Nursery & Child Care

FAQ

Kids

Play is letting your child show their creativity and expressing themselves, it teaches them how to grow and develop. Play contributes to the cognitive(thinking), physical, social and emotional well being of a child.

Talking to your baby from birth can build their language and communication skills. Babies will pick up on different sounds and different words being used by their parents/ carers, which will help their brain develop and understand of words before speech comes. The more you speak to your baby the better. You can talk to your child anywhere, and about anything. Singing, reading and rhymes are all ways of communicating with your baby.

Physical activity everyday is important for healthy growth and development it can vary from different ages.

Babies under 1- encouraging them to be active throughout the day is sufficient. Crawling, shuffling, reaching, grasping, pulling and pushing.

1 years- 5 year olds- encouraging them to take part in physical activity for at least 3 hours a day. Activity play, such as chasing games, climbing, jumping, hopping, ball games, riding a bike, playing in the water/sand, and running.

Some children can start to say real words between 12-18 months, every child is different and will develop skills in their own ways. Before talking babies will show “pre-verbal skills” like eye contact, sharing, attention and taking turns. Children need to have a good understanding before speech appears, it is natural for children to mispronounce words.

As your baby grows and develops they will use their 7 senses to learn about the world around them. Sight, Hearing, Smell, Taste, Touch,Vestibule (Movement) and Proprioception (Body position) which will all help to develop your baby’s motor skills. Sensory integration is the process by which we receive information through our senses, organise this information, and use it to participate in everyday activities.

Babies will usually start to crawl between 7-11 months although this can vary. There are different types of crawling methods: hands and feet crawl, hands and knees crawl and belly crawl. Some babies may not crawl and have a preferred method of shuffling. These are all steps before the walking stage.
Tummy time is when you place your baby laying flat on their stomach on a soft surface, this encourages them to lift their heads independently building neck muscles and also helps to prevent skull deformation which is common in babies caused by laying on the backs often .
    • Praising them often
    • Letting them problem solve themselves
    • Setting them challenges
    • Encouraging them to speak out on their opinions
    • Encouraging them to believe in themselves
    • Focus on their strengths

No, although there are many advantages of starting a nursery/ pre-school your child will still have a great experience and will be able to learn alongside their peers just fine when they start school at 4/5 years old. There are plenty of opportunities for social interaction when they start school.

  • Reading to your child
  • Talking to your child about their work and showing an interest
  • Encouraging
  • Praising
  • Listening
  • Setting fun but education activities
  • Checking over your child’s work

Nurseries

Research the most popular nurseries in your area, check the reviews, look through their website & social media pages , Book a visit to the nursery with your child to see if you/your child like the environment. Make sure to note down what the ‘Pro’s and Con’s’ are of the facility’s and any other important information such as their availability, hours, cost/prices. This will help simplify the list and help you come to a final decision of a potential nursery your child will.

Ensuring that your child and yourself feel comfortable, ensuring staff ratios are accurate, checking that the nursery environment is safe and clean, Policies and procedures are in place as well as safeguarding, Staff have relevant qualifications and up to date dbs. Having a good diverse setting both children and staff. Having a good range of resources.

Sending your child to nursery can boost their self confidence, encourage play and turn taking, boost social interactions, get them into a school like routine, teaches them rules and boundaries.

There is no right or wrong time to send your child to nursery, everyone has different reasons. Although some nurseries take babies from as young as 2 months old, the majority of children start nursery between the ages of 2 and 3. By this age children are independent and curious, and are growing more interested in other children.

There is no right or wrong time to send your child to nursery, everyone has different reasons. Welcoming, knowledgeable and approachable staff. Regular feedback and updates on your child’s progress, behaviour, interests. Observations should be carried out frequently (either online or paper based) to track your child’s learning. Your child should be allocated a key worker who will settle the into the nursery and bind with them.

Each nursery will have a curriculum that they follow and will plan both adult and child led activities around these areas of learning and around your child’s interests. Early years foundation stage(EYFS) and Montessori nurseries will follow the main areas of learning to give your child the best start in life, these include: communication and language, physical development, personal, social and emotional development, literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive art and design.
Yes, It is a wonderful experience for children to be able to explore their outdoor environment, it improves their social-awareness and contributes to physical activity. Before the staff are allowed to take your child off the premises, the parent/career must sign a consent form prior to this. Some nurseries do not take the children out on trips so when going to view nurseries remember to ask.
If your child has never attended and nursery/childcare setting before, part time is recommended at first until your child gets use to the nursery environment then you can introduce longer days, however some parents need full time childcare as they may be returning to work, study etc.
Each nursery will have their own terms and conditions as to how much notice you need to give them if you want to leave. It can range from 2-8 weeks on average so remember to check with your service provider.
Nurseries have different methods of parental engagement, some will give verbal daily feedback at the end of the day others may have daily journals for each child, some may call you, some may give weekly feedback and others may arrange parent/carer meetings weekly or monthly. It is best to check with your service provider.

Finance

Nursery fees can range from £4.50 to £80 per day. Depending on how old your child is. Some nurseries have a registration fee from £10-£200 which can either be refundable or non refundable.

Childcare Vouchers enable working parents to pay for their childcare, benefiting from savings of about £1,000. Employees buy the vouchers (usually through a salary sacri-fice scheme) for up to £55 per week or £243 a month, depending on circumstances. They save money because the vouchers are exempt from tax and NI(national insurance).

Your 2-year-old can get free childcare if you live in England and get one of the following benefits:

• Income Support
• income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
• income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
• Universal Credit, and your household income is £15,400 a year or less after tax, not including benefit payments
• tax credits, and your household income is £16,190 a year or less before tax
• the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
• the Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

2-year-olds can also get free childcare if they:
• are looked after by a local authority
• have a statement of special education needs (SEN)or an education, health and care (EHC) plan
• get Disability Living Allowance
• have left care under an adoption order, special guardianship order or a child arrangements order

All 3 to 4 year olds in England can get 570 free hours per year. It’s usually taken as 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year, but you can choose to take fewer hours over more Some 3 to 4-year-olds can get funding for 30 hours free childcare a week but you would need to check if you are eligible as there is a criteria.

To qualify for 30 hours of free childcare, each parent (or the sole parent in a single parent family) will need to earn on average, the equivalent of 16 hours on the national minimum wage per week and no more than £100,000 per year. You can apply online on gov.uk for a childcare account to get a code for 30 hours to give to your provider.

Tax-Free Childcare: what you need to know. The Government – backed Tax-Free Childcare scheme essentially gives eligible families 20% off childcare costs. You open an online Tax-Free Childcare account and the Government adds 20p for every 80p you pay in. You then pay your childcare provider from that account.
If you are not currently working you may still be eligible for help with childcare costs if your partner is working, and you get Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allow-ance, Carer’s Allowance or contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance. You can also apply if you’re starting or re-starting work within the next 31 days.

You will need to apply using the online form on gov.uk. You’ll need your de-tails (and your partner’s, if you have one), including your:
• National Insurance number
You will need to apply using the online form on gov.uk. You’ll need your de-tails (and your partner’s, if you have one), including your:
• National Insurance number
• Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), if you’re self-employed
If you pay for childcare and want to use Tax-Free Childcare to get help you can also apply using this service.It usually takes 20 minutes to apply. You may find out if you’re eligible straight away, but it can take up to 7 days.

You could get weekly payments through Care to Learn if you’re under 20 at the start of a publicly-funded course, for example at school or sixth form.
The Care to Learn scheme can help with childcare costs while you study.
You must be aged under 20 at the start of your course.
The scheme is available for publicly-funded courses in England. This includes courses in schools, sixth-forms in schools and sixth-form colleges.
You can get up to:
• £160 per child per week if you live outside London
• £175 per child per week if you live in London

Nursery fees may slightly change from time to time due to the government raising registration costs.

Activities

Children will love almost all activities you do with them at home, as the quality time is the most important. Here are some examples of activities you can try;
• cooking
•Painting
•role play-tea parties, doctors, dressing up, superhero’s
• learning to draw
•Hide and seek
•reading and writing a book review
•junk modelling, making robots, cars, castles etc
•making musical instruments using empty bottles/containers , pasta, rice, beans etc
•create a family tree
•Make an obstacle course and time how long it takes to complete it
•write letters to family members and post them
•playing card/board games
•put on a puppet show using teddies and toys

•Den building- use your imagination and turn your living room, kitchen, bedroom or garden into a super cave using furniture, sheets/blankets, torches, fairly lights etc
•Grand designs junior-Design(draw) and build something together using different resources from your house
•Creating a story- take it in turns to write/tell part of a story using your wild imagination

•talking to your child
•reading to them
•exposing them to everyday language
•listening to music
singing and dancing games
•speaking clearly
•giving one instruction at a time
•flash cards for basic words
•using hand gestures when talking

•musical dancing
•climbing
•jumping off and landing
•building towers
•row, row, row your boat
• toss balls in a basket
•throwing and catching
•imitate animals
•Follow the leader
•popping bubbles
• ring games
•balancing games

Yes, it allows children to explore the natural outdoor environment, helps to promote language, supports their well being, self esteem and self confidence. Forest play allows them to risk take and learn from their mistakes.

Yes, everyday objects can be used for children to explore as long as they are risk assessed, checking that the objects are clean, no loose parts can fall off and free from any sharp edges.
Yoga can help children to slow down and focus, it relaxes them and can help their self esteem and self awareness. Sometimes children may not be able to identify that they are feeling stressed so yoga is a good way of getting them to relax.
Reading to your child at least 3 time a week if not everyday could be very beneficial for them, it allows you to bond with them, teaches them about different forms of writing, can improve their numeracy skills and will help them become a better reader.

•Twinkle twinkle little star
•Row-row-row your boat
•The wheels on the bus
•Hey diddle diddle
•One, two, three, four, five
•Humpty Dumpty
•Old MacDonald had a farm

• go on a insect hunt in the garden, make a habitat or bug hotel
•go camping in your back garden
•bike riding with family members
•friendly water fights
•climbing trees
•visit a park

Products

•Argos
•Smyths
• Bright minds
•Early learning centre
•Mulberry bush
•Amazon

• Maxi Cosi Nova 4 Wheels
• Nuna Mixx
• Uppababy Cruz V2
• Bugaboo Fox 2
• iCandy Peach 5

It is up to individuals if they choose to give a dummy to their baby. Dummies provide comfort and satisfy the need for frequent suckling that is a normal feature of all human babies.
Dummies can give mum a break from constant rocking and soothing in the difficult hours
and help abs by get to sleep, on the flip side dummies can build up bacteria if not
sterilised regularly which can lead to oral thrush.

You can use your cot from the day your baby is born, if you like.
However, many parents choose a moses basket for the first few months.
This is often because a newborn baby can look and feel a little lost in a big cot.
Moses baskets are designed for newborn babies to sleep in for the first 6 months they provide cosy and reassuring confined space for your child.

• The tiger who came to tea. Author: Judith Kerr
• Where’s spot. Author: Eric Hill
• Each peach pear plumb. Author: Janet Ahlberg
• The very hungry caterpillar. Author: Eric Carle
• The elephant and the bad baby. Author: Elfrida Vipont

• Bellababy dual suction breast pump Pump LED Touch Screen with 4 Modes.
• Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Electric Breast Pump, White
• Momcozy New Version Electric Breast Pump, 2 Modes
• Inarock Electric Breast Pump, InaRock Dual Suction Rechargeable Nursing
• Breastfeeding Pump
• Eccomum Electric Double Breast Pump Eccomum Breastfeeding Pump with 4 Modes

They are many shops available for children’s clothes, depending on budgets. Some well established name are: John Lewis, Zara kids, H&M, Next, Primark, Debenhams, Matalan, Monsoon, River Island Kids and Jojomamanbebe.
Both bikes will teach your child how to balance but a standard bike will have pedals unlike the balance bike. As your child gets older they will probably want to lead how to pedal, so a balance bike would be suitable for a toddler as a stepping stone before the big bike.

Britax Baby Safe i-Size Car Seat, £190
Maxi-Cosi Axissfix Plus, £399
Kiddy Evo-Luna i-Size, £409
Silver Cross Dream, £195
Cybex Cloud Q, £220
Maxi-Cosi CabrioFix Group 0+, £139
Jané Koos, £160
Graco Milestone, £220

Yes? Especially if you have stairs in your house, once your baby starts to move around independently stair gates are a great baby prodding gadget not only for stairs but for unwanted access to rooms with potential danger in eg. The kitchen where there are hot objects and dangerous cleaning products.

Curriculum

A group of subjects that you study at nurseries, schools and colleges.

It is a framework that sets expectations for students learning, it serves as a guide for teachers.
Yes. All Nurseries in England are required to follow the EYFS (Early year’s foundation stage)
Yes. The school nurseries and private nurseries both use the EYFS curriculum.
Communication and language development. Personal social and emotional development , physical development , understanding the world, literacy (reading), Mathematics, expressive arts and design.
Yes, it is always a good idea to know what development stages your child is at, what they are learning and how they are learning.
How often is the curriculum updated?
Yes, all staff working within childcare settings should have some curriculum training and be regular updated.

It’s always good to Mirror what your child is doing at home to nursery, you may want to talk to your child key worker to find out if they are focusing on any topics so that you could focus on it at home with your child.

Watch List

A list of individuals/groups that require close surveillance, typically for illegal or political reasons.
Individuals who may be involved in offences relating to harming children require extra surveillance to prevent any harm being done to a child or young person. They are created to allow other people to be aware of individuals who may be a danger to a child/young person.
You could either still send them to your chosen nursery if you feel comfortable and feel that the nursery has safeguarding procedures in place or if you really did not feel comfortable you could look at nurseries in a different location.
Talking to them (if they are of age) about self awareness, private parts staying private, discussing with them about understanding that they should feel comfortable around people and if they ever felt upset they can talk to you.
Yes, stranger danger talks and activities work really well, you don’t want to frighten your child but it is very important that they understand the rules and potential dangers of talking to strangers
Contact your local police station and give them as much information as you can so that they can build a report.
Try and take a subtle approach, depending on age you could play a role play game scenario and ask them what they would do in the situation. Talk to them about how to call for help.

Child Nutrition

Picky eaters tend to eat different foods than the rest of their family but are happy to still eat at the table with them.
Problem feeders tend to almost always eat different foods than their family and do not want to eat at the table with them.

If your child doesn’t have a balanced diet you may need to take multivitamins. The Department of Health recommends that’s all children aged 6 months-5 years and breastfed babies are given vitamin supplements containing vitamins A,C and D everyday.
There is no set amount that you should give your child, but try not to use an adult sized plate and overfill their plate as this could be discouraging. It’s best to give them smaller portions and see if they ask for more.
Depending on your child’s age, children aged between 1-5 years old should drink between 2-8 cups of water a day. The older you are the more you need to drink and stay hydrated.
Children should eat at least 5 pieces of fruit and vegetables (combined) in a day

Eating at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. Try to base meals on higher fibre starchy foods like potatoes, bread, rice or pasta and have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks). Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other protein, choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat them in small amounts. Children should be drinking lots of fluids a day.

Guidelines suggest that children between 4 and 8 years of age should dink 600 per day and less if they are younger. Full fat cows milk should be given to children until they are 2 years old as they have lots of energy and need the extra vitamins.
Water and milk are best for your child, as most fruit juices contain alot of sugar. You can give your child fruit juice but you should limit how much they have a drink water inbetween.
Introducing your child to vegetables at an early stage is best, letting them try a range of vegetables will help. Try and get your child involved in cooking with you and experiment with different ways of cooking the vegetables.
Depending on your child’s age you can offer some healthy snacks like fruit and nuts inbetween meals but not too much as you don’t want them to fill themselves up as dinner may become a struggle to eat. Some children need to eat small portions and more often.

Special Needs

It describe services and support that help babies and toddlers from birth to 3 years of age with developmental delays or disabilities and their families.

Seeking help before it gets worse, If you’re concerned about your child’s development, don’t wait contact your childcare providers and your GP.

• Problems reading and/or writing.
• Problems with math.
• Poor memory.
• Problems paying attention.
• Trouble following directions.
• Clumsiness.
• Trouble telling time.
• Problems staying organised.

If you think your child may have special educational needs, contact the SEN co-ordinator, in your child’s school or nursery.

• not responding to their name.
• avoiding eye contact.
• not smiling when you smile at them.
• getting very upset if they do not like a certain taste, smell or sound.
• repetitive movements, such as flapping their hands, flicking their fingers or rocking their body.
• not talking as much as other children.
• repeating the same phrases.

Yes, you can refuse. The school district can’t conduct an initial evaluation without your consent. It’s up to you whether to have your child evaluated for special education services. This is an important decision, and there are many reasons a family may decide not to do an evaluation.
The first evaluation will determine if your child is eligible for special education. It’s possible your child may not qualify for these services. Even if your child doesn’t qualify, the evaluation process will give you helpful insights into how your child’s mind works. Then you can find ways to build on strengths and work around weaknesses. This can help your child make more progress in school. If your child does qualify for special education, it’s still possible for him/her to stay in a general education classroom. The school would have to get your consent before placing him in a class-room that’s only for kids in special education. You get to decide whether to change your child’s classroom placement.
A plan to help children and young people aged up to 25 who need more support than is available through special educational needs support. EHC plans identify educational, health and social needs and set out the additional support to meet those needs.
IEP is a plan or programme designed for children with SEN to help them to get the most out of their education. An IEP builds on the curriculum that a child with learning difficulties or disabilities is following and sets out the strategies being used to meet that child’s specific needs.

It’s normal to worry about your child being labelled and within time it will ease. Once the school has identified your child as having SEN, they must take action to remove barriers to learning and put effective special educational provision in place. This is called SEN Support. This will give a child a medical diagnosis for their specific need, for example autism or ADHD.

Requirements

Under one and one year olds – 1:3.
Two year olds – 1:4.
Three year olds and above – 1:8 or 1:13

Yes, to provide childcare in England and when setting up a nursery you need to register with Ofsted – this applies to anyone who intends to care for children under the age of eight for more than two hours a day.

Yes, a DBS check has to be completed before individuals start working. Paid staff, volunteers and students all have to have one.
Nursery managers and staff should carry out daily risk assessments within the nursery. In line with government and NHS recommendations they should put additional measures in place, which include those relating to nursery access restrictions, social distancing, and hygiene practices.
Yes, In England all nurseries follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
Guidelines suggest that children between 4 and 8 years of age should dink 600 per day and less if they are younger. Full fat cows milk should be given to children until they are 2 years old as they have lots of energy and need the extra vitamins.
Home engagement in school work is always a great idea, it creates a regular routine for you’re child and structure, your child will thrive on seeing you take park in their school life.
When you fill out a registration form for your chosen nursery, a staff member will discuss with you about the regular observations they will be carrying out on your child. So you would only have to give your permission once.
Depending on your child’s age you can offer some healthy snacks like fruit and nuts inbetween meals but not too much as you don’t want them to fill themselves up as dinner may become a struggle to eat. Some children need to eat small portions and more often.
Parent afternoons should be very informative, you will get the opportunity to see exactly what your child is learning about, possibly see some of your child’s work and get to talk to the teacher. If you can get the time off work to attend it is a lovely experience. Your child will be over the moon to see you in their classroom.

Pregnancy

You can take a pregnancy test from the first day of your missed period. If you don’t know when your next period is due, do the test at least 21 days after you last had unprotected sex.
Staying active and Eating healthy balanced meals will help keep you fit during pregnancy. Keeping a health mindset will contribute to you feeling good, drinking plenty of water and taking part in regular exercise workouts will have amazing benefits for not only you but your baby also. (Please check with your midwife what exercises are suitable for your trimester).
Every woman’s body is different some people put on a lot of weight and some very little. Some have larger babies than others and some are carrying more fluid then baby. The average weight that woman put on during pregnancy is between 10kg-12.5.kg.
A birth plan is a record of what you would like to happen during your labour and after the birth. You will discuss it with your midwife and your birthing partner should be aware of it, encase they need to speak on your behalf during labour.

Vitamins and nutrients you need during pregnancy:
• Folic acid
• Vitamin D
• Iron and Vitamin C
• Vitamin B12
• Omega fats
• Prenatal vitamin supplement

You can find these in your local pharmacies or drug stores eg- boots, Superdrug.

Get your hospital bag packed and check a list of items needed while in the hospital, ensure you carry your medical notes around with you when in your last trimester, have routes to the hospital planned, taxi pre booked in case you need it, wash all your babies clothes, sort out childcare arrangements (if you have other children).

Nesting is a burst of energy women often get in the last few weeks of pregnancy that inspires them to clean and organise the house in preparation for baby’s arrival.
Antenatal classes are not compulsory, they are created to give mums/parents support and advise about their new baby that they are going to have. It’s a lovely social event and can be very useful for tips.

Yes. As long as you are not classed as high risk, your midwife will talk you through birthing options with you.

Everyone is different, so depending on how you feel, the work load you have, travelling times to work can all have an affect on when you should go on maternity leave. You can go from as early as 11 weeks before your baby’s due date although a lot of women usually wait till a bit closer to the time.

Sleeping

• Place your baby on their back to sleep for the first 6 months
• Don’t smoke during pregnancy, breastfeeding or allow anyone to smoke near them
• Don’t share a bed with your baby if you have been drinking ally of alcohol or you smoke a lot
• Never sleep with your baby on the armchair or sofa
• Don’t let your baby get too hot or too cold
• Keep your baby’s head uncovered
• Place your baby at the bottom of their cot (feet at the bottom)

• Give your child a warm bath before bedtime
• Read or sing to them
• Don’t have tv lights on
• Use a dummy if needed
• Give them some warm milk or breast milk

Between 6pm-7pm is a good time to start winding down and getting your child into bed.
Gently stroke their head, talk to them to calm them down.
Hey, most toddlers transition from two naps to one nap a day by 18 months. Naps then gradually taper off over the next couple of years. By age 5, most children no longer take a regular nap.
There is no scientific facts that say it can be harmful for your baby to sleep with their dummy.

• always place your baby on their back to sleep.
• place your baby in the “feet to foot” position – with their feet touching the end of the cot, Moses basket, or pram.
• keep your baby’s head uncovered – their blanket should be tucked in no higher than their shoulders.

Toddlers need around 12 hours of sleep a night; children aged three to six – 10-12 hours; seven-12 years olds – 10-11 hours; and teenagers – around eight to nine hours.
When you fill out a registration form for your chosen nursery, a staff member will discuss with you about the regular observations they will be carrying out on your child. So you would only have to give your permission once.
It is safe for your toddler to sleep in your bed but it may cause problems when you are trying to get them to sleep in their own room later.
Sometimes children get out of bed or call out as a way of keeping their parents around at bedtime. If this sounds like your child, and you’re happy to resettle her each time she asks for you, that’s OK. Sometimes children may have nightmares so com-forting them may comfort them. Helping your child settle with a bedtime routine may help them calling out.