Prospectus 2019 – Great Chart and Singleton Pre-School

 

Great Chart and Singleton

Preschool Prospectus

(Updated July 2019)

 

Ofsted rating Outstanding May 2018

“teaching is inspirational”

 

Registered Charity no 295122

Ofsted Number 127208

 

www.greatchartandsingletonpreschool.co.uk

 

Singleton Village Hall

Hoxton Close
Singleton

Ashford

Kent

TN23 5LB

 

Manager Mrs Michelle Beerensson

Early Years Designated Safeguarding Lead

Deputy Mrs Nicola Perry

Early Years Designated Safeguarding Lead

Telephone Number 01233 640551

For Enrolment/Fees enquires

contact Tracy Gorham-Brown on 07784915943

or greatchartsingletonpreschool@gmail.com

 

Facilities

We meet in Singleton Village Hall.  We have the use of the main hall, small hall, and safe kitchen inaccessible to children during sessions, toilets with wash basins, and we have a safe garden area.  During session times the main doors are locked for the children’s safety.

Our Aims

We strive to provide a safe happy environment for your children to enjoy their pre-school years, for them to learn through play, experience and most of all to learn whilst having fun.

General Information

We are a committee run pre-school and a registered charity.  We do not make a profit, our funds pay for staff wages, rent, training and resources. We keep our fees competitive and raise funds for various extra activities.

We received the Kent Quality Mark in Jan 2011 which is an accreditation scheme awarded to settings who have completed a programme of evaluation and workshops. We successfully completed the re-accreditation for the Kent Quality Mark in December 2013.

Ofsted 

We are Ofsted registered and adhere to the high standards that Ofsted requires of all registered early years settings.  Our last Ofsted inspection was in May 2018 where we received an “outstanding” rating. The report can be accessed online or if you prefer we can supply you with a copy. Some of the quotes from Ofsted during the latest inspection include:

“Teaching is inspirational”

“Children make excellent progress from their starting points, including those who have special needs”

“Staff have excellent relationships with children and their families”

The Early Years Foundation Stage 

The foundation stage follows through pre-school years and continues until the end of foundation year at primary school. During this stage all early years settings and primary school foundation classes must develop the following seven areas of learning.  They are as follows:

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Communication and Language

Physical Development

Literacy

Mathematics

Understanding the world

Expressive Art and Design

We are required to observe, analyse and plan for each child’s progress in these areas and record some of these observations in the form of a journal. You are welcome to see the journal at any time and your child's key person will offer you the journal to take home on a regular basis.  You, your friends or family are welcome to add comments/photos or anything else that may be of interest to the journal.

Nowadays the emphasis in early year’s education is focused on learning through play, and not by using worksheets and other writing based activities.  We take advice from other early years professionals, agencies, organisations and local primary schools on how best to incorporate new innovative developments and have discovered that by putting these consistently into practice, we can only enhance a child’s early years development.

Key Person System

We allocate a key person before your child joins us. The key person will introduce themselves and ask you questions about your child’s likes and dislikes, siblings etc. using a form called “Getting to Know You”.  This helps us to build up a picture of your child’s interests and enables us to make sure that we select activities that your child will like on the days they attend pre-school.

The key person will encourage your child’s development using guide lines set by the government within the early year’s foundation stage and will monitor your child’s progress using observations, adult led targeted activities and input from you and your child.

Session Days and Times

Monday  am               9.00am  –  12 noon    Monday full day  9.00am  –  3.00pm *

Tuesday  am               9.00am  –  12noon    Tuesday full day  9.00am  –  3.00pm

Wednesday am           9.00am  –  12noon    Wednesday full day 9.00am -3.00pm*

Thursday   am            9.00am  –  12noon    Thursday full day 9.00am-3.00pm*

Friday am                  9.00am – 12.00 noon

Morning sessions are available to all children from the age of 2 ½.  *Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday afternoon sessions are only available to children the year prior to starting school. All sessions are allocated subject to availability.

Children in receipt of Free Early Education for 3 and 4year olds can access any of these sessions but children in receipt of Free Early Education for 2year olds must take their sessions in the mornings only.

Pricing Policy

We are a committee run pre-school and a registered charity.  We do not make a profit, our funds pay for staff wages, rent, training and resources. We keep our fees competitive and raise funds for various extra activities.

Our fee structure is fully inclusive of all drinks and snacks but children attending the afternoon sessions should bring a packed lunch. We are open for 38 weeks per year, closing on Bank Holidays and our term dates can be found on our website.

Our fees do not include any outings, celebrations or entertainment that is in addition to our usual session activities.

Fees

Fees are payable half termly in advance, in accordance with the rates in force at the time.  Fees are reviewed annually and any changes to current rates will be advised in writing, at least one half term in advance. From September 2018 fee prices will be £16.50 per three hour session (morning or afternoon) or £33.00 for a full day.

Illness / Absence

No refund will be given in the event of a child’s absence due to illness, holiday or any other reason.

Closures

Should the pre-school/nursery be unable to open due to bad weather or any other unforeseen circumstances, parents will be refunded for a chargeable session or have it discounted from their next invoice.  Should closure need to take place part way through a session, a refund will not be given in this instance.

Late pick up

Children must be collected promptly at the end of a session/day.  Should a parent fail to collect their child within 15 minutes of the session/day end, a late collection fee of £10 will be charged, and a further £10 per 15 minutes thereafter. You are welcome to ring the bell and collect your child earlier if you need to collect other children from primary school.

Late Payments

Fees are to be paid within 2 weeks of the invoice date.  If you are experiencing financial hardship please speak, in confidence, to Tracy Gorham-Brown so that alternative payment arrangements can be made.  If without negotiation, fees are not settled, we are left with no alternative but to withdraw your child’s place and if necessary take legal action to recover the amount owed.  Children in receipt of Free Early Education will be unable to access any additional fee-paying hours until outstanding fees are settled.

Payment methods

Invoices can be settled by cheques made payable to Great Chart and Singleton Preschool, BACS using the bank details on the bottom of the invoice or through childcare vouchers. If planning to use childcare vouchers, please contact Tracy Gorham-Brown to ensure we are registered with the company you plan to use.  

FREE EARLY EDUCATION (FEE)

The following information details how your child can access their FEE hours at this pre-school. All children become eligible for 15 hours per week (term time) of Free Early Education the term after they become 3. Some 2year olds may also be eligible for funding (Free for Two). An additional 15 hours of Free Early Education (FEE) may be available to 3 and 4year old children whose parents fulfil certain criteria. Parents/carers are asked to check with the preschool to find out if their child qualifies.

A child is eligible for FEE at the start of the term after their second (if eligible), or third birthday in line with the Department for Education table below:

A CHILD BORN ON OR BETWEEN

WILL BECOME ELIGIBLE FOR A FREE PLACE FROM

1st April and 31st August

Start of term 1, in September, following their 2nd/3rd birthday

1st September and 31st December

Start of term 3, in January, following their 2nd/3rd birthday

1st January and 31st March

Start of term 5, in April, following their 2nd/3rd birthday

 

For all 2year old children accessing their FEE hours only, the sessions accessible are Monday to Friday 9am – 12pm. Sessions are allocated subject to availability.

For all 3 and 4year old children accessing their FEE hours only, the sessions accessible are Monday to Friday 9am – 12pm or Monday to Thursday 12pm – 3pm or Monday to Thursday 9am – 3pm. Sessions are allocated subject to availability.

Children attending non-funded days/sessions in addition to their FEE will be charged at our current rates per 3hour session.  You will be invoiced in the usual way showing how many free hours your child is receiving in that period and what the additional charges are.

Please note that the preschool is open for 27 hours a week and we may not be able to offer your child their full quota of FEE hours but the FEE can be split between 2 providers up to a maximum of 15 hours (30 where eligible)

Data Protection

We only collect the data we feel is necessary and store it safely and in a confidential manner. The Preschool Administrator, with support from the Manager, is responsible for data protection within the preschool. Your information enables us to contact you whilst your child is in our care, apply for funding, ensure your child is picked up by authorised individuals and we have relevant medical and allergy information. Families are entitled to view this data at any time and are entitled to refuse to provide certain pieces of data and / or refuse permission to process it. We do not sell your information to a third party but may share with appropriate agencies such as transition forms to primary schools or safeguarding information. We do not keep data for any longer than necessary.

What we want from you 

We want all children to feel secure and happy at our setting and toileting can sometimes be a cause of concern for both parents and children.  Please feel free to discuss your child's toileting preferences with your child's key person and we will do our best to accommodate. We do have spare clothes but it is advisable to bring in a named bag with a change of clothes for your child. Our staff have to adhere to strict health and safety regulations and wear protective gloves when dealing with toilet accidents.  As we have no nappies/pull up disposal facilities at our setting we do expect our parents to take home any soiled items to dispose of.

All children go through a settling in period.  Please do not compare your child with others, as no two children are the same.  Some settle immediately others take quite some time.  You are welcome to stay with your child until they are happy.  Please feel free to discuss this process with a member of staff, all our staff are experienced in this process and will offer help and advice on how to make this stage as stress free as possible.

We expect children to be kind to other children and staff and we understand that for some children it will be their first of mixing with large numbers of children and sharing.  Pre-school is good learning ground for acceptable and appropriate behaviour and we promote this daily and appreciate parents/main carer’s support in this area. Our Manager and Senco are able to advise and support with any behaviour concerns.

Children create in different ways, we offer many opportunities to paint and create that produce an end product but equally we provide activities that promote creating without an end product using materials like foam, oats, pasta, clay and construction. If your child chooses not to create something to take home, it usually means they have been occupied elsewhere. We encourage children to use craft and paint resources how they want to use them rather than giving them a defined idea, for example keeping within lines and this object should be green.  Please do not expect your child to bring something home after every session.

What we do during a session (Morning sessions)

During these sessions the emphasis is very much on “Learning Through Play”.  The sessions are structured to provide time for news, stories, discussion and refreshments but also provide plenty of opportunities for free play and for children to select activities of their choice.

Every day there is a selection of paint/craft resources, a marking area which contains a variety of marking tools including crayon, pencil, chalk, etc., adult led activity table, home/role play area, dressing up clothes, play dough, large and small construction equipment and fantasy/imaginative activities. We use community blocks daily at our setting, which are wooden blocks and wooden platforms of various shapes and sizes that can be used with many other resources and they really allow children to use their imagination. Many items are in large trolleys and children can self select items of their choice. There is a good balance of adult led activities and child-initiated activities offered and staff are available to support children in all areas when appropriate.

We operate a café system for drinks and snacks.  They are asked to wash their hands and find their name card. They are then offered water, milk or juice, toast with butter, marmite or jam, (which they are encouraged to spread themselves) rice cakes, pitta bread or similar and a selection of fruit and vegetables.  They are allowed to have as much fruit and vegetables as they wish. We do not offer biscuits at snack time.  If you want to provide your own drink and snack (for dietary or health reasons) that is fine but please inform a member of staff and make sure the items are labelled. Please ensure that staff are aware of ALL food allergies as these are transferred on to their café name card.  If you would like more information on what food we offer please speak to a member of staff.

Some parents like to bring a treat for the other children when it is their child’s birthday.  Due to allergies and promotion of healthy eating please do not bring sweets in to give out. Shop bought cakes in packaging can be brought in and we will give these out at snack time.  We are afraid we can not accept home made cakes as we need to check ingredients carefully as we may have children with food allergies.

We completed a pilot scheme in 2010 for Kent County Council “Healthy Pre-Schools” this pilot has encouraged us to evaluate and improve all areas of physical development. We encourage children to participate in a rang of physical play both in and outdoors including dancing and singing and regularly offer music and movement using “Sticky Kids” exercise programme for children.  This encourages large and small movements using all parts of the body. All staff have done training on “Active Movers” and children are encouraged to take part in small bite sized activities during the day.

We have a safe fenced off area outside with a play and storage house. We have a wide range of resources, which include a mud kitchen, sand area, water channelling kit, a living willow tunnel, water butt etc. We have planted flowers and bulbs and hope to grow some produce.  Please be aware that the children learn and have a great deal of fun when outside and often get “messy” and ensure they are dressed in suitable clothing.  We use this area, for ball games, bikes, chalks, sand, water, oats and foam. The outside area provides opportunities to learn about the environment and encourage the children to explore the outside space and use natural materials.  We encourage the children to climb trees and they love to make dens and collect leaves, sticks etc. Many enjoy watching the wildlife available e.g. spider, worms, snails. We aim to go outside on a daily basis so please ensure your child has appropriate named clothing such as sun hats in the summer and hats, gloves and coats in the winter.

Afternoon Sessions (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday)

These sessions are only available to children the year before they go to primary school. This is so we can offer activities and resources to extend learning and promote independence before children start school.

For these sessions your child needs to bring a clearly labelled lunch box.  Lunch boxes are not refrigerated so please put a cool/chiller pack in your child’s lunch box. Lunch boxes are kept on a trolley and in cold weather we do have ceiling heaters on. Please make sure a spoon (if required) are supplied.  We can supply a drink of water or milk or you can provide a drink if you prefer. We promote healthy eating at pre-school so would appreciate it if children did not bring chocolate, sweets or fizzy drinks in their lunch boxes. We have a number of children with nut allergies so please do not provide peanut butter sandwiches for your child as just the smell can trigger a reaction. Please cut grapes, tomatoes or anything with a skin into half lengthways or if they are large, into quarters.

We provide a wide range of structured activities in the afternoon sessions, and often work in small key person groups.

Within the afternoon we often use a programme called “Write Dance” to encourage children’s pencil control.  This involves the children making structured large and small movements to music and then transferring these movements on to large sheets of paper on the wall.  This programme is used in both early years setting and primary schools.  It has proved very popular with our children.

At different times of the year we take the children on nature walks up to the Millennium Wood, or into Great Chart. We also walk to Singleton shops to discuss the local environment and visit the local residential home to sing songs to the residents

We enjoy a good relationship with Great Chart Primary School and our older children are invited to watch sports day and Christmas shows at the school.  During June and July, we have a number of visits from teachers/support staff to read stories and meet our older children.  These links with the school ensure a smooth transition for our children. We also enjoy good relationships with other schools that our children may go to and have many visits from teachers and staff during the transition period.

We feel it is very productive for foundation staff to meet pupils before they start school, so please pass our details to your child’s primary school within the summer term as we welcome visits from other schools that children may attend. When your child moves on to school we will write a summary of their progress.  With your permission we will pass this on to their next setting/school. We feel that spending time in these sessions will give your child the confidence to start school happy and relaxed and therefore make your child’s transition to school a happy and enjoyable experience for all of you.

Staff

Our team of staff are totally committed to delivering good quality early years education and they all have a wealth of experience to offer with recognised and relevant early years care and education qualifications. Our staff regularly take advantage of training offered by many organisations that specialise in early years.  These courses include, training on a variety of specialist needs, first aid, behaviour management, EYFS, courses on new initiatives/innovative ideas offered by the local authority. We aim to operate above the guided ratio of staff to children for each session.

Nicola Perry is our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (Senco) and will co-ordinate and implement any strategies supplied by outside agencies and will work closely with these agencies to ensure your child gets the support needed.

Our staff work extremely well as a team led by Michelle Beerensson (Manager) and assisted by Nicola Perry (Deputy Manager).  The staff are always available for discussions with parents, for specific enquires about your child please see your child’s key person.  We value parent’s comments and feedback is very important to us.  If there are any aspects which with you are unhappy, please see Michelle or NIcola who will do their best to deal with your concerns.

Our Setting is part of a local collaboration with other local settings which enables us to access training and share good practice. From time to time we offer placements to students from local collages and schools. We feel this is beneficial to both our children for them to meet new people and for the students to see first hand how an Early Year Setting works. Students are supervised at all times.

The Committee

Our pre-school is a registered charity run by a committee who themselves are parents of children attending our group and assist on a voluntary basis.  At least one committee member is available to speak to each morning at the registration table.

The pre-school staff and committee work together to provide a safe stimulating environment in which children develop and learn through play.  Both the staff and committee are happy to spend time with parents to ensure that the children get the very best care and attention.

The staff are very grateful to the committee for the hard work that they put in to running the preschool and organising fund-raising events to ensure that we can buy new and replace old equipment and fund activities beneficial to our children.

It is essential that there is a constant stream of new parents joining the committee to ensure the future of the preschool, which has been running for over 25 years. Joining the committee can be a good way of meeting new people and having an input in how money is spent and how the preschool is developed. You do not need any specialist skills to join our committee, and you do not need to take on an officer role. If you are interested in becoming a committee member, please speak to a member of the committee available at the registration desk or pass your name and number on to a staff member

Our Chairperson is Leesa Holden.

An Annual General Meeting is held in the autumn of each year and all parents of children attending our pre-school are invited to attend.  This is when the committee members are elected and at least 30% or parents are required to attend. Failure to do this means the pre-school would have to close

 

 

 

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