How do I find out more about a particular nursery?
You can send an e-mail enquiry or telephone for a Parent Pack, but the best way is to visit your preferred nursery. (Please check you have the nursery of your choice in the drop down menu). This will enable you to experience the environment yourself, meet the people who will be caring for your child, and ask any questions that you may have.
How do I apply for a place?
There are enrolment forms within the Parent Pack. Here we ask for contact details for you as parents/carers and more detailed information about your child so that we aware of any particular needs or allergies. You will also need to tell us what sessions you would like your child to attend so that we can make sure there are spaces available for all the times you want. There is a contract of attendance that you will be asked to sign prior to your child starting which sets out our obligations to each other.
How do your fees work?
There is a registration fee and deposit of one week's fees to pay before your child starts at the nursery. The deposit is refundable when your child leaves. Fees are invoiced to you monthly and are due in advance in the 1st week of each month. We prefer that you pay by standing order, but will accept cash, cheques, credit and debit cards. We are open 51 weeks in the year, closing for the week between Christmas and New Year. Your monthly fee is calculated as 51 times the weekly fee divided by 12 to give the same payment each month, which helps you to budget and makes Standing Orders simpler to manage. Additional sessions can be booked subject to availability. Fees are reviewed annually, any increases are applied on 1 April and we give you 1 month's notice of any changes. A limited number of term-time only places may be available. You will need to discuss this with your chosen nursery manager.
Is there any help with fees?
There several work place voucher schemes which some companies have set up for the benefit of their employees which can be worth up to £243 per month. You will need to ask your employer if they operate such a scheme. The Government's Tax Free Childcare (TFC) scheme will provide 20% towards the cost of childcare up to a maximum of £2,000 per year per child and available to all employees and self-employed people. See https://www.gov.uk/government/news/millions-of-parents-to-get-help-with-childcare-costs There is also funding for 15 or 30 hours per week (term time, subject to qualifying criteria) for all 3 and 4 year olds. This has been extended to 2 year olds (15 hours) in some disadvantaged areas. There is additional help for working families through the tax system with Universal Credit.
Do you offer any discounts?
We offer a sibling discount of 20% and 10% for NHS staff, (subject to a maximum discount limit of 20%) Discounts cannot be given on Early Years Funding, but will be calculated on the portion of the fees paid by parents. Other discounts are available from time to time for new starters. Please enquire with your chosen nursery.
What meals do you provide?
Each nursery has a fully equipped kitchen and a cook who prepares all meals on site. A morning session includes a hearty breakfast, a choice of cereals, toast and fruit (until 8am), and a two course lunch. Afternoons include a two course tea. Children attending all day will have all meals, but if you are attending for a shorter period of time, please clarify which meals are available for your child with your chosen nursery.
What is your policy on Allergies?
All parents on starting their child complete a registration form that indicates any knowledge of allergies or possible allergies. These are then entered on to the nursery manager system, which then prints out a list of all children who have allergies. These lists are present in all rooms within the nursery. When a new child starts at nursery, all staff are made aware of any allergies suffered so that procedures are put into place to ensure the child does not come into contact with anything that may cause an allergic reaction. We use colour coded crockery to indicate to all staff if your child has an allergy, is vegetarian/vegan. Parents are asked to inform us immediately, if they become aware of any allergies. An update sheet is also sent out every six months, which indicates information stored on file, in regards to all aspects of the child, and the parents are asked to amend and send back to nursery. This ensures all information is kept updated. Staff are trained appropriately in dealing with and dispensing medicines if an allergic reaction takes place at nursery. This training is done through professionals, such as health visitor or doctor and parents. All medication securely away from children. All staff are aware of first aid procedures and all staff hold current first aid certificates, within 3 months of starting at our settings. When staff are inducted into the company a Health and Safety induction is carried out and folders are identified showing where information regarding allergies and treatment can be found.
How will I know what my child has done each day?
When you come to the nursery each day you will hand over to a Key Carer with whom you can discuss the care of your child or any particular needs for that day. Similarly, when you collect at the end of the session or day, you will be able to discuss what your child has been doing. This means that you will know the activities that your child has undertaken and any achievements that have been made during the day. The Key Carer will be responsible for recording your child's progress and achievements at the nursery on Tapestry, our on-line a Learning Journey, which you will able to login to at any time and contribute to with your updates and photo's. A termly newsletter is produced by the nursery management team to inform parents of upcoming events and celebrate achievements of the previous month, and to post various notices to parents. Each nursery has its own Facebook page. This is used to share news of events on a more regular basis than the newsletter, and features activities that children have undertaken at the nursery. If you have given your consent, photographs including your child may appear on the page. This means that you are kept informed of activities in which your child is involved as well as seeing pictures of their learning.
Are you a member of any professional bodies?
Yes, for many years now we have been members of The National Day Nurseries Association and the Montessori Schools Association. We are also members of the Employee Ownership Association.
How are you assessed as a provider of childcare?
We are inspected by Ofsted at intervals of approximately 3 years. The inspections are conducted by someone we do not know, and who reports on a snapshot of nursery life that they see on the day they arrive. We never know when they will come, but that doesn't worry us. We are also occasionally assessed by Leicestershire County Council's Improvement Advisors. This is not the same as Ofsted, as we tend to develop working relationships with these officers, who often assist in our staff training.
Do you recommend any childcare related websites or information services?
There are many child care related sites, probably more than we know about! However, when we find one that we feel parents may like, we share the link on our facebook page, however, here are just a few you may find useful: The National Day Nurseries Association has a parent information section: www.ndna.org.uk Leicestershire County Council also has lots of local information for parents, about early years, starting school, and ideas for places to go with your child: www.leics.gov.uk. For creative ideas for all ages we like: www.prakticideas.com For outdoor ideas we like the forest schools site: www.muddyfaces.co.uk/forest_schools.php One of the best parenting guide/blogs we have found is written by Dr Laura Markham, who is a child psychologist: http://www.ahaparenting.com