General Information

We hope that this information is helpful in making you feel part of the Pre-school, and wish you and your child a happy time.

Payment of Fees

A bill will be issued to you in the second week of each term and should be paid in full within 14 days. Please note that you will be invoiced for the number of sessions you have agreed to at the start of the term, and you will not be able to make any changes once the term starts. If any sessions are dropped after that, you will still have to pay for them for the whole term. If you drop a session for which you are receiving funding, then the funding will have to be cancelled and you will be invoiced for the dropped session for the remainder of the term. You will be given the opportunity to make changes again before the start of the following term. When paying, please make your cheque payable to OXTED PRE-SCHOOL and write your child’s name on the back. Fees may also be transferred straight into the Pre-school bank account – the information needed to do this is provided on the invoice.

Home Time

We ask that parents wait outside the entrance door until it is opened; you will then need to line up in the corridor to sign your child out. The children are instructed to remain sitting on the mat until a member of staff calls their name (once they have been signed out) – please resist the temptation to call out to your child or beckon them to come, as they will be trying very hard to do as we have asked! The children can then collect their paintings etc from their tray. By using this system, we can make sure all children are safely collected. Once you have signed your child out on the Register, he/she becomes your responsibility. If you wish to speak to your key person or any other member of staff, we are more than happy to do so at this time, or at drop off.

Illness & Medications

Please keep your child at home if they have a temperature or are unwell, until they feel better. If your child has had sickness or diarrhoea then they must not return to Pre-school until they have been completely free of symptoms for 48 hours. We do not normally administer medications at pre-school – if your child is unwell enough to need Calpol or something similar, then they are probably not well enough to attend. If your child does, or might, need medication at Pre-school (including inhalers), then you will be given some forms to fill in explaining dosages, circumstances in which the medication might be required, and giving permission for pre-school staff to administer it. Medications (including inhalers) must not be left in children’s bags, but should be handed to a member of staff upon your arrival at Pre-school so it can be put somewhere safe and accessible, but out of reach of children, during the session.

Lunch Club

Children will need to bring in a packed lunch and a drink. Please ensure this is kept in a named lunch box or bag, which should be brought into the Peace Hall when you arrive and put in the large Lunch Club box. If you are including perishables and the weather is warm, then you might wish to use some kind of insulated bag with a small ice pack, as we do not have access to a fridge. Please include spoons and forks if needed (if, for example, the lunch includes yoghurt or pasta). We teach the children about healthy eating as part of the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, and would request that you send in a healthy lunch that does not include sweets or chocolate. To avoid allergy emergencies, we are also a nut-free zone.

Please note: Children must be able to feed themselves before they can stay for Lunch Club.

Newsletters and other Communications

A newsletter is produced at intervals throughout the year, depending on the amount of information needed to go out to parents. Please make sure you read the newsletter and take note of term dates, outings, and upcoming events. Other letters, notifications and communications of varying kinds will be sent by email and/or paper copy, so please be sure to check your emails and your child’s tray/bags on a daily basis. Please also note that we have two Facebook pages, one for the general public, and a closed group which is only open to current Pre-school parents – please join as a friend and keep an eye on what we are getting up to.

Toys From Home

Can we please request that you do not send toys from home into Pre-school with your child (except a comfort item to help with settling in if needed). We have plenty of things for the children to play with, and it can be distressing for the children when items from home get lost, broken or packed away in Pre-school boxes.

Settling In & Key Person

Starting pre-school is a big step for your child, and we want to make this as smooth as possible. We strongly urge parents to bring their children in for some pre-start visits in the term before they are due to join the pre-school. A parent/carer will need to stay with the child during these visits, but there is no charge for them and you are welcome to visit as often as you wish and to stay as long during a session as you feel suitable for your child. These pre-start visits can really help your child to settle confidently when he/she starts, and we really would like to see all parents/carers taking advantage of this opportunity. You are also welcome to stay with your child for as long as you feel necessary during their first sessions. Please do discuss with staff any concerns you may have. Your child will be appointed a key person, and you will be advised who this person is when they start attending pre-school. Your key person, or any other member of staff, will be more than happy to discuss your child’s progress, or any issues or matters of concern, at any time, so please do approach us at drop-off and collection times. If you do not normally drop off and collect your child, or you have an urgent matter to discuss which cannot wait until you are next at the pre-school, then please do phone Cathy on the number at the bottom of these information sheets.

Mobile Phones & Hand Bags

The Pre-school has a mobile phone (number noted above) which you should use to contact us. As part of our safeguarding responsibilities, all staff mobiles and personal bags are locked in a cupboard throughout the session, and are not accessed by staff until they are leaving the premises. We would ask that parents do not use mobile phones while they are on the Pre-school premises (including the car park and while waiting outside the door) – please keep them in bags or pockets while dropping off and collecting children. If you are staying at the Pre-school during a session (for example, while settling in your child, or coming in to help out) then please put your bags, together with your phone, in the cupboard – a member of staff will show you where.

Clothing & Bags

Please ensure that you send your child in with spare clothing as occasional accidents can happen, and we do have water play. If your child is in nappies, then please ensure everything needed to change him/her comes into Pre-school each session. Your child’s name should be clearly written on the outside of any bag/knapsack that they bring to school (including lunch boxes if they are staying for Lunch Club). All coats and jumpers should also be clearly labelled with your child’s name – this does not have to be anything fancy, a name written on the clothing label is perfectly adequate. We encourage lots of independence at Pre-school, and this includes putting coats on and taking them off when they are playing outside, so coats should be hung on the lower row of hooks where the children can reach them, and bags along the top. We try to go outside every day, so please ensure your children arrive with clothing appropriate to the weather: raincoats and wellies/warm coats, hats and gloves/sunhats. On sunny summer days, please apply sunblock before dropping your child at Pre-school.

Pre-school Committee

Just to remind you that we are a committee-run Pre-school, and that your support either on the Committee, either as an officer or as a Parent Volunteer, or by supporting events, is necessary to ensure our success. The Committee has three officers: the Chairperson, a Secretary and a Treasurer. We understand that stepping up to these roles is a big commitment, but without them the Pre-school would have to shut its doors. The Annual General Meeting is held in the Autumn Term each year, and this is when Committee members who are moving on resign, and new members are signed up. The Committee is responsible for the business side of Pre-school operations (staff recruitment and wages, finances, compliance with legislation, communications with Ofsted, etc). It also undertakes fundraising campaigns and activities; organises social events and the Annual Fun Run; gets involved in the Pre-school’s participation in the Oxted Carnival; and organises and runs the Christmas Nativity day raffle. Finally, the Committee undertakes projects for the Pre-school, such as getting our Pre-school sign on the church wall, organising the funding and installation of our new outside gate, and cleaning and re-decorating our back outside area. Helping staff with these things is an invaluable contribution and highly appreciated.

Oscar Bear

Oscar is our Pre-school bear. He takes turns going home with the children for a visit – you will find a sign-up sheet on the table near the Register. Please do not think you have to do something special when it is your child’s turn to have the bear. Just let him join in with whatever you are doing – he can play in the garden/park, have a bedtime story, sit at the table, watch television, visit grandma. The idea is just to share in your child’s life, and then share that with the pre-school. He will be accompanied by an adventure book – please do write in this if you can, let your child write in it/draw pictures, and if possible include some photographs. Hopefully the children will enjoy taking him home for a visit, and enjoy sharing their experiences with the rest of the Pre-school. Please do not keep Oscar for more than a night or two, otherwise the children do not get many opportunities to take him home.

Daily Registration Sheet

All children must be signed in when they arrive in the morning, and signed out again at collection time. Please also indicate on the Registration sheet who will be collecting your child at the end of the session. If your child is going to be collected by someone who has not been designated as authorised to collect them on the Registration forms you fill in prior to your child starting, then we must be notified in writing, with details about when the person will be collecting, and their name, address and telephone number(s). If, for any reason, the person indicated on the Registration form when the child is signed in will not be collecting your child after all, you must telephone us to let us know before the end of the session – we cannot release a child, even to someone we know regularly collects them, if we have not been advised accordingly, and we will have to contact the parents to confirm we can hand the child over before we are able to do so. Please note that the safety and well-being of the children is an absolute priority for us, and these rules are in place to ensure we comply with our safeguarding and child protection responsibilities.

As part of the registration process, each child has a name tag. When they arrive, they need to find their name and choose a tray to put it on. The children learn very quickly which name tag is theirs, and we request that parents let their child carry out this part of registration independently. If they refuse to do so, please just leave the name tag on the table, and we will encourage the child to put it on a tray once all children have arrived and the session is properly underway.

Non-attendance

It is essential that you let us know by text or phone call first thing in the morning if your child will not be coming in to pre-school and whether this is due to illness, holiday, or some other reason. Please contact us on the Pre-school phone 07733 289486. If we have not heard from you by 10 am, we will be obliged to phone you to find out why your child has not come in. The Designated Safeguarding Lead (Cathy) or her Deputy will have to ring your designated Emergency Contact if we are unable to reach either parent. We really do not want to have to do this. You can also, of course, advise us in advance, in person or by email, if you know your child will not be attending for any reason. Please note that if your child is receiving free early education funding, they should not take more than 10 days holiday during any funded period (ie. one term).

Snack Time

You will be asked for a small monetary contribution to cover the cost of fruit. This will be payable in cash at the beginning of each term. Milk and water are offered with the fruit, and water is available throughout the morning. Please ensure your child can drink from a regular cup before starting– we do not use sippy cups of any kind at Pre-school.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

This incorporates both the legislation by which early years providers such as Oxted Pre-school must abide, and the educational curriculum which we follow. A ‘Parents’ Guide to the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework’ can be found here – this will provide you with some basic information about what the EYFS means. You might also find the document ‘What to Expect, When’ helpful – you can find this here. Your child’s key person will be following the Learning and Development guidelines when monitoring and recording your child’s progress, and when planning for his/her future learning and development. We use Tapestry online Learning Journals, so parents can follow their children’s progress on an on-going basis. You are also invited to talk to us as often as you wish. We also hold formal Parents’ Evenings two or three times per year, when you will be invited to come in and have a short discussion with your key person. If you are unable to come to Parents’ Evening, but would like to meet with your key person, another appointment at a more suitable time will be arranged. Please do not wait for Parents’ Evening if you have a concern, a discussion with your key person or Cathy can be arranged at any time.

Parents’ Table

This is currently just inside the Peace Hall. You will find information about child health and development, leaflets, magazines, the pre-school’s policies, Ofsted Reports, and the Parents’ File which contains copies of newsletters, letters, and other communications which have gone out to parents. There is also a Parents’ Information notice board inside the Peace Hall, with information on the Early Years Foundation Stage, the key person system, etc.