Starting at our setting - the first days
To ensure that your child feels very settled and happy in our care. Our policy on the Role of the Key Person and Settling-in will be on the website soon or within the file marked policies held in the foyer, if you require a copy please ask. We hope that you and your child enjoy being members of our setting and that you both find taking part in our activities interesting and stimulating. Our staff are always ready and willing to talk with you about your ideas, views or questions.
Working together for your children
We maintain the ratio of adults to children in the setting that is set by the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements (often our ratio's our higher than statutory requirements).
At Mighty Oaks LIttel Acorns, staff are qualified to Level 3 in Early Years or above, hold an enhanced DBS; First Aid Qualification for Paediatric Care; Child Protection Training; Food & Hygiene Certificate; Fire Marshall Training; Better Smiles (Dental hygiene training) as well as a vast array of other professional qualifications .
How parents can take part in the setting
Our setting recognises parents as the first and most important educators of their children. All of our staff see themselves as partners with parents in providing care and education for their children. There are many ways in which parents take part in making our setting a welcoming and stimulating place for children and parents, such as:
Parents can offer to take part in a session by sharing their own interests and skills with the children. Parents have visited the setting to play the violin for the children, share their experience as a pilot; doctor; nurse; vet; farmer, read a traditional story from their culture, religion or in their language, celebrate special festivals, events relating to cultural or religious backgrounds, bring in animals from their farm and organise trips to their farm. We welcome parents to drop into the setting to see it at work or to speak with the staff.
Key person and your child
Our setting uses a key person approach. This means that each member of staff has a group of children for whom she is particularly responsible. Your child's key person will be the person who will work with you to make sure that the childcare that we provide is right for your child's particular needs and interests. Your child's key person will nurture and develop a warm relationship between themselves and your child. When your child first starts at the setting, she will help your child to settle and throughout your child's time at the setting, she will help your child to benefit from our activities. Children who have just started will be given the time to see who they bond with before allocating a key person.
Learning opportunities for adults
As well as gaining childcare qualifications, our staff take part in further training to help them to keep up-to date with thinking about early years care and education. We also keep up-to-date with best practice, through Local Authority training and through our Early Years Consultant, as a member of PATA, as a member of the Pre-school Learning Alliance. Gwyneth Keen is also a member of the Early Years Provider Forum (for Gloucestershire) an Early Years representative on the Schools Forum, and is an Early Years Lead Practitioner (for Gloucestershire) alongside Carol Beard and Hannah Watkins-Cave. From time to time we hold learning events for parents. These usually look at how adults can help children to learn and develop in their early years.
The setting's timetable and routines
Our setting believes that care and education are equally important in the experience which we offer children. The routines and activities that make up the day in our setting are provided in ways that:
We organise our sessions so that the children can choose from, and work at, a range of activities and, in doing so, build up their ability to select and work through a task to its completion. The children are also helped and encouraged to take part in adult-led small and large group activities, which introduce them to new experiences and help them to gain new skills, as well as helping them to learn to work with others. Outdoor activities contribute to children's health, their physical development and their knowledge of the world around them. The children have the opportunity, and are encouraged, to take part in outdoor child-chosen and adult-led activities, as well as those provided in the indoor playrooms.
For children that stay with us for the day we ensure that we take account of children's changing energy levels throughout the day. We cater for children's individual needs for rest and quiet activities during the day. Outdoor activities contribute to children's health, their physical development and their knowledge of the world around them. Our website and foyer show examples of our routines; we also have a pictorial timetable within setting for children.
We shall continue to offer drop in sessions with the health visitor.
Snacks and meals
We make snacks and meals a social time at which children and adults eat together. We plan the menus for snacks and meals so that they provide the children with healthy and nutritious food. Please tell us about your child's dietary needs and we will plan accordingly. Children have fruit/vegetables in the morning followed by carbohydrate (e.g. hummous and breadsticks/ crumpets/toast etc) ; this is prepared and shared by the children. At lunchtime children can bring a packed lunch. In the afternoon the children cook their own snack, they choose, from a decision board what they would like to eat and prepare it accordingly.
We provide protective clothing for the children when they play with messy activities. We encourage children to gain the skills that help them to be independent and look after themselves. These include taking themselves to the toilet and taking off, and putting on, outdoor clothes. Clothing that is easy for them to manage will help them to do this.
Our setting has a duty under the law to help safeguard children against suspected or actual ‘significant harm’. Our employment practices ensure children against the likelihood of abuse in our setting and we have a procedure for managing complaints or allegations against a member of staff. Our way of working with children and their parents ensures that we are aware of any problems that may emerge and can offer support, including referral to appropriate agencies when necessary, to help families in difficulty.
To make sure that our provision meets the needs of each individual child, we take account of any special needs a child may have. We work to the requirements of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years (2015).
Health and Safety
We take the safety of your children very seriously and hold extensive risk assessments for the building and for any trips we undertake. An accident book is kept in the setting to record any accidents.
Our behaviour policy is written with the children to encourage ownership; their views are valued and included on what 'positive behaviour' looks like in the setting. Children will be praised for good behaviour and staff will act as positive role models at all times.
The fees are £4 per hour for over 2 year olds and £5 per hour for under 2 years olds, payable monthly (at the beginning of each month). Fees must still be paid if children are absent. If your child has to be absent over a long period of time, please talk to Miss Keen/Miss Beard (Directors). For your child to keep her/his place at our setting, you must pay the fees. We are in receipt of nursery education funding for two, three and four year olds; where funding is not received, then fees apply.