Gingerbread Cottage is a privately owned homebased childcare service licensed and operating under the Ministry of Education Regulations. We currently have Educators and Nannies based in the Hamilton, Ngaruawahia and Huntly areas.
We employ qualified Early Childhood Education Visiting Teachers who work closely with each family to provide for the individual needs of the child placed in our care. Our teaching team are committed and passionate about providing quality care and education for preschool children.

Gingerbread Cottage Philosophy

We focus on developing warm, reciprocal relationships, ngā hononga, with all who join us; tamariki/whānau, Educators and staff. We believe that respectful relationships will foster a sense of belonging for all, and will enable us to be responsive to parent and whānau, with aspirations and expectations.
Play is seen as a valuable way for tamariki to learn. Our dedicated Educators therefore provide safe, nurturing and stimulating learning environments where tamariki are encouraged to play and explore in their own way and time, whakamana. Our homes, playgroups and excursions provide holistic learning, kotahitanga, opportunities for tamariki so that they can explore and socialise with others.
At Gingerbread Cottage we value and celebrate the culture, strengths and interests of each tamaiti, while promoting the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand. Our ultimate aim is to affirm the individuality of each tamaiti so that they will continue to be competent, confident and contributing members of the community, whanau tangata.

Gingerbread Cottage Vision

The uniqueness of each tamaiti will be nurtured and celebrated so that they remain confident and competent individuals who will continue to make unique and valuable contributions to their communities.

Gingerbread Cottage Mission

To provide exceptional home learning environments where dedicated Educators are supported and guided by fully qualified and experienced teachers so that the individuality of each tamaiti is nurtured, celebrated and enhanced. In addition to our home learning environments we provide our own playgroup venue where we strive to develop a sense of belonging and inclusiveness for tamariki, whanau and Educators.

Gingerbread Cottage Whakatauki

He whānau kotahi tatou, ā ahakoa he iti he pounamu – We are one family, where each member is precious and valued.

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01 March 2021
OPERATING PROCEDURES FOR COVID-19 ALERT LEVEL 2 - Families

These operating procedures apply during Covid-19 Alert Level 2. They are based on Ministry of Health (MoH) and Ministry of Education (MoE) advice 14th February 2021. They are automatically superseded should MoH or MoE advice change to require greater restrictions. Should MoH and MoE advice become less stringent these operating procedures shall be reviewed and amended as appropriate.
PURPOSE
The purpose of this document is to ensure that Gingerbread Cottage operates as safely as possible during Alert Level 2.
This plan will be put into action and procedures followed by all Gingerbread Cottage Visiting Teachers and educators throughout the advised period to minimise infection and ensure that we operate as safely as possible during Alert Level 2.
HOW WILL GINGERBREAD COTTAGE KEEP YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN SAFE?
• Gingerbread Cottage playgroup will continue for enrolled children, but organised community excursions will be suspended until further notice.
• Educators will be mindful of distance between beds while children are sleeping, aiming for 1 metre in between, or if possible, in separate rooms.
• A common-sense approach will be taken on how to handle appropriate social distancing measures in home as much as is practical
• Children must be dropped off and collected by one parent or family member only
• Parents and whānau dropping off and picking up children shall not to enter the educator’s home.
• Whānau are to text, ring or message the educator so she can meet them at the door to greet them and their child. We ask that the children’s belongings and bag ready to give to the educator.
• The timesheet is to be signed at the end of the week, making sure the parent either uses their own pen or that the Educator is able to sanitise the use of the supplied pen between people.
• Educators shall ensure that children wash their hands when they arrive and just before they leave.
Health Monitoring
• Parents and staff are responsible for monitoring their own health and not be available to work if they feel at all unwell.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
MoH and MoE advice is that gloves and face masks are not required for normal activities. Should staff feel safer wearing gloves during the day they may do so. Anyone wearing gloves for their own protection must remember that the outside of the gloves may become contaminated, so gloves being worn must be sanitised in the same way as bare hands.
Hand Sanitiser
Thoroughly washing hands with soap and water is recommended, but when this is not possible hand sanitiser may be used. If using hand sanitiser it must be kept out of children’s reach.
Ensure hand washing is carried out before –
• touching the gate and front door,
• before eating,
• after touching any surface, if contamination is suspected.
The following resources will be removed/limited during Level 2.
• toys and equipment that cannot be easily sanitized
• food role play items
• play dough
• finger paints
• blankets }
• dress-ups } to be washed daily
Sensory and modelling resources such as playdough and finger paint can be provided in individual portions and discarded after use)
Other Hygiene Practices
Where possible disposable cloths will be used to clean surfaces. Reusable cloths will be cleaned, disinfected and then dried after use.
During the day door handles, commonly touched surfaces and in-use resources shall be sanitized regularly.
Children shall be well spread out at meal times. No food or drink may be shared. Children’s hands and faces must be cleaned both before and after eating. All normal mealtime hygiene practices shall be followed.
Visiting Teachers In-home Visits
● Visiting Teachers will continue with in-home visits.
● Visiting Teachers will continue to be contactable by phone, text messaging and emails.
● Gingerbread Cottage office will continue to be open.

WHAT IF THERE IS EXPOSURE TO COVID-19?
If we believe that someone has been exposed to COVID-19 we follow procedure as required by Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health.
If there is a confirmed or probable case linked with Gingerbread Cottage, we will be advised of that by the Medical Officer of Health.
FEES AND SUBSIDIES
Normal fees will be charged for attendance and normal notice of any non-attendance will be required.
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We have had another fun-filled visit to the Huntly fire station! Dave the fire fighter talked with us about 'getting down and getting out' in the event of a fire and he dressed up in all the fire fighting equipment to show the children that even with all that equipment on they are still real people. Thank you Anthea for also dressing up in all that gear!
Then it was out to explore the fire engine and to have a play in the bubbles. Thank you so much to Dave and Trina for another very successful visit.
This would be a great time to discuss your escape plan at home and to check that all your smoke alarms are working.
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To families, whānau and caregivers

Operating Procedures – Covid-19 Alert Level 1

It is extremely good news that we have moved to Alert Level 1 and in this level there is a low public health risk from the virus. With the exception of border controls including testing and quarantine/isolation for new arrivals, Alert Level 1 sees a return to life as we knew it pre-COVID-19. All current restrictions are lifted. Isn’t that great news!!
We need to be mindful that there is still a global pandemic that is expected to continue for sometime. It is important we remain vigilant and continue to practice good hygiene to minimise the risk of any community transmission.
There are no specific public health requirements for licensed early learning services at Alert Level 1 however we will be encouraging Educators to continue to employ a high level of hygiene and to do whatever is possible to provide your children with a safe and healthy environment by employing the following best practice:
· Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.
· Ensure all children/tamariki regularly wash and dry their hands before and after meals.
· Sneeze and cough into your elbow, and regularly disinfect shared surfaces.
· Regular cleaning of shared and high touch surfaces is recommended alongside your usual cleaning schedule.
· Continued compliance with all regulatory requirements. The health, safety and well-being of children/tamariki will remain their primary consideration.
· Parents will be advised immediately if their child is unwell and arrangements made for the child to be collected
· Gingerbread Cottage will stay vigilant and prepared to act fast to step up Alert Levels if required.

Please do not hesitate to contact your Visiting Teacher if you have any concerns you wish to discuss.
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Unfortunately due to the reintroduction of Covid-19 level 2 restrictions, our operating procedures have been reviewed and become effective as of today - Please read these revised procedures, and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact your Visiting Teacher.

2021 OPERATING PROCEDURES FOR COVID-19 ALERT LEVEL 2 - Families

These operating procedures apply during Covid-19 Alert Level 2. They are based on Ministry of Health (MoH) and Ministry of Education (MoE) advice 14th February 2021. They are automatically superseded should MoH or MoE advice change to require greater restrictions. Should MoH and MoE advice become less stringent these operating procedures shall be reviewed and amended as appropriate.

PURPOSE
The purpose of this document is to ensure that Gingerbread Cottage operates as safely as possible during Alert Level 2.
This plan will be put into action and procedures followed by all Gingerbread Cottage Visiting Teachers and educators throughout the advised period to minimise infection and ensure that we operate as safely as possible during Alert Level 2.

HOW WILL GINGERBREAD COTTAGE KEEP YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN SAFE?
• Gingerbread Cottage playgroup will continue for enrolled children, but organised community excursions will be suspended until further notice.
• Educators will be mindful of distance between beds while children are sleeping, aiming for 1 metre in between, or if possible, in separate rooms.
• A common-sense approach will be taken on how to handle appropriate social distancing measures in home as much as is practical
• Children must be dropped off and collected by one parent or family member only
• Parents and whānau dropping off and picking up children shall not to enter the educator’s home.
• Whānau are to text, ring or message the educator so she can meet them at the door to greet them and their child. We ask that the children’s belongings and bag ready to give to the educator.
• The timesheet is to be signed at the end of the week, making sure the parent either uses their own pen or that the Educator is able to sanitise the use of the supplied pen between people.
• Educators shall ensure that children wash their hands when they arrive and just before they leave.

Health Monitoring
• Parents and staff are responsible for monitoring their own health and not be available to work if they feel at all unwell.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
MoH and MoE advice is that gloves and face masks are not required for normal activities. Should staff feel safer wearing gloves during the day they may do so. Anyone wearing gloves for their own protection must remember that the outside of the gloves may become contaminated, so gloves being worn must be sanitised in the same way as bare hands.

Hand Sanitiser
Thoroughly washing hands with soap and water is recommended, but when this is not possible hand sanitiser may be used. If using hand sanitiser it must be kept out of children’s reach.
Ensure hand washing is carried out before –
• touching the gate and front door,
• before eating,
• after touching any surface, if contamination is suspected.

The following resources will be removed/limited during Level 2.
• toys and equipment that cannot be easily sanitized
• food role play items
• play dough
• finger paints
• blankets }
• dress-ups } to be washed daily
Sensory and modelling resources such as playdough and finger paint can be provided in individual portions and discarded after use)

Other Hygiene Practices
Where possible disposable cloths will be used to clean surfaces. Reusable cloths will be cleaned, disinfected and then dried after use.
During the day door handles, commonly touched surfaces and in-use resources shall be sanitized regularly.
Children shall be well spread out at meal times. No food or drink may be shared. Children’s hands and faces must be cleaned both before and after eating. All normal mealtime hygiene practices shall be followed.

Visiting Teachers In-home Visits
● Visiting Teachers will continue with in-home visits.
● Visiting Teachers will continue to be contactable by phone, text messaging and emails.
● Gingerbread Cottage office will continue to be open.

WHAT IF THERE IS EXPOSURE TO COVID-19?
If we believe that someone has been exposed to COVID-19 we follow procedure as required by Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health.
If there is a confirmed or probable case linked with Gingerbread Cottage, we will be advised of that by the Medical Officer of Health.

FEES AND SUBSIDIES
Normal fees will be charged for attendance and normal notice of any non-attendance will be required.
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It is always such a joy to see the tamariki return to our playgroup. It was a fun fulled adventure packed morning with lots of chatter and smiles, as children reconnected after the long Christmas break. ... See MoreSee Less

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I really value the support we get at Gingerbread Cottage. It’s the little things that matter.

Wendy

Gingerbread Cottage encourages personal development through Educational courses. They support educators and children and provide a safe and fun environment for children to explore at playgroups. They offer a varied range of excursions around the city and have a close bond with all the Educators and children.

Frances

I have been working with Gingerbread Cottage since it started.
I enjoy being part of the Gingerbread Cottage team and have always felt supported in working with the children.
I love our playgroup and the excursions that are offered to us every month. My care children always look forward to seeing our Visiting Teacher at our weekly playgroup and on her monthly visits to us.

 We have the freedom to extend the children’s learning in lots of different environments. Also there are workshops offered to us to help us be the best educator we can be.
In the past I have worked with other Homebased childcare companies but I’m with Gingerbread Cottage for the long haul!!

Jenny