VISITING OUR NURSERIES, BOOKING A PLACE, ITEMS TO BRING AND OFSTED
How early do I need to put my child’s name down to attend Atherton House?
As soon as possible is always best, for we have restrictions on how many children we can accommodate in each phase group. It is best to secure your place, so you are not disappointed. Should you apply closer to your required start date we may not have a vacancy for your child.
How do I book a place for my child?
Once you have been to look round the nursery you will be given an application pack. Please fill this in and return it to nursery in the envelope provided, with the deposit stated in the pack. If for whatever reason you are unable to look round the nursery before you apply, please contact us and we will answer any questions you have and send a pack out to you.
Can my child visit the nursery prior to starting?
Yes, we offer settle sessions individual to each child’s needs, depending on time constraints of parents, for example if they have a specific start date they need to stick to, if the child has been to nursery before and how they find their first visit. Each child has an initial induction visit with mum, dad or another familiar adult and this is where we talk about how to move forward with their settle visits. We aim to start settles two weeks before your little one’s start date, in case they need any additional sessions and a staff member will contact you about these. If you would prefer, please feel free to ring us at any point before your little one starts, and we can talk all of this through.
What should I/my child bring to nursery?
For babies we ask for formula/breast milk and bottles, which can be kept at nursery and sterilised after each use or can be sent home each day. If a baby is continuing to be breast fed we are more than happy for mum to come in and do this if she prefers and it is feasible for her to do so around her commitments.
For younger children we ask that you bring nappies and any creams you wish us to use. We provide sensitive wipes or water and cotton wool, if preferred, and nappy bags, however parents are welcome to bring their own wipes in if they have a preference. We also welcome terry nappies, which will be bagged up and returned to the parent at the end of each day, to take home for washing.
For all children we request that you bring at least one change of clothes. This may be increased for babies or children who are toilet training, and a warm coat for going outside; children go outside every day, so we need to be prepared for all weather types. At certain times of the year we may also ask that you bring in wellies, scarf, hat and gloves or sun cream and a sun hat.
In addition to this, any comforters your child uses, any long-term medication needed and a prescribed bottle of Calpol. Please make sure everything you bring in is clearly labelled.
What are your opening times and when are you closed?
We are open Monday – Friday, 7.30am – 5.45pm. We are closed Bank Holidays and finish for Christmas on the 23rd December and reopen on the first working day of the new year.
How often are your nurseries inspected by OFSTED?
OFSTED aim to inspect nurseries each cycle, which is three to four yearly. The setting is given only half a day’s notice. They will also inspect if they receive a serious complaint, and then no notice is given. Inspection reports can be found on the Government Ofsted website, and our most recent is on our website.
STAFF QUALIFICATIONS AND SECURITY CHECKS
Are all staff DBS (CRB/police) checked?
Every staff member from cooks to nursery nurses to maintenance staff are all DBS checked when they come to work with us, whilst waiting for their DBS a staff member will not be left alone with children or be able to carry out any intimate care routines.
Do all staff hold relevant childcare qualifications?
We currently have a fully qualified team of childcare professionals, ranging from level 2 – Early Years Teaching Status. All staff are encouraged to build on their studies, to support reflective practice and further their knowledge and understanding of child development and key current childcare topics.
What are the staff to child ratios at Atherton House?
The ratios, as outlined by Early Years Foundation Stage are:
0-2 years – 1 adult : 3 children,
2-3 years – 1 adult : 4 children
over 3 years 1adult : 8 children
Are the same staff based in each room to assist continuity?
Yes, each room has a room leader and a permanent staff team and all staff have key children, meaning they are responsible for their learning journals and regularly planning for and assessing their development. We do have some staff who don’t have key children and work across the nursery, covering staff holiday and non-contact time when needed but we strive to keep the staff in each room as consistent as possible, especially when children are settling into nursery.
Are your staff First Aid trained?
Yes, all our nursery practitioners are first aid trained and renew their qualifications every three years, with regular reminders at monthly staff meetings.
SLEEPING TIMES AND ROUTINES AT NURSERY
How will my child sleep at nursery and where?
Parents in Baby room have the option of a cot, sleep mat or buggy, which will be discussed with you during your little one’s settle sessions. Staff transition toddlers over to beds as they are preparing to move through to Nursery Class, however this will always be discussed with you before it happens and individual cases are always taken into consideration.
How do staff get children to sleep?
Staff will discuss this with you and follow any routines from home, if this is more comforting for your little one, especially whilst settling. As children adapt to being at nursery, they will be often fall asleep by themselves, children may be comforted by a staff member rubbing their back or softly rocking them, however this is individual to each child’s needs and if you wish for your little one to go to sleep independently, please make the staff in your child’s room aware.
Do children have their own bedding and how often is this washed?
Yes, each day children are allocated fresh bedding and this is then freshly laundered at the end of each day.
My child has a set routine, how will this fit into nursery life?
When your little one starts with us we will follow your home routine to help with their transition. After that each child is different, some will stay on their own routine, especially in Baby Room, and some will adapt to the nursery routine as they get older.
FOOD, MEALTIMES, DIETARY REQUIREMENTS AND WEANING
What times are meal and snack times?
|Breakfast 8-9am||Choice of toast, fruit toast, pancakes, teacakes, and additional cereals during the warmer months and a drink of milk/water|
|Mid-morning snack around 10am||Fresh fruit and a drink of milk/water|
|Lunch served between 11.15am and 11:45am (depending on the phase group)||A hot meal and a pudding with a drink of water|
|Afternoon snack around 2pm||Fresh fruit and a drink of milk/water|
|Afternoon tea served between 3.15 and 3:30pm (depending on the phase group)||A lighter hot meal and a pudding with a drink of water|
Water is available in all rooms throughout the day.
What happens if my baby is not yet weaned when they start nursery?
When you and your little one come for their initial settling session we can discuss this further. We will work with you, follow your routine from home as you introduce new foods and offer support and guidance if needed.
Is the food cooked freshly on the nursery premises on a daily basis?
Yes, we have a qualified cook at nursery who prepare two meals a day for our children, with our menu on a three-week rotation. All recipes offer food made with fresh ingredients, with no added salt or sugar.
Where do children eat their meals?
Each phase group eats in their own room. Meal times at nursery help to develop social skills, table manners and independence; with the older children serving their own food or helping to give out meals to others as ‘Helper of the Week’.
Do you have a Halal or Kosher options on your menus?
No, however we do offer vegetarian and vegan alternatives and can also adapt our menu for many allergy or dietary requirements, for example, dairy free or sugar free.
EDUCATION AND CARE
How will my child’s progress be tracked throughout nursery?
All children are observed and planned for through ‘next steps’ every two weeks. These observations are linked to the Early Years Outcomes/Development Matters, Characteristics of Effective Learning and Leuven scale of well-being and involvement, and all of this helps to build a picture of where each child is tracking in their development. Every child has a baseline assessment, typically after 4 weeks of being at nursery, and then every three months after.
How often does Atherton House hold parents evening?
Parents can ask to speak to their child’s key worker at any time for an update and overview of their development. We currently offer a scheduled meeting with parents during daytime hours to discuss their child’s two year old assessments; as well as room transition meetings through the year as children transition through the setting. Preschool arrange a daytime parent meeting to discuss the transition to school in order to ensure that everything.
Parents also have the opportunity at our firework evening, parent forums, Easter Hat parade and Christmas activity days to speak to their child’s key worker, look at their progress files. Every three months parents are provided with a written update from the setting which has provision for the parents to add any additional information from home.
My child has special educational needs and disability (SEND), can they still attend Atherton House?
Of course! We are a fully inclusive nursery; we pride ourselves on adapting our care to the individual needs of each child to give them the best support we can.
Do you have connections and relationships with surrounding schools?
We contact the local schools every year to build relationships with them, ready for our pre-schoolers to move on to them in September. Schools are invited into nursery to meet the children who will be attending their schools and we continue to develop our transition report each year, providing the information schools find most useful.
SAFE AND SECURE
Do you have CCTV in your nursery and can I view it?
We do not currently have CCTV on the premises but doors are always opened by a member of staff so we can see who is wanting to gain access before letting them in.
How secure is the nursery?
Families cannot gain entry to the main nursery building without being let in by a staff member; when the children are playing outside on the main play area the gate is locked from the inside and access is gained by staffing viewing who is at the gate before allowing access. The baby and nursery free flow access also supervised locked gates in place. Each child is signed in and out of the building by parents or guardians and a staff member in the absence of either a parent/guardian signature. When anyone is collecting a child they will be asked to provide a password and prior photographic evidence or a detailed description of the person collecting especially if they turn up on an unscheduled day/time.
There are two gates before leaving the nursery from the garden and each gate within the nursery, for example stair gates, have locks on both sides. If you have any other questions, please to do not hesitate to contact the nursery and speak to a member of management who will be able to discuss and support you with any concerns you may have.
OUTSIDE PLAY, TRIPS AND EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
How often will my child go outside to play?
We aim to have all children outside throughout the day, all year round. As we treat all children as individuals there may be times when your little one does not wish to go outside, and this is always taken into consideration. During warmer weather children can access the outdoors whilst working around the hottest part of the day, if the weather is particularly hot. We will follow sun protection guidance and request that families provide their own sun care cream and legionnaire style caps.
Do you go for trips/walks?
Yes, we have trips to the park, duck pond, shops, local library and train station. Staff are also encouraged to book the nursery minibus and plan other trips further afield – the farm, zoo, pumpkin patch, museum.
Does Atherton House hold extra-curricular activities?
We currently have Spanish classes for the children in Pre-school and will be bringing in new activities in the New Year.
FEES, ADMIN FEE, FUNDED PLACES, DISCOUNTS AND WAYS TO PAY
How can I pay my childcare fees?
Fees are paid on the first of each month by direct debit, bank transfers or card payments can be made for extra sessions.
Do you accept childcare vouchers?
Yes, we are registered with several childcare voucher companies, please contact the office for more information.
Do I need to pay a deposit/admin fee to secure my child’s place?
A deposit of £150.00 will secure your little one’s place, this is non-refundable if you decide not to take the place, however if you give the appropriate notice £100 will be returned to you when your child leaves, or deducted from your final payment.
Do you offer funded places for 2, 3 and 4 year olds?
Yes, when applicable, please contact the office with any further enquiries relating to this matter.
Is there any family discount available if you have more than one child attending the nursery?
Yes, if you have siblings at nursery, the youngest sibling will have a 12.50% reduction in fees if they do three days or more or if they take a place full time.
How is my invoice calculated?
The number of sessions each child does per week is added together and then multiplied by 50 weeks (number of weeks we are open during the year) and is then divided by 12 to generate equal monthly payments.