ST ANDREW’S PLAYGROUP
ST ANDREW’S CHURCH
TEL: 07979 092993
ST ANDREW’S PLAYGROUP
ST ANDREW’S CHURCH
TEL: 07979 092993
Here is some information about our Playgroup which we hope you will find interesting and helpful.
St Andrew’s Playgroup has been serving the local community since 1977. It aims to provide a safe, caring and happy environment in which children can develop mentally, physically and socially through activities and play. It has a large spacious play area, a separate smaller hall for quiet activities and storytime and a fenced garden for outdoor activities. The stimulating and varied curriculum seeks to help children to develop individual potential through both child initiated play and adult directed play.
Where vacancies permit, children are accepted into playgroup from the age of 2½. The playgroup operates a fully inclusive policy so all children are welcome.
St Andrew’s Playgroup has Ofsted reports, available to anyone wishing to see them. The Playgroup is also a member of the Pre-School Learning Alliance.
We hope that your child’s time in Playgroup will be a very happy and productive one. If you have any queries, or if we can be of any help, please contact us.
Please note: Throughout this document reference to ‘parents’ includes legal guardians, carers and child-minders.
Reg Charity No. 1026639
Nicola Chambers - Playgroup Manager – NAMCU Diploma in Nursery & SENCO, NVQ4 & SENCO Co-ordinator & Child Protection Co-ordinator
Sam Stevens – Deputy Playgroup Manager - NVQ4 & Designated Behaviour Management person - Designated Safeguarding Lead
Janet Hogg – Administration Co-ordinator
Karen Clark – NVQ4
Theresa Attwood – Early Years Educator Level 3 & Designated Health and Safety person
Emma Dawson - BTEC National Diploma in Early Years Level 3
Jenny Keeble - Cache Level 3 Diploma in Pre-School Practice
All staff have completed a 2 day First Aid child care training course appropriate to the children’s age group.
All staff hold a Child Protection Certificate and Food Hygiene Certificate
Members of the Committee as of 26th October 2017 are:
Janet Russell (Chair)
Marie Willmott (Treasurer)
Louise Maclean (Secretary)
Rita Brown (St Andrews United Reformed Church)
Hilary Cumming (St Andrews United Reformed Church)
Additional members of the Committee are always welcome and may be co-opted at any time. Any parent interested in joining the Committee should speak to the Playgroup Manager or any Committee member.
We also have a few parent volunteers who are willing to help at special events. If you would like to add your name to the list please tell one of the committee members.
Monday – Friday
9.30am – 12.30pm
Fees / Free Early Education (FEE)
At our pre-school/nursery we believe in open communication with all parents/carers and staff and are therefore presenting this fees structure in order to ensure that everyone fully understands our charging. Our fee structure is fully inclusive of all drinks and snacks. We are open for 38 weeks per year, closing on Bank Holidays. Our fees do not include any outings, celebrations or entertainment that is in addition to our usual session activities.
FEES: Fees are payable termly in advance, in accordance with the rates in force at the time. Fees are reviewed annually, at our AGM, or in the event of any changes to the Code of Practice. Any changes to current rates will be advised in writing, at least one term in advance.
Our fees are currently £14 per session.
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 end, a late collection fee of £5 will be charged, and a further £5 per every half hour thereafter.
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 the supervisor or Fees Co-ordinator 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.
We ask for a £20 non-refundable deposit/registration fee upon acceptance of the place (deducted from the first invoice). A deposit is NOT required for children who are only accessing their funded hours.
PAYMENT METHODS: Invoices can be settled by cash, cheques or childcare vouchers. Please make cheques payable to St Andrews Playgroup. bank transfer is also available. Please speak to fees co-ordinator for more details.
FREE EARLY EDUCATION (FEE): The following information details how your child can access their FEE hours at this pre-school/nursery.
FEE and ADDITIONAL FEES: All children become eligible for Free Early Education the term after they become 3. Some 2 year olds may also be eligible for funding. Parents/carers are asked to check with the owner/manager 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:
FEE OVER 38 WEEKS
Each child will be funded to a maximum of 15 hours per week over a minimum of 2 days. No session is to be longer than 10 hours per day for 38 weeks per year. Currently in Kent these 38 weeks are in line with Kent County Council school term dates.
For all 2, 3 and 4 year old children accessing their FEE hours only, the following pattern is: Monday to Friday 9.30am – 12.30pm.
Children attending non-funded days/sessions in addition to their FEE will be charged at our current rates as shown on page 4. 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 FEE can be split between 2 providers up to a maximum of 15 hours.
A child who is tense or unhappy will not be able to play or learn properly, so it is important for parents and the Playgroup staff to work together to help the child to feel confident and secure in the group. This takes longer for some children than for others and parents should not feel worried if their child takes a while to settle. New children are encouraged to visit the Playgroup with their parents prior to admission. Parents are welcome to stay with their child to assist with the settling in period, and will be encouraged to separate from their child for brief periods at first, gradually building up to longer absences.
In the interest of safety, parents are asked to park in the allocated spaces in the church car park when bringing or collecting children.
Smoking is not permitted on the premises including the garden and car park.
Management or Administration
St Andrew’s is a charitable Playgroup managed by an elected committee drawn mostly from parents of children attending the playgroup. The Playgroup has adopted the constitution recommended by the Pre-School Learning Alliance. Parents are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting at which reports are given and committee members elected.
The primary responsibilities of the committee are:
- To appoint and manage staff and look after their welfare
- The financial management of the Playgroup, including-
- Collecting fees from parents
- Co-ordinating Nursery Certificates for three and four year olds
- Paying staff wages, rent and insurance
- Allocating funds
- Keeping accurate accounts and submitting a set to the Charity Commissioners
- Setting levels of fees and staff wages
- Claiming milk returns
- To liaise with the staff and offer support and assistance as required
- To hold regular meetings, to which staff members are invited
- To produce minutes of the committee meetings
- To organise fund raising events
- To draw up the Playgroup policies which help the Playgroup to provide a high quality service
Other activities may include:
- Producing a periodic newsletter
- Organising the annual visit of the photographer
- Looking after the Playgroup outdoor area/garden
- Assist the staff with special events such as Christmas Party, Nativity, Sports Day, Summer Leavers’ concert
- Working an occasional session to cover for an absent staff member (if a babysitter can be found for any child of theirs who is under 2½).
New admissions are organised by Janet Hogg
Parents are asked to notify the Playgroup if their child is unwell and unable to attend. Parents are asked to keep their child at home if they have any infection, and to inform the Playgroup as to the nature of the infection so that the Playgroup can alert other parents, and make care observations of any child who seems unwell.
Parents are asked not to bring into the Playgroup any child who has been vomiting or had diarrhoea until at least 24 hours after the last attack.
If a child is on medication that needs to be administered by a staff member, written information must be given by the parent detailing clear instructions about the dosage, administration of the medication and permission for a staff member to follow the instructions.
Asthma inhalers should be labelled with the child’s name.
What to wear
In order to feel free to explore and experiment with all kinds of materials, including messy ones, it is best for the children to be dressed in easily washable clothes. Playgroup T-shirts and jumpers should be worn. Please speak to a member of staff to place an order.
Soft indoor footwear, such as plimsolls, must be worn for safety reasons.
It is good for the children to practise the skills which make them independent. Simple clothing, which they can handle themselves, will enable them to go to the toilet when they want to.
For the child’s own safety, no jewellery is to be worn. Earrings, if worn, must be studs only and covered with micro pore tape. This is important!
Collecting children from Playgroup
If any child is to be collected at the end of the session by a different person from the one who brought the child, the supervisor must be informed; otherwise the child will not be released.
Parents are asked to collect their child promptly at the end of the session. Parents arriving late consistently will be given two verbal warnings and a written warning on the third occasion. Repeated late arrival after this will incur a charge equal to one session fee.
At each session a drink of milk or water is provided for each child. Small pieces of fruit, vegetables or other snack foods may be offered for the children to sample; parents should notify the playgroup if their child has any allergic reactions to foods.
It is vital that the parents provide the playgroup with the following information and remembers to inform the playgroup of any subsequent changes:
- Current address
- Telephone number of home and work
- Emergency contact telephone number of a relation, friend or neighbour, which is only used by the playgroup in emergencies, when a child is taken ill and the parents cannot be contacted directly.
Any parent who needs to get in touch during a playgroup session can contact the staff on the mobile telephone – 07979 092993.
St Andrew’s Playgroup has full comprehensive insurance cover arranged through the Pre-school Learning Alliance.
St Andrew’s Playgroup believes that children and adults flourish best in an ordered environment in which everyone knows what is expected of them and children are free to develop their play and learning without fear of being hurt or hindered by anyone else. The staff aims to work towards a situation of mutual respect and encouragement. Rules governing the behaviour of the children will be explained to all newcomers, both children and adults. The full behaviour management policy, including when children behave in unacceptable ways, is available on request from the supervisor.
Other Policies, Practises and Procedures
A full set of the Playgroup’s policies, practices and procedures is on display in the hall. These cover Health and Hygiene, Lost Child, Non-Collected Child, Administration of Medicine, Safety, Child Protection, Settling In, Selecting Equipment, Behaviour Management, Complaints, Equal Opportunities, Confidentiality, Additional Education Needs, Student Placement, Diet, Parental Involvement, Admissions. Any parent wishing to have their own copy of the policies should ask one of the Supervisors.
The St Andrew’s Playgroup Statement of Intent
It is our intention to make our playgroup accessible to children and families from all sections of the local community.
We aim to ensure that all sections of our community have access to the playgroup through open, fair and clearly communicated procedures.
In order to ensure this aim, we operate the following admissions policy:
- We ensure that the existence of the playgroup is widely advertised in places accessible to all sections of the community.
- We ensure that information about our playgroup is accessible – in written and spoken form
- We arrange our waiting list in birth order. In addition, our policy may take into account the following:
- The vicinity of the home to the playgroup; and
- Siblings already attending the playgroup
- We keep a place vacant, when this is financially viable, to accommodate an emergency admission.
- We describe our playgroup and its practises in terms which make it clear that it welcomes fathers and mothers, other relations and other carers, including childminders.
- We describe our playgroup and its practices in terms of how it treats individuals, regardless of their gender, special educational needs, disabilities, background, religion, ethnicity or competence in spoken English.
- We describe our playgroup and its practices in terms of how it enables children with disabilities to take part in the life of the playgroup.
- We monitor the gender and ethnic background of children joining the group to ensure that no accidental discrimination is taking place.
- We make sure our equal opportunities policy is widely known.
- We are flexible about attendance patterns to accommodate the needs of individual children and families.
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum
All children in St Andrew’s Playgroup are supported in developing their potential at their own pace. With a high ratio of staff to children, and appropriate play activities, we offer a curriculum which leads to nationally approved learning outcomes and prepares children to progress with confidence to the National Curriculum at the age of five years.
The curriculum includes the following: -
communication and language
personal, social and emotional development
understanding the world
expressive arts and design
For each area of the curriculum, the guidance sets out early learning goals. These goals state what children are expected to know and be able to do by the end of the reception year of their education.
For each early learning goal, the guidance sets out stepping stones, which describe the stages through which the children are likely to pass as they move to achievement of the goal. We use the early learning goals and their stepping stones to help us to trace each child’s progress and to enable us to provide the right activities to help all of the children move towards achievement of the early learning goals.
Personal, social and emotional development
The area of children’s development covers:
- Having a positive approach to learning and finding out about the world around them;
- Having confidence in themselves and their ability to do things, and valuing their own achievements;
- Being able to get on, work and make friendships with other people, both children and adults;
- Becoming aware of – and being able to keep to – the rules which we all need to help us look after ourselves, other people and our environment;
- Being able to dress and undress themselves, and look after their personal hygiene needs; and
- Being able to expect to have their ways of doing things respected and to respect other people’s ways of doing things.
Communication, language and literacy
The area of children’s development covers:
- Being able to use conversation with one other person, in small groups and in large groups, to talk with and listen to others;
- Adding to their vocabulary by learning the meaning of – and being able to use – new words;
- Being able to use words to describe their experiences;
- Getting to know the sounds and letters which make up the words we use;
- Listening to – and talking about – stories;
- Knowing how to handle books and that they can be a source of stories and information;
- Knowing the purpose for which we use writing; and
- Making their own attempts at writing.
The area of children’s development covers:
- Building up ideas about how many, how much, how far and how big;
- Building up ideas about patterns, the shape of objects and parts of objects, and the amount of space taken up by objects;
- Starting to understand that numbers help us to answer the questions and how many, how much, how far and how big;
- Building up ideas about how to use counting to find out how many; and
- Being introduced to finding the result of adding or taking away from the amount we already have.
Knowledge and understanding of the world
The area of children’s development covers;
- Finding out about the natural world and how it works;
- Finding out about the made world and how it works;
- Learning how to choose – and use – the right tool for a task;
- Learning about computers, how to use them and what they can help us to do;
- Starting to put together ideas about past and present and the links between them;
- Beginning to learn about their locality and its special features; and
- Learning about their own and other cultures.
This area of children’s development covers:
- Gaining control over the large movements which we can make with our arms, legs and bodies, so that they can run, jump, hop, skip, roll, climb, balance and lift;
- Gaining control over the small movements we can make with our arms, wrists and hands, so that they can pick up and use objects, tools and materials; and
- Learning about the importance of – and how to look after – their bodies.
Creative and expressive arts and design
This area of children’s development covers:
- Using paint, materials, music, dance, words, stories and role-play to express their ideas and feelings; and
- Becoming interested in the way that paint, materials, music, dance, words, stories and role-play can be used to express ideas and feelings.
Play helps young children to learn and develop through doing and talking, which research has shown to be the means by which young children think. Pre-school uses the early learning goals and their stepping stones to plan and provide a range of play activities which help children to make progress in each of the areas of learning and development. In some of these activities children decide how they will use the activity and, in others, an adult takes the lead in helping the children to take part in the activity. In all activities information from the early learning goals and stepping stones has been used to decide what equipment to provide and how to provide it.
Working together for your children
Our playgroup has a high ratio of adults to children. This helps us to:
- Give time and attention to each child;
- Talk with the children about their interests and activities;
- Help children to experience and benefit from the activities we provide; and
- Allow the children to explore and be adventurous in safety.
How parents can support their child’s play and learning at St Andrews Playgroup
At St Andrews we recognise parents as the first and most important educators of their children. All of the staff see themselves as co-workers with you in providing care and education for your child. There are many ways in which parents take part in making th playgroup a welcoming and stimulating place for children and parents, such as:
- Exchanging knowledge about their children’s needs, activities, interests and progress with the staff;
- Helping at sessions of the playgroup;
- Sharing their own special interests with the children;
- Helping to provide, make and look after the equipment and materials used in the children’s play activities;
- Being part of the management of the playgroup;
- Taking part in events and informal discussions about the activities and curriculum provided by the playgroup;
- Joining in community activities in which the playgroup takes part; and
- Building friendships with other parents in the playgroup.
The playgroup has a key person system. This means that each member of staff has a group of children for which he/she is particularly responsible. Your child’s key person will be the person who works with you to make sure that what the playgroup provides is right for your child’s particular needs and interests. When your child first starts at the playgroup, she will help your child to settle and throughout your child’s time at the playgroup, she will help your child to benefit from the playgroups activities.
Records of achievement
The playgroup keeps a record of observations for each child. Your child’s records help us to celebrate his/her achievements and to work together to provide what your child needs for his/her well-being and to make progress.
Learning opportunities for adults
As well as gaining qualifications in early years care and education, the playgroup staff take part in further training to help them keep up to date with current thinking about early years care and education.
The playgroup also keeps itself up to date with best practice in early years care and education through the Pre-School Learning Alliance. The current copy of ‘Under Five’ is available for you to read.
The Playgroup’s timetable and routines
The playgroup believes that care and education are equally important in the experience which we offer children. The routines and activities that make up the playgroup’s session/day are provided in ways that:
- Help each child to feel that she/he is a valued member of the playgroup;
- Ensure the safety of each child;
- Help children to gain from the social experience of being part of a group; and
- Provide children with opportunities to learn and help them to value learning.
The playgroup organises the day so that children can take part in a variety of child-chosen and adult-led activities. These take account of children’s changing energy levels throughout the day.
The playgroup caters for children’s individual needs for rest and quiet activities during the day.
Outdoor activities contribute to children’s health, their physical development and their knowledge of the world around them.
Children with additional needs
Part of the playgroup’s policy is to make sure that the provision meets the needs of each individual child, we take into account any additional need which a child may have.
The playgroup works to the requirements of the 1993 Education Act and The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (2000). The playgroup’s Special Educational Needs co-ordinator is Nicola Chambers.