What are your charges?

It is our aim to provide high quality care and education to all children in the community; it is therefore important to us that we keep our charges to a minimum.  From the term after your child’s 3rd birthday he/she is entitled to 15 hours of fully funded education at no cost to you.  If your child joins us before this time or exceeds the 15 hours there is an hourly charge £4.80 .  There is also funding available for some 2 year olds, to find out if your child is eligible please follow this link: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/education-children-and-families/childcare-and-early-education/

Registration charge per child – £15.00

Deposit payment of £35 held on account and refunded in the term your child leaves (provided the required notice period has been given and your account is paid in full).  *NB No deposit/registration charge is made is your child is fully funded at point of entry.

From April 2017 the Government is launching new schemes for both tax free childcare and 30 hours funding (from September 2017.  For more information please visit www.childcarechoices.gov.uk

What is the EYFS?

For further information on the Early Years Foundation Stage please download this leaflet https://static.premiersite.co.uk/50051/docs/2308749_1.pdf

What is your settling-in procedure?

We understand that starting pre-school can be a big step for children experiencing new faces, toys, routine and, for some, leaving their main carer for the first time.  It can also leave the carer with mixed emotions.  We do not have a set policy on settling in; we work with you to agree the best procedure for you and your child and, where possible, we will meet specific requirements.

Is my child allowed to bring in a comfort item?

We recognise the importance of comfort items to some children and encourage you to bring them with your child when they start with us. Initially they may want to keep them with them all the time; however, our experience shows that when they are ready they leave them behind.  Starting pre-school is a big step and comfort items often give them the reassurance they need when they are left for the first time.

Does my child need to be toilet trained before starting Little Bears Pre-School?

We recognise that all children develop at different speeds and we are willing to accept them in pre-school at whatever stage of toilet training they have reached.  We have facilities to change nappies, but will ask you to provide a potty if required.  Please ask for full details of our Nappy Changing Policy.

Do you provide different activities for children just before they start school?

When planning all our activities we take into account the child’s individual needs and this applies whether they are 2 or 4 years old.  It is therefore not necessary for us to have a separate set of activities just before they go to school.  All children are valued equally and their progress is carefully monitored and assessed to ensure they reach their full potential.  Children all develop in different areas of learning at varying speeds and this is recognised at Little Bears Pre-School.

What qualifications do the staff hold?

There is a qualified supervisor on the premises at all times, and it is a condition of employment that all staff undertake relevant training. This includes recognised qualifications, first aid, child protection and additional needs training.  All staff are CRB checked and we require references and health details before offering a position, even for volunteers.  We always maintain the adult/child ratios agreed with Ofsted and generally operate on a ratio of 1:4.

Do we have to provide snack?

Snack time is an important part of our daily routine and we provide a healthy snack for all the children, taking into account any special dietary requirements.  We provide milk or water to drink and a variety of food, details of which are displayed daily on our notice board.  Staff sit with the children in small groups at snack time and encourage good social skills.

How involved will I be during my child’s time at Little Bears?

Parents/carers are a child’s first educators and we encourage your involvement with the pre-school.  You are welcome to talk to us at any time about your child’s development or any concerns you may have.  We provide you with regular newsletters to keep you informed about what your child is doing.  Parents are welcome to help in the pre-school at any time – you just have to ask!

What links do you form within the community?

We work closely with the local schools to enhance your child’s learning experience and ensure a smooth transition into school.  Various trips are arranged within the community and we frequently have visitors into pre-school, for example a Librarian & Lollipop Lady.

How do you deal with inappropriate behaviour?

We praise all good behaviour and this encourages all the children to act appropriately.  Should inappropriate behaviour arise, it is made clear to the child that it is the behaviour that is not acceptable and not the child.  We will try to establish the reason for the behaviour and help the children to solve problems in different ways. Under no circumstances is physical punishment used, and any behaviour issues would be discussed with the parent/carer and an agreed plan of action would be followed.  Please refer to our Behaviour Management Policy for more details.

How do you ensure the safety of children in your care?

Your child’s safety is of paramount importance to us.  We carry out daily risk assessments on the premises, equipment and outside areas before the session begins.  We ask you to provide us with details of any person who may collect your child from pre-school, using a password and signature check system to ensure your child’s safety – full details of this are given in your starter pack.

What happens if my child becomes injured at pre-school?

All accidents that occur whilst your child is in our care are recorded; this includes anything from a minor bump to more serious accidents.  This information is shared with the parent/carer and a record made in our Hazards Register, which is reviewed regularly to ensure the safety of our equipment.  Should a more serious incident occur which results in a medical professional being required, we would make every attempt to contact you and ensure a member of staff remained with your child until you were available.

What happens if my child is unwell?

We do ask you to keep your child at home if unwell.  The Community Health Council has published guidelines on the amount of time to keep your child at home for specific illnesses.  Copies of these guidelines are given to you in your child’s starter pack.  If your child becomes ill at pre-school we will contact you on the phone numbers provided by you.

What happens if my child needs medication?

Little Bears Pre-schools will only administer medicines that have been prescribed by the child’s general practitioner and with the parents’ written consent. We will generally only administer long-term medication; short-term medication such as antibiotics will be the sole responsibility of the parent.

What if my child has additional needs?

When your child starts with us we would ask you to provide us with as much detail as possible regarding your child’s individual needs and we would discuss with you how he/she can be supported within the pre-school.  Should any concerns arise during your child’s time with us, we would discuss these with you and offer guidance and support where necessary.  We have a nominated member of staff to deal with additional needs who attends regular training sessions.

What happens with regard to payment of fees?

Initially you will be asked to pay a £50 deposit 6 months prior to your child starting with us, this includes a £15 registration fee.  You will receive termly invoices and there are a number of payment options available to you; including weekly payments (provided payments are always made in advance).  Fees are due even if your child is away due to illness or family holiday and ½ a term’s notice is required in writing if your child is going to leave the pre-school or reduce sessions.  Your deposit payment is refunded in your final half term, provided the account has been paid up to date and you have given the required notice period.

Do you accept Accor or Sodexho Childcare Vouchers?

Yes, we are registered to accept payment via these schemes – please ask for further details.  Payment by this method does not affect your child’s entitlement to Nursery Education Grant Funding.  We would also be prepared to register with any other schemes if necessary.

What happens when things go wrong?

We have a complaints procedure, which is detailed in our policies and procedures file. All complaints would be handled sensitively and in confidence; alternatively, you can contact Ofsted if the matter is of a more serious nature.