensure your child places their drink bottle (water only) in the esky.
  • Check your child’s communication file for notices, newsletters and information.
  • Check the diary for any accident forms that need to be signed.
  • We only administer medication prescribed by a doctor or supplied with a letter from your doctor. Please inform a staff member if your child requires medication and they will ask you to fill out a Medication Form which must be signed at the end of the day to acknowledge that medication has been given. Please refer to the Medication Policy.

How old does my child have to be to go on the waitlist?

2 years old. You can read more about waitlisting here.

At what age do you take children?

Children are eligible to attend from the ages of 3 to 5 years. Most children don’t get in until the year before they start school. You can read more about eligibility here.

What are the fees?

The current fees are $59 per day. Fees are reviewed and updated at the end of each year.

Are the 3 day and the 2 day programs the same?

The philosophy and approach used by the preschool is consistent across both groups.

Do I need to let the preschool know if my child is sick?

Yes, a quick phone call is appreciated. Please let us know what your child has so we can keep an eye on contagious illnesses to safeguard all children.

How do I know if my child is ready for school and how do you prepare children for school?

Northern Nursery School provides a program that assists children in transition from preschool to school. Determining school readiness is based on a number of factors:

Social adjustment

  • positive self esteem
  • ability to share
  • skills in negotiation
  • perspective taking
  • empathy
  • reading social cues
  • ability to express needs, wants and ideas

Learning disposition

  • curiosity
  • positive sense of self
  • willingness to take risks
  • creativity
  • problem solving
  • adaptability
  • persistence

Our school readiness program is based around the children learning to participate as part of a group, to be independent, to resolve and deal with conflict, to express meaning through many different ways including the creative arts, print, science, nature, and mathematical concepts.

At the core of our approach is the importance of establishing positive relationships between children and children, children and teachers, their families and the community. Read more here (link to transition to school policy)

What type of educational program do you provide?

We use an enquiry based learning approach. Teachers and children act as co-constructors of learning and meaning. Individual portfolios, group stories of the day and investigations/project work all provide documentation of the children’s discoveries. We have an emphasis on an anti-bias and creative arts based program.

What are the qualifications and numbers of teachers in each room?

There are two staff in each room: an early childhood teacher and an early childhood educator. Some rooms may have 3 staff due to our inclusion policy. We have a special education teacher who works part time to support the inclusion of children with additional needs.

What happens if my child is sick or has a temperature at preschool?

We will contact you and you will need to collect your child.

What if I have questions or need to discuss issues with my child’s teacher?

Daily communication about your child can occur briefly at drop off and pick up. If you wish to speak about something in more detail please arrange an appointment with your teacher.

I don’t know any one in the area. Are there ways to make connections with other families?

Each year a couple of parents from each room act as room parents. Their job is to arrange social get-togethers and play dates throughout the year. We also distribute, with the family’s permission, a list of names and phone numbers for each room group.

How long should I stay in the morning?

When settling your child at preschool it is really helpful if you develop a goodbye ritual. Agree to stay and do one activity and then say goodbye. When you say goodbye it’s important that you leave, even if your child appears upset. The teacher will settle your child at an activity and provide TLC! Please arrive at 9am and leave as soon as your child is settled; typically this only takes about 10 minutes. We welcome family involvement, so do discuss with your teachers the different ways in which you can be involved. You are welcome to chat with other parents in the front garden once you have left as otherwise the rooms can get very crowded and noisy.

What time should I pick my child up?

The last half hour of the day is spent in many different ways, such as continuing with an area of interest, taking care of the room, or having a group time or meeting. If you are picking your child up please ensure you sign them out and check your communication folder. If you would like to talk to your teachers do come before 3pm so you have time and always let the teachers know that your child is leaving. It is always good to catch up with other parents at the end of the day and meeting up in the park or talking in the front garden allows the teachers to follow up on their end of day jobs.

How do you decide which room my child will be in?

This decision is made by the preschool. We aim to balance a number of aspects within each room. These include gaining an even gender balance, a mix of new and returning children, a mix of abilities, a balance of children with siblings and a mix of culturally diverse families.

My child has been coming home saying “no one will play with me” or “they won’t be my friend” or “I don’t want to go to preschool”.

It is important to alert your child’s teacher to this behaviour so that you can determine if this is actually an issue or if it’s your child’s way of getting your attention! Learning to participate in a group of 20 children is a challenge for preschoolers. They will play with different children throughout their day and year. You can read more here (link to behaviour policy)

What type of food should I pack for my child?

Healthy food that does not contain nuts and which is prepared at home is the best. Please provide a piece of fruit for morning tea and a sandwich or rice or pasta salad etc for lunch. Read more here (link to food policy)

Why can’t my child bring nuts and pre-packaged food to preschool?

The preschool has a healthy nutrition policy. We are a nut-free zone. Some children suffer from anaphylaxis as a result of contact with certain type of foods containing nuts or nut products. We ask that you send fruit for morning tea and avoid pre-packaged foods which are often not very nutritious for young children. You can read more here (link to food policy).

Why can’t my child have juice at preschool?

Drinking water is a habit that starts young in life and one which supports the child throughout their healthy growth to adulthood. Juice is often high in sugar and can be bad for children’s teeth so we like to discourage it. Juice can be a home treat.

Does my child have to be toilet trained?

Most children who start at the preschool are toilet trained. However from time to time there are children with special needs or from different circumstances who are not toilet trained. Please speak to the director if your child is not toilet trained.

Do you teach the children how to read and write?

The preschool does not provide formal lessons in the way that a school does. Children are immersed in an environment that is stimulating and full of opportunities for expression of meaning. We provide materials and resources that allow children to begin to write their names when they are ready. The preschool uses an emergent curriculum approach and does not seek to accelerate children’s writing and reading skills specifically. The sorts of resources provided include:

  • writing and drawing areas with a variety of textas, pencils, crayons, paper and scissors
  • name cards with children’s names for them to read and copy
  • investigations of children’s interests where teachers document in print and picture the children’s discoveries.

These are then read back to the children and placed in the book corner as a resource along with a variety of good quality diverse story books.

What do I do if I need someone else to pick my child up?

You need to make sure that you have listed the person on the collection authority form. You should also either phone the teachers on the day or write a note in the daily diary. Please advise the person collecting your child that they may be asked to provide ID.

What is your policy on discipline?

Children are respected as active contributors to our community. They are learning to interact with their friends, solve conflict, negotiate and collaborate with others. In guiding their developments we assist by setting clear and fair limits, encouraging positive behaviour and social contribution and by promoting positive self and group identify. Read more here (link to behaviour policy)

How can I be involved in the preschool?

There are a number of ways. Here are some possibilities:

  • join the Management Committee
  • join the Social Club to raise funds and promote community spirit through social events
  • become a room parent to build family friendships within your group
  • contribute and participate in fundraising and social events
  • share any special talents with the children
  • assist with morning tea
  • join us on excursions

Should I only speak English to my child whose first language is not English?

Young children can learn to speak several languages. It’s important that you continue to speak to them in their native language. They will learn English naturally at preschool. Don’t be worried if they are quiet for the first few months, children who are learning a second language often go through a silent period before they start to speak English. Please feel welcome to share information about your child and examples of important words in their home language with staff.

My child has some special needs. How will she settle in?

NNS is committed to the inclusion of all children into all aspects of our program. We have additional staff including a part time special education teacher who assists children and staff in meeting the needs of all children. We have an independent speech pathologist who can screen children and may be able to provide therapy at the preschool. NNS networks with a range of professional services that can provide support and advice to families.

What do I do if I have a problem or a complaint?

If you have a problem it is best to raise it first with your child’s teacher. If you don’t feel satisfied with the response, or if you want to speak to someone else, please talk to the Director. In the event that you are still unhappy with the outcome, you can contact the Chair of the Management Committee. Complaints policy