Since 2019 we have been moving towards an Open Day format for our Burrow (under 2) space. There are often questions around why we do this as opposed to an individual tour through the space, so we thought we'd review our practice and explain our reasons so that as parents and caregivers you have an understanding of why this works for our infants.
Our bubbles are precious!
Here at Oma Rāpeti, we have a slow flow to our day. Our care moments are peaceful and at the pace of our tamariki. We talk often about "care bubbles" and how we wish to maintain that little bubble of peace within a particular moment or within our room in general. We want to protect that sanctity as much as possible through limiting the number of people entering and exiting the space.
When our infants are crawling, sitting, or even when standing, they are significantly lower than an adult. Can you imagine a world where unknown people, who are 3 times taller than yourself, loom above you? Having an unknown person within our infants' small "bubble" of space can be an intimidating experience, let alone a constant flow of people through the room.
We saw the bubble of peace broken too many times and decided that most of our fantastic, and caring future parents and whānau who tour Oma Rāpeti ELC would understand that we need to put our infants first. It goes without saying that philosophically we need to align our tours with who we are and what we are about; placing our tamariki at the heart of everything we do.
But what about the authenticity?
We view the Open Day as the first step to joining our Oma Rāpeti whānau - there will be many more chances to see our space with the children here. The Open Day gives you the chance to see whether our philosophy aligns to your parenting philosophy. This is a really key step in finding the right centre for your tamariki. So many of our families often comment on how they found their happy space here and knew once they walked in the door that they wanted a space for their tamaiti at Oma Rāpeti. We suggest reading this blog about philosophy before attending our Open Day, so you have a little more information about how things are done here.
We are huge fans of authenticity and, don't worry, you will be invited to spend time amongst our children once you are offered a spot within our centre (and before you commit to taking it.) You are welcome to join us, sit with us, talk to our team, throw ideas our way, chat to our existing parents and figure out what we are about. When 90% of our new enrolments are from word of mouth we are confident that we are who we say we are.
As whānau you will be invited to spend time onsite during transition (this is often a gentle 2-3 week slow process.) We always have open doors and a community mindset, so you will often find parents in and about our Centre. The difference for the tamariki is that parents become known faces - it is fun to say hello to a friend's caregiver!
We have lots of enquiries....
We have lots of tours through our space - yay! What a fantastic predicament to be in when we have so many people wanting to hear more about what we are doing here. By sitting together as a group, you can hear from our director, Nikki, and decide whether Oma Rāpeti fits with your own parenting philosophies. Nikki is really passionate about what good care might look like and how to find this. Often people come along to our tours just to find out what questions to ask when they tour other centres or to hear more about what to look for.
After sitting and chatting you will have a really good feel for whether you would like to jump onto our waitlist.
What about the older children?
Once our children reach 2 years old it is slightly different. Our Meadow space is a bigger area where we can find a quiet corner to sit and chat without popping any care bubbles. The older children often come and introduce themselves and check in with our tours.
If you are looking at a Meadow space you are welcome to join any upcoming Open Days, or if we can make it work we will tour through with individual groups.
When is our next Open Day?
If you pop an enquiry into our website using this link, the team will get back to you with a date for our next Open Day.
We look forward to meeting you!
The Oma Rāpeti team x