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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Notice to Families and Educators 22 September 2020

Operating Procedures - Covid 19 Alert Level 1
It is extremely good news that we have again 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. Once again we welcome this good news.
We need to continue to be mindful that there is a global pandemic that is expected to continue into 2021 or even longer. 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 (at least daily) 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.
• While contract tracing is not a requirement we suggest that Educators keep track of all visitors to their home.
• Gingerbread Cottage will stay vigilant and prepared to act fast to step up Alert Levels if we have to.
• Whatever you’re feeling — it’s okay. Be kind to others. Be kind to yourself.
Please do not hesitate to contact your Visiting Teacher if you have any concerns you wish to discuss
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10 years!! What a wonderful journey it has been thanks to a great team of dedicated educators, teachers and admin staff. Never in our wildest dreams did we envisage that one day our numbers would have grown to where we are today and be operating out of our own venue.
Our beginnings were small just with not more than 15 children. We used to say we wanted to be the best little service in town but not quite that small. Visiting Teachers were Debbie and Sally and we had one administer.
Our vision was to be a service that offered ‘quality’ early childhood education and care to families and children and appreciated the work and loyalty of its Educators. Never in our wildest dreams did we envisage that one day we would be a three-teacher team with more than 30 educators, and be operating out of our own venue.
Some of you will remember our beginnings in Grey Street where Council would not allow us to hold playgroup sessions, so playgroup days were ‘pack in and pack out’ of a rented room at a local church – what a big job this was for our teaching team! Our teachers are now able to take time to plan the learning opportunities and have projects that children work on, and come back to at our next session; we see the children’s work on display; we see children coming to playgroup confident and comfortable in their familiar environment and how special it is to be able to share this with family/whānau and friends at various events. What a huge step that was, but a successful one.
Of course, we have seen changes over the years, all businesses do, but what is constant is our desire to be “the best little service in town” appreciating our team and continually striving to be true to our vision.
What we must do is remain committed to the goals that we had in the beginning but for now we will enjoy reflecting on the past 10 years – I hope you enjoy participating the next phase of our journey.
Vivienne
Director

Below are some photos of our children's party where we celebrated our 10th birthday with them earlier this week.
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HOW WILL GINGERBREAD COTTAGE KEEP YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN SAFE?
· Gingerbread Cottage playgroups will continue at this stage
· 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
· It is good practise for Children to be dropped off and collected by one parent or family member only
· 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

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.
Try to keep space between Children 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 home visits during level 2.
● Visiting Teachers will be contactable by phone, text messaging and emails as a way for educators and whanau to contact them.
● Gingerbread Cottage office will be open.

WHAT IF THERE IS EXPOSURE TO COVID-19?
If we believe that someone has been exposed to COVID-19 we follow our normal processes. These are detailed in document HS27 Injury and Illness, in Appendix 2 to the Licensing Criteria for ECE and in document HS34 Notification.
If there is a confirmed or probable case linked with Gingerbread Cottage, we will be advised of that by the Medical Officer of Health.
Our regional Ministry of Education staff will work with us and local health authorities to agree a plan. That will happen quickly and support will be provided to assist us to communicate with and support our parent community and staff.

FEES AND SUBSIDIES
Usual fees will apply, and notice of any non-attendance will be required.
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We are finally back in the routine of playgroup! Our building has come alive with the sounds of children 😊
Last week we celebrated Matariki with a shared morning tea, waiata, designer wooden bird feeders and some beautiful sparkly star creations.
It is wonderful to see all the children building relationships and exploring their creativity.
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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