So in just 6 weeks, our big boy will be starting Kindergarten! Wow, a little earlier than we expected, but so exciting.
Kindergarten generally starts at 3 over here, there are private early education centres that take all ages but we preferred a traditional kindergarten and are lucky that there is a great one within walking distance. When we enrolled him a couple of months ago we were told that they have taken some as early as 2 years 9 months but with the number on the waiting list it would be pretty close to his 3rd birthday in April. Two of his best friends are also enrolled at the same place and being slightly older they were just ahead on the list. This morning we met them at the zoo and found out that they had just got the call and were starting on the first day of the new school year, January 22. We knew Sprocket wouldn’t be too far away and less than 10 minutes later K rang to say we’d just got the call too so all 3 boys are starting the same day which is awesome. Apparently some on the waiting list weren’t ready, but these 3 definitely are so they jumped ahead. He had a ball when we went for a visit a while back, and a big tantrum when it was time to leave, so I’m sure it will be much harder on us to leave him there. The kindy had a great feel though, and even though they were busy every teacher made a point of at least smiling and saying hello to us. They are very community oriented and parents are welcome any time, for as long as they want, which is stark contrast to some of the other places around. The added bonus is that even though he only qualifies for his free 20 hours education* when he turns 3, the local kindergarten association will cover the fees until then so it still won’t cost us a cent. Even though it starts out just as 3 afternoons a week, it’s hard to believe that his introduction to the education system is coming so quickly. There’s not really much baby left in him; naps are long gone, his last molar is 3/4 through and he’s pretty much toilet trained himself the last few weeks, so I guess this is just the next step!
Next year is going to be so different for us, with Sprocket at kindy and K as a full time Masters student after she won an amazing grant/award that gives her one year’s leave from work to study..at full pay! Such a clever girl she is 🙂
*In NZ every 3,4 and 5 year old child is entitled to a subsidy of 20 hours free Early Childhood Education which can be used at playcentres, kindergartens, daycare centres, or some in home childcare programmes.