We would like to say a big thank you to all our parents for your co-operation over the past year, Covid-19 has caused so many changes and we have had to adapt our routine and hours at nursery to ensure we are doing all we can to keep your children and our staff safe.
Any quiries regarding anything Covid-19 related please contact the office, we are happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
First Friends are now on Instagram as well as Facebook! If you would like to follow us please search ‘firstfriendspdn’. We regularly post photos of the new and exciting activities your children have been taking part in! We also post updates and notices on our social media, so this is a great way of knowing what is coming up!
Policy of the month
Please follow the link and read out updated safeguarding policy to ensure you are aware of how and why this policy is implemented.
Curiosity Approach and Risky play
The curiosity approach is an initiative to provide the children with authentic play experiences, to do this the nursery has started to allow the children to use and explore adult equipment such as real crockery at meal times and in the home corner, we are also exploring real food items during roleplay to try and enhance real life experiences. Whilst doing this we will be teaching our children how to respect their property and building on their knowledge that sometimes things can break. By only providing plastic toys we are taking this skill away from our children.
The children are also taking part in more meal preparation activities such as making their own stir fry, pancakes and fruit salads. We have recently invested in some new equipment to enable the children to engage in these activities safely. The children will be using a heated wok, and specifically designed children’s knives with close supervision and support, the staff will be working closely with each child to explain and teach your children about the risks involved and how to safely manage these. We have recognized the benefits of involving children in cooking activities, some of these are encouraging fussy eaters to experiment more with food, cooking provides opportunities for children to develop their social and communication skills and to begin to learn how to work as part of a group. We also recognize how this allows the children to be creative and develop a sense of achievement from seeing the cooking process from start to finish. If you would like to see our supporting risk assessments, please ask a member of staff.
Door code and doorbell at Nursery
Due to Covid-19 we are not letting parents/carers into the building for the foreseeable future.
Invoices and payments
Could all parents and carers please make management aware if you are not receiving your invoices each month as late payments will incur an additional charge of £6.50. We would just like to remind all parents/carers that we no longer accept cheques as a form of payment, sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.
Can we ask that all parents provide appropriate clothing for their children, we understand this is difficult as the weather keeps changing so frequently, but it would be appreciated if you could provide your child with a change of clothes to suit all weather conditions and the staff will be happy to change them if necessary. Now that the weather is becoming colder, children will need warmer clothes still preferably waterproof and warm coats, hats, gloves and wellington boots. It is part of our healthy living, happy me and outdoor policy that we explore outdoor play, whatever the weather may be, come rain or shine. Children may frequently get wet during outdoor play so to ensure your child stays warm and comfortable please send a change of clothes so that we can change them and follow the above advice on suitable clothing. Please ensure you return any items borrowed as we only have a very small amount of spare clothes.
Can we ask that you take all your child’s belongings home with you at the end of each session? This will ensure that you are taking any soiled clothes home that need to be washed and will help prevent any belongings becoming miss placed or lost. It would also be extremely helpful when trying to locate items, if all your child’s clothing is labelled.
Additionally can we please ask that your child does not bring their own toys into Nursery, this can cause conflicts between children, we will not be held responsible if your child’s toys get broken or become lost.
First Friends works extremely hard to work in partnership with parents and strive to keep strategies consistent here, which support those provided at home. In order for us to provide consistent intimate care for those potty training, children must arrive to every session with an adequate amount of clothes for the individual child. Nursery have a very small amount of spare clothes and children in the early days of potty training can have numerous amounts of accidents whilst adjusting to life in pants at nursery, due to many distractions. It is normal for children to take longer to grasp the concept at nursery than at home and it can also be normal for some children to take several weeks, so we ask for your patience during this time. First Friend’s staff regret having to call parents but in some extreme cases this has been needed as we physically cannot provide them with something to wear due to shortages. In order to avoid this, can all parents/carers please make sure that their children have more than enough clothes to see them through each day. Staff will communicate with parents as to whether a child needs more or less items. Can you please ensure you also provide baby wipes for those more difficult soiled accidents as I’m sure you can imagine how difficult it is to ensure a child does not get sore and cleaning a child with cotton wool and water can be time consuming and not effective. If your child is potty training, please ensure all soiled clothes are taken daily to be washed.
Useful links for potty training are as follows.
Nappies and wipes
If your child is still in nappies, please ensure your child arrives to every session with an adequate number of nappies and wipes. Please write your child’s name on the wipes. In the case of an emergency we do have some spares, however these are running very low. It has been brought to our attention that there has been lots of occasions where children are needing to be changed more than once a session and children are having to use spare nappies as a regular occurrence. I’m sure you can appreciate that if we do this every day for several children then the cost of this will break into the budget which should be used for resources. If your child has had to use a spare nappy, please ensure you replace it the following day. To prevent costs creeping up we will be left with no choice but to invoice parents for nappies used if the problem continues. Parents will be charged.
We would like to welcome Madison Marshall-Baldwin and Aisha Riaz to our team at first friends Nursery. And we would like to say goodbye good luck to Katherine Collins from our ladybirds room, wishing you all the best for the future.
Extra sessions for term time only bookings
If you have a term time only booking and require any extra sessions for your child during the holidays, please email Sharon at firstname.lastname@example.org
Collection times at Nursery
Since reopening the nursery back in June 2020 we have been asking all parents whose children are here until the end of the day to collect your children by 5.45pm instead of 6pm, to allow our staff to carry out a deep clean of the nursery each evening, this will continue for the foreseeable future. We have also now decided that our morning sessions will now finish at 12.45pm instead of 1pm this is manage the drop off and collections times enabling parents/carers to manage social distancing more effectively.
Can parents with more than one child to collect from the nursery building ensure that both children are collected before the session end time. Children who are not collected by the session end time will be charged, as session times must be monitored due to staff to child ratios.
All parents must now use the door code as mentioned previously. If you need to ring the doorbell to collect your child, then we must ask that you collect your child at an earlier time of before 5pm. This is due to staff ratios.
Please ensure you do not arrive earlier or later than your given time. These times coincide with staff ratios and strict ratios must be maintained always due to Ofsted regulations. We are becoming very busy and as a small nursery can only accommodate children for the sessions you have pre booked.
Parents arriving later than their finishing time will incur a late arrival charge, which is currently £10 per every 15mins or part there of.
Can we also politely ask that parents do not arrive early with their child and wait within the room until their session begins, this can cause your child and other children within the unit to become upset.
Extended 30-hour funding entitlement for Nursery
www.childcarechoices.gov.uk Please check your eligibility if you are unsure.
If you are eligible please ensure the office has your code, NI number and D.O.B at the earliest convenience as Derby City Council will be giving a deadline each term.
Once parents have registered then it is your responsibility to update your details via the portal every 3 months to ensure you are still eligible. If you miss this deadline then you will have to re-register from scratch and funding will be stopped until your claim has been reverified.
2yr, 3yr universal and 3yr 30hr extended entitlement Funded sessions
All families accessing funded sessions will only be offered 1 model from September 2018. Due to the large number of families now accessing a variety of different funding entitlements we are switching to 52-week model only for all funding regardless of which one you’re accessing. Current families will not notice a difference other than those who were stretched over 47 weeks this year, will not have the 5 weeks holiday they previously had, but will still be able to access 2 sessions a week or 1 full day. This will be more consistent for the children and far less confusing for both parents and staff. The funding is very difficult to manage and with us being such a small nursery with a high percentage of parents now accessing funding we want to ensure it is as simple, sustainable and as straight forward as possible to access your full entitlement.
The clubs will reopen on the 8th March and resume normal business.
Can we please remind everyone that the use of mobile phones in the units is strictly prohibited, this is for your children’s safety.
Can we please remind all parents/carers NOT to let anyone into the nursery, we have a strict door safety policy ensuring only staff members answer the door bell or see to visitors. This is for the children’s safety.
Can we please ensure to not wear shoes in the Ladybirds rooms (or wear the shoe covers provided)
Can we please ensure siblings are not left in the car or on the car park as this is a serious safe guarding issue, please bring them in the building with you.
Can parents/carers please ensure to bring spare clothes in everyday especially for children who are toilet training.
Can parents/carers please ensure to bring suitable clothing for all weathers especially rain coats, sun cream and hats
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
World book day – Thursday 4 March
Red nose day – Friday 19 March
Concept photography – Wednesday 9 June 10am – 2pm