The Aurora Foundation owns and administers three kindergartens (Baldershage, Regnbuen and Sluppen). Each kindergarten is organised into four groups. The kindergartens are governed by the foundation's Board.
The Board of the Aurora Foundation consists of a Board Chair and five Board members. The Board members consist of one parental representative for each kindergarten, a representative from SINTEF Group Management, and an employee representative from among kindergarten staff. The Board Chair and the three parental representatives must be employees at SINTEF. If any of said representatives terminate their employment at SINTEF, the person in question may retain his or her seat on the Board for a transitional period in the interests of maintaining continuity.
The Aurora Foundation employs a Kindergarten Coordinator who works together with the kindergartens' Head Teachers to coordinate the activities offered by the kindergartens. The Kindergarten Coordinator acts as the Board's secretary, and attends Board meetings in an advisory capacity. The Coordinator has no voting entitlements.
SINTEF Property (SINTEF Eiendom) owns the kindergartens’ premises.
The purpose of the Aurora Foundation is to administer kindergartens for the children of SINTEF employees. The foundation is a non-profit organisation and all revenues and grants are channelled towards the welfare of the children.
The principal legislation governing administration of the kindergartens and their activities consists of the Norwegian Act relating to kindergartens (Lov om barnehager) and prevailing statutory regulations and guidelines issued by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. These include the "Framework Plan for the Content and Tasks of Kindergartens" (Rammeplan for barnehager), the Act relating to internal governance (Lov om internkontroll) and the statutory regulations governing environmental health care in kindergartens and schools (Forskrift om miljørettet helsevern i barnehager og skoler).
Three of the groups in each kindergarten have the following permanent staff:
1 full-time Pedagogic Leader
2 full-time Pre-school Assistants
The fourth group in each kindergarten is staffed as follows:
1 full-time Pedagogic Leader
1 full-time Pre-school Teacher
- 2 full-time Pre-school Assistants
Each kindergarten also employs the following permanent staff:
1 full-time Head Teacher (manager)
An Assistant Head Teacher (0.3 FTE)
A Pedagogic Leader (0.7 FTE)
- A Kindergarten Assistant (0.3 FTE)
The Head Teacher and the Pedagogic Leaders are qualified pre-school teachers.
The Head Teacher is the kindergarten's administrative and educational manager. The Head Teacher and Pedagogic Leaders in each group have overall responsibility for supervising other staff members.
Parental influence in the running of a kindergarten's activities is ensured by participation in the Parents' Council (Foreldreråd), Parents' Committee (Foreldrenes arbeidsutvalg - FAU) and the Parent-Staff Liaison Committee (Samarbeidsutvalg - SU).
The foundation's kindergartens have at their disposal a total approved play and activity area of 792 m2, and capacity for approx. 175 children.
Regnbuen kindergarten: 264 m², Baldershage kindergarten: 268 m², Sluppen kindergarten: 260 m². All the kindergartens offer spacious and stimulating outdoor activity areas.
§4 PARENTS' COUNCIL, PARENTS’ COMMITTEE AND PARENT-STAFF LIAISON COMMITTEE
Parents’ council (Foreldreråd):
Each kindergarten has a Parents' Council in accordance with the provisions of Section 4 of the Norwegian Act relating to kindergartens (Lov om barnehager). The Parents' Council is made up of the parents of all children attending the kindergarten in question. The aim of the council is to give parents' shared interests a voice and to enable them and the kindergarten to work together to promote a healthy kindergarten setting.
At the first Parents' Council of the kindergarten year, a representative and a deputy representative, as appropriate, will be selected from each group to sit on the Parents' Committee (FAU).
Parents’ committee (Foreldrenes arbeidsutvalg FAU):
As soon as possible, FAU members shall select a Chair and Deputy Chair, and two representatives to sit on the Parent-Staff Liaison Committee (SU).
Parent-staff liaison committee (Samarbeidsutvalg SU):
The kindergarten shall select a Parent-Staff Liaison Committee consisting of five members, as well as a named deputy for each member. The Committee is constituted as follows: two representatives selected by the parents’ committee, two representatives selected by the staff and one representative appointed by the owner.
The Parent-Staff Liaison Committee constitutes itself. The Kindergarten's Head Teacher acts as committee secretary and attends committee meetings in an advisory role. The Head Teacher has no voting entitlements.
The kindergarten owner must ensure that important issues are brought before the Parents’ committee and the Parent-Staff Liaison Committee. The Parents' Committee is entitled to express its views on such matters before final decisions are taken.
The Parents' Committee is responsible for preparing matters for consideration by the Parent-Staff Liaison Committee. The Parents' Committee shall, on behalf of the Parents' Council, work in the interests of the parents and children in discussion with the Head Teacher and the foundation at Parent-Staff Liaison Committee meetings.
The parental and staff representatives shall be elected in the autumn for terms of one year.
Kindergarten staff who have children attending the kindergarten are not permitted to stand as parental representatives.
For more information see the Norwegian Act relating to kindergartens §4 (Lov om barnehager §4).
§5 DUTY OF CONFIDENTIALITY
Members of the Parent-Staff Liaison Committee, the owners and kindergarten staff have a duty of confidentiality pursuant to Section 20 of the Norwegian Act relating to kindergartens (Lov om barnehager).
The Foundation's kindergartens participate in Trondheim municipality's coordinated admissions process. Admission applications must be submitted via Trondheim municipality's website https://trondheim.ist-asp.com/trondheimpub/login.htm. Applicants must also complete a separate Aurora application form and send it to the Kindergarten Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
The application deadlines for transfers between kindergartens, and the main admission process, are 1 February and 1 March, respectively. Otherwise, admissions may take place throughout the year if places become available. In general, new children are enrolled in August.
All places in the kindergartens are full-time.
Applications for children less than one year old, and whose parents do not want to enrol the child before January, will not be assigned priority as part of the main admissions process. Such applications will be placed on a supplementary admissions waiting list.
The kindergartens' admissions pool comprises the children and grandchildren of SINTEF employees, the children of employees in companies with which Aurora may currently have an agreement, and the children and grandchildren of Aurora employees.
First priority is given to children from within the admissions pool who come under one or more of the following categories:
Children with disabilities pursuant to Section 13 of the Norwegian Act relating to kindergartens (Lov om barnehager). Documentation will be required from the child and family welfare services and/or from a hospital.
Children who are subject to a resolution pursuant to Sections 4-12 and 4-4, subsections 2 and 4, of the Norwegian Child Welfare Services Act (Lov om barnevernstjenester).
Admission beyond this is according to the Aurora foundations criteria:
When assigning priority to children from the admissions pool, the cumulative seniority of the parents (whether at SINTEF, Aurora or companies with agreements) or grandparents (SINTEF) in the respective organisations will be used as a criterion. For every child that has siblings in the Aurora Foundation's kindergartens, four years will be added to the parent's seniority criterion.
Following this, priority will be assigned according to the criteria set out below. If all criteria have been considered, and two or more children are equally qualified, places will be assigned by the drawing of lots.
Children of SINTEF employees and of employees in one of the companies with which Aurora has an agreement.
Grandchildren of SINTEF employees.
Children of Aurora employees. Up to four places in each kindergarten will be reserved.
Grandchildren of Aurora employees.
Children who are not in the admissions pool, but who have siblings attending an Aurora kindergarten.
Children who are not in the admissions pool.
Educational criteria may also be considered when allocating kindergarten places. In other words, consideration may be given to the composition of the kindergarten group (factors such as age and gender), difficult family circumstances or staffing considerations.
Starting at kindergarten
The kindergarten year extends from 1 August to 31 July the following year.
A child can attend kindergarten on an agreed date after the parents have signed the contract and completed and submitted the form "Information about your child / Child health declaration" ("Informasjon om barnet / Erklæring om barnets helse).
The kindergarten will then guarantee a place for the child until he or she reaches school age.
Parents who receive a place due to employment criteria must still be employed at SINTEF, or at a company with which the Foundation has an agreement, on the date on which the child starts at the kindergarten. Immediate notice must be given of any changes in the employment circumstances of the parents that entail that their child no longer meets the Aurora admissions pool criteria. If a child is attending the 0-3 age group when this occurs, the entitlement to a kindergarten place will cease at the end of the current kindergarten year. The parents will be given the opportunity to make a new application because of their changed status. When planning changes in employment please contact the coordinator in Aurora.
Notification of withdrawal from a kindergarten place must be submitted via https://trondheim.ist-asp.com/trondheimpub/login.htm.
The period of notice for withdrawal will apply from the first day of the month following receipt of the notification. The Head Teacher will confirm in writing receipt of the notification and the date on which withdrawal comes into effect.
The period of notice is one month, with the following exceptions:
If the child intends to leave during the period 1 May to 31 July, attendance fees must continue to be paid up to and including the month of June.
If the kindergarten takes in new children during the period of notice, the obligation of the parents to pay during the period of notice will be reduced proportionately.
Kindergarten fees pay for the child's attendance and the food provided. Each year, as part of its budget, the Norwegian Parliament decides on the maximum fee that can be paid by parents for their child's attendance at a kindergarten. The Aurora Foundation adheres to the maximum rate, and the owner determines the fees charged for the food provided.
A sibling discount and other discounts based on refunds are available from Trondheim municipality.
Fees are paid for 11 months of the year, and payments become due on the first of each month. No payments are made for July.
A kindergarten place must be paid for from the date on which it is offered to the family in question.
In the event of failure to pay, the kindergarten is entitled to impose a surcharge or demand interest on late payment. Repeated failures to pay may entail loss of the kindergarten place.
§9 VOLUNTARY ACTIVITIES
Parents with children attending a kindergarten are encouraged to contribute by participating in voluntary activities. It is estimated that there is a need for each family to contribute with eight hours of voluntary time during each kindergarten year.
§10 OPENING HOURS
The kindergartens are open on Mondays to Fridays from 07:15 to 16:30.
The kindergartens are closed on all public holidays, on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. They are also closed during Easter week, on the Friday following Ascension Day, and during the period between Christmas and New Year.
During the year, children must take at least four weeks holiday, including an unbroken three-week period. The parents must, within stipulated deadlines, notify the kindergarten of their holiday plans.
Due to staff holidays, kindergartens may be organised differently for a period of between two and four weeks in July. The kindergartens may be only partly open, or even closed entirely, for a period of up to two weeks. Notification will be made in November of opening hours for the following July.
§12 STAFF PLANNING DAYS
Five days, spread across the kindergarten year, will be set aside for joint staff planning meetings. The kindergartens will be closed on these days, and every effort will be made to hold these meetings on days on which other kindergartens and primary schools in Trondheim municipality are also closed.
Parents will be notified of the days on which the kindergartens will be closed at the start of the kindergarten year.
§13 SICKNESS AND ABSENCE
In the event of sickness or absence, the child's guardians have a duty to notify the kindergarten in question. If there is any uncertainty as to the health of a child, the Head Teacher or his/her deputy will decide whether the child in question should stay away from the kindergarten temporarily, both for the good of the child and the other children.
In the event of an accident, illness or suspicion of an epidemic, the Head Teacher will decide whether a nurse or a doctor should be contacted. Affected parents will be notified.
All children are covered by a 24-hour accident and injury policy. Details of the policy can be obtained from the Head Teacher, and are available on our website.
§15 INTERNAL REGULATION AND INSPECTIONS
Each kindergarten complies with the statutory regulations governing internal regulation in matters concerning the working environment, fire prevention and product control, among others, and has its own procedures and check lists that it uses to ensure that these regulations are adhered to.
The kindergartens have prepared effective inspection procedures for their indoor and outdoor play areas. Once a year, the kindergartens also undergo a very thorough third-party safety inspection of their play areas.
Trondheim, 15 December 2016
For the Aurora Foundation