How will my child settle into the pre-school?
Settling in is really important and we have found that a child who is supported to settle at their own pace quickly adapts to the pre-school routine. Every child is different so it is best that parents/carers and staff agree a shared settling in programme suitable to the child. Usually children settle within two weeks so staff are very flexible and will work around the child. It is best to gauge the child’s level of confidence and work out a system that keeps everyone happy.
How can I prepare my child for pre-school?
To help prepare your child for pre-school, we advise visiting us before starting. It may also be beneficial to introduce your child to toddler sessions e.g. clap and sing, to help develop their interaction with other children and introduce them to noisier environs they may experience within a pre-school. Every child is offered a free taster session where they can attend either by themselves or with their parent/carer prior to starting pre-school.
How do I find out what has happened during the day?
We have an open door policy so parents/carers are invited to ask questions at any time. On collection, staff will have updated the notice board to inform parents/carers of the activities the children have been doing during the session. Staff will also be briefed about any information that needs to be shared with you. The pre-school keyworker/manager will always offer an appointment to discuss your child’s progress in addition to the planned parent’s evenings. We hope that from your first day in the pre-school, you will build up a good rapport with the staff and feel sufficiently comfortable to speak to any member of staff. Whilst the keyworker is the best person to give an insight into your child’s progress, all staff communicate daily and are aware of how all children are progressing.
Does my child need to be toilet trained to attend the pre-school?
It is not essential for your child to be toilet trained to attend the pre-school. If they are not toilet trained, we ask you to provide nappies and wipes. We will support your child whilst they are toilet training and we ask you to please bring lots of spare clothing.
What should my child wear/bring with them?
We advise that you dress your child in sensible everyday clothes so they are not worried about spillage or getting dirty. Many of the activities provided are messy and give children great pleasure. We also suggest that children are dressed in clothes which are easy to manage, especially when they are learning to use the toilet independently. Please bring a spare set of clothes and mark your children’s clothing with their names. There is a pre-school uniform available which consists of a polo shirt and sweatshirt. This is not compulsory but is available to purchase from the pre-school.
In the winter, children need to come to pre-school with warm clothes including hats, gloves and wellington boots to allow them to play outside.
In the summer children need sun hats. Please apply suncream before bringing them into pre-school.
Each child should also bring a named drinks bottle containing either water or diluted juice.
Is there anything my child should not bring?
Please do not give your child sweets to bring with them unless it is their birthday and they wish to share them with the other children.
We advise that children do not wear jewellery.
Children may bring a toy for comfort to help them to settle in. Once your child has settled, they will be encouraged to leave the toy on the interest table, in their drawer or in their bag.
What are the drop-off/pickup procedures?
The doors open at 8.50am for the morning session and 12.00pm for the afternoon session. It is helpful if your child is on time so that they can enjoy the order of the day and access all activities. It also minimises any disruption to the sessions.
Pickup times will either be 12.00pm, 1.00pm if staying for lunch or 3.00pm. Please collect your child promptly at the end of the session. If for any reason you are running late, please let the staff know so that they can manage this. If someone other than the usual parent/carer is collecting your child, please inform the staff and ensure the person collecting has the agreed password so staff can ensure the collection is authorised.
Can I visit the pre-school?
Parents are encouraged to visit the pre-school. Parent helpers are always welcome at a session as it is a good opportunity to understand how the pre-school sessions are run and what activities are available to the children.
What about lunchtime?
Lunchtime is a supervised lunch where you provide a lunch box for your child. It runs from 12.00pm – 1.00pm. Lunchtime can be booked alongside regular sessions and paid by invoice or included within funded hours. Alternatively it can be booked on an ad-hoc basis subject to space availability. A day’s notice should normally be given if you want your child to attend lunch but sometimes space is available on the day. Ad-hoc lunches must be paid for in advance. Please provide your child with a healthy lunch, for example a sandwich, yoghurt, fruit, crisps and one treat. Sweets and fizzy drinks are not advisable due to the pre-school being keen to encourage healthy eating and children will naturally see what others are eating and want to have the same. Please put an ice pack in the lunch bag.
Do you have facilities for play outside?
The pre-school has outdoor play facilities and children have access to play outside every day in all weathers.
What if my child is ill?
Please do not bring your child to pre-school if they have a high temperature, sickness or diarrhoea. If they develop these conditions whilst at pre-school, we will phone and ask you to collect them. Please check with the pre-school manager about how long your child should remain off for various illnesses, for example they should not attend for a minimum of 48 hours after experiencing sickness or diarrhoea. Your child may attend pre-school if they have a minor illness, for example a slight cold.
How many children attend the pre-school?
Attendance ranges from 8 – 24 children in a session and the number of staff is adjusted to adhere to the Ofsted standards for staff:child ratios. Ratios are as follows: 1:4 for under 3s and 1:8 for over 3s.
What training/qualifications do the staff have?
All of our staff are either trained or training towards a Level 3 qualification or above in childcare. Also all staff attend basic child protection as a minimum and all permanent staff are paediatric first aid trained.
Do you accept Nursery Education Grants and Childcare Vouchers?
The pre-school accepts Nursery Education Grants and Childcare Vouchers. Please speak to a member of staff or contact the treasurer if you wish to register for these.
When is my child eligible for funded pre-school sessions?
Your child becomes eligible for 15 hours of funded pre-school sessions in the term after which they turn 3. For example if your child turns 3 in January, the funding will start in the summer term that starts after Easter. The pre-school claims the free sessions on your behalf once you have completed and signed a funding application and contract at the start of each term.