BETHLEHEM COLLEGE KINDERGARTEN
The Practical Stuff | FAQs
Where is Bethlehem College Kindergarten?
Bethlehem College Kindergarten is part of the Bethlehem College campus, in Bethlehem, Tauranga. After driving down the beautifully tree-lined Elder Lane you will come to the Bethlehem College chapel. Turn right into the car park and you will discover Bethlehem College Kindergarten, tucked up behind the chapel.
What age groups do you cater for?
We provide sessional and full-time care and education for up to 43 three to five year olds.
What are your hours of operation and session times?
Our centre operates Monday to Friday, from 8am – 4pm each day. For children who require sessional rather than full-time care, we have a morning session from 8.00am – 12.30 pm and an afternoon session from 12.30pm – 4pm each day.
Does Bethlehem College Kindergarten close during school holidays?
No, it’s business as usual for Bethlehem College Kindergarten throughout the school holidays. We close on public holidays and for two weeks during the Christmas/New Year period.
Do we have to live in Bethlehem to send our child to Bethlehem College Kindergarten?
No, you don’t. Zoning (where your home address determines your eligibility for enrolment at local schools) does not apply to early childhood centres. We do have a number of families who travel from Te Puke, Katikati, Papamoa or beyond because they like the quality and the special Christian character of Bethlehem College Kindergarten.
Do you offer 20 Hours of ECE?
Under the government ’20 Hours ECE’ scheme all three to five year olds can qualify for a subsidy on up to 20 hours early childhood education (ECE). Some centres provide a quality service beyond the minimum requirements set out by the government and in those cases an optional additional fee is charged. Bethlehem College Kindergarten is in this category and the additional fees payable help to support and facilitate a quality learning environment for your child.
What are your fees?
Fees payable will depend on the number of hours your child will require and how those hours are allocated. Please contact us to discuss how our Fee Schedule would apply to your situation.
Can I secure a place for my child before they turn three?
Yes, you can. If your child is two years old you may be researching centres in anticipation of their eligibility for the government 20 Hours ECE subsidy when they turn three. It’s a good idea to get prepared early and we recommend that you arrange a centre visit with your child and fill out our application form. Children on our approved waiting list are guaranteed a place when they turn three years old.
What is your ‘settling in’ process?
We require children to have a minimum of two visits accompanied by a parent or guardian before they officially begin. This helps ease your child into their new environment and to have the safety of your presence while he or she begins to build secure relationships with our teachers.
Can I stay with my child during their sessions at Bethlehem College Kindergarten?
Yes, absolutely. We have an open door policy and parents/whānau are very welcome to be involved in our daily programme at any time. When teachers and parents work together for the good of each child, everybody wins.
What is the process for enrolment?
The first step is to come and visit our centre with your child and meet our teachers. During this visit you will receive our Enrolment Pack and if you would like to proceed, someone from our team will make a time to fill out the forms with you and arrange start dates, fee payments and settling-in sessions.
Who Owns Bethlehem College Kindergarten?
We are one of five early childhood education and care centres operating under the umbrella of Bethlehem Early Learning Centres (BELC). BELC is a subsidiary of the Christian Education Trust (CET) and is governed by an experienced board of professionals who are passionate about providing transformative education with Christian values.
Do you embrace and encourage cultural diversity?
Yes, absolutely. We enjoy having families from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds in our centres and we celebrate the richness and colour this brings to our centre community. We value New Zealand’s bi-cultural heritage and honour the principles and the spirit of the Treaty of Waitangi in our relationships and in our culturally responsive teaching practice.
What do you provide in the way of food?
We provide a healthy morning and afternoon tea for children. Parents of children who attend until 12.30pm need to provide a packed lunch for their child. We encourage you to supply a healthy and balanced meal, which will help your child develop good eating habits. We have a ‘nut-free’policy at Bethlehem College Kindergarten to protect children who have dangerous allergic reactions to nuts.
How will we know what our child has been learning?
We document, support and extend children’s individual learning and strengths at our centre. Each child has an individual portfolio, which is a collection of some of his or her work, photographs, observations and learning stories. These are kept at the centre and are available for you and your child to access. We value your feedback and input and encourage you to add your thoughts and reflections.
Are your practices environmentally sustainable?
We have a sustainable approach to learning and operations. We take care of our country and our community by using natural, sustainable, eco-friendly resources for learning and play wherever possible. Children learn about recycling and the impact our choices can make on the world around us.
Do I have to be a Christian to send my child to Bethlehem College Kindergarten?
No, you don’t. We warmly welcome all families irrespective of their faith background who wish their children to absorb Christian values and to benefit from the warm and loving environment in our centres. While our programme may involve reading Bible stories, singing Christian songs and saying karakia before meals, our Christian ethos is mostly reflected in the loving and respectful relationships we have with one another and in the integrity and character of our teachers.
What do you do to prepare older children for primary school?
While we have a special relationship with Bethlehem College, we actively build relationships with the key primary schools in the Bethlehem area to ensure that we are effectively preparing our older children for the transition to a more structured primary school environment. In addition to supporting their literacy and numeracy development, we particularly focus on helping older children to establish effective self-care and self-management skills. Primary teachers stress the importance of this to prepare children for the higher level of self-responsibility required when they enter primary school.