Questions

Answers

How do I arrange a visit?

If you would like to arrange a visit to view one of our settings, all you need to do is go to the nurseries page that you wish to visit and  click the ‘arrange a visit tab’. We do have an open door policy and welcome parents to visit the setting without an appointment. Please be aware that for unarranged viewings we will always aim to make a team member available to show you around, however due to staff to child ratios this may not always be possible and an alternative viewing time may be arranged.

Are you Ofsted registered?

Yes – All of our settings are registered with Ofsted. The Ofsted registration number can be found on the Ofsted report for each site, which can be found on the nurseries page. Alternatively you can call our Head Office or the Nursery setting directly to gain this information.

What happens if I am delayed collecting my child?

Sometimes parents are unavoidably delayed.  Please let us know as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary concerns.  Arrangements will be made to look after your child until you arrive.  Standard fees are applied if your child is collected late and in some circumstances a late charge will be applied to your account if you arrive after closing.

What if my child attends more than one setting?

If your child attends more than one setting, we would like to work with them to discuss your child’s development and work together to provide a cohesive care package for you and your child. We would seek your permission to share observation, next steps and summative reports with the other setting to ensure excellent communication is maintained between everybody involved in your child’s care, learning and development.

What is the Early Years Foundation?

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) looks at the stages of development from birth to the end of the child’s first year in school (reception year).  These years see the greatest growth and learning for your child.

The EYFS is based on 4 overarching principles which shape good practice in early years settings:–

  • A unique child

Every child is a unique.  They are consistently learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.

  • Positive relationships

Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.

  • Enabling environments

Children learn and develop well in environments where their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and yourself as a parent and/or carer.

  • Children learn and develop in different ways and at different rates

The framework covers the education and care of your child within the early years setting, including children with additional needs.

So what does this mean for you and your child?

The EYFS supports practitioners to provide play experiences that enable your child to expand their knowledge and skills to support their individual learning and development in their early years.  As practitioners we recognise your child’s strengths and areas they may need additional support with.  This support may come from within the nursery or from other professionals.

It is important for your child to feel safe and secure in their surroundings, this is aided by having a ‘Key Person’ within the setting who will get to know you and your child well and build a strong and interactive relationship with you both.  Your child’s key person is based in your child’s unit and spends quality time with their key children as individuals and in their group.  If your child’s key person is unavailable other practitioners in the unit will be able to support you and your child as they will also have a good relationship with you both.

The activities and experiences that we provide for your child will underpin the skills they need to work towards the Early Learning Goals in the following 7 areas –

Prime Areas

  • Communication and language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, social and emotional development

Specific Areas –

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Art and Design

We recognise that learning and development are important from birth.  The 7 areas within the EYFS are all of equal importance however for children under 3 years old the Prime areas are our focus.  These 3 Prime areas support your child’s initial skills and give them the basis to develop in the 4 Specific areas when in the Pre School.    Our staff are trained towards the highest qualifications in Early Years and use this knowledge and their experience to provide planned activities and projects. We extend your child’s learning through these and your involvement is paramount to achieve this.

In partnership with parents we will use our observations to plan future activities and projects which relate to children’s current interests, needs and the world around them.  This will help develop their independence and life skills for their future. Your child has an individual plan where we record observations, place photographs and other information that is kept as an on-going record of their developmental journey.  As a commitment to your child it is important that we regularly meet and discuss your child’s progress and look towards their future next steps.

What activities will my child do at Nursery?

Below is an overview of the types of activities your child may take part in throughout the course of the day:-

Free Play and planned activities

Children will have free access to a wide range of activities, offering them learning experiences in all areas of the EYFS. The children can choose what they would like to play, with the support of an adult if required and they are able to select the toys and equipment themselves.  These will include resources and activities to promote hand eye co-ordination, develop childrens senses, problem solving, developing fine and gross motor skills, knowledge and understanding of the world, imagination and creative development.

Planned adult led activities are also created from the children’s interests to promote learning in all areas of their development.

Circle Time                                                        

During circle time the children are encouraged to participate in a variety of activities many of which are based around letters and sounds, which help support childrens early literacy skills.

Music & Movement

The children have the opportunity to create dances and make movements to music as well as making their own music and sounds with the instruments.  At tops day Nurseries we use the Boogie mites programme on a daily basis to encourage music and movement with all children. (link to boogie mites)

Breakfast/Lunch/Tea/Snacks

At Tops day Nurseries, mealtimes are respected as a valuable learning opportunity and independence is encouraged at every opportunity.

The children wash their hands and are then able to self-select the food and drinks that they would like.  Meal and snack times are also the perfect time to develop social skills as we all sit together and share a meal.

Singing & Story Time

The children are encouraged to select the songs and stories they would like to read or sing, these are usually supported by visual aids to help engage the children. Children are also encouraged to tell their own stories and make up their own rhymes as they become more confident in this area of learning.

Garden / Outdoor play

At Tops we value outdoor learning and make every opportunity to allow children to access the outdoor provision during the day. Outdoor play or group activities allow children to develop skills of co-operation when working and playing with their peers.

All the activities are play based but challenging and take account of the individual needs of the children.  Children will have the opportunity to run, climb, skip, jump, crawl, throw, catch and balance.

Extra curricula activities

At Tops Day Nurseries we offer a wide range of extra curricula activities. Click here to take you to the extra curricula activities tab.

What is a key person?

Each child is supported by a Key Person who will become a vital link for the care and educational support of your child’s development.  They will be available for you to pass on relevant information regarding your child on a daily basis and to share their development with you over the term.  The Key Person is also responsible for recording and maintaining your child’s development record, and meeting with you termly to discuss their developmental progress and individual needs. We welcome parental contribution to support your child and this can be done through daily discussions and parent observations. This information is used to plan activities to aid your child’s development and learning. Prior to your child moving to school the Key Person will complete a ‘record of development’ which is shared with you before being sent to your child’s teacher.

How will my child’s development be monitored?

We use an electronic system called eyLog to record your child’s development. Eylog allows our staff to capture a photo, video clip or a voice recording as well as attach relevant notes using a tablet computer. The observations are uploaded to a secure web-based learning journey, which you as a parent would have access to.

Each parent is given their own password to access their own child’s records.  You will be able to view your child’s development from any computer or smart phone.
We would like reassure you about the security of the system: Firstly the tablets that are used are  supplied with a custom ‘firmware’ in which all applications apart from eyLog have been removed, for example, it is not possible access any websites or applications from the tablets. The only people who can access a child’s records are the relevant staff, the nursery manager, and yourself.
For more information please visit www.eylog.co.uk

What should my child wear?

Your child may get quite dirty and will get paint and glue on their clothes despite wearing aprons.  Please ensure your child wears clothes that are practical and that you don’t mind getting a bit messy.  If parents / carers become upset by your child getting messy, they may feel that he/she cannot play with the paint or glue for fear of getting some on their clothes and this will restrict their development.  Glue and paint is best washed out using a cool cycle first.

Comfortable clothes that are easy to get on and off would be most appreciated by your child and by the nursery staff.  Three and four year olds should ideally have slip on or Velcro shoes so they can be independent and all children who are being potty trained or are potty trained should avoid dungarees. Hats, coats and gloves in colder months, sunhats and sun cream in the sunnier months. Everything should be named to reduce the risk of loss (order forms for labels available from managers).  Every child should bring a complete set of spare clothes to nursery in case of accidental spillage and toileting accidents. These should be kept in a named bag on the child’s peg, please ensure this is not a plastic carrier bag or a drawstring bag as these pose a health and safety risk and are not permitted in the nursery.

Do I have to provide nappies?

Yes please.  We are happy to use both disposable and re-useable nappies.
Please provide nappies for the day (or week) plus wipes/cotton wool and cream if you use it.  Please ensure your child’s nappy bag is clearly named.

What will my child be given to eat and drink?

At Tops we are very proud of our ‘No added sugar’ menus, which provide an excellent balance of nutrition for the children in our care. All of our menus have been created to ensure that children attending full time have the correct balance of fats, protein, fruit and veg, salt and sugars (natural).

We can provide daily meals (breakfast, lunch and tea) which are available for all children. Meals should be booked in advance, however in an emergency meals can be booked at short notice but we cannot guarantee any meal booked after 9.00am will be as advertised on the current menu.

Both mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks are included in the normal full hourly rate and we offer milk or water to drink.

Parents may bring in food from home, in line with our food from home policy. Following the Food Standards Agencies guidelines we will not re heat rice or meals containing rice.  We can only serve this food product cold to your child.  We follow Environmental Health guidelines and reheat your provided food to 75 oC and cool before being served.  Please also note that food brought from home can only be heated up for your child until they reach the age of 2, after this point only cold food products can be supplied from home.

We will store lunch boxes in a cool place however we cannot refrigerate all boxes due to lack of space, to help with this we recommend parents put a small freezer pack into their chid’s box if it contains food that should be refrigerated.  Please ensure all food items and boxes are clearly labelled. We reserve the right to stop children eating food that has been provided by parents if it has been stored at an unsuitable temperature or if it appears, in any way, unfit for consumption. We will also not serve food that is beyond its “Use By” date. For help and ideas on healthy lunch boxes please refer to our guide which can be found in the parent policy folder.

Tops provide cups, bowls and spoons to avoid confusion during the busy lunch/tea sessions. Children are encouraged to socialise with each other and adults as part of meal times.  Children are encouraged to serve themselves, to try everything on their plate but thereafter are allowed to leave what they do not like.  We do not knowingly give children items we know they dislike, but encourage them to try a variety of tastes and textures to broaden their palate.

My child has a dietary requirement, food allergy/intolerance – can you accommodate this?

We can accommodate for most dietary requirements. Please notify the setting of your child’s needs.

How many staff will there be at Nursery?

The number of staff working at the Nursery depends on how many children are attending that particular day.  We ensure we adhere to the staff to children ratio’s, which are:
1:3 for children under 2 years old.
1:4 for children aged between 2 and 3 years old.
1:8 for children aged 3 years and older.

How do I find out more about the staff working at Nursery?
We have a dedicated page on our website which provides an overview of the staff we have working at Tops Day Nurseries.  We have noticeboards in each nursery with photographs and information on each team member or you can ask the manager at each location who will be happy to answer any query you have.
All staff within our Nurseries are DBS checked and references are sought prior to employment. All staff are 1st aid trained within 3 months of employment. (100% first aid logo)

What happens if my child is taken ill at the Nursery?

If any children become unwell whilst they are in our care, we will inform the parent / carer at our earliest

What if my child is ill and cannot attend Nursery?

If your child misses Nursery due to illness, unfortunately no refund can be made.
If your child has a case of sickness or diarrhoea they must not attend nursery until 48hrs after the last symptom has occurred.  In the interest of the other children, it is important that your child is well before returning them to the Nursery.

How much will it cost for my child to attend?

We have a fees calculator that will give you an estimate based on the nursery you  choose, here is a link to the fees calculator.

Prices & Funding

Do you offer a discount to parents placing more than one child at Tops Day Nursery?

Yes, we offer a 10% discount to any subsequent sibling that joins the setting.

Can I book extra sessions?

We are very happy to accommodate a request for extra sessions if we have the places available and are within our ratios.  Please speak to a member of staff for availability.

Do you accept childcare vouchers?

Yes, we accept all childcare vouchers from employer schemes.  Check with your employer if they offer childcare vouchers.

Can I use childcare vouchers to pay nursery deposit?

Unfortunately we do not accept childcare vouchers to pay the deposit.

How do I get the funding from the government for 2, 3 or 4 year olds?

We have a section on our website to explain all the funding.

Prices & Funding

What is tax free childcare?

Please see our blog for more information on what tax free childcare is.

Tax free childcare

Can I utilise Tax Free Childcare alongside the government 15 or 30 hour schemes?

Yes, for further information please see our blog on tax free

Tax free childcare

If I have a complaint, what should I do?

We always want to hear if you or your child are unhappy with any aspect of the nursery.  Please raise any concerns you have initially with the nursery manager who will endeavour to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction. Should you still be unhappy, you can take your complaint further by contacting OFSTED directly.

Do I have to pay for bank holidays and other holidays?

Yes you will have to pay for holidays you take as we have to staff for your child’s place for the whole year.

Do the children go out on trips?

Yes. Subject to parental permission all children will be given the opportunity to go on trips and outings in the local community. This may be to the local park, shops, museum or beach.

What happens if I can’t get to pick my child up?

If you know that someone different will be picking your child up then please give us a description of the person and a password; we will sometimes ask them for your child’s date of birth. Once we know these people a password isn’t necessary but please inform us that they will be picking up your child.

Does the nursery have a full set of policies and procedures?

Yes, we have policies and procedures covering all aspects of the Nursery provision. A parent policy folder is available in the reception area of all of our Nurseries.

How do you ensure safe recruitment of staff?

Tops Day Nurseries have effective systems in place to check the suitability of those who have contact with children in our care. This includes a disclosing and barring service check, suitability of qualifications and opportunities to disclose any convictions, cautions or court orders that may affect their suitability.