Frequently Asked Questions
We believe that at Immaculate Tots we bring a different element to childcare that not many other providers provide. We feel that we offer a more family inclusive environment and that our approach to providing care, warmth and our staff’s ability to knowing both the children and their families, allows the children, families and staff to be working all together to provide the best outcomes for the child. Additionally, our nursery is based upon the Reggio Emilia Approach, this approach is very child centred with the child leading their learning from the very first day they walk through our doors. We fully recognise them as individuals in their own rights on their own learning journey. This approach also enables practitioners to engage on the child’s learning journey with them, using the environment as a key tool in the learning and the practitioners helping to facilitate the child’s interests.
We use the Reggio Approach because we believe that it encompasses all areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage which is the non-statutory guidance that all early year’s settings follow. More importantly, the Reggio Approach is child centred, child friendly and allows the child to be educators within their own learning based upon their own interests. Please see the diagram below which helps to explain the cycle of inquiry based learning which helps the child to grow, learn and develop their natural inquisitive abilities and talents. There are many key factors that enable the child to learn and develop; the environment is a key factor in supporting the child’s natural abilities to be a competent and active learner. The practitioners are seen as facilitators in the child’s learning journey. Within the Reggio Approach we use a great deal of natural resources to enhance and extend the children’s learning. As you tour around the nursery you will find that we have lots of natural resources, ranging from fir cones, to pine cones to wooden toys and that these promote and develop the children’s play and learning.
The nursery opens Monday to Friday from 8am and closes at 6pm for 52 weeks of the year, excluding Bank Holidays.
If your child is still on formula, you may either bring in some made up bottles or provide us with the formula powder that we can make up as and when required. We will need a supply of nappies and wipes, plus if they are using any nappy cream this is important too. If your child needs a comforter and any medications your child maybe taking these will be needed to be brought in. Please make sure that we have at least one set of spare clothes (extra please when they are potty training). Do make sure that you bring in the relevant clothing too for the weather, for example wellie boots, rain coats, sun cream and hats, scarves and gloves.
Yes we do.
We always recommend 2 settling in sessions for two hours each time. Settling sessions are generally booked the week before your child’s official start date. The first session we will ask you to remain with your child for approximately half an hour, so that your child’s key worker can chat to you and get to know your child and your family a bit more. We will ask you about your child’s routines, likes, dislikes etc… This will enable the key worker to get a better understanding of how the child likes their day structured. After that, please feel free to go for a short walk, grab a coffee until you come back to collect them. Additionally, this will also help your child to understand that whilst you may go, you will be returning shortly. Promoting your child’s confidence in preparation for the start of full sessions at the nursery. On your child’s second settling session, we ask for you to drop your child off with their key worker in the reception area and come back a couple of hours later. This helps your child to understand that this is the normal part of their nursery routine.
We ask that you please pay your deposit and admin fee (if necessary) before the first settling session, this just ensures that your child’s place is secure and that everything is ready to go before their official start date.
We always ensure that we have a high staff to child ratio, this is in line with the Ofsted guidelines for child to staff ratio’s. This is because we believe that children are the most important in everything that we do. Therefore, we like to ensure that they have enough adults around them to continually meet their needs.
- For children aged under 2 year’s old, there is 1 adult for every 3 children
- For children aged 2 – 3 year’s old, there is 1 adult for every 4 children.
- For children aged 3 year’s or older, there is 1 adult for every 8 children.
For outings, we have a higher staff to child ratio.
- Children aged under 2 year’s old, will have 1 adult for every 2 children.
- Children aged 2 – 3 year’s of age, will have 1 adult to every 3 children.
- Children aged 3 year’s and older, will have 1 adult for every 6 children.
Your child will have a named key worker too, who will be able to understand and build a relationship with yourselves and your child that will help them to flourish.
We believe that as well as experience, having good qualifications in childcare is important for the development and for the understanding of children’s needs especially at such a young age.We carefully selected every member of staff. They are all qualified, from level 3 to degree level (BA in Childhood development) with Early Years Professional Status.
We have a locked door system at the front of the nursery. Throughout the nursery we have CCTV and our garden is fully enclosed. All our staff have Enhanced Criminal Bureau checks undertaken, until this is received they are never left in the room unsupervised.
Staff will give a handover at the end of your child’s session so that you are aware of what has happened during the day. We use an online portal called Famly which you can log in throughout the day to see what your child has done from when they slept, to what they ate, nappy changes etc. We encourage you to login and read your child’s online learning journey any time you wish – this has lots of photos and observations of your child whilst they are at Immaculate Tots. We also encourage parents to comment on any observations or to post observations of their children outside of the setting. All parents are invited to bi-annual parents’ slots, where you can discuss your child’s development with their keyworker.
We actively encourage parents and other family members to come into our setting, we have an ‘Open Door’ policy which means that parents, careers, other family members are actively encouraged to be part of the Immaculate Tots Family. As the child’s first educators, we believe that you are all just as important, because ‘happy children equal happy parents’ and this means that we are fulfilling our aim of providing happy and high quality childcare.
Some of our recent events include a Mother’s Day assembly, a Father’s Day breakfast, a Valentines Day Family hunt and parent play and stay sessions. These are just a few of the events we have held this year already. We have many more planned for the next year to come.
We have a number of children with various food intolerances, allergies and different food requirements. We will always meet with the parent’s and child beforehand to find out what your child’s requirements are and how we can help with this. We are a nut free setting and encourage all our parents whose children bring a home packed lunch to have a healthy lunchbox (please see our policies page for the Healthy Eating Policy). We provide a healthy hot lunch (at a cost of £4 (supplied by HC3S term time only) and a cold tea option (made in-house) at a cost of £2. We also provide healthy snacks and a drink of milk, water at no extra cost. Fresh drinking water is always available to all children throughout the day.
We may ask you to provide some speciality foods if required, such as gluten free bread, goats milk etc….
We will always contact you immediately if your child is taken ill. We do not give children Calpol and ask that if your child is requiring Calpol to keep them well, that they remain off Immaculate Tots until this is no longer needed. On rare occasions we may ask for permission to give Calpol etc, this is because the child has a very high temperature or is in a great deal of pain from an accident for example, other times we will ask you to come and collect your child if they are not well enough to be in or have a contagious illness. In the interests of all children it is important that your child is well before returning to Immaculate Tots.
We kindly ask that parents ring or message us via email or Famly and let us know if their child will not be in nursery. Unfortunately, no refund can be made if your child doesn’t attend nursery owing to illness.
We are aware that on occasions you maybe late because of an overrunning appointment or traffic problems, as long as we are contacted and made aware of this we are happy for your child to remain in the setting until either the parent’s or the emergency contact person can come and collect the child. However, failing to notify us or if the lateness becomes a regular occurrence we reserve the right to charge £5 for every 15 minutes delay, this is because we have to ensure that there are two members of staff to wait with your child until they are collected for safeguarding purposes. If we are unaware that you are going to be late we will endeavour to contact you and/or your emergency contacts – should we be unable to contact anyone we will follow our Uncollected Child Procedure.
If you know that someone different will be picking your child up then give us a description of the person and a form of Identification and a password; we will sometimes ask them for your child’s date of birth. Once we know these people, a password is not necessary but please inform us beforehand that they will be picking up your child.
We are happy to book extra sessions, extend the day earlier or longer as long as it does not affect the high requirements we have for the adult to staff ratios. We will always add these on an advocacy session and they will be added to your next month’s bill. If you require your child to have a meal, please ensure you message the manager before 9.15am on the morning of the meal so that this can be booked in advance.
Yes, we have policies and procedures covering all aspects of child welfare, staffing etc. They are available to view in our reception area and please click here for a set of our policies online. We review our policies once a year, or more often should there be a need, for example a change in regulations/legislation.
Please click here for our fee’s page. we review our fees every December for implementation in January. When children become funded from the age of 3 year’s onwards, we make a charge for the hot lunches of £4 a day if your child’s session runs beyond 12pm and a charge for the cold tea of £2 if your child stays beyond 3.30pm.
Fees are charged a month in advance coming out on the first of the month. All fees are multiplied by 52 weeks of the year and then divided by 12 months of the year to give you the same billing amount per month. We find this helps instead of receiving different billing amounts every month. You will receive an invoice via our online portal Famly, which is broken down into the various segments to make it easy for you to understand. The manager will always be able to answer any questions regarding your bill if needed.
We accept most of the main childcare voucher schemes, if you are not sure if we accept yours please do message us and we will look into this for you. We are also registered to take the Government Tax Free scheme too.
Not at present, we may consider this in the future.
Certain children are entitled to the 15 hours funding for 2 year olds. If you think you may be entitled to this funding, please look at the following website: http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/child-care-free-early-education-funding-for-2-year-olds
Every child can claim 15 hours of nursery education from the term after their 3rd birthday, these run from September – December, January – March and April – September. Our manager will help with any paperwork that may be required. The grant is only received for 38 weeks of the year; we divide your contribution over 12 months so that you pay the same amount each month.
There are certain requirements to be able to access the 15 hours extended entitlement, which would allow you 30 free hours of childcare. Please see the website below to find out if you are eligible. Parents are responsible for applying for this, you must check your code every 3 months when a reminder is sent as the staff at Immaculate Tots are not allowed to do this for you. When you receive your code, we will need your code, your NI number and your permission to validate your code.