What is your Ofsted rating?
Our 2017 Ofsted Inspection was graded ‘Outstanding’. The report and previous inspection reports can be found here.
How often are you 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.
WHEN ARE YOU OPEN?
What are your opening times and when are you closed?
We are open Monday – Friday, 8am – 5.45pm, with an optional 7.30am start with limited availability; please ask a member of management for more details. We are closed Bank Holidays and finish for Christmas on the 23rd December and re-open on the first working day of the new year.
VISITING OUR NURSERY AND BOOKING A PLACE/S
How can I visit Atherton House School?
We have an open door policy and welcome visits so we can show you our nursery in action and answer any questions. Please drop in between 8am and 5.45pm. It would be appreciated if you could avoid 11.30am – 2.00pm which is the children’s lunch time and sleep time. This will help us to minimise disruption to the children. If you prefer, please telephone our Nursery Manager Jackie Seddon, on 0151 924 5578 to arrange an appointment.
When should I put my child’s name down to attend Atherton House School?
We recommend securing your place as soon as possible because we have restrictions on how many children we can accommodate in each phase group. 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?
Upon receipt of your enquiry form, the Nursery Manager will forward details of our online application process to you. Please complete and send the deposit to secure your place.
SETTLING IN SESSIONS AND ITEMS TO BRING
Can my child visit the nursery prior to starting?
Yes, we offer settling in sessions that are individual to each child’s needs. 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 settling in visits. We aim to start settling in children two to four weeks before your little one’s start date. Our friendly and approachable team are always available to speak to if you have any questions.
What should we bring to nursery?
We provide formula milk, but we ask that you supply 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 send in breast milk or to come into Nursery to feed her baby if this convenient for her.
We provide nappies, sensitive wipes or water and cotton wool, if preferred, and nappy bags. Parents and Carers are welcome to bring their own wipes and creams if they have a preference. We also welcome terry nappies, which will be bagged up and returned to the Parent / Carer 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. Atherton House School 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 you to wear a warm coat and bring wellies, scarf, hat and gloves, or supply sun cream and a sun hat.
Comforters & Medication:
In addition to this, any comforters your child uses, any long-term medication needed, and an in date, sealed, prescribed bottle of Calpol can be brought into Nursery. Please make sure everything you bring in is clearly labelled.
STAFF QUALIFICATIONS AND SECURITY CHECKS
Are all staff Enhanced DBS checked?
Every staff member is Enhanced DBS checked when they come to work with us. Whilst waiting for their DBS certificate, 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 have a fully qualified team of childcare professionals, ranging from Level 2 to 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.
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.
What are the staff to child ratios at Atherton House School?
The ratios are outlined by Early Years Foundation Stage and are:
0-2 years – 1 adult : 3 children,
2-3 years – 1 adult : 4 children
Over 3 years – 1 adult : 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. Staff have key children, meaning they are responsible for the upkeep of their key children’s learning journals and staff regularly plan for and assess their key children’s development. We have some members of staff who don’t have key children and work across the nursery as required. We always strive to keep the staff in each room as consistent as possible, especially when children are settling into nursery.
SLEEPING TIMES AND ROUTINES AT NURSERY
How will my child sleep at nursery and where?
Children in the Baby room sleep in a cot, on a sleep mat, or a lie-flat buggy. Parents/ Carers can choose their preferred option for their little one. 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 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 it is 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. We believe 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?
Water is available in all rooms throughout the day.
|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|
What happens if my baby is not yet weaned when they start nursery?
We will work with you and follow your routine from home as you introduce new foods, and we offer support and guidance if needed.
Is the food cooked freshly on the nursery premises on a daily basis?
Yes, we have an experienced cook at nursery who prepares 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. Mealtimes at nursery help to develop social skills, table manners and independence.
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 do you encourage the Parent/Carer Partnerships?
We find that all children benefit from having a strong Parent/Carer and Nursery partnership as it forms the basis of our happy nursery. In addition to face-to-face conversations, telephone calls, and e-mails, we use Parentapp, and EYLog apps, and Facebook to communicate online. When children are collected from Nursery the team will let you know what activities they have been doing, their general health, and how they have enjoyed themselves. Younger children also have a communication book that goes home daily.
How will my child’s progress be tracked throughout nursery?
All children are observed and their ‘next steps’ are planned every two weeks. These observations are linked to the Early Years Outcomes/Development Matters, Characteristics of Effective Learning, the Leuven Scale of Well-being and Involvement, and ‘Every Child A Talker’ assessments. The observations help to build a picture of where each child is tracking in their development. Every child has a baseline assessment shortly after starting, and then it is updated every four months.
How often does Atherton House School hold Parent/Carers evenings?
Parents and Carers can ask to speak to their child’s key worker at any time for an update and overview of their development. We offer a scheduled meeting with Parents/Carers during daytime hours to discuss their child’s two year old assessments and when your child moves room. Our Pre-School staff arrange a daytime Parent and Carer meeting to support your child as they transition to their primary school.
Parents and Carers are welcome to speak to their child’s key worker. They can easily view and contribute to their child’s online progress records via the app EYLog.
My child has special educational needs and disability (SEND), can they still attend Atherton House School?
Of course! We are a fully inclusive nursery and we pride ourselves on adapting our care to the individual needs of each child to give them the best support we can. A little one with SEND may require an enhanced transition into Nursery and we will always work with any relevant agencies to help them in the process.
Do you have good relationships with surrounding schools?
We have longstanding relationships with all the local schools. This helps when our Pre-School children to move on to them each September. School staff are invited into nursery to meet the children who will be attending their schools. We continue to develop our transition report each year, providing the information schools find most useful.
SAFE AND SECURE
Do you have CCTV and can I view it?
We do not currently have CCTV on the premises but secure doors are always opened by a member of staff so we can see who is wanting to gain access.
How do I gain access into 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 multi-locked from the inside and access is gained by staff viewing who is at the gate before allowing access. The baby and nursery free flow outdoor spaces are also supervised, with locked gates in place. Each child is signed in and out of the building by Parents or Carers and a staff member in the absence of either a Parent/Carer signature. We operate a strict child collection policy so when anyone is collecting a child, they will be asked to provide a password and prior photographic evidence or a detailed description of the responsible adult collecting the child, especially if they turn up on an unscheduled day/time. We also telephone Parent/Carers for validation to ensure the safety of each child.
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 AND TRIPS
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. 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. We also plan trips such as visits to the farm, zoo, pumpkin patch, and the local museum, using our minibus.
DEPOSITS, FEES, FUNDING, AND WAYS TO PAY
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. If you give the appropriate notice, £75.00 will be returned to you when your child leaves or deducted from your final payment.
How can I pay my childcare fees?
Fees are paid on the first of each month by direct debit, bank transfers. Card payments can be made for pre-agreed extra sessions.
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 10% reduction in fees.
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.
Do you offer funded places for 2, 3 and 4 year olds?
Do you accept childcare vouchers?
Yes, we are registered with several childcare voucher companies. Please contact the office for more information.
Do you accept Tax Free Childcare payments?
Yes. Please contact the office for more information.
DATA PROTECTION & NURSERY POLICIES
Who is your Data Protection Officer?
Our Director Alice Apel, is our Data Protection Officer and can be contacted via our Nursery Manager, Jackie.
I would like to read your Nursery Policies. How can I do this?
Hard copies are available to read in Nursery. Please speak to Nursery Manager Jackie for further information.