The Setting

Opportunities and experiences

Nettlestead and Wateringbury Pre-school and Out of Schools Club operates from a purpose-built setting behind the village hall, with plenty of space for parking. The setting has a spacious playroom and well-equipped kitchen, which allows children to take part in preparing and eating their own foods.

There is a covered outside area which children can access freely. Children benefit from regular visits to the to playing field, children’s playground and woods which are situated adjacent to the pre-school.

We have introduced new activities to support children in their development, for example our new morning routine activity includes our ‘wake up, shake up’ session. This introduces children to singing, nursery rhymes and movement to support their language and communication skills and physical development, as well as their overall confidence.

Children’s development, particularly their communication is supported through visual supports, for example, visual timetables and signing (Makaton).

The addition of ‘Forest School’ activities enables children to explore and develop in all areas of learning. The park and woodland areas adjacent to the setting offers many varied learning opportunities that change with the seasons, for all our children.

Session times and attendance

We endeavour to be as flexible as possible to support your childcare needs, however we would ask that children arrive promptly for the start of their pre-school session (9am/12pm). This ensures they do not miss out on regular routine activities that support their sense of security, confidence and prepares them for their move to school. This also supports the smooth running of the pre-school session, for example recording children’s attendance and enables staff to focus fully on the activities and learning they are providing for children.

Collecting late may impact on our staff ratios, therefore if you think you are going to be late, please do give us a call. If you know in advance that you will be ‘tight for time’, why not book your child in for an extra hour, or an additional session – speak to a member of our staff.

Linking preschool and home with ‘Cheeky the monkey’

cheeky_the_monkeyOur setting monkey, ‘Cheeky’, support our links with children’s home-life and family. This also offers an opportunity for children to share and talk about activities they do at home with the staff and other children in the setting. This gives children a sense of responsibility, builds their confidence and self-esteem and communication skills. We do hope you will support us in this endeavour, by making a record of activities ‘Cheeky’ has undertaken with your child and family in the book provided. We look forward to discussing these with your child.

Equality and inclusion

We can accommodate up to 24 children per session and welcome children from two years up to school age.  We understand that not all children will be toilet trained and will work with the families to achieve this goal. However, we are fully aware that accidents do happen, and these are dealt with sympathetically. Should there be any concerns or questions regarding your child’s toileting, our staff will be happy to discuss these with you confidentially.  The policy of the pre-school is to embrace all genders, sexuality, class, family status, means, disability, colour, ethnic origin, cultures and beliefs.

If parents of children with special needs choose our pre-school they can be assured that we will endeavour to support, integrate and develop the child to the best of our ability.  We are willing to attend information and discussion groups and will try to provide one to one care if needed.

inclusion

Settling-in

Our settling in procedure aims to help the parent/carers feel confident that their children feel happy in our pre-school environment.  Children cannot play or learn successfully if they are anxious and unhappy, we therefore welcome parent/carers to stay until they feel that the child is comfortable about the separation.

Healthy eating

If your child is joining us for lunch, we suggest that a variety of small nutritious items are included in the lunch box.  For example, cheese and crackers, chicken and salad wrap, fruit, small yoghurts, water or juice.  This is not an exhaustive list and we can supply further information on request.   We would ask that fizzy drinks, chocolate, crisps, lollipops and sweets are left at home as treats.

The Early Years Foundation Stage

Nettlestead and Wateringbury pre-school and after school club activities are based around the Early Years Foundation Stage of the National Curriculum and include free and structured play, arts and crafts, cooking sessions, early reading and writing, maths exploration and early computer skills. We are a “learning through play” pre-school where the children are able to develop skills and ideas through the concept of play.  To further support children’s skills in readiness for school, we have a rising fives group “Fledglings”, who spend time together, exploring and expanding the skills they will need for primary education.

Fledglings

During your child’s last term before they move on to school, they access additional, more structured activities to support their learning and smooth transition to school. For example, they are given opportunities to practice changing into their PE kit and spend time in small groups to practice name writing, basic maths and literacy.

Behaviour management and respect

We believe that all children should be respected and their individuality and potential recognised, valued and nurtured.  Activities and the use of play equipment offer children the opportunity to develop socially and physically and help widen their knowledge of the world.  We praise positive behaviour and encourage children to take responsibility for their actions.  In cases of negative behaviour, we never threaten or use physical punishment or humiliation, instead we give one to one support in seeing what is wrong and developing a better pattern of behaviour.

Children’s physical well-being

We respect parent/carers wishes regarding the issue whether to vaccinate or not, however in the outbreak of diseases such as measles, mumps or rubella all parents/carers will be notified, and those non-vaccinated children may need to be withdrawn from the group for their wellbeing until it is deemed appropriate for them to return.

Children should not be brought into the pre-school if the child appears ill and the pre-school should be informed of any infectious diseases.  If your child has experienced vomiting or diarrhoea, please leave 48 hours before returning to pre-school.

Safeguarding children

To provide a secure environment for your child we keep a record of children’s attendance, where a note of any child being picked up by another carer is also recorded, to ensure the highest possible level of security we request that you provide us with a password, which the alternative carer can give us on their arrival.

Supporting the setting and children

volunteersWe are a non-profit making charity pre-school and are run by a voluntary committee, comprising of a chairperson, secretary and treasurer and other committee members.  All parents are very welcome to become involved in the committee activities, fundraising, administration and other aspects of the pre-school.

We acknowledge we all have our own individual qualities to offer and we appreciate any help and support that the parent/carers are willing to give.  Fundraising is important for buying new equipment and toys to give the children the best play environment possible and to enable the children to have subsidised outings throughout the year.  New ideas are always welcome and can be discussed with a member of staff or committee. If you are interest and would like further information please complete the relevant part of the enrolment form, and/or speak to a member of staff, management or a committee member; Siobhan Sharp is the committee ‘chair’ person.

Communication

We aim to keep parents updated about all aspects of the setting and their child’s development via daily diaries, development records, emails, notice boards, newsletters and direct communication, through our staff, on a daily basis. We ask that you check the notice board and your emails regularly and speak to member of staff or management if you have any points you wish to discuss.

Further information pertaining to the setting is outlined in our policies and procedures, available for you to access in the reception area; we can email you a copy, if you so wish. Please note that it is the parent’s responsibility to read and abide by these polices. If you have any questions, please feel free to talk to a member of staff or management – we value your input and support

Additionally, we have a ‘parent’s facebook group’; this is a closed group for parents of preschool and out of schools club children only. We hope you will find it useful for staying in touch and being informed. You can find as at:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/169807316879400/

We look forward to you and your child joining our friendly group.  We operate an open-door policy whereby you can come and talk in confidence to any member of the staff about any problems or complaints you may have, or any contributions you would like to make to the group.

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