Frequently Asked Questions
I’m interested in a pre-school place for my child. What should I do?
Please phone the pre-school or email for availability of sessions. We often have a waiting list and so the sooner you book your place the better. It helps enormously if you can be flexible in your choice of sessions.
We are proud of our pre-school and love showing people round it, please book an appointment to come and see us in action!
We find that children settle quicker, and continue to remain settled, the more sessions that they have at pre-school. Therefore, we insist on a minimum attendance of 2 full days a week or equivalent half days.
The date that my child is due to start is approaching, what should I do?
We understand that getting to know children best means seeing them in an environment that they are comfortable in. All families are offered a home visit before the child begins settling in sessions. Two members of staff will visit you and your child in your home. We will spend time interacting with your child and ask lots of questions in order to get to know your child, their family and their routines. After this you and child will be invited to attend settling in sessions to ease their transition into pre-school life. These will be arranged with you by the Room Manager.
How do I know what funding I am eligible for?
When your child is given a space with us at pre-school, your child is automatically eligible for 15 hours of funded childcare. You will then need to access the government website to see if you are eligible for 30 hours of funded childcare. If eligible, you will be given a code which you will send to Gina (senior manager) along with your national insurance number. This will then enable Gina to contact you via funding loop, to complete your funding form ready for your child to start.
The 30 hour funding is then spread across the whole year, which is the 51 weeks we are open.
How does the pre-school communicate with parents and how can parents share information with the nursery?
For a child to achieve their full potential we believe that child, parents and pre-school should all work together. We encourage parents to share worries, achievements and day to day routine information with us as we do with them. Staff in the rooms and in the office are always on hand to talk on arrival and at the end of the day. We use Famly as a form of written communication. This is a two-way communication tool which allows both parents and pre-school staff to communicate with each other during the day. Photos are posted on a room’s group story page and a little information about what the children have been doing together. More private messages are sent to individual parents regarding sleep times etc. at the end of the session.
How is my child’s progress monitored?
We soon get to know your child as we interact with them, and observe them at pre-school and with your input, we soon learn what your child enjoys doing, their interests, their developmental stage and how your child learns best. Using all this information we create a child’s next steps and then plan activities in order to help a child achieve their next steps. We then observe again and so the cycle continues! Each half term we track your child’s progress to make sure that they are continually making progress. This highlights any gaps in their learning which we can then act upon and intervene quickly if necessary. It also helps us to notice if a child is particularly excelling in an area of learning so that we can provide further challenges to extend their learning.
Each child has a learning journal. At the Bell pre-school we use ‘Famly’, which is an online learning journal. Your child’s key person adds lots of observations to your child’s journal, photos and some video clips. This is available for you to view at any time and hopefully add to as well!