We encourage all parents/carers to visit the Nursery and to become familiar with our schedules and facilities to make sure our establishment fits in with their child’s requirements.
We take children from the age of three or during the term they reach their third birthday, for the 15 hours Free Early Education and subject to availability 30 hours Free Early Education. We also take children from the age of two and half if the parents are Eligible for the Free For Two Early Education, these spaces are subject to availability. Prospective children and their parents are welcome to visit the Nursery at any time. An application form will be given to any visiting parents, this should be completed and returned to the Nursery if a place is required. A contact form will also be given to parents, this should be completed and handed to the Manager before the child’s first sessions. Information contained on the contact form will remain confidential. (Data Protection Act 2003). We will endeavour to present the contact form in the parent/carer and child’s home language (The Race Relations Act 2000).
- When a child’s name is placed on our waiting list we will contact parents a few weeks before the child is due to start to agree sessions.
- We will offer places to children already attending nursery before contacting parents who have a child on the waiting list.
- We will invite children/parents to take up sessions as and when the child reaches three years of age, giving regard to the amount of time they have been on the waiting list.
- We will send/give them our introduction pack before they begin sessions with us.
- Free Early Education will be available to all attending children once they have reached the term after their third birthday. They will be entitled to 15 hours of free nursery provision. 30 hours of Free nursery (criteria based) provision subject to availability Payments will only be taken for hours above the 15 hours entitlement unless in receipt of 30 hours and for optional extras such as hot lunches. (Packed lunches may be brought in). Free for Two Early Education will be available to children from two half years, if the parents qualify.
The setting is accessible to and inclusive of all children and families in the local community.
We will invite children and parents to spend time in the nursery before they officially start with us. This is a time for the parents/carers and children to familiarize themselves with staff and nursery routine.
We accept that some children take longer to settle in than others and will work with the parents to aid this transition.
- We will ensure that the child’s key person will be available to spend time with them at their settling in sessions and make sure that they are present to greet the child when they first start nursery.
- We will allow the parent/carer to stay with their child for some or all of their first session as they wish.
- We can allow a child to attend shorter sessions, building up to their full time as necessary.
- The child may bring in a comfort toy/blanket in order to help the settling process.
- We will always contact parents/carers if a child becomes distressed while at nursery.
St. Mary’s Nursery Committee Policy
All parents/carers of children currently at the nursery will be invited to join the nursery committee. We may have no less than two and no more than nine committee members and three officers, chair, treasurer and secretary. Members of the committee may resign at any time, in writing, provided that we have no less than two committee members left in role at the time of their resignation.
Meetings will be held at least twice a year and members may call for a meeting at any time, giving two weeks notice to the committee.
No committee member may be paid for services provided to the nursery that form part of their duties as a committee member. The cost of any service which is provided by a member should be reasonable and must not exceed the amount that is customarily paid by the nursery for such services. The nursery will not accept persons as members of the committee who may have interests which directly or non directly conflict with the operation, running or finances connected to the nursery.
Committee members will agree to DBS (Disclosure and Barring Services) checks being carried out, in line with the requirements of Ofsted.
All members must give regard to the governing document (constitution) in accordance with the Charity’s Act 2006. The nursery will provide indemnity insurance to cover the liability of the committee members.
No Smoking Policy
We comply with health and safety regulations and the Welfare Requirements of the EYFS in making St. Mary’s Nursery a no-smoking environment, both indoors and outdoors.
- We display no-smoking signs
- Parents/carers, staff and volunteers are made aware of our no-smoking policy.
- Staff who smoke do not do so during working hours, unless on a break and away from the premises.
The Smoke-Free (Premises and Enforcement) Regulations 2006, The Smoke-Free (Signs) Regulations 2007.
Fees and Funding
It is our intention to make our setting accessible to all families. In order to achieve this we make sure that Free Early Education (available to all children the term after their third birthday) Is made available for children to attend a selection of full days, mornings, afternoons or part sessions (if we have availability) up to the current funding limit of 15 hours or 30 hours (these are subject to availability), these are over five day a week between 9 am to 3 pm, Monday to Friday term time only, without families having to pay for extra hours or for lunchtimes. Extra hours are available at a current charge of £5.50 per hour, but these are optional. The 15 hours Free Early Education the nursery will claim this on your behalf.
Free Early Education for 3 – 4 year old children is available to all children from the term after their third birthday. They are entitled to 15 hours per week over 38 weeks of the year. At St. Mary’s Nursery we offer Free Early Education hours over five days a week, Monday to Friday, term time only. The 15 hours Free Early Education may be split between two providers, but the total hours claimed for each child should not be more than 15 hour per week. In order to deliver each child’s 38 weeks of Free Early Education we may be open or closed at different dates than Ashford St Mary’s C.E.School.
For Parents who Claim the 30 hours Free Early Education (these spaces are subject to availability), it is solely the parent’s responsibility to claim these hours and obtain the 11 digit code that the nursery requires to claim the Free Early Education, if parent’s fail to apply in time the nursery can only claim the 15 hours of Free Early Education and parents will have to pay for the remaining 15 hours. Free Early Education 30 hours are over five days a week Monday to Friday 9 am to 3 pm, term time only. The 30 hours Free Early Education may be split between two providers, but the total hours claimed for each child should not be more than 30 hours per week.
The information regarding the 30 hours funding claim you can access this via www.gov.uk/30-hours-free-childcare
We are registered to offer Free for Two (FF2) Free Early Education for eligible children from the age of two and half (subject to availability). Parents are asked to apply for the FF2 and parents will then be given a code for the nursery to access the FF2. www.kent.gov.uk/freefor2. The Free Early Education for the Free for two 15 hours are over five days a week, Monday to Friday, term time only.
With regard to ‘paid for’ sessions, we ask that fees are paid weekly, monthly or termly, to suit parents individual financial needs, in advance, to prevent a build up of fee arrears. This will ensure that we have sufficient funds to cover running costs including wages, food and drink, resources. Unfortunately, because we must cover our running costs, if a child is absent from nursery for any reason, we will have to charge the full cost of fees at the usual weekly rate for that child.
Parents/carers will receive an invoice at the beginning of their child’s sessions stating any amount of money which should be paid each week and we will send out reminders when necessary. We ask that arrears on fees are not allowed to build up to over £165.00. We reserve the right to withdraw a child’s place if fees are not paid as specified. If a child is entitled to funding then they will only be able to access their free entitlement. We shall reserve your spaces until the arrears has been cleared for no longer than six weeks from receipt of your arrears letter. If at any point you wish to change any sessions or leave the nursery that are not funded you will need to give four weeks notice in writing to the Manager, notice periods are not applicable to Free Early Education.
With regard to late pick up, as per our agreed policy, we will charge £5 for every ten minutes a child is not collected after the agreed time.
We try to keep our fees as low as possible, but occasionally we will have to review and increase our fees in order to cover our running costs and provide appropriate resources for the children in our care. We will ensure that Parents/Carers are given at least one month’s notice of any change in our fees.
The children are assessed continuously throughout the years that they attend nursery. Each child has a key worker who monitors their progress. Children in the nursery follow curriculum based on the Early Years Foundation Stage following six areas of learning and development as required in the Childcare Act 2006:-
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Communication and Language
Understanding the World
Expressive Arts and Design
The principals that guide the work which we do are:-
- A Unique Child – every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
- Positive Relationships – children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a key person.
- Enabling Environments – the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.
- Learning and Development – children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected.
Children’s learning is planned by key people for individual children and each weekly planning sheet, indoors and outdoors, is displayed in the cloakroom.
Children’s profiles will include observations of children in the setting, photographs and samples of their work.
- Profiles are kept in boxes on the toy shelves by the office door and are available for parents and children to access as they wish.
- Parents/carers are often reminded that they have access to their child’s profiles whenever they wish and we encourage them to add to the profiles (pictures, photographs, etc) whenever they like.
- We will officially invite parents/carers to see the profiles regularly throughout their child’s time with us.
- The profile of each child will be presented to their parent/carer at the end of their time at the nursery.
The contact forms of each child will contain name and address of child, information about the child’s family, medical and dietary information and information about people to be contacted in an emergency.
- These forms will be kept in a lockable filing cabinet in the nursery office.
- Parents/carers have access to their own child’s contact forms at any time, but do not have access to any other child’s contact forms.
- Staff at the nursery will not discuss, or pass on, any information within a child’s contact form to any person other than the child’s own parents/carers.
- The nursery will retain contact forms for three years after the child has left the setting.
St. Mary’s Nursery provides a staffing ratio in line with the welfare requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage to ensure that children have sufficient individual attention and to guarantee care and education of a high quality. Our staff are appropriately qualified and we carry out DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) Checks in accordance with the statutory requirements.
- To meet this aim we work within the ratio of one adult to eight children (three years and over).
- There will always be at least two qualified staff on duty, even if we do not have our full quota of twenty-four children in the building.
- We use the key person approach, in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage, to ensure that each child has a named member of staff with whom to form a relationship, and who can engage with parents/carers of those children.
- We hold regular staff meetings to arrange planning of activities and to discuss children’s progress.
Vetting and Staff Selection
- We work towards offering equality of opportunity by using non-discriminatory procedures for staff recruitment and selection. We welcome applications from all sections of the community and applicants are considered on the basis of their suitability for the post.
- All staff have job descriptions which set out their staff roles and responsibilities.
- All staff will have been DBS checked and the date and number of the check will be recorded.
- New staff, volunteers and students on temporary placement will undergo our induction procedure before starting work.
- We would expect new recruits to hold qualifications in child care and education ranging from level 3 to a degree in childcare and education, or be willing to train in order to gain a relevant qualification.
- Two references will be obtained from previous employment.
Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
In accordance with The Statutory Framework for EYFS 2012 we operate a key person system within St. Mary’s Nursery. This system ensures that each child’s care is tailored to meet their individual needs. This also ensures that children are able to make settled relationships and become familiar with the setting. We would expect a child’s key person to remain the same throughout their time at the nursery, except under unusual circumstances, such as a key person leaving the setting or a child making a stronger relationship with another adult. We also have a Buddy system, where each child will be assigned a ‘Buddy’. The Buddy will be someone the child will know and she/he will step in when the Key Person is absent. The Children Act 2006
Grievance Procedures for Staff
If an employee has a grievance of any kind we will follow the Department of Trade and Industry’s three step guidelines for resolving disputes.
- Put it in Writing. The employee must supply the manager with a written explanation of their
- Meet and Discuss. The manager will invite the employee to discuss the issue. After the
meeting the manager will inform the employee of their decision.
- Appeal. The manager will allow the employee the right of appeal. They can appeal
appeal directly to the committee Chairperson. The Manager will give them contact
Everyone that is concerned with caring for and teaching young children should strive to keep up to date with their training and take opportunities to consider new developments in early years care and education. All staff will be encouraged to attend courses that will benefit the nursery and to update their skills and knowledge. Opportunities will be provided for individual members of staff to feed back their newly gained knowledge and skills to the staff, so that everyone can benefit from their experience. Staff cover will be sought to enable staff to attend courses during working hours and the Nursery will provide funding when necessary.
Volunteer and Student Placement
We recognise the importance of qualifications and training within early years settings and as part of our commitment to this we offer placements to students and school pupils on work experience. We also value the contributions made by volunteers and wish to encourage this. In order to implement this we will ensure that:-
- Students and volunteers will be supervised at all times by qualified staff and will not be left alone with children.
- All information gained by students and volunteers will be confidential.
- We will not count students in our staffing ratios.
- Students and volunteers have been given copies of our policies and procedures and will be expected to abide by these at all times when working within the setting.
- In order that students may fulfill the requirements of their study we will co-operative fully with tutors.
- Students will require written permission from parents/carers if they wish to carry out child studies on specific children and no photographs of children will be removed from the nursery without the written permission of relevant parents/carers.
- Induction will be carried out before the student begins work in the nursery.