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Starting Preschool

Settling In

We typically provide 2-3 free 1-hour settles prior to starting full sessions, but every child's experience of separating from their parent(s) is different and so, we will follow your child's lead.

Before we begin settles, your child's key person will arrange a meeting with you to go through an 'all about me' assessment. This will help us to understand your child's likes, dislikes, needs and interests and gain other important information we need to support your child's learning and development at Preschool. The key person will help your child to settle in to Preschool and aim to create a secure attachment with them for your child to feel safe and confident whilst you are not with them. Information on the importance of attachment and the role of the key person can be found here.

For the first settle, we ask you to stay with your child to reassure them whilst they explore, and for you to have a chat with your child's new key person. For the second settle we ask if you could try leaving your child for 20 minutes, this will help us determine if your child will need further settles. If, after several settles we think your child is not quite ready for a full session, we may suggest collecting them earlier until they are able to cope with a normal day. Please do not feel disheartened if it takes your child longer to settle, every child  is unique and we will support them as much as we can during the settling-in period.

Here are some tips other families have found useful when settling their children into Preschool:

  • Bring your child with you on your initial visit to familiarise them with the setting and staff

  • Speak to your child at an age-appropriate level about starting Preschool, perhaps borrow a story book from the library about starting Nursery!

  • Tell your child's key person as much information about your child as possible e.g. their likes, dislikes, fears, soothing methods etc.

  • Give your child's key person some photographs of family, friends and other special people. We can then turn them into a 'family book' which can be looked at together when your child needs some comfort.

  • Bring a comforter if your child uses one e.g., dummy, muzzy, favourite toy etc.

  • Provide your child with a scarf or other item of clothing which has your scent/perfume on.

  • Talk about your child's day after the session,  highlighting the positive and talk excitedly about their next session.

 

Practicaliies

What to Bring

Food and drink

  • A drink’s bottle  (we do provide fresh milk and water, but having their own bottle usually prompts children to keep hydrated).

  • A portion of fruit (e.g., banana, kiwi, apple, strawberries) or vegetables (e.g., carrot, cucumber, pepper) for morning snack. We will provide biscuits, breadsticks, rice cakes etc.

  • A packed lunch if staying for lunch club or all day. Please do NOT send anything containing nuts, including peanut butter or Nutella, as we are a nut-free zone! We also kindly ask you not to provide your child with chocolate, sweets or fizzy drinks as we advocate healthy eating and an active lifestyle. Round foods such as grapes, cherry tomatoes and blueberries should be cut in half lengthwise.

 

Clothing

  • A coat (preferably weatherproof, some parents prefer to provide a puddle suit for wet weather).

  • Scarf, hat, gloves etc. for the colder weather.

  • Suitable footwear e.g., shoes with Velcro rather than laces (we promote independence), sandals which are secured around the heel, welly boots etc.

  • At least one full change of clothing (including socks). Please provide extra spare clothes if your child is potty training, as we have a limited supply. Do NOT send your child to Preschool in their best clothes, they WILL get messy. Some parents have found it useful to buy cheaper or second-hand clothes (and shoes) for Preschool, rather than spoil nice clothes. If you are particularly concerned about your child’s clothing getting messy, you could provide a long adult’s shirt to cover their clothes during messy activities. We do provide aprons, but not every child tolerates wearing them, and we do not want this to become a barrier to their learning.

 

Health & wellbeing

  • Sun cream (please put on before Preschool, we can top up as necessary) and a sun hat for warmer weather.

  • Enough nappies, nappy sacks, barrier cream and wipes to last the day (some parents prefer to leave packs at Preschool). Please note: all nappies will need to be taken home to be disposed of.

  • Any comforters your child may benefit from in the early stages of settling.

  • A big kiss and cuddle to last the day!

                              Please ensure ALL personal belongings are labelled with your child's name

Toilet Training

We do not expect children to be toilet trained before starting Preschool. We have facilities to change nappies as and when needed (nappies will need to be taken home). Please provide enough nappies, wipes, nappy sacks etc. to last the session as these are not provided by the Preschool.

 

We will follow your child's lead with toilet training and support them through this journey to coincide with the training at home. We have toilet training seats and staff will support and scaffold .

Remember: bring plenty of changes of clothing during the toilet training period

For further guidance on toilet training and common childhood toileting issues, please visit ERIC the bladder and bowel charity's website: https://www.eric.org.uk/parents-and-carers  

If you have any concerns regarding your child's bladder or bowel health or toilet training, please contact your Health Visitor or GP.

Safety

We take steps necessary to keeping our children and staff safe whilst at Preschool, following our health and safety, safeguarding and staff conduct policies and procedures.

Safety of the premises
  • Our setting is based in a portacabin on the site of Hauxton Primary School. The site is locked after all children are safely dropped off to school and only authorised persons are permitted entry by the Preschool staff.

  • All visitors must show proof of ID and are requested to sign-in and out when accessing the Preschool.

  • The Preschool has locks out of children's reach on all doors and only staff are allowed to open them.

  • The Preschool building and garden are checked daily for hazards and risks, a more detailed risk assessment is conducted on an annual basis and reviewed as and when required.

  • The Preschool is maintained by the Committee.

Safeguarding

Safeguarding is everybody's business- know how to spot the signs of child abuse and how to report it here.

  • Our staff and Trustees undergo the necessary police, Ofsted checks and written references to ensure they are suitable to work with children. Volunteers, students or staff undergoing checks are not permitted to deliver intimate care and are never left alone with children.

  • Staff are trained in Basic Child Protection to ensure they have the knowledge on how to spot the signs of abuse/mistreatment of children and what steps to take to keep children safe.

  • The Preschool's Designated Persons for Child Protection (DPCP) are Zoe and Amy.

  • Only persons authorised by you are permitted to collect your child. We use a password system and ask you to provide photographs of other authorised contacts should they need to collect. If there is a last minute change in who's collecting your child, please call us on 01223 870919 as soon as possible.

Fees

Fees & Funding

2 - 3 Year Olds

£6.50 Per Hour

3 - 4 Year Olds

£6.00 Per Hour

These fees apply to  children who are not eligible for government funding and those that wish to 'top-up' their sessions.

Fees are paid in advance every half-term by invoice, with a 2-week window within which to pay. The Preschool accepts payment via BACS or approved Childcare vouchers. Payment plans can be established to support our families if necessary.

Deliberate non-payment of fees results in a 10% late payment penalty fee added to the invoice and could result in the termination of the child's space. We are a charity-run setting and non-payment of fees is detrimental to the organisation. 

Fees are still applicable for absences, e.g., sickness, holidays. 

A £25 non-refundable registration fee is required to secure a space at the Preschool for children who are not eligible for government funding.

Funding

All 3-4 year olds in England are eligible for 15 hours of free government funding per week for 38 weeks of the year. This funding commences the term AFTER a child's third Birthday. For example, a child who turns 3 years old in May, would be entitled for funding from September.

Some children may be entitled to 15 hours of funding from the term after their second Birthday, depending on the child's and family's circumstances. More information, including eligibility criteria, can be found here.

Some 3 -4-year-olds may be entitled to claim up to 30 hours of funding per week, depending on household income. You can check your eligibility online.

Eligible parents MUST reconfirm their eligibility with HMRC using your childcare account every 3 months to avoid losing their 30-hour funding entitlement. Should this occur, the Preschool will require full payment of the child's fees.

To approve the funding, the Preschool will provide you with a funding form to complete on an annual basis and will require proof of your child's identity e.g., passport or birth certificate.

Sickness & Holidays

Sickness

If your child is feeling poorly, please keep them at home and call the Preschool on 01223 870919 to notify us of their absence. Your child can return to Preschool when fully recovered, does not have a high temperature (37.8 C or above) and does not require any pain relief to help them last the day. Further advice on common childhood illnesses can be found here.

The Preschool reserves the right to temporarily exclude children from attending the Preschool if they are unwell or at risk of spreading infection to others. In particular:

  • Children suffering from vomiting and/or diarrhoea must not attend Preschool until 48 hours after the last bout of sickness. Please ensure your child is eating and drinking enough before returning to Preschool.

  • Children with COVID-19 symptoms (high temperature, new and continuous cough, loss of or change to sense of taste or smell) must stay home until recovered and get a Lateral Flow Test (LFT) where possible.  Please check for the latest Government guidelines for testing and isolation 

  • Children who are prescribed antibiotics must stay home for the first 48 hours (even if they have taken them before) to ensure they do not suffer an allergic reaction.

If your child becomes unwell whilst at Preschool, we will contact you and closely monitor their symptoms until you can collect them. If your child has an extremely high temperature and you, or any other approved contacts, are unable to get to the Preschool promptly, we will seek your verbal permission to administer pre-dosed Calpol to reduce their temperature whilst you are on your way to collect.

Holidays

Please let us know if your child is going to be absent from Preschool.

If unfunded, full payment is required for absences, and the Preschool is unable to swap sessions to compensate.

Sickness & Holidays

Cancelling

We require a minimum of 6 weeks written notice to terminate a child's space and reserve the right to charge for fees during this time.

The Preschool reserves the right to claim for at least 4 weeks of funding during the first half of a term and the full amount during the second half of a term.

Cancelling

Policies

Policies
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