At First Steps Nursery, we focus on working with parents to understand more about their child’s development.
We like parents to feel welcome into the nursery and we invite them to share their interests with the children.
We like to work in partnership with parents to successfully settle their child into the nursery and continue this relationship throughout the child’s time at nursery.
Parents are encouraged to share their child’s observations and to look at their child’s portfolio as parental involvement is beneficial to children’s learning and development of self esteem.
We believe that children benefit most from early years education and care when parents and settings work together in partnership. Home observation forms can be completed if a parent comments on something a child does at home.
Your child will sometimes get paint, food or glue on their clothes, so please send them in practical clothes, NOT best clothes!
We ask you to provide:
Please ensure that all clothes are labelled with your child’s name.
Leaving your child at nursery for the first time is stressful but by working together, exchanging information regularly and taking part in nursery life whenever possible, this difficult time will become a very positive experience for all of us.
There are no hard and fast rules to settling children into nursery, every child is different and we make sure that their specific needs are catered for.
We encourage all parents to take advantage of our settling in sessions where you and your child get the opportunity to familiarise yourselves with the nursery and the team who will be looking after you.
The time and number of these sessions can fit around your needs and can be arranged through discussion between you, the nursery management team and the wider team.
Our teams are highly experienced at helping children settle in and quickly adapt to daily life in our nurseries.
To do this we:
At First Steps Nursery we plan each day to nurture your child’s imagination and build their confidence through praise, recognition and support. The overall structure and rhythm of the day is specific to your child’s room but designed to encourage them to flourish and naturally inspire them to love learning.
Morning starts with the hustle and bustle of arrivals, with breakfast being offered to the early birds (up to 8.15am). Our nursery staff are experienced in settling children into nursery so drop off is a crucial time for you to update us on whether your child has slept or whether they have woken up upset for any reason.
Because our nursery staff will get to know your child well, they will encourage them to join in or select an activity or area of play that they particularly enjoy.
Lunch is generally between 11.00am – 11.30am. We place great importance in eating in ‘family’ groupings, talking about our meal, and making it a relaxing and enjoyable time for everyone. We aim to ensure your child enjoys a wide range of healthy meals
Younger babies will probably need a number of sleeps during the day, and as they get older this will reduce to one sleep, usually after lunch. We will always endeavour to enable your child to sleep when they want to, and will also work with you to establish a routine that suits their specific needs.
Throughout the afternoon your child will enjoy a range of activities designed to enable them to play and explore, discover and grow, learn and understand. Every activity will be tailored to their liking and they will be encouraged to build their confidence and understanding though praise, recognition and support.
Between 3.00pm – 3.30pm the children sit down to tea, this meal again consists of a hot main course and a pudding.
When you arrive to take your child home, our nursery teams will be available to share any information about their day, pass on any important messages and to chat with you about what they are learning and how they are developing.
Children’s Development Files
All achievements & milestones of development are recorded in your child’s development file which is a record of their time at Nursery and will include photographs, activities, and ‘works of art’!
Children are assessed using the Early Years Foundation Stage for guidance. All children have their own individual development file where observations on the children playing are recorded. You are welcome to view your child’s development file at any time.
We have an open door policy so meetings with your child’s key worker can be arranged at any time.
All children also have a scrap book during their time at nursery filled with photographs as a keepsake.
A working partnership between parents and First Steps Nursery is viewed as essential in providing for the needs of individual children.
Communication with parents is therefore given a high priority when considering nursery policies and procedures. The nursery keeps parents informed in the following ways:
We also welcome feedback both verbally and via questionnaires. For more serious concerns we have a Complaints Policy and Safeguarding Children Policy.
All First Steps Nursery Policies and Procedures are accessible to parents. Full policy files will always be made available for parents who may wish to view them. However, we understand that often parents just want to know the main features of the policy and who to go to if they need more information.
In order to meet specific requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and Childcare Register we must ensure that information is exchanged with parents regarding our Safeguarding Children Policy, Complaints Policy and the procedures which are followed if a child goes missing. Extracts of each of the policies are listed below. If you require any further information please contact a member of management and request a copy of the document concerned.
It is the aim of the Safeguarding Children Policy for all staff to be aware of the signs and symptoms of abuse and to follow the procedures and to support the 5 outcomes of Every Child Matters. First Steps Nursery will work with children, parents and the community to ensure the safety of children and to give them the best start in life. We create, in our nursery, an environment in which children are safe from abuse and in which any suspicion of abuse is promptly and appropriately responded to. Staff at First Steps Nursery are committed to safeguarding children’s welfare whilst meeting their individual needs. Staff accept and recognise their responsibility androle in safeguarding children. We have a duty to protect others from harm, especially the most vulnerable and particularly the children in our care.Staff follow the procedures set in place by Wigan Safeguarding Children Board.
All staff who work at First Steps Nursery undergo and enhanced disclosure (CRB), no unvetted adults will be left unsupervised with children. Any allegations against a member of staff will be treated seriously and investigated immediately. The management team will take appropriate action as quickly as possible. Any allegations made against staff will be reported to OFSTED and they will be kept informed of the outcomes of any investigations. We take safeguarding children issues very seriously. It should be therefore noted that action would be taken against any person making allegations that are found to be malicious, mischievous or vexatious.
The Safeguarding Officers are:
Mrs. Jacqueline Grimshaw
Mrs. Amy Watson
Miss. Mary Higgins
For the full Safeguarding Children Policy please see the main policy files in nursery.
First Steps Nursery encourages parents and carers to share any concerns they may have regarding the running of the nursery as soon as a problem or issue arises. In this respect First Steps Nursery believes that dealing with a complaint at an early stage is the best way to prevent a problem from escalating. First Steps Nursery believes that children and parents are entitled to expect courtesy and prompt, careful attention to their needs and wishes. We welcome suggestions on how to improve First Steps Nursery and will give prompt and serious attention to any concerns about the running of the First Steps Nursery. We anticipate that most concerns will be resolved quickly by an informal approach to the appropriate member of staff. If this does not achieve the desired result, we have a set of procedures for dealing with concerns
First Steps Nursery would rather know about problems at an early stage so that it can investigate and put into place any necessary adjustments andimprovements.
Parents should be aware of the complaints procedure and urged to use it in order to try and minimise concerns escalating before they are resolved.
Any parent who is uneasy about an aspect of the nursery’s provision, talks over, first of all, his/her worries and anxieties with your child’s key person or Head of Room.
If this does not have a satisfactory outcome, or if the problem recurs, the parent moves to Stage 2 of the procedure by speaking to a member of the management team.
If this does not have a satisfactory outcome, or if the problem recurs, the parent moves to Stage 3 of the procedure by putting the concerns or complaint in writing to the manager. All complaints will be answered within 28 days. Most complaints should be able to be resolved informally at Stage 1 or at Stage 2. Complaints will then be entered onto a nursery complaint form.
The parent requests a meeting with the nursery proprietor/manager. An agreed written record of the discussion is made. All of the parties present at the meeting sign the record and receive a copy of it. This signed record signifies that the procedure has concluded.
Parents can contact Ofsted directly if they have concerns about any aspect of registered child provision. Ofsted will consider and investigate all complaints received.
The contact number for Ofsted is 0300 123 1231.
Further details of the complaints procedure are available on request from management.
Parents are encouraged to follow nursery procedures when dropping off and collecting children. This ensures that staff are fully aware of the children attending the session and allows for regular head counts to be taken. In the event of a child going missing the following procedure must be followed:
Inform the manager or person in charge;
The manager gathers all the staff and children together and mark those children against the register;
The manager or person in charge and a staff member will undertake an area search, this includes the entire building, cupboards etc and the immediate play areas outside of the building; Should the child not be located, then the manager or person in charge will contact the police and the parents/carers of the child immediately.
A report will be written up as soon as possible after the event and a copy sent to Ofsted with an action plan.
For a complete list of policies we have in nursery please see the Policy Page. You are welcome to view these policies in full at any time.
The EYFS Framework exists to support all professionals working in the EYFS to help your child, and was developed with a number of early years experts and parents. The framework has been revised to make it clearer and easier to use, with more focus on the things that matter most. The new revised framework is statutory from September 2012. This new framework also has a greater emphasis on your role in helping your child develop.
It will set out:
What does it mean for me as a parent?
Ensuring my child’s safety
Much thought has been given to making sure that your child is as safe as possible. Within the EYFS there is a set of welfare standards that everyone must follow. These include the numbers of staff required in a nursery, and things like administering medicines and carrying out risk assessments.
You can find out about the quality of early years providers in relation to the EYFS Framework by checking what the Government’s official inspection body for early years, Ofsted, has to say about it. You can find this information at www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report or view First Steps Nursery’s at www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/CARE/EY101522
How my child will be learning
The EYFS Framework explains how and what your child will be learning to support their healthy development.
Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.
Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These are:
These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning. As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:
These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. The professionals teaching and supporting your child at First Steps Nursery will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs. This is a little bit like a curriculum in primary schools, but it’s suitable for very young children, and it’s designed to be really flexible so that staff can follow your child’s unique needs and interests.
Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.
As a mum/dad or carer, how can I help with my child’s learning?
All the fun activities that you do with your child at home are important in supporting their learning and development, and have a really long lasting effect on your child’s learning as they progress through school.
Even when your child is very young and is not yet able to talk, talking to them helps them to learn and understand new words and ideas. If you make the time to do some of the following things with your child it will make a real difference to your child’s confidence as a young learner.
How can I find out how my child is getting on?
It is important that you and the professionals caring for your child work together. You need to feel comfortable about exchanging information and discussing things that will benefit your child. These conversations will need to be with your child’s “key person”. This is the person who:
When your child is 2
At some point after your child turns 2, the staff at First Steps nursery will give you a written summary of how your child is progressing against the 3 prime areas of learning:
This is called the progress check at age 2 and is done when your child is approximately 30 months.
This check will highlight areas where your child is progressing well and any where they might need some extra help or support – and how mums and dads and other family members or carers can work with the key person to help. You might find it useful to share the information from the check with other professionals such as health visitors (who can use it as part of the health and development review).
Where can I go for further information?
The most important place to find out more is by asking staff within your child’s rooms, we welcome parents asking as many questions as they need to.
You may want to find out what is on offer at your local sure start children’s centre.
You can find the Early Years Foundation Stage which includes the early learning goals at www.foundationyears.org.uk. The foundation years website also includes a range of resources and contacts.
This guide provides important information relating to salary sacrifice and Childcare Vouchers.
1. What is salary sacrifice?
A salary sacrifice happens when an employee gives up the right to receive part of the cash pay due under his or her contract of employment. Usually the sacrifice is made in return for the employer’s agreement to provide the employee with some form of non-cash benefit. The “sacrifice” is achieved by varying the employee’s terms and conditions of employment relating to pay. Salary sacrifice is a matter of employment law, not tax law. Where an employee agrees to a salary sacrifice in return for a non-cash benefit, they give up their contractual right to future cash remuneration.
At First Steps Nursery we accept many different childcare vouchers already such as Edenred, Busy Bees, Fideliti, Sodexo etc and we would be happy to consider new ones.
2. When is salary sacrifice effective?
Salary sacrifice arrangements are effective when the contractual right to cash pay has been reduced.
For that to happen two conditions have to be met:
3. When is salary sacrifice not effective?
A salary sacrifice is ineffective if, in practice, the arrangement enables the employee to continue to be entitled to the higher level of cash remuneration. In other words he/she has merely asked the employer to apply part of that cash remuneration on his behalf.
4. Key considerations for employees
When entering a salary sacrifice arrangement to replace part of cash pay with a benefit that is tax and/or NIC’s exempt it is essential to understand what the sacrifice will mean in practical terms. Employees should consider carefully the effect, or potential effect, that a reduction in their pay may have on:
Support with the costs of childcare is available through the childcare element of Working Tax Credit. See the HM Revenue & Customs website to view the Tax Credit guidance notes.
Help with childcare costs – do you qualify for extra tax credits?
If you work, you could get extra tax credits to help with your childcare costs. You can claim as soon as you start paying for childcare, and only for the amounts that are actually paid by you.
Who can qualify?
You’re a lone parent
You must work 16 hours or more a week to claim help with childcare costs.
You’re part of a couple
Generally you and your partner must both work 16 hours or more a week to claim help. Only one of you has to work 16 hours or more if the other is:
You’re off work – can you still claim?
There are situations where you can still claim for help with childcare costs. These are explained below.
You’re on maternity, paternity or adoption leave
If you were working at least 16 hours a week immediately before you went on leave – and any of the following apply:
How much help you can get
You can get help with up to 70% of your childcare costs – up to certain limits.
If you pay childcare for:
This means that the maximum help you can get for your childcare is:
But you won’t necessarily get the full £122.50 or £210 a week – the actual amount you get will depend on your income. The lower your income, the more tax credits you can get.
What income limits apply?
There is no set income limit for help with childcare costs.
A couple with 1 child, paying £175 a week for childcare, will still get some tax credits with an annual income as high as £41,000. But this is only a very general guide.
It’s important to know that:
You can use ‘at a glance’ entitlement tables to get a rough idea of the help you could get. These tables show yearly amounts of tax credits based on different amounts of income – but they don’t cover every situation.
If you want a better idea of how much you could get, there’s also an online tax credits calculator you can use.
Childcare costs you can’t claim for through tax credits
You can’t claim for:
You can still claim for any childcare costs that you actually pay for yourself. For example, if your employer pays part of your childcare costs in vouchers, you can make a claim for the rest
If your employer offers you childcare vouchers
There is an online calculator to help you decide whether you’re better off taking the vouchers or not.
Tax Credit Helpline – 0345 300 3900
For general information about tax credits
8.00 am to 8.00 pm, Monday to Friday
8.00 am to 4.00 pm Saturday
When you sign your child up to start at First Steps Nursery we take a deposit to hold the place. The deposit is two times your weekly price. We retain your deposit while your child is in nursery and it is taken off your final fees when you give 4 full weeks notice to leave the nursery. Nursery fees must be paid in advance in your child’s first day in nursery each week. Fees can be paid by cash, cheque or standing order.
|5 Days||£177.50||Per day||£35.50|
|4 Days||£150.00||Per day||£37.50|
|3 Days||£118.50||Per day||£39.50|
|2 Days||£90.00||Per day||£45.00|
|1 Day||£46.50||Per day||£46.50|
|5 am/pm||£105.00||Per day||£21.00|
|3 am/pm||£84.00||Per day||£28.00|
|2 am/pm||£58.00||Per day||£29.00|
Morning Session- 8.00am-1.00pm
Prices are fully inclusive of the opening hours/session times. It also includes nappies, wipes and a variety of creams. The price also includes breakfast (up to 8:15am), mid morning snack, hot home cooked meal for lunch, hot home cooked meal for tea and an afternoon snack.
All children receive government funding the school term after they turn 3 years old receiving 15 hours free nursery education. A separate price is given each term for children accessing funding which incorporates the free 15 hours and your child can continue to attend nursery for the full opening times. Please telephone for details. If your child already attends nursery you do not need to do anything unless you wish to change your session times, as we apply for the funding on your behalf.
The date that your child becomes eligible for the funding are set nationally and are shown in the following table:
|If Child’s 3rd birthday falls between:||Child becomes eligible for the ‘free entitlement’:|
|1 September – 31 December||Spring Term
In January after their third birthday
|1 January – 31 March||Summer Term
In April after their third birthday
|1 April – 31 August||Autumn Term
In September after their third birthday
We also offer ‘free places’ when a child receives funding which can be accessed for just 38 weeks a year.
How much time can my child have free?
• Up to 15 hours each week
• 38 weeks a year in school term times only
What is included in a free place?
Some 2 year old are also eligible for free funded places. The criteria is set both nationally and locally. To find out if your child is eligible for 2 year old funding please contact your local sure start centre.
Out of School Club
|5 Days||£70.00||Per day||£14.00|
|4 Days||£64.00||Per day||£16.00|
|3 Days||£48.00||Per day||£16.00|
|2 Days||£32.00||Per day||£16.00|
|1 Day||£16.00||Per day||£16.00|
|5 Days||£125.00||Per day||£25.00|
|4 Days||£104.00||Per day||£26.00|
|3 Days||£78.00||Per day||£26.00|
|2 Days||£52.00||Per day||£26.00|
|1 Day||£26.00||Per day||£26.00|
We close on Bank Holidays (fees still payable). We also close for the period between Christmas and the New Year. During this period you will have one week where fees are not payable.
To ensure that children in our care are collected by authorised adults only, the following procedures will be adhered to by our staff:
We’ve provided some information for you with regards to policies and actions in the event of any of the circumstances listed below. If you can’t find the information you need please ask one of the nursery management team or contact us by email at email@example.com or by telephone.
If your child is ill please refer to our Sick Children Policy. We do not permit the pro-rata reduction of payment of fees if your child is absent from nursery due to illness (or holidays) whilst the nursery is open therefore full payment will still be required.
If you are unavoidably delayed and expect to be late collecting your child from nursery please contact the nursery as soon as possible to advise them.
If you would like to book extra sessions or cancel your child’s place at nursery please contact the nursery management team in the first instance. We can not accommodate transferring one day for another except in exceptional circumstances and any swaps can only be authorised by Mrs Green (proprietor). Notice to leave the nursery must be put in writing. Notice should be given at the beginning of your child’s week and must be at least 4 full weeks notice.
If you are experiencing financial difficulties please contact the nursery management team as soon as possible.
If you have any feedback regarding the care, safety, welfare or education of your child, please speak to the management team or call our main branch at Lowton on 01942 678803 and ask to speak to Mrs Sandra Green (nursery proprietor).
‘We spent a lot of time looking for a nursery, though from the first visit we knew first steps was right for us. Everyone was so welcoming and Charlie felt right at home. You have helped her grow over the past few years and given her confidence to do things on her own. She has made some great friends and had lots of fun and is very excited to be joining your school’
‘Thank you for all the love and care you have shown to Meredith. She has grown into a fantastic little girl and you have all played a massive part in her journey.’
‘Thank you for looking after me and helping me to settle in when I started you have all done a brill job of taking care of me. I will miss you even though I am only next door.’
‘Thank you so much for all of the hard work, time and effort you all put into making William’s experiences so happy! He loved your room and has developed lots! Thanks again.’
‘Thank you for keeping Archie happy and safe. Your staff are amazing and a credit to you and your business. By giving me and my husband piece of mind allows us to run our business.’
‘Thank you so much for all looking after Emily over the past 3 years. She’s loved coming to nursery everyday. She will be sad to say goodbye but will only be next door at school.’
Children’s feedback – we asked our children the following question
What do you like about coming to nursery?
What could make nursery even better?