Is Play Sense a registered play school?
The South African government requires that play schools with more than 6 children are registered. Since Play Sense groups provide education for less than 6 children, they are not registered. Only when a teacher has more than 6 children do we have to register with Dept of Social Dev. We have public liability insurance and a legal document, which indemnifies the host, Play Sense and the teacher. All parents are required to sign this.
What are the Play Sense principles with regards to foods provided for the children whilst at school?
We recommend no sugar and no juice, only water is offered. Snacks are provided by the parents. There are various ways in which this happens - for example: One parent brings a loaf of bread, bag of fruit and a protein for all the children that lasts a week and then take it in turns.
What toys and stimulation are provided?
We provide an entire kit that contains everything the teacher needs to run the class. A list of stationary is given to a parent once the child starts. After about 6 months, consumables run low and then the teacher may purchase paint etc and levy the parents, but no more than R50 at any given month.
Is the teacher trained in first aid?
Yes, they are all trained in First Aid and have 30 hours of initial training by the founders, Meg Faure and Lara Schoenfeld. We also have quarterly training for every teacher. They also have to review their teaching weekly.
How much involvement do Meg and Lara have in the groups?
As the founders, Meg and Lara oversee all the groups and are the point of contact for the teachers. They oversee the curriculum and manage standards. The parents deal directly with their own teacher once the group is running but should any major issues arise, the parents may contact Meg or Lara directly.
Is there a discount for hosting?
There are many benefits to hosting, the key ones being – your child is in the security of his or her own home and that you have the convenience of not being tied to drop off and pick up times, should you have a nanny at home to care for your child when the teacher leaves. In addition we offer a R 500 discount on the set up fee as well as a R 500 discount off school fees once there are over five children and R 1 000 when the group is full. Host parents are given priority for establishing a group.
What happens when one child needs special attention for nappy changes, injury etc?
Our Play Sense teachers have worked in situations where they are often the only care for far more than six children. The teacher is always with the children and toileting (whether nappies or using the toilet with potty training) is carried out as a group. Children learn from each other in this regard e.g. we all wash hands even if one child 'goes' and soon they are fascinated to also have a turn sitting on a potty or toilet for example. Same with changing nappies. It usually is part of the routine of the morning. Everyone sits on their little cushion and waits their turn for a nappy change whilst looking at books/puzzles.
Play sense is only one year - isn't it unsettling to uproot my child and place him in a new school once he turns 3?
We have found that the children grow in such confidence from being in a smaller group and really learn key social skills with the love and guidance of their teacher, that they are very ready to then move onto a larger group. Our Play Sense parents have often expressed how thrilled they are to see the changes in the little ones and that they feel ready for the Grade 000 class they usually enter.
Since the group is held in someone’s home, how do you control "stranger danger", visitors to the home and keeping check of the kids?
If there are any people who come to the home for work on the home/deliveries, the teacher is notified but also they are usually in a separate play room/ converted garage.
Is the home baby proofed? What about risks such as ironing, boiling water, pools, cupboards access, knives access and so on.
All host venues are thoroughly checked and assessed for safety before being approved as a venue.
May we visit the host venue prior to starting?
Yes, we will arrange this for you with the host mom and teacher.
When do Play Sense groups take place?
Play Sense Groups take place during the week from Monday to Friday in the mornings from 08h00 to 12h30, a minimum of 3 days per week is required.