We realise that whether you are coming to the nursery for the first time or transferring from another setting, it is a significant transition for you and your child, and one that needs to be handled with care and sensitivity. This may be your first experience of nursery life and in many cases when your child starts with us, it may be the longest time you have been away from your son or daughter.
For that reason we have put together a structured and considered approach to settling both parents/carers and children into the routines of the nursery as well as providing us with opportunities to gather as much information about you and your child to ensure a successful start.
You will be given plenty of time to settle into nursery life and you can even come and join us in the office to watch how things are going on our CCTV system. Young children are very adaptable and quickly begin to enjoy their new surroundings and friends. If you’re thinking of booking or want to consider your decision further, this handbook will provide you with a comprehensive guide as to how with your help, we can together achieve the best possible outcomes for your children
- BOOKING AND REGISTRATION – Once you are happy with your decision, you complete your booking form. Normally, we will have already discussed availability, start dates, fees, payment and any special needs.
- DEPOSIT – You return your booking form to the nursery with the agreed deposit, which is refundable to you at the end of your child’s stay at nursery. The deposit rate as of March 2014 is £50 per session booked. So for example one full day comprises two sessions, a morning and an afternoon, so the deposit is £100, 3 mornings would be £150 and so on.
- CONFIRMING YOUR BOOKING AND START DATE – Once we receive your booking, we acknowledge the details in a welcome pack which contains all the details we have discussed and agreed.
- COMPUTERISED NURSERY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM – We log all your initial booking details into our computerised nursery management system. This tells us all about your child and also issues those annoying fee invoices. We observe the recommendations of the Data Protection Act with all our hard copy and digital records.
- DOCUMENTATION ABOUT YOUR CHILD – We create a hard copy file containing all key documents, which is stored securely in a lockable filing cabinet.
- GRANTS AND SUBSIDIES – We also discuss details relating to the Early Years Funding Entitlement, if your child qualifies. This is an amount advised to us by the Local Education Authority for free sessions, which are discounted from your fees. This is applicable to all children aged 3 and 4, plus 2 year olds who are eligible. Please see the Family Information Service for more details.
- WORKPLACE VOUCHERS – We can also advise you at this point on other forms of funding for childcare such as workplace vouchers, which provide tax and national insurance rebates against childcare fees. Our OFSTED provider number EY283126 will be needed by your voucher company when initiating the salary sacrifice scheme.
- SETTLING-IN SESSIONS – There are three settling-in sessions for you and your child which usually take place two weeks before the start date. Settling sessions are normally two hours and more are available if required.
- RE-ACQUAINT YOURSELF WITH THE NURSERY BEFORE STARTING – Especially if you booked many months in advance, we invite you to come and see the nursery again before the start date. Please feel free to bring a partner, friend or other relative.
- BOOKING THE SETTLING-IN SESSIONS – About 4 weeks before the start date, as appropriate, we will contact you again to confirm with you the dates of the three settling-in sessions.
- SETTLING YOUR CHILD – At the settling-in sessions you are welcome to stay with your child. You are also free to sit in the reception area or come into the office to watch your child on our CCTV system. Normally by the third settle we would ask that you leave your child with us so he / she gets used to you not being in the room.
- KEYPERSON – We will introduce you to your child’s key worker and talk through how your child will be cared for during their time at the nursery. We’ll show you how we record information about your child’s daily activities. We’ll talk about the way we observe and monitor your child’s progress including any structured approaches such as the Early Years Foundation Stage. We’ll talk you through key nursery policies and procedures.
- CONTACTS AND SECURITY – We ask you to complete an index card during your first settle for you and your child, telling us names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and also providing us with a signature and password. We would like to know all the key people who may be dropping off and collecting your child and the password comes in handy as an extra layer of security.
- CARE PLAN – At the settling in sessions we will go through the completed care plan of details about your child which tell us about routines, sleep patterns, diet, allergies, previous nursery experience and everything we need to know to ensure we settle in your child as efficiently and comfortably as possible.
- CONSENT FORMS – We will also ask you to complete consent forms for outings, sun cream, photographs and other matters where we need your authority beforehand.
- STARTING AT NURSERY – We will review the settles and finalise the details for the actual start date after which, we look forward to welcoming you and your child into the nursery.