Naturally parents have a lot of questions. Hopefully we've been able to answer some of them here.
when are your opening times?
We are open Monday – Friday 51 weeks of the year from 8am – 6pm excluding bank holidays. For a small extra charge we offer an early drop off service from 7.30am when booked by prior arrangement at both our nurseries.
What happens at the settling in session?
We aim to ensure that your child settles in to nursery as quickly and happily as possible. You will have received a phone call from your child's key worker and a home visit from the key worker will be arranged to give us lots of information about your child so we can be prepared on their first settler session. Home visits and settling in sessions are a great time to get to know staff and ask as many questions as you wish. We arrange three settling sessions for babies, and two for children over walking age (and we add more if needed free of charge).
How long will it take for my child to settle at nursery?
Every child is different, but all children are treated with the same personal care and attention to help them settle quickly. Some children settle in straight away, others take a few days and very few can take longer. It's reassuring that all children we care for have settled happily with us and continue to greet staff with smiles and hugs as they come in the door. Settling at nursery is often more worrying for parents than children, so we aim to make your experience just as stress-free by giving you lots of opportunity to play with your child in nursery and ask lots of questions before you leave them with us.
What do I need to bring to nursery each day?
As we are fully inclusive and provide all meals, snacks, drinks, nappies, wipes and sun creams, we just ask that you bring the following in a clearly labelled bag:
- A named warm coat and hat in winter
- Named wellies (if applicable)
- A named sun hat during warmer months
- A named comforter or favourite teddy they would have at home to go to sleep with (if applicable)
How often will my child go outside?
Uniquely, we are an inside–out nursery with free-flow gardens leading from open doors in all our nursery rooms at both settings, so your child will not be allocated garden time, but will be able to choose to play inside and outside often as they like all day long. All areas are fully staffed at all times.
Will my child go on outings?
Outings and visits to places of interest such as parks, garden centres, museums and theatres linked to children's learning are regularly arranged and often form a key part of their projects
Do you have a curriculum? What kind of activities do you provide?
Our Enquiry Based Learning approach means we follow an emergent curriculum based on allowing children's interests and theories to dictate a direction for co-constructed learning. This means our basis for working with children is highly reflective and values the joy of learning together. Often the interests and theories explored end up as long term project work which can span days, weeks and months. We incorporate the Early Years Foundation Stage (0-5's curriculum) into our work with children ensuring their learning covers all areas of development from personal and social skills to mathematics and literacy.
What happens if I am late collecting my child or have been unable to get to the nursery before the nursery closes?
In the event that you do not collect your child from the nursery by the end of the day, and no contact has been made with the nursery to inform us of alternative arrangements for collection, every attempt will be made to contact you. If we are unsuccessful we will contact your nominated emergency contact and request that they collect your child. The nursery will remain open to allow time for the contact person to arrive. Late collection is charged at the hourly rate for extra hours.
What happens if my child has an accident at nursery?
As children develop physically, particularly in their early walking stages, accidents can occasionally happen. In this event the nursery has several staff trained in Paediatric First Aid on site at all times. If your child has had an accident at nursery you will be informed upon collection of your child and asked to sign an accident form. In the event of a bump to the head you will be informed by telephone. Your child will be monitored and in most cases will be able to continue with their day at nursery. In the event of a bump to the head causing concern you will be asked to collect your child and a visit to your GP will be recommended. You will be given a copy of the accident form and a head injury advice form. Should your child have an accident whilst at nursery which requires further medical support you will be contacted immediately and the necessary action will be taken. In extreme cases this could involve calling for the support of a paramedic. If your child has had an accident at home which has resulted in a physical injury, no matter how small, we request that you inform the staff so this can be documented and is not mistaken for an accident at the nursery.
How long should I keep my child away from nursery if they are unwell?
Parents are always best placed to decide if a child is not well enough to attend nursery. Common colds and coughs are not a problem, apart from if the child has a high temperature with it, in which case they should stay at home until the temperature goes down without medication. There is a full list of potential illnesses and the amount of time children should be kept away from nursery in our full policies, but the most common are as follows:
- Loose nappies or diarrhea – 48 hours or until toileting returns to normal.
- Vomiting – 48 hours.
- Temperature above 38 degrees – 24 hours or until temperature returns to normal without the need for medication.
- Conguntivitus – 24 hours after drops have been administered.
Will my child be able to sleep during the day?
Many children, particularly under the age of 3 years, will require a sleep during the day. The nursery has ample sleeping facilities and children are offered a rest period during the day, usually after lunch if they attend for the whole day. Young babies will follow their own home routine for sleep times as discussed with you. We will at all times try and encourage your child's natural routine, however as they get older children tend to fit into routines according to the group. We are happy to offer your child a sleep time but we cannot make children sleep. Children who do not sleep will be provided with other restful activities to occupy them. Sometimes when a child hasn't had their sleep they start to become tired towards the end of the nursery day, staff are not able to keep children awake if they are tired and will allow them to sleep if they need to.
Do you cook your own food?
Yes, all our healthy meals are freshly cooked on the premises by our qualified nursery cook, using fresh fruit and vegetables, and keeping processed foods to an absolute minimum.
My child has Special Educational Needs?
We operate a comprehensive SEN and Inclusion policy. We have a nursery SENCO that has a great deal of experience. We will work collaboratively with parents and other professionals and individual play plans will be put in place to ensure their needs are met.
To find out more about our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) – Local Offer, please click here.
How does the setting know if children need extra help and what should I do as a parent/carer if I think my child may have special educational needs/disabilities?
We will assess your child within the first month of them starting at the nursery. We will assess them via a progress review, which will enable us to identify if your child requires additional support. A discussion will be held with you by our Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO). If we feel your child may need some extra help we will take steps to ensure we fully support your child with their needs.
How will the setting staff support my child?
The needs of your child will be discussed at length with the SENCO and the child’s key carer. An action plan will be developed with elements that may include: a play plan (with small goals to work towards); liaison with other professions (e.g. health visitor, physiotherapist, speech and language experts, the West Sussex County Council (WSCC) Facilitating Inclusion through Reflection Support and Training (FIRST) team); regular meetings with you to ensure good communication and working together to achieve the best for your child. The nursery SENCO will work closely with your child’s key carer and will support this throughout your child’s time at nursery. If required we will source additional staff training.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs and how will you help me support my child’s learning?
We follow an enquiry based learning approach, which develops each child’s love for learning. This puts the child at the centre of their own learning. All children need to have their learning enhanced and we will accommodate this to your child’s individual needs. We will start from their interest and recent enquiry and extend this using their confidence, eager to learn attitude and positive outlook. We consider the process to be more important than the end output. We work in small groups throughout the day with an adult present to support your child’s learning. Your child’s learning will be uploaded to our online learning journey programme (Tapestry) regularly and you will be able to securely see this online. If your child does not speak good English we use visual timetables to help children understand the structure of the day.
How will I know how my child is doing?
All children’s progress is monitored through Tapestry, so any gaps will be highlighted and talked through with the key carer and the parents. We have detailed handovers every day and may also have a home to nursery communication book if required. We have two parents evening per year and there will be regular meetings in place if required to keep fully up to date with your child’s learning.
What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?
Overall support is dependent on the child’s needs. We can administer medication if required as long as it‘s been prescribed by a doctor. If we felt that extra help is required we may apply for extra funding as your child may benefit from 1:1 sessions. We may also contact the FIRST team to acquire extra support.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the early years setting?
We have staff members who use sign language (Makaton and British Sign Language). All staff undertake numerous training courses throughout their time here at nursery and we are very keen to up-skill our practitioners in all areas of development. New staff members undergo a two week training period whereby they learn our policies and procedures and have numerous training sessions on enquiry based learning and the EYFS. Also on site we have three Pedagogical Coordinators spread across all age groups and our outdoor environment. The Pedagogical Coordinators are responsible for monitoring all project work and work closely with key carers on each child’s learning and development. We also have in-house artists who support project work and help children to express themselves through a variety of media. All permanent nursery staff are either qualified to at least NVQ Childcare Level 3 or are training towards this qualification.
What training are the staff, supporting children with SEND, had or are having?
The SENCO staff members attend termly Network Meetings. Our head SENCO has recently attended a 10 week training programme in the ‘Solihull Approach’ to understanding child behaviour. We have attended numerous training on behaviour management, first aid, sensory play, and courses involving early talk. We intend to send more staff on the Solihull Approach training and behaviour management. At regular staff meetings we talk about the children with additional needs and what support the whole staff team can do to support them. We have a Designated Child Protection Officer (DCPO) and all staff have either attended safeguarding and child protection training or will attend a course within their first 12 months with us.
How will my child be included in offsite trips in the setting?
All children at the nursery are required to sign a consent form for offsite activities, these will include the neighbouring farm and farm lane. Any further trips will require a more formal consent form. No child will be exempt from an outing, if needed we will have extra staff (1:1) rather than (1:2 or 1:3) ratio or it may be that the parent/carer is asked if they will attend. This would be discussed in full before a decision is made with the Manager/parents/carer.
How accessible is the early years setting environment? (Inside & outside)
Our buildings are entirely located on ground level at both our nurseries, with an accessible toilet. We have wide fitted fire doors and doors leading onto the decking. It is then one step to assess the garden/Farm school/Vegetable garden which is also on one level at our Horsham Nursery. We accommodate children/parents/carers whose first language is not English by having our parent hand book translated into their language on request. We can also assist them with filling in registration forms. If necessary we will find someone who could translate for us. All equipment for children with specific needs will be discussed if appropriate with their parents/carers.
How will the early years setting prepare and support my child to join the early years setting, transfer to a new setting/school?
Initially, a telephone call will take place with you, and any additional needs will be brought to the attention of the SENCO. The SENCO and key carer will carry out a home visit. Your child will have settling in sessions at the nursery which may involve parental support at the beginning. Once your child is ready to move onto school or a new setting we will forward their learning journal, and telephone or visit them to ensure there is a clear handover. We will also work with your child to prepare them as much as possible to move onto school or a new setting. We will use a range of media and materials, and attend a school visit to meet the SENCO and the new teacher. In addition the teacher will be invited to our nursery to visit the environment in which the child will be accustomed to, this helps the child feel comfortable and can share their learning journal with their teacher or carer. A transition meeting may also be held with the parents, the nursery and the various agencies involved to discuss the best way forwards with the transition.
How are the early year’s settings resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
Our delegated budget includes training and developing of our staff, including any training requirements for special educational needs. At present we do not receive any special educational needs funding, but we will apply for funding if required.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
We will monitor your child through observations linked to the EYFS ages and stages of development. These will be discussed fully with the parents/carers. A decision will be made based on the available evidence and the views of all parties, including outside agencies if needed (e.g. FIRST team, speech and language experts, physiotherapy professionals). The SENCO and key carer will communicate back to the parents/carers how we will offer the level of support that has been decided upon and who will need to be involved.
How are parents involved in the early years setting? How can I be involved?
We welcome input from parents at any opportunity. We have an active Parent Nursery Association and we hold presentation evenings on subjects such as recent project work, behaviour management, and teaching phonics at home. If a parent would like to make a suggestion we would more than be happy to try and accommodate this.
Who can I contact for further information?
Please feel free to contact by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: 01403 254413 or visit our website: www.littlebarnowls.co.uk. Please mention the needs of your child upon making contact so we can help and support you. If you have any specific concerns please ask to speak to the SENCO.
Do you charge for bank holidays?
We open 51 weeks per year only closing for bank holidays and Christmas week until after New Years Day. Bank holidays up until Christmas week are charged as normal.
How are the fees paid?
Fees are calculated as your child's weekly fee x 51 weeks / divided by 12 months of the year, giving an equal monthly figure. Most parents pay by standing order, but cheque, cash or electronic transfer 1 month in advance by the 1st of each calendar month is accepted. Please note that all sessions booked must be paid for, regardless of whether the child attends. Unfortunately refunds cannot be given for sessions missed due to sickness or holidays.
Safeguarding Children Policy Safeguarding Children Policy
As childcare professionals, we have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. The nursery has trained members of staff who are responsible for the implementation of our safeguarding policies and procedures. In extreme circumstances, if we deem a child to be at risk, we are duty bound to contact the local Children's Safeguarding Board to raise our concern without seeking consultation or permission from the child's parent. All staff in the nursery are aware of their duties regarding child protection matters and have regular training in our safeguarding policies and procedures. To ensure our own staff are suitable to care for children they undergo an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check prior to being given unsupervised access to children. These checks are updated every three years. In addition to this a member of staff will not commence employment at our nursery until two suitable written references have been obtained.
Who are Ofsted and what do they do?
The Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) is the governing body who set the standards for care and education for all children's day care settings including schools and nurseries. Our most recent Ofsted report awarded us OUTSTANDING in all areas at our Horsham Nursery. It is available for you to read here. (link to the downloaded report please)