Frequently Asked Questions
Here we list some of the frequently asked questions you may have, and perhaps some you hadn’t thought of, to give you all the information you need about Blackberry House Day Nursery Group.
Q - What are your opening hours and holiday dates?
A – We are open 51 weeks of the year, with closures on bank holidays and over the Christmas period (dates for this are provided to you prior to the closure beginning).
Q - Do you accept same-day bookings? If so, is there a cut off time / additional charges?
A – Depending on the availability we have for the session you are interested in; we do accept same day bookings. Prior notice is advised to increase the likeliness of availability being offered. Advanced payment for these bookings will be required.
Q - Do you have a settling in process for new children?
A – Children who are starting with us here at Blackberries are provided with a settling in period, where we provide 1 free hour session where you child can get to know their surroundings and staff. During this time, we will ask you to complete a “Getting to Know Your Child” form, which gives the staff an understanding of your child’s likes, dislikes, interests, routine and any individual needs your child may need. Following on from this session you can book further sessions prior to your child’s start date if you feel that it will be beneficial to them settling in.
Q - How do you support with children’s transitions through the setting?
A – We have our Nursery “Jump up Day’s” in place. When children are moving units, we provide short transition sessions where the child spends time in the new unit with the support of a familiar adult. These sessions take place about a month prior to their transition date. Our practitioners use transitions forms to share information between key workers as well as meeting to share your child’s file. We keep you updated and informed of these changes during our handovers to you, as well as inviting you to join us for Jump Up. (Some changes may be in place due to COVID restrictions)
Q - How will you keep me informed about my child's progress?
A – Every child is allocated a key worker who is responsible for observing your child within the Early Years Framework. At the end of each term, they will gather this information into their Child files and make an overall assessment of their development for that term. Both the file and the child’s next steps will be shared with you during our termly parent’s consultations via our online family teams’ meetings. Regular updates of your child’s journey with us are shared with you throughout each term offering you a snapshot of their nursery day and sharing relevant parent information to support you to continue your child’s learning on at home. We pride ourselves in our informative and friendly daily handovers when you collect your child. Other family events and Stay and Play sessions are advertised when offered.
Q - What qualifications and experience does your staff group have?
A – Our Nursery settings benefit from dedicated Early Years practitioners, who bring with them many different experiences, sharing a passion to make a difference in the lives of babies and young children. Our Team have a strong knowledge of early development and the ability to forge positive relationships with other professionals and work closely with parents and carers in the best interests of children. Their support to our setting staff enhances our safe learning environments and enriches our standards of progress and outcomes responding to the needs of all children. We have a team of level 6 staff who hold BA Honours in Early Years. Our Nurseries benefit from the support of our Early Years Professional.
Q - How does the key person system work in this setting?
A – Once you child starts nursery, he/she will be assigned a key worker based on initial bonds they make with the members of staff within their unit. You will be provided with a “Key Person Information Leaflet”, about that member of staff which explains their role in your child’s care and development. You child’s key worker will be the main person who plans your child’s daily activities and observes their development progress. If their key person changes for any reason, for example when they move units, you will be informed and provided with a new key person information leaflet.
Q - What can I do to support my child's development and learning?
A – Parents are of course children’s first educators. Parents and practitioners working together can provide positive outcomes for the children and their learning and development progress. We encourage you to take an interest in your child’s learning and development and gain an understanding of how we support your child whilst they are at nursery and continuing this on at home. Our “Have a Go at Home” encourages our parents to join in and regular newsletters, parent’s evenings and daily handovers share the topics we are focusing on, and how we are planning activities and experiences to support their child’s next steps in their development.
Q - Do you offer free childcare and early education under the Nursery Education Funding Schemes for two / three and four year olds?
A – Yes. We are affiliated to the government schemes and the new Child Choices website all about Government help with childcare costs, including 15 to 30 hours’ free childcare, Tax-Free Childcare, Tax Credits, Childcare Vouchers and Universal Credit.
Q - Do you require a Registration fee?
A – Yes, you will need to pay a £40.00 non-refundable registration fee. Please note this is not applicable for Fully Funded children.
Q - How do I pay – cash / Direct Debit / cheque?
A – Payments can be made via online banking, childcare vouchers, or card payments within the nursery. Invoices are sent out on the third week of each month; fees must be paid a month in advance. Parents must complete a Payment Method form to tell us how you will pay. Childcare vouchers are accepted.
Q - What if my child is taken out of provision for a holiday or due to sickness?
A – We ask that you complete a holiday form to keep us informed of your child’s attendance. 4 weeks’ notice must be given to allow us to deduct meal costs from your invoice during the time they are away, hours are still payable. If your child is sick, we ask that you inform us via phone or email to advise they will be absent from nursery. Their session is still payable. Please refer to our sickness exclusion policy on our website, as depending on their illness they may be required to remain absent for a period of time.
Q – What if I want to change my child’s sessions or terminate their place?
A – If you want to alter your child’s sessions, add any additional options such as meals or bolt on hours you will be required to fill in a Change form and hand it into the nursery by 5th of the month for it to take place the following invoicing month. Confirmation of any changes will depend on our availability and you will receive an email confirming the change of contract. If you decide to terminate your child’s place, you will be required to fill in and return the relevant termination form and 4 weeks’ paid notice must be given.
Q - What does my child need to bring in with them?
A – We ask that your child attends nursery with appropriate clothing and footwear which must be labelled to avoid items being lost. Indoor shoes or slippers must be provided if they are attending wearing outdoor boots or wellies to enable them to play and explore both indoors and outdoors without the restrictions of feeling uncomfortable. You will also need to bring in any item’s you child requires during the day, which many include nappies, wipes, bottles, milk, comforters such as snugs or dummies. We ask that you please me mindful of the size of the bag you bring in as these are hung on trolleys with limited space available if oversized bags are used. Blackberries have their own uniform and accessory range, including polo’s, t-shirts, jumpers, hoodies, and bags, which you can purchase via the link below: