Well Spring is finally here and thank goodness for some lovely sunny days!! Just in time for lots of Easter time activities and fun.
Recent Events and News
The children had a fantastic time celebrating Chinese New Year, St Dwynwen’s/Valentines Day, Pancake Day, World Book Day and St David’s Day!!! It has been a busy time so thank you so much for all your effort with costumes and ideas.
Parent’s Evening was lovely and the turnout was amazing! Thank you all for making the effort. The staff had jaw ache by the end of the night – it made for a nice peaceful day on the Tuesday!! We have already updated the Parent Notice Board with some of your suggestions so please take a look for our responses. The feedback was fantastic and your ideas always help us to improve so please feel free to give us your suggestions throughout the year. Unfortunately, yet again we have to politely decline the idea of weekend openings and overnight stays!! One point that did arise during a parent consultation was that some parents were unaware that the older children actually choose whether to have a pudding or a piece of fruit after their dinner. We decided to introduce this quite some time ago and I think you would be amazed how many of your children actually choose the healthier option of fruit.
20th March – International Happiness Day. The real power of The Day of Happiness is best seen when it is shared with others. Join us in promoting happiness by creating activities that bring lots of people together or even by just doing one thing to brighten one extra person’s day and bring a smile to their face. The children will be discussing what makes them happy and what they think they could do to make others happy.
21st March – International Colour Day. The children will enjoy a day full of fun and creative art activities celebrating and learning about the joy of colour!!
24th March – Comic Relief. The children are invited to come to nursery with Silly Hair and Silly Socks, to help us raise money for Comic Relief. We will have a fun filled day and any donations will be gratefully received.
27th March – Mother’s Day Surprise. As most of you will be aware, Sunday 26th is Mother’s Day and there will be lots of fun arts and craft activities in preparation for some surprises for you all. If your child is in our Speckled Frogs and Cheeky Monkey Groups, please keep an eye out for a very special invitation to nursery. To attend Speckled Frogs special surprise you would need to be free between 3-4pm and for Cheeky Monkeys it will be between 4-5.
27th-31st March – Healthy Body, Happy Me. The children will be taking part in the annual campaign run by the National Day Nursery Association. Each day of the week-long campaign has a special theme promoting healthy messages with fun activities, tips and ideas. Our main activity each day for 2017 will encourage children to use one of their senses and to get physical in the great outdoors, from 'Smelly Monday' to 'Feeling Friday'!
10th-13th April – Easter. We will be holding an Easter Bonnet competition and parade as well as an Easter Egg Hunt and lot’s of cooking and art and craft activities - It’s time to show us your creative sides!!!
23rd April – St George’s Day. The children will be looking at traditional dance, dress and food in England
We would like to welcome Emma Brewster back to work after her maternity leave. She had an extra little surprise for us with the addition of a new name, following a wedding blessing whilst on holiday!! So welcome back Emma Riley and her son Max!
We are in the process of updating our ‘policies and procedures’, which you are welcome to view at anytime in the ‘Parent Pit Stop’. One thing that has already been highlighted is our ‘Medication’ policy, we have had to change it slightly, to fit in with government legislation. We have always had a list of illnesses which need to be treated for a minimum of 24hours before your child returns to nursery, such as, conjunctivitis, however the guidance now recommends that any illness needing prescribed medication should come under this rule and so as a result this is the action we now have to take. So with immediate effect if your child needs to receive medication for any illness, please keep them away from nursery for the first 24 hours of treatment. This will benefit everyone in the long run as hopefully the spread of infection will be much less likely. Thank you for your cooperation.
On the subject of medicine, the only non prescribed medications we administer are Calpol and Piriton. You do not need to supply these medicines as we keep them in nursery at all times. There have been a couple of incidents where we have found these medicines left in children’s bags. I’m sure you understand how unsafe this is, please hand any prescribed medication to a member of staff and leave the rest to us
Toys – Lots of children like to bring in toys from home but we can honestly tell you that they don’t play with or ask for them for the entire day. As you can imagine, trying to keep track of the possessions of 68 children every day is a task in itself, without the addition of extra toys. So please could we ask you to keep them at home or if need be to return them to your car once you drop the children off. We know that these toys are important to the children and they can be left heartbroken if not found at the end of the day. (This doesn’t include any comforts from home, e.g, blankets, sleep bears or dummies)
Squash – I don’t know if you are all aware but during the day we only provide the children with either milk or water. In the past we have had a few children who would only drink squash and so we have allowed parents to bring in their own squash for us to top up drinks throughout the day. However this no longer seems to be the case, most of the children are happy to opt for either the milk or water and enjoy pouring their own drinks. We would therefore, love to phase out the use of squash. We are not a dictatorship and would never let any child go without a drink and are happy to discuss options with any parents concerned about the amount of fluid their child is drinking but i’m sure you agree, that if your child is happy to drink these healthier options then we should encourage it
Fees – Unfortunately it is that time of year again! The government have had this fantastic idea of raising people’s wages time and time again without realising that no-one ends up any better off as prices have to rise to cover costs. We were hoping that we wouldn’t need to but the numbers just don’t add up. We don’t want standards to slip and we don’t want to cut corners as we are proud of the service we provide but we are also very aware that we don’t want to add any financial pressure to you either. We have compared our prices to 13 other local nurseries and looked at the services they all offer and even with a price rise we are still very competitive and believe that we still offer more. We have kept the rise as low as we possibly can and hope that you understand. We have also decided to multiply your weekly fee by 51 weeks instead of 52 so that your half price holiday days are automatically taken off your payments as not everyone uses their entitlement. If you do have any concerns/queries please do not hesitate to ask us. We want to give you plenty of notice and so these changes will not come into force until 1stMay
The changes are as follows:- ½ day session was £22.00 but will now be £23.00 per session – rise of just £1.00 A Full day session was £38.00 but will now be £40.00 – rise of £2.00. After school club was £9.00 but will now be £10.00 – rise of £1.00 and a Full week was £175.00 but will now be £185.00 per week – rise of £10.00 for the week. A breakdown of fees will be attached to this newsletter for you – please let us know if you are unsure about anything.
Funding for 3 year olds – Thank you for your patience with payments for the early years funding. It has definitely been ‘trial and error’ this time around. We tried several different ways to give you your entitlement including weeks without payments and lump sum transfers but we have decided that the easiest and most consistent way to issue your funding is to calculate a price reduction on your weekly payments throughout the whole year. The nursery will cover the short fall and be reimbursed when the government termly payments are made. This way you will be able to set up a permanent Standing Order. We hope that this makes things easier for us all. (See fee breakdown mentioned above)
Closures:- The nursery will be closed on Good Friday – 14th March and Easter Monday – 17th March
Topics – Our Baby Rooms are currently enjoying a topic all about stories and will soon be diving into Easter and Spring whilst our Busy Bees are Down on the Farm. They will soon be exploring ‘All About Me’, their favourite subject!! The Speckled Frogs and Cheeky Monkeys are also investigating ‘The Farm’ and will be digging down into the mud shortly to examine Minibeasts. Our older children will soon have the next topic letter sent home so that you can get involved too!
A special note for our Speckled Frogs:- The staff working with the Speckled Frogs are introducing a ‘Proud Cloud’ Here they will add messages and stickers to let everyone know what the children have done to make them proud and they would love your input too – so please let the staff know anything the children have done to make you proud, i.e Slept in their own bed, dry nights etc and they will add your messages to their cloud too. I have attached a little slip to the newsletter but you can let them know any way you wish too.