2014 Review submitted by Karen Payne (parent and ECE registered teacher)
Address: 45 Fraser Street, Tauranga
Maximum Child Numbers: 45 children over the age of 2 years
Hours: 7.45am – 5.00pm
Management: Owned by Christine Ryan, this centre is a family affair with daughter Louisa also a teacher at the preschool and most teachers having been part of the team for a number of years.
Daybreak preschool is situated on the corner of a main road in the suburb of Tauranga South. It sits on a main road and has a parking area with what seems to be sufficient spaces for parents and staff.
I arrived just after 9.30am in the morning and from the outside I thought that the centre looked like a modern house adapted to suit the needs of an early childhood centre. A little blackboard on the curb outlined the day’s main theme or activity for parents to read on arrival.
Upon entering the centre I was impressed by how well it seemed to be set out and organised. I was warmly greeted by the director Christine who was more than happy to show me around explaining what the centre offers and introducing me to all the staff.
Christine informed me that the centre is Montessori inspired, which for this centre means that they blend a range of play and purposeful set activities. Key values of the Montessori philosophy include respect for the environment, respect for others, respect for ourselves, and for the resources.
Daybreak seems to offer a lot of choice for parents and can meet parents’ different requirements for hours of care. A sessional programme is offered. Daybreak can also take children full-time and it runs a school holiday programme too.
I noticed on walking out into the playground that there was plenty of room for children to play with a mix of natural resources and playground equipment.
Going back inside, I saw some children arrive and witnessed nice interaction between teachers and children. All teachers greeted each child by shaking hands with a “Good morning”. This was a lovely personal touch which I liked to see because every child gets acknowledged on arrival and welcomed. Parents don’t have to worry about their child being lost in the crowd because there is such a sense of family and personal belonging.
I could tell cultural diversity was supported as I watched and listened to teachers weaving different greetings and songs into their daily practises.
A programme to prepare the older preschoolers for school is run each morning by a primary school trained teacher. The activities include mostly literacy, numeracy skills and independent self-care skills.
Christine mentioned that most teachers were fully qualified with some primary trained teachers as well.
Parents are asked to supply lunch-boxes if children are staying over for lunch. Daybreak provides morning and afternoon-teas.
Thoughout my visit I felt Daybreak was a warm, inviting and happy place to be.