Childcare for up to two year olds
The Burrow at Oma Rāpeti is where you will find the youngest members of our whānau. Children in this room vary in age up to around about two years old. This upper age varies as children transition from this room on a readiness basis rather than an age basis.
Oma Rāpeti is licensed for 12 children under two, but The Burrow is operated with three teachers alongside ten children. Children attend for a minimum of three days per week in order to foster connection and relationships.
The teachers at Oma Rāpeti are influenced by the works of Emmi Pikler and Magda Gerber alongside other theorists and have specific training in this work. Our approach is calm and at a child's pace; giving children time to process happenings, participate and take the lead where appropriate. Our approach is play and care based.
As our practice with children and whānau is based on relationships and the notion of respect, the building of strong relationships is imperative to the programme and underpins all our work. We believe in the value of building trusting relationships with consistent professional teachers. One way we foster this notion is through a main caregiving system.
What is the Main Caregiver System?
If you are not familiar with this system it is where each child and family have two main care teachers. This enables the teachers and family to develop a strong healthy attachment and know that one of the two teachers is consistently there for them all. This healthy attachment helps the child feel comfortable, secure and happy, which positively impacts on learning and development. This system also enables consistency in care and allows teachers to be responsive to children's needs.
We believe that there is valuable learning in the care moments, and therefore treasure these moments with the children. The two main teachers will be predominantly responsible for the child's well-being including their care moments, alongside documentation of the child and communication with the family. Care moments include meal times, settling, nappy changing, and sleep times. As these main relationships are not exclusive the main teachers will be supported by the other team members at times when the main carers may not be immediately available
We believe that these care moments/routines hold valuable learning opportunities and we embrace them. We acknowledge that it is through these care moments that strong relationships, emotional connections, and trust can form with children and whānau. In order for a healthy attachment to form, it is essential that these main relationships are predictable and stable but not exclusive.
Children are invited in to partnership and they are given time to respond to requests and invitations. We model respectful relationships.
Responsive and Nurturing Childcare
Our approach is responsive to the children's needs and are met in a timely and predictable fashion as team members identify cues and learn about each individual child. The rhythm of the room is different for each individual child as we follow their cues and needs. Our way of being with each child and family differs depending on their needs.
We embrace individual ways of being and personal care preferences are worked with. As our relationships deepen with whānau and children we learn more from them and adapt accordingly. We allow children to sleep when tired, eat when hungry, and play how they are innately programmed to play thus learn. We are able to respond in such a way because we learn children's unique ways of communicating and their subtle cues.
"The kind and caring companion I have in Charlie reflects your amazing work and the invaluable contribution you make to children’s development." - Charlie's Mum
"Would definitely recommend Oma Rāpeti to anyone looking for a caring, family oriented daycare." - Clare Fisher
"The staff are passionate about what they do and the philosophy is wonderful." - Liberty
Want to see our Burrow practice?
Check out this video from NZEI around quality care for infants and toddlers, here at our centre.