The Practical Stuff | FAQs | First Class Education and Care


Where is First Class Education and Care?
You’ll find First Class Education
and Care at 125 Moffat Road, Bethlehem, Tauranga. We are not far from the Bethlehem College campus and are next to Mills Reef Winery whose beautiful grassy ground s
we have permission to use for excursions with the children.

What age groups do you cater for?
First Class Education and Care
 is separated into two units. In 
our Kindergarten unit we provide sessional and full-time care and education for children aged 2 1⁄2 – 5 years. In our Infants and Toddlers unit we provide sessional and full- time care for children aged 6 months – 2 1⁄2 years.

What are your hours of operation?
Our centre operates Monday to Friday, from 7.30am – 5.30pm 
each day.

Does First Class Education and Care close during school holidays?
No, it’s business as usual for 
First Class Education and Care 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 First Class Education and Care?
No, you don’t. Zoning (where your home address determines your eligibility for schools) does not apply to early childhood centres. We
 do have a number of families who travel some distance because they like the quality and the special Christian character of First Class Education and Care.

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. First Class Education and Care 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.

I am waiting for my child to qualify for the 20 Hours ECE subsidy when they turn three. Can I secure a place for my child in your kindergarten unit before this?
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.

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. We provide up to three visits free of charge.

Can I stay with my child during their sessions at First Class Education and Care?
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 book a centre visit with your child and meet our teachers. During this visit you will receive our Enrolment Pack. 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 First Class and Care?
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?
We enjoy having families from
a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds in our centre 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 during lunchtime 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 First Class Education and Care 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 First Class Education and Care?
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 will sometimes 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?
We actively build relationships
with primary schools in our local community 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.

Have a question we haven’t answered? Call us on 07 579 2252 or email us at












“The centre enjoys a low turnover of staff and this contributes to strong relationships evident in the centre between children and teachers.”




WE HAVE  A BIG HEART FOR CHILDREN. We honour each child as a gift to be discovered and developed. Our passion as educators is to nourish, nurture, affirm and encourage each child in his or her uniqueness. Read more
WE WELCOME PARENT INVOLVEMENT.  Our door is always open. We believe that parents are the primary educators and we count it a privilege to partner with and support you in that important role. Parents/whanau are very welcome to be involved in our daily programme at any time. Read more
WE CULTIVATE CREATIVE PLAY AND THE PERFORMING ARTS.  We believe that children are inherently creative and we nurture this capacity every day. Whether we are doing hula dancing, having a bubble party or putting on a production there is always something fun happening! Read more
WE’RE NOT-FOR-PROFIT, WE’RE FOR CHILDREN.  Our centre is owned by BELC, a subsidiary of the Christian Education Trust who provide transformative education with Christian values. The children’s well-being is our highest priority in all business decisions.  Read more
OUR CHRISTIAN VALUES CREATE A LOVING ENVIRONMENT. We have a heart-felt and faith-filled desire to respect, accept, nurture, support and affirm your child. It is our privilege to enjoy their uniqueness, to develop their gifts and talents and to bring them into a positive experience of God’s love. Read more