Frequently Asked Questions about our Kindergartens | Patai

Where is my closest kindergarten?

We have 20 Kindergartens in the Hutt Valley – click here to view a map of our kindergarten locations. 

Are kindergartens zoned?

No - our kindergartens do not have an enrolment zone. You are welcome to enrol your child in any of our kindergartens.

How do I enrol my child at kindergarten?

Simply complete the online Pre-enrolment form here and the kindergarten will be in touch to arrange a time to meet with you. Our enrolment forms are completed in person at the kindergarten.

What age will my child start at kindergarten?

Your child will most likely start kindergarten sometime near their third birthday. The teaching team will keep in touch with you and let you know a likely starting date. At some kindergartens this can be younger and at others older. Generally, as children turn 5 and leave for school, this creates a vacancy for another child to start.

The Head Teacher manages the waiting list and although the age of your child is usually the main factor influencing when they will start, a number of other things are also taken into consideration such as length of time on the waiting list, family needs, and whether your child is already attending another early childhood service.

What are the term dates?

Our term dates are very similar to those for Primary Schools. These are listed for you in our footer!

Do I have to stay with my child at kindergarten?

You may find that your child needs your support in the early days of kindergarten and our teaching team will give your family lots of support during this settling in period. Some parents choose to stay at kindergarten on various sessions to interact with their child and friends - but the choice is always yours. Family and whanau are welcome at any time.

How much does it cost?

We offer the Government's 20 Hours ECE option to our families and are committed to keeping our kindergartens affordable for everyone. For any hours not covered by this option we charge the very low fee of $4.00 per hour.

You may be able to get a WINZ subsidy to help with the payment of your fees. We also ask our families to support our commitment to 100% qualified teachers by making a voluntary Whānau Payment of $0.50 per hour as a ‘top up’ for all of their 20 Hours ECE. See our Fees and Whānau Payments page for more information. 

How do you prepare my child for starting school?

Research shows that children who attend a high quality early childhood education centre such as kindergarten, get a head start at school and that it continues to play an important part in their performance as they grow and develop.

See our Ready for School page for more information.

Does my child have to be toilet-trained to go to kindergarten?

No. The teaching team will work with you and your family to assist you with this phase of your child’s development

Does my child have to be fully immunised to go to kindergarten?

No. All children are welcome at our Kindergartens.

Do you provide support with transport to kindergarten?

We have a kindergarten van service to pick up and collect children. This is a free service for families whose children would otherwise not be able to attend kindergarten. Due to our kindergartens being spread across the Hutt Valley, our van can only service areas where there is the most need. We currently have two kindergarten vans.

Please speak to your Head Teacher to enquire about eligibility to use the service and seat availability. 

How do I choose a kindergarten?

There are a number of things to consider when choosing a kindergarten.

To make the best decision, we suggest you visit several of our kindergartens to find the one that suits your family best. Simply phone and make a time with one of the teachers. You’ll find the contact details for each kindergarten here.

Do you have waiting lists?

Yes. Each kindergarten has a waiting list, the length of which varies among our kindergartens. The ideal time to enrol your child on the waiting list is when they turn 2. By enrolling early we can keep you in touch with regular newsletters, updates about what is happening at the kindergarten, and family events you may like to attend.

Can I put my child on more than one waiting list?

Yes you can. If you do put your child on several waiting lists, we ask that you let the other kindergartens know once you have accepted a place. When your child starts at a kindergarten we encourage you to continue there, rather than moving to another kindergarten if a place becomes available. This gives your child the stability and continuity he or she needs to make friends and achieve their best learning outcomes.

What does my child learn at kindergarten?

Whether playing in the sandpit, dressing up, climbing and jumping, solving a puzzle or painting a picture, your child will experience a wide range of activities at kindergarten, all of which provide valuable learning opportunities.

The belief in a child’s right to play is at the heart of all our programmes and although it might look like children are ‘just playing’ our teachers are constantly providing new and challenging experiences, based on children’s interests, that will lead them into new areas of learning.

When your child is playing they feel safe to try new things and through practice develop skills and confidence. As they play at kindergarten they will learn to work alongside others – to share and cooperate, make friends and ask for help. They will also develop independence and essential learning skills such as concentration, perseverance, creativity and curiosity.

Are the teachers qualified?

Yes. All our teachers are fully qualified, with a minimum of a Diploma in Early Childhood Teaching (ECE). They are also certificated and registered with the New Zealand Education Council and hold current First Aid certificates.

We employ a Speech-Language Therapist and staff who hold a Diploma of Early Intervention who can provide information, strategies and resources to support children's learning.

How do you support children with individual needs?

If your child has special learning or developmental needs, we’ll work closely with you to provide them with the very best learning opportunities. We also have strong connections with a number of agencies and specialists who can offer additional support for you and your child.

Please talk to your Head Teacher if you have any queries or concerns in this regard.

How can I be involved at kindergarten?

There are many ways for you to share in the kindergarten experience. Our volunteers are such an important part of our kindergartens - and getting involved can be a lot of fun. You can be involved during session times as one of our parent helpers, or by providing practical assistance such as helping with gardening, or by joining one of our Parent Groups and sharing in the management of the kindergarten.

Show me how I can get involved in kindergarten life

Who do I contact if I have concern about my kindergarten?

We understand that there will be times when you have something you want to discuss with us. Your first step is to talk to our Head Teacher who is available to talk briefly at any time. If you need more time, it is best to arrange a meeting in non-teaching time so that they can give you their full attention. You are also welcome to send the Head Teacher an email.

If you are not satisfied with the response, please contact Hutt City Kindergartens on 04 920 9800 or email