frequently asked questions
Day to Day
I've given my little one Calpol or Calprofen*, can we come in?
Unfortunately no. If you have had to give your little one medication to bring their temperature down it is because they have a virus or infection. Children can recover fast, however, they can also deteriorate just as quickly, for their own safety they need 1-on-1 care at home.
We know all of our lives are busy with commitments such as work, however, we must just remind you that you would be upset or even horrified if someone else bought their child to nursery with a fever or masking a fever and made your child sick.
In addition, our nursery staff work really hard, they do not want to take unpaid time off work sick if your little one passes something on to them. Also, although they would be happy to comfort a child in need, doing this on 1-on-1 basis for a sick child means that they are not able to spend time with other children.
*or generic alternatives.
What information should I expect to be given whilst my child is at nursery?
You will receive a daily diary at collection or just afterwards, this will details what time your little one arrived, departed, milk consumption (for babies), naps, nappy & potty training, how much food they ate etc.
You will find these in:
Daily hand overs usually with your little ones key worker or room leader.
Newsletters and updates.
Observations which usually include pictures and videos (not always) these are recorded and assessed which form part of your little ones learning journey.
What happens if my little one becomes ill at nursery?
If your child becomes ill during at Nursery, the manager or room leader will immediately contact you (parent/guardian) or the emergency contact indicated on the application form.
If required we will ask your permission to give Calpol in certain cases, however, it is not fair for us to look after a sick child as it risks taking attention away from other children, that is why it is imperative to keep a sick child at home and to inform us of any condition in the night or the morning.
If necessary, staff will administer first aid and seek further medical help (Hospital/Doctors) and stay with the child until a parent arrives.
If we call you to collect your child from nursery, we require you to pick up your child ASAP and no longer than 90 minutes - at this point we will require your emergency contact to collect them.
If your little one's sibling is at nursery, they can stay at nursery unless they are showing symptoms of an illness, or in-line with government guidance.
How do I inform you if I have changed my contact details?
Please please please contact the nursery manager by email or in person as it is essential that our records on your child be kept up to date.
Please ensure you inform the Nursery Manager promptly of any changes to any of the information given on the application form as it vital that we know each and every detail.
Why do I need to inform the nursery about any accidents at home?
If your child bumps or bruises him/herself at home, please ensure you inform the nursery staff on arrival at the nursery, who will require you to complete a form. This is vital to ensure we have full knowledge of potential medical issues and required by our safeguarding policies.
Can I view the food menu served at nursery?
Of course! It is available on Famly and on nursery notice boards.
Note: Some items may vary due to dietary requirements. For example, Bangers & Mash will be Quorn sausages for preferences such as no meat or Halal/Kosher.
Can my child attend nursery if they are on medication?
Yes, if it is prescribed by a doctor and it has been administered for 48hrs, this is in the case of any allergic reaction. For example, if your child is on medication such as antibiotics, they must remain at home for the first 48 hours of the course. They may then return at the discretion of the Nursery Manager.
You will be required to fill out and sign a medication form.
Any over-the-counter medicines and remedies will be down to the discretion of the manager - it may be refused for any reason and we do not need to give our reasoning behind it.
Medication must be supplied in the original packaging with the child's name.
Can we supply our own lunch?
No. We cannot accept lunches from home due to allergy contamination, additional preparatory requirement and fairness when children eat together.
We offer cater for a very wide variety of dietary requirements - please speak to your child's key worker or nursery manager.
Can I pick up my child early from a session?
Of course you may pick up your child at any time you want!
However please remember if you haven’t told us we may be out on a walk or be in the middle of an activity your child really wants to be involved with. In order that your child gets the most benefit from our education and care please discuss with a member of management if you are thinking of picking up really early on any occasion.
What do I need to bring to nursery on the first day?
During our settling in sessions, you will receive a pack of information, a bag and a list of items to bring in, your key worker will also be happy to explain anything.
We provide Pampers nappies, Pampers Sensitive Wipes, cows milk (or Soya alternative) and food.
You may be required to bring in seasonal items such as coats, wellies, hats, suncream, gloves etc.
Please do not dress your child in anything that has sentimental value or of great costs as your child will enjoy and explore messy play and we cannot be responsible for clothing becoming marked.
Don't be surprised if your child leaves nursery wearing messy clothes or packed in their bag.
How long will my child need to be absent from nursery if they are ill and do we have to pay?
If your child is suffering from a high temperature, sore throat, rashes, headache or discharges from eyes or ears, he/she should not attend nursery until the symptoms have cleared up or until medical advice is sought and clearance is given for your child to return. If your child is suffering from sickness and/or diarrhoea, he/she should not attend nursery for 48 hours after the symptoms have ceased or until clearance is given by a Doctor, in writing.
We strictly follow our Sickness & Illness and Infection Control policies. We also follow advice from Public Health England which can be found here.
It is super important that you inform your child's key worker of any changes in their health, it is not fair to other children for us to look after a sick child as it risks taking attention away from other children.
Do you have a waiting list and how does it work?
Because we are awesome there is a very high possibility of us having a waiting list. This can be joined online just ask the nursery manager for the details.
Terms and conditions apply and there are no guarantees.
There is a £100 non-refundable registration fee for our waiting list, payable immediately, you will receive an email with instructions once signed up.
We have a priority on our waiting list, which is:
1. Siblings of registered children
2. Registered children increasing days
3. Full-time children are given priority
4. Date of waiting list sign up
We do not use any other circumstances in offering a place.
We will send out emails offering places when they become available on a first come first serve basis.
Does the nursery close for Christmas or a Summer break or public holidays?
We are open 51 weeks of the year (expect Sutton), we only close for a few days between Christmas and New Year plus all bank holidays.
We do not charge for the Christmas closure, this is automatically price adjusted for you. However, we do charge for Christmas Eve but we are not open - this was a decision we made based on parent feedback. Parents offered to keep their children home so we could close the nurseries on Christmas Eve so our hard-working staff could have a paid day off as a little thank you and prepare for Christmas with their families.
We do charge for bank holidays as it the normal practice in most nurseries in the country.
What is your child to staff ratio? How many staff are first aid trained?
As an OFSTED registered provider we must follow the Early Years Foundation Stage framework (EYFS). This is available for everyone through the GOV.UK website.
Under 2's - 1 adult to every 3 children
2-3 year's - 1 adult to every 4 children
3-5 years - 1 adult to every 8 children*
* 1 qualified teacher to every 13 children
We sometimes will mix age groups, for example at nap or lunchtimes.
During COVID-19 these ratios were guidance only, however, we only dropped below these standards during emergencies and if risk assessed for a matter of hours.
A family member will be collecting my child tonight and they have never been before. Is this ok?
Yes, this is fine as long as they have the collection password with them. We will ask you for a description of the family member and an approximate time they are coming to collect your child. They must also carry a government photo ID such as a driving licence or passport. We do prefer receiving an emailed picture of them too.
How do I make a complaint or feedback?
Speak to your little ones key worker, please do remember to be respectful as it's a really hard job.
Alternatively, you can message us on Famly, speak to or email the room leader, nursery manager or even area manager.
You can also email management at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also leave anonymous complaints, feedback or suggestions in our virtual suggestions box here.
Do we supply sun cream? Also, do I need to put apply it at home, and in the winter?
We do not supply sun cream, the reason for that is each child or family may have a preference, a child be have an allergy and we try to avoid cross-contamination. Please label your sun cream!
Please apply sun cream at home before attending nursery! It takes up to 20 minutes for sun cream to begin working. How long does it take to put sun cream on your little one and then wash your hands? - we have to do that 20, 30, 40 times - we need your help!
The glowing ball of fire in the sky a few million miles away is there all year round, so it is important to protect your little ones skin even in the winter.
Why did I not always get told that a staff member has left? Or why do staff keep leaving?
We will always be completely unapologetic about ensuring that our staff are always meeting the highest standards of care and legal requirements. We are required to follow the strictest safeguarding and suitability processes, these are specified by safeguarding laws, by OFSTED, by the local authority, by employment laws by the police, and even GDPR laws. In a lot of cases, we cannot deviate from these processes, however, if there is a concern about a child's specific care you will usually be informed.
We know that you and your little ones form bonds with our staff so we understand the value of knowing about staff leaving us. We never take decisions to suspend or terminate employment lightly, there is always a reason - we may not be able to give the full details but always ask if you're concerned.
Staff retention is very important to us, we try our best to be a safe, happy workplace and to be competitive with compensation and rewards. However, we do encourage career development and progression as a matter on a day-to-day basis so we are always pleased for our staff who leave us to go on to better things. Our staff do not just play with children, it's a very difficult job and sometimes the stresses of the job means that they may leave childcare completely, so please work with us to always show your gratitude, understanding patience - thank you!
Why do you not use bibs? Why is my little one always coming home so messy?
Have you ever seen a washing powder advert? Isn't it better to have us deal with that here at nursery?!
We become independent by trying, these little steps mean that we can sit in Nando's as adults without having Perinaise down our fronts.
Just remember it might be messy but we can't make memories in a sterile box so excuse the mess, the children are making memories.
Will you pay for our lost toys, ruined clothes or lost comforters? Do I need to label clothing?
No, we do not pay for lost toys or comforters - these are personal items, nothing of value should be bought into the nursery. Comforters are such a personal item to each child, a loss of "blankeeeee" could be devastating, many of our parents will buy spares, even if they're coming from eBay from Canada - we will of course do our best to keep things safe, but we would rather keep your child safe, keep them engaged and all of the other awe-inspiring things!
We see ruined clothes as a sign of a good day at nursery! We won't apologise for your little one making memories, having fun and exploring new materials or getting snagged on a tree making a den!
Yes please to labelling clothing, it makes our staff's lives so much easier.
What are your terms and conditions?
To download our terms and conditions please click here.
Why do you have a minimum sessions per week?
We deliberately choose not to offer a crèche style facility and ask all children attend a minimum number of sessions as we believe any less time would invalid our core values and our sustainable business plan to ensure we deliver the best levels of care and retain/recruit great staff.
By taking the time to get to know each child and their families we can truly make a difference in a child’s early years education.
We passionately believe that if we offered less contact time we would not be able to support parents as their children’s first and most important educators, fully involve parents in nursery life and their children’s education or inspire parents in their own continuing education and personal development with regard to striving for the best possible outcomes for their children.
Why do we have minimum sessions on funded children?
The government schemes have been designed in a number of ways.
FEET - this is for generally for disadvantaged families, we have no minimum requirements for these sessions
15 hours universal funding for 3-5 year-olds - this is in order for families to get back to work and get children ready for school. However, we believe that this does not offer enough contact time to get to know a child and offer a high-quality learning journey - this also allows us to give equal attention to all children through our planning. We offer this stretched over the year at 11 hours a week
+15 hours (or 30 hours) - this was designed to offer families at work lower cost childcare, many nurseries do not offer this as such we believe it fair to offer this only to families whose parents work full-time which is why we offer this with a minimum of 4 full day sessions a week. We offer this stretched over the year at 22 hours a week.
Why do we only charge for lunches, consumables and art suppliues for 15 and 30 hours funded children?
Our standard fees include breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
The government pays us a much lower rate compared to our standard fees, as such we have chosen to keep costs low and currently, we only charge small fee per day.
What happens when my child is ready to move rooms?
Your child's key carer will advise you when the time arises and when settling in sessions are due to commence to ease your child's transition. In addition, we operate an open door policy and you can request to view any room at any time.
Do we have parents evenings?
Sort of. You can always discuss anything about your little one with your child's key worker, you are also welcome to ask for a meeting about anything at any time - just give us some notice so we can arrange for the cover of staff ratios in the rooms.
You can also ask to see the progress of your child's learning journey at any time just give us a little notice - we always like to explain this in person.
We will have 1-2 parents evenings a year - these are only 5-minute sessions with your key worker. We know families can be very busy so this 5-minute session just helps remind and focus any questions you may have.
How do I inform you if I have changed my contact details?
Please contact the nursery manager by email or in person as it is essential that our records on your child be kept up to date. Please ensure you inform the Nursery Manager promptly of any changes to any of the information given on the application form as it vital that we know each and every detail. It is for your child’s safety.
Why do I need to inform you where my child is going to school?
Transition into school is an important stage of your child's life and we work in partnership with your child's school to support this process including sharing of children's learning journeys and some teachers may ask for an invitation into our setting to meet the children in a familiar environment.
Why do we have 6 settling in sessions?
Children can become very unsettled and very unhappy at nursery when first joining, this is natural - we even have many emotional mummies and daddies. We will usually ensure that we increase our staff ratio to cover new settlers as we like to give our new children that extra bit of attention and comfort.
The settling-in process will be explained in details by your child's key worker or usually room leader.
The settling in sessions are usually about one-hour long, you will be required to stay in the room for the first session, the second session we usually ask you to wait in away from the room for part of the session to see how your little one engages independently. Some of the 6 sessions must be done without parents/guardians in the room.
From experience the 6 sessions work well, however, we will take a view on the number offered.
How do I pay my childcare fees?
You will be invoiced in advance of the new month and payment will be taken my Direct Debit within the first week of the month.
For parents paying partially by Childcare vouchers or tax-free account, your Direct Debit will be adjusted accordingly (you will see the full amount on the invoice).
Please note that the Voucher payment must be received in advance of the Direct Debit, for example, a Voucher payment of £243 is received by us on 16th May, it will be allocated and reduced from your 1st June invoice.
We do not accept cash payments , credit cards or bank transfers.
Can I pay using childcare vouchers?
We accept most childcare vouchers, please note all vouchers must have your child's name or reference on them or they will remain unallocated to your account.
We are currently registered with a number of different voucher companies but can easily register with any new companies if required. Vouchers should be received before we take your Direct Debit payment.
How do I set up my Direct Debit payment?
You can set up your Direct Debit securely online here.
Can I pay using the Tax-Free childcare scheme?
Yes. You will need to set up your own tax-free childcare account.
Find further information here: https://childcare-support.tax.service.gov.uk/par/app/eligibility or https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk
What Notice Periods do we require?
We ask that you kindly give us as much notice as possible to increase your little one(s) sessions - please note that there may be a waiting list. We will always try to accommodate your, however, there is no guarantee.
If you decide to reduce your little one(s) sessions or would like to leave us we require that you give us as much notice as possible with a minimum of one full month. This is to ensure we retain and recruit the best staff we have and to offer other families on our waiting list your sessions.
What happens if I don’t start having reserved a place?
In this case, you have already paid your non-refundable registration fee. You would also lose your £150 deposit and if you have already been invoiced for your first month, you will be required to pay this invoice in full.
Can I reduce my hours in the holidays?
We do not allow a reduction of hours in a holiday. We have very limited Term Time only contracts for a handful of customers - these are not guaranteed and at the managers discretion.
Are you closed on public and bank holidays? Do I have to pay?
Yes, we are closed on all English public holidays. You will be charged for bank holidays as with most nurseries.
Can my child attend extras one off or ad-hoc sessions and how do I book them?
Yes, it is possible to book ad-hoc sessions which can be requested on our website. However this is based on the availability of staff and capacity of rooms, so please give us as much notice as possible.
Please note that your ad-hoc session request must be confirmed by the nursery manager by email. Once your session has been booked you will be charged unless cancelled with a minimum of 48 hours notice.
Ad-hoc sessions are charged at a slightly higher rate, please consult your fees or ask the nursery manager.
How do I pay for ad-hoc sessions?
Ad-hoc sessions will be invoices on confirmation of the space, or sometimes based on our invoicing cycles will be added to the following month's invoice and collected by Direct Debit.
Will I be charged if I collect my child late for any session?
Yes, there is a late collection fee. Please refer to our terms and conditions for details.
Please note that we will strictly follow our Late Collection and Non-Collection Policy.
Can my child stay for an extra hour if I am unable to collect him at 1pm?
We will always endeavour to be flexible and accommodate such a request but if we are full for the next session this will mean it is not possible and due to required staff breaks. Please contact the management to confirm availability - additional charges will apply, and will be invoiced at full ad-hoc session rates - there is no hourly rate.
Can I drop my child off before 7.30am?
No. Due to staff ratios, supervision and insurance, we do not offer this.
What do we do if we are on holiday and do we still need to pay?
Please let the nursery know if your child will be absent for holidays, your child's key person will be planning activities for your child and it helps them to be aware so they plan effectively for your child's next learning steps. Please see terms and conditions relating to holiday payments. Full fees will still be required if your child does not attend due to a holiday as our costs do not stop.
When will my child be eligible for the nursery education funding?
All children are eligible the first full term after they turn three. (In some circumstances funding could also be available from two years old, please contact the nursery manager for more information.)
Please note that our nursery has minimum sessions.
What does 15 hours funding equate to?
We offer the universal 15 hours free childcare over 51 weeks of the year which equates to 11 hours a week.
We described previously we do not offer term-time only attendance.
What is the governments 30 hours funding?
30 hours per week of free childcare is made up as follows:
- For all 3-5-year-olds
- 15 hours of universal free childcare, which we equate to 11 hours per week over 51 weeks
- +15 hours of means-tested childcare, which we equate to an additional 11 hours a week over 51 weeks
Please find further information here: https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk
Will you offer the government 30 hours funding?
Yes, we will offer it. Please look our for our +15 hours funding policy soon (minimum sessions apply).
We are moving from another nursery to yours, can we start using our funding straight away?
No, unless you're moving around the "school term" start dates.
The local authority funding is based on school terms, so if you start during school holidays or during a term you will not get funding until the start of the next term.
You will be required to pay full nursery fees until we receive your funding.