Healthy Eating

Here at Otatara Preschool the health and well-being of our children is protected and nurtured. To optimise the health and growth of our children we wish to promote healthy eating messages to the children, their family/whānau and teachers.


All morning and afternoon teas provided by Otatara Preschool will be based on the “Healthy Eating – Healthy Action Initiative”.

All morning and afternoon teas meet the New Zealand Ministry of Health guidelines with a record of all morning and afternoon teas being kept in a diary in the kitchen.

Due to the severity of peanut allergies our centre is a nut free zone. There are no nuts, peanuts or peanut butter kept on the premises and we request that parents do not send peanut butter toast or sandwiches with their children to the centre. 

Allergies, food intolerances and special dietary requirements will be a shared responsibility of the child’s family and the centre. If a child’s allergy is life threatening a plan will be in place to ensure that all staff know of emergency protocols.

We discourage parents bringing drink bottles as water will be available to children at all times. 

Foods that are high in fat, sodium or sugar content are kept to a minimum here at the centre. We therefore ask that parents exclude items from their children’s lunchboxes such as lollies, chocolates and snacks such as roll ups and fruit strings. 

Teachers encourage healthy eating through role modeling, as well as through activities and routines that are focused on nutrition, health and food safety.

Hand washing and general hygiene routines are observed when adults and children at Otatara Preschool are handling food.

Sleeping Policy

At Otatara Preschool we recognise each child is unique and comes to us with their own sleeping routine. Therefore teachers will endeavour to follow individual children’s rhythms and routines in a relaxed and familiar environment.


When sleeping or resting, children will sleep in the designated Sleep Room provided to ensure that there is adequate space to have undisturbed rest. A staff member will be responsible for monitoring children who are sleeping or resting.

Each sleeping child will be checked every five minutes for warmth, breathing and general well being. Staff will use a buzzer to keep a track of the five minute checks and they will be recorded on the “Sleep Record’’ for parent information.

All children are provided with their own individual sleeping space and bed linen. Their bed linen is washed weekly.

Parents are encouraged to bring to the Otatara Preschool any special sleeping cuddlies/toys their child may have. If children fall asleep with these on or near their mouth, these will be moved to the side of the child to prevent any breathing hazards. 

In accordance with the government regulations children will not be put to bed with any food or liquids.

For reasons of cultural sensitivity children are encouraged not to stand on pillows and children sleeping near each other are positioned head to head rather than head to feet.

Policy on Prosocial Behaviour

At Otatara Preschool, teachers are required to model pro-social skills at all times. Respect, affection, acceptance and self confidence are our daily goals for empowering each child. Our philosophy is that each child has unique individual potential which requires nurturing through effective and gentle guidance.


  1. We expect children to learn to respect the rights of others, the equipment and the environment. We use positive reinforcement of appropriate and desirable behaviours through encouragement, praise, and in certain cases small “rewards” such as stamps or stickers or a special activity. We are specific with praise eg “I liked the way you shared the nails” and avoid general phrases like “good girl”. We role model appropriate behaviours expected eg picking up block alongside children.
  2. Where possible we give children the opportunity to resolve their own differences by encouraging children to use their language eg “I don’t like that. Please stop.” We observe a situation before intervening and when necessary speak to all the children involved. Observations and learning stories are used to set learning goals for individuals that will encourage independence and problem solving skills.
  3. We recognise where children’s behaviours are aggravated by tiredness, thirst or hunger, or boredom and act to prevent such situations arising.
  4. We work with parents/whānau to ensure that any behaviour management programme has their approval and to ensure that consistent standards are followed. The Head Teacher or Director is responsible for discussing behaviour management with the parents/whānau.
  5. We use planned ignoring with undesirable behaviours if this seems appropriate eg for attention seeking behaviours. When behaviour impinges on other people’s rights, we act according to the child’s age and stage and the situation eg:
    1. redirecting the child to another activity’
    2. helping the children to use words to solve a conflict
    3. giving children choices eg “you can sit at the table and eat without kicking or you can sit away from the others until they have finished. Which do you choose?”
    For behaviour that harms adults or children – children should be removed immediately from the situation. Deal with the child that has been hurt if possible or ask another staff member to.
  6. Swearing and inappropriate talk is discouraged by ignoring if appropriate, or by giving choices between being with the others and talking in a friendly way, or being alone.
  7. If after implementing all of the above behaviour management strategies, and we find that the desired behaviour has not been achieved we will work in consultation with the child’s parents/whanau in contacting outside support agencies. We will make an application to get extra support and guidance for the child, their family/whanau and staff from Special Education Services.