How do we care for babies?

“Lucy was so good at reassuring and comforting our baby I knew she was in safe and caring hands.”

Sharon, mum of Charley 13 months about the teacher of the baby centre.

Choosing Child Care

We understand the need to nurture not just care for your baby. Our nurseries with their home like environment are designed for babies. We employ specialised teachers who are trained in looking after babies, who know how to take good care of them and make sure they do help the baby’s brain develop. Our professional support structure offers specialised advice to teachers and builds on their knowledge on how to extend youngsters.

Our qualified teachers know how to support children in developing foundation skills. For example, babies have reflexes that can be developed. We have the right puzzles for your baby to play with to develop the muscles in their hands. We provide an abundance of resources so your child can have access to probably more stimulating toys and equipment than most homes have.

The most important part of taking care of your baby is our partnership with you. Our teachers will develop close relationships with you so that together we know how to best support your child and share experiences of what is happening in their development.

The Education Review Office (ERO) reports that in our under two centres they have found positive, trusting and responsive relationships with families and the wider community. They report that our teachers have a good understanding of the children’s learning, well being and developmental needs; that staff create a calm and relaxed atmosphere in which children engage in activities at their own pace and that children are comfortable in the environment and are familiar with routines that are unobtrusive and flexible.

BestStart is very proud that ERO reports on its under two centers show that the quality areas it focuses on and ensures it offers are also what the Children’s Commissioner advises parents to look for quality education and care for children of under two years of age.

These are, high adult to child ratios; small groups; trained staff with qualifications; responsive care giving; well defined spaces for under twos; involving parents; focus on health and safety and socially; culturally and developmentally appropriate curriculum.

Caring for Under Twos

Caring for the under twos is a special job, according to the BestStart teachers. The BestStart philosophy is to welcome babies into their larger family, where as time goes by, and they are ready, each baby finds a wealth of companionship and stimulation with older and younger children.

Given that parents leaving their babies and toddlers in child care means they worry that they’ve done the right thing, a recent ERO report tells of comforting quality care, saying “ children receive high levels of care when they emerge from sleep,” and that “infants expressed joy” during their games and activities. ERO went on to say that infants formed meaningful relationships with staff and children, meaning that they are learning emotional and social skills while in care. ERO reports the children playing “cooperatively”.

ERO also reported a high level of trust between parents and staff, with children’s progress carefully documented for parents to see, visiting and talks with staff encouraged. The transition period between home and child care is allowed to take several weeks while both parents, baby and staff settle in, and trust is built up. Children’s individual preferences and choices are respected, and their curiosity encouraged as they develop and participate in learning at their own pace, using “a wide selection of resources” according to ERO.

One BestStart teacher, when asked why she chose to work with under-twos, encapsulated the answers to this question of most of the teachers . She said: “ It’s the most amazing experience as you see their incredible development and their learning is so fast and exciting. They join our whanau as an immobile baby and leave us running, talking, dancing. I understand how important the first three years of a child’s life are and want to be part of that positive experience, helping to connect those neurons inside their clever minds, and offering them experiences and opportunities that will be the building blocks of their lives.

This sort of skill, enjoyment and dedication is what makes quality child care the enriching experience it can be parents, children and staff.