Ages of children: Licensed to care for children from infancy
Group / Centre Size: 51 or more children. This is a mega licensed early childhood centre. Check that small family-like group sizes are maintained, and not large classes. It is important for children's learning and emotional wellbeing to consistently have the same teachers everyday. No child should feel or be 'lost in the crowd'.
Qualified teaching staff: 80% to 100% of teaching staff are qualified teachers (according to funding claimed from the Ministry of Education, last updated beginning of 2020).
Shows Children that Men Can Teach and Care for Young Children Too: In 2019 the teaching team included one or more men. (Note that it is best to have gender balance with children being taught and cared for by both men and women)
Highly Parent Rated: THIS SERVICE CANNOT YET BE CLASSIFIED AS A HIGHLY RATED SERVICE. (To be so it needs to have a number of recent positive reviews - at least 5 positive if a small centre, or 10 if a mega-centre or a home-based service)
Compliance with Regulations & Minimum Standards: It has a clean record. It was not downgraded to a provisional or suspended licence by the Ministry of Education last year (if you want to check on its history before 2019 go to more info below)
It's often easy to find fault in a childcare center, however, Minimarc was so bad we quickly decided not to put our child there. The head teacher seemed put out that we asked questions about cleaning methods, and was very short when asked if there was a learning curriculum of any sort. She said the kids learned by playing outside or some such statement. Obviously didn't like being questioned about cleanliness or education in the center.
There were under two's in a part of the building that wasn't separated from the older kids. The head teacher said something like it's good for the different aged kids to play together. Also the under two's were not supervised 100% of the time.
Outside, a young female staff member was on her phone, maybe 6 times in 3-4 minutes, while playing a CD of some song to kids. When this was mentioned to the head teacher and she said staff updated an online system / pics the center had. The staff member quickly put her phone in her pocket when the head teacher approached.
Also, a lady was supervising outside play on the gym type equipment with kids in nappies. She said it's my lunchtime and got up and left the kids there, didn't inform other teachers, or the kids, or anything.
The head teacher was upset that I might point out or question or even criticise anything in the center and said the center suits some people and others leave. I asked why do other parents take their kids out, she said different reasons, but it probably wouldn't suit me.