Transitioning your child into the Early Childhood Learning Centre

Please see settling in and on-going care for more information.

Transitioning from the Under 2s (0-2 years old) to the Over 2s (2-5 years old)

Preparation for a child’s transition into the Over 2s unit begins very early on. Because of the proximity of the 2 - 5 years unit, our toddlers are already very familiar with the environment and older children. In a child’s second year, their interest in the world is growing and while he/she maintains a strong bond with their primary caregiver, teachers encourage the child to start building relationships with the extended group of teachers. This prepares the child for transitioning to the Over 2s unit.

You can view our helpful videos on transitioning in the gallery page.

Preparing your child for Primary School

Primary school in New Zealand typically begins when a child is five. There are many ways you can prepare your child for primary school while they are still in early childhood education. Always talk positively about school with your child and visit the school in weekends or holidays for a play so they become familiar with the environment.


  • Encourage your child to develop respectful assertiveness skills, i.e. putting their own point of view across while still respecting the needs of others. Encourage them to take turns with others.
  • Encourage tidiness and care of belongings, e.g. teach your child to put their jersey away instead of throwing it on the floor
  • Encourage your child to take turns with others
  • Involve your child in family games such as board games, memory and counting games. Don’t always let them win – not only will this build on their cognitive skills but it will improve their social skills and confidence as well
  • Have your child listen to and follow at least three sets of instructions, e.g.“please go to the toilet, brush your teeth and then hop into bed”
  • Teach your child patience to wait for help, “please sit and wait for two minutes and then I will help you”


  • Encourage your child to blow their nose independently
  • Encourage them to toilet themselves, and to wipe their own bottom and wash their own hands.


  • Have your child in a routine of putting on their own shoes and socks on and putting their clothing on the right way around. Allow them opportunities to independently get dressed each morning and do up zips and buttons.
  • Manage food independently such as opening and closing their lunchbox, opening their snack packets, unwrapping cling wrap and opening their drink bottle.
  • Spend time with your child at the park playing physical games such as catching a ball. This will build on their physical skills along with hand eye co-ordination.

Information about Primary School in New Zealand

There are two types of Primary Schools in New Zealand: private and state-integrated.
There are two main differences between a state and a state integrated school. State schools are owned by the Crown (the New Zealand government) and state-integrated schools are owned by a proprietor. State-integrated schools have a special character such as religion and children who have a connection to that special character are often times given enrolment preference.


Each school has a School Board of Trustees which is made up of parent representatives, the principal, a teacher representative and in the case of integrated schools, representatives of the owner/proprietor. The Board of Trustees governs the school and ensures that it complies with nationwide standards.

School zones

Each state or state integrated school has a designated enrolment zone. If you live in a state school zone, your child is guaranteed a place in the school. If places remain for out of zone applicants, these are allocated by ballot. State integrated schools, however, while giving priority to in-zone applications, cannot guarantee a place to every child who lives in-zone. When all places have been filled a waiting list is created.

National standards

Information is gathered on children’s progress in reading, writing and maths through teacher’s observations during class time and through formal testing. The information is provided to parents twice a year in their report cards and through parent/teacher meetings.

Documentation for enrolment

A NZ birth certificate is required for children born in New Zealand and a passport for children born outside of New Zealand.

Term dates

There are four school terms each year with holiday breaks between them. Schools are closed on all public holidays.

After school care and holiday programmes

After school care is either provided on school grounds or at local community centres. It provides supervised activities and homework support until the end of the normal working day. Fees are charged on an hourly rate or per day. Holiday programmes run during the normal school holidays and provide a range of activities and trips for the children to enjoy.


Children are required to wear school uniforms. These are usually available from The Warehouse or Mainland Uniforms at 511 Wairakei Rd. Some schools have a school uniform shop that sells new and second hand items as well.


Parents are given a stationery list prior to their child starting school. Those items are purchased from local retailers.

School lunches

Children typically bring their lunch from home. There are no facilities to heat or cool children’s food at school. Most schools have a food truck shop where lunches may be ordered in advance.

Special Programmes

  • Special needs programmes.
  • Each school has a programme for children with special learning or physical needs and extra support is sometimes provided through the Ministry of Education when needed.
  • Gifted and talented programmes. Each school has a programme for gifted children and is able to support individual learning needs.
  • English as a second-language programme (ESOL). Each school has an ESOL department that supports children who are learning English. Support provided as needed in the classroom and in small groups.
  • Music/drama/sports/kapa haka. New Zealand schools provide a range of learning opportunities through sports and the arts which varies slightly between schools.
  • Education outside of the classroom. Usually there is a short school trip away from the school for the older children. This varies between schools.


State schools do not charge tuition fees to New Zealand citizens or residents. State-integrated schools have a compulsory fee called an 'Attendance Due' which covers property costs. In all schools there may be charges for resources and some schools may request a small donation annually to contribute towards the running of the school. The payment of a donation is optional.

Enrol your child with ECLC

To arrange a visit or to find out about vacancies at the Centre please contact us.