Welcome Booklet

Welcome to Leechpool Caterpillar  
Nursery & After-School Club 

Leechpool Caterpillar Nursery first opened in January 2001. Our sessions are held in a modular building in the grounds of Leechpool Primary School and although we run independently, we have very close links with the main school. We have a secure outdoor area with a soft safety surface and a covered area that can be used in all weathers. The main school grounds have electronic gates which increased the level of security for your children. 

Ofsted: 

Ofsted No. 2566816 
Ofsted contact information: E: [email protected] | T: 0300 123 123 1231 

Leechpool Caterpillar Nursery is registered with Ofsted and we are members of the Pre-School Learning Alliance. We had our last inspection in September 2018, where we were awarded “GOOD”. The full report can be viewed online at www.ofsted.gov.uk 

Ethos: 

Leechpool Caterpillar Nursery follows the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework maintaining the emphasis of learning through play and consolidating the social and emotional, physical and communication and language skills that are taught during a child’s nursery experience. 

However, there is more of an emphasis as the children progress on literacy and numbers, imagination, experimenting and being interested in the world around us. We teach British Values in our everyday routines – we share, take turns, have good manners, follow rules and we learn about our community through photos, walks and visitors. This enables children to make a smooth transition into school readiness and the final year of the EYFS in Reception class. 

We follow a holistic approach to learning, focusing on the importance of a child’s physical, personal, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing, as well as the cognitive aspects of learning. 

Our nurturing staff communicate throughout the year with parents and carers and are always on hand to discuss the children’s progress and needs. In nursery we look forward to welcoming parents and carers to be part of their child’s education at this stage and ask for support in talking about festivals, jobs and interests and accompanying us on outings. 

We have high expectations of all our children in our care and use experience and professional knowledge to provide secure, friendly, and fun environments in which children can explore, grow and learn. We observe the children and plan to each child’s needs, changing themes and activities to encompass the children’s interests.  

Settling In At Nursery: 

The First Days: 

We want your child to feel happy and safe with us. To make sure that this is the case, the staff will work with you to decide on how to help your child settle into the nursery. We hold a “Welcome Morning” in September and January for our new intake where new children and their families can come along and meet each other and nursery staff in a relaxed manner. 

The Session: 

Timings: 

Our sessions run Monday – Friday as follows: 

Morning Session: 08:50am – 11:40am 
Afternoon Session: 11:50am – 14:40pm 
All Day Sessions: 08:50am – 14:40pm 

We have a maximum of 24 children per session. 

What to Bring: 

Please send your child with a clearly marked bag containing the following items: 

  • Labelled filled water bottle (no juice or squash please). 
  • Weather appropriate clothing – sun hats, raincoats, winter coats etc. 
  • Nappies & wipes (where appropriate). 
  • Change of clothing. 
  • Lunchbox for afternoon sessions. (See “Snacks & Meals” for details on ordering hot lunches). 

Activities: 

We organise our sessions so that the children can choose from a range of activities and, in doing so, build up their ability to select and work through a task to its completion. The children are also helped and encouraged to take part in adult-led small and large group activities which introduce them to new experiences and help them to gain new skills, as well as helping them to learn to work with others. 

Outdoor activities contribute to children’s health, their physical development, and their knowledge of the world around them. The children have the opportunity, and are encouraged, to take part in outdoor child-chosen and adult-led activities, as well as those provided indoors. 

The Nursery’s Timetable and Routines: 

Our nursery believes that care and education are equally important in the experience which we offer children. The routines and activities that make up the day in the nursery are provided in the ways that: 

  • Help each child to feel a valued member of the nursery. 
  • Ensure the safety of each child. 
  • Help children to gain from the social experience of being part of the group. 
  • Provide children with opportunities to learn and help them to value learning. 

Fees: 

We accept nursery educational funding for three- and four-year olds, two-year olds (where applicable) and 30-hours extended funding. Further information can be found here: 

https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/education-children-and-families/childcare-and-early-education/childcare-options-and-funding/free-childcare-for-3-and-4-year-olds/

Where funding is not available, fees apply. 

Our fees are £14.00 per three-hour session and are sent via email at the start of each half-term. Families have two weeks to pay, the due date is printed clearly on the invoice.  

Accepted forms of payment are: 

  • Cash 
  • Bank Transfer 
  • Registered Voucher Scheme
  • Tax-Free Childcare Vouchers 

Your child’s nursery place is at risk if you do not pay by the date stated on your invoice. 

If you child is absent, you will still be charged for the session. 

1 month’s written notice is required when removing your child from our care with fees still payable for this period. 

If Leechpool Caterpillar Club is forced to close, sessions that have already been paid for will be fully refunded with an option of donating a percentage to Leechpool Caterpillar Nursery & After-School Club at the family’s discretion. 

Clothing: 

Uniforms: 

We have group polo shirts and sweatshirts which we would like the children to wear, although these are not compulsory. Prices are as follows:  

  • Polo shirts  £7.50 each 
  • Sweatshirts  £10.00 each  

These will be available to buy at your settling in session, and throughout the academic year. Occasionally we have good quality second-hand uniform, please ask. 

Dressing for a session: 

Please do not dress your child in their best trousers, skirts and dresses. Although we provide aprons for messy activities, we are keen here to have fun and that means getting messy! We encourage children to gain the skills that help them to be independent and look after themselves. These include taking themselves to the toilet and taking off and putting on outdoor clothes. Clothing that is easy for them to manage will help them to do this. Please also remember to bring appropriate outdoor wear when needed – sun hats, raincoats, jackets etc.  

PLEASE, PLEASE put your child’s name on all their possessions including their polo shirt and sweatshirt, coat, lunchbox, bag, water bottle etc we cannot be responsible for items that are not named.   

 Children enjoy bringing things in to show and share with their friends – please also make sure anything brought in is marked clearly with your child’s name.  

 Footwear   

Children do not need to bring in a change of footwear but please send children in sensible closed toe shoes. 

Snacks and meals: 

The nursery makes snacks and meals a social time at which children and adults eat together. We provide a healthy snack to be eaten mid-morning along with milk or water. This could be fruit, vegetables, raisins, breadsticks, and cereals. We ask for a voluntary cash donation each half term towards this. Please bring water each day in a bottle this should also be named. We offer milk which is free of charge.  

If children are attending all day or for an afternoon session, they will need a healthy lunch including no more than 1 “treat”. This can be in a lunch box sent in from home or a hot meal provided by Chartwells. The children will all sit together and eat their packed lunch or hot meal at midday with staff.  

Please note, we are a nut-free school so please don’t send any products that contain nuts (Nutella, peanut butter, any nut-based products etc.) 

Hot meals are £2.35 each. To order from Chartwells, you need to register, book, and pay for these directly with Chartwells 10-days in advance:- 

www.westsussex.mealselector.co.uk  

Please put Leechpool School as school name and Caterpillars as class name. 

The Role of a Key-Person: 

The key person is a named practitioner who has responsibilities for a small group of children, they are there to help each child feel safe and secure. 

The role is important for both child and parents/carers. 

The key person will respond to children’s needs and help them to settle into a new environment. The key person will keep a record of the child’s Learning Journey and update regularly; this is shared with parents / carers. 

Communication is paramount between parents / carers and key person as these discussions hold key information about the child. 

A key person will be a point of contact for parents.  

Approach to Learning & Early Learning Goals: 

Learning Through Play: 

Play helps young children to learn and develop through doing and talking. Our nursery provides a range of play activities which help children to make progress in each of the areas of learning and development. In most of these activities children decide how they will use the activity and this free choice is fully encouraged and, in other activities, an adult takes the lead in helping the children to take part in the activity. 

How we provide for development and learning:  
Children start to learn about the world around them from the moment they are born. The care and education offered by our nursery helps children to continue to do this by, providing all of the children with stimulating activities that are appropriate for their age and stage of development.  

The Areas of Development and Learning Comprise:  

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development  
  • Communication and Language  
  • Physical Development  
  • Literacy  
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World  
  • Expressive Arts and Design  

The Characteristics of effective learning are:  

Playing and Exploring (engagement): 

  • Finding out and exploring.
  • Playing with what they know. 
  • Being willing to ‘have a go’.  

Active learning (Motivation)  

  • Being involved and concentrating. 
  • Keep on trying.
  • Enjoying achieving what they set out to do. 

 Creating and thinking critically (thinking)  

  • Having their own ideas. 
  • Finding ways to do things. 
  • Choosing ways to do things.  

For each area, the statutory framework for Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) guidance sets out the Early Learning Goals. These goals state what is expected that children will know and be able to do by the end of the reception year of their education.  

The guidance also sets out in ‘Development Matters’, the likely stages of progress a child makes along their learning journey towards the early learning goals. Our nursery has regard to these matters when we assess the children and plan for their development.  

Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge, and demonstrating their understanding through the 7 areas of learning and development. Children should mostly develop in the three prime areas first. If you would like more information on this, please see: 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/988004/Development_Matters.pdf

Our Approach to Learning and Development; and Assessment:  

Learning through play:  

Play helps young children to learn and develop through doing and talking. Our nursery provides a range of play activities which help children to make progress in each of the areas of learning and development. In most of these activities, children decide how they will use the activity and this free choice is fully encouraged and, in other activities, an adult takes the lead in helping the children to take part in the activity.  

What is always on offer – Children’s free choice:  

Painting, drawing, colouring, tracing, cutting and sticking, free modelling (otherwise known as junk modelling!), chalking, playdough, construction (duplo, stickle bricks, wooden blocks, interstar) books, puzzles and games, musical instruments, sand play, water play, role play area (for example this could be a hospital, shop, vets, restaurant or house), clothes and props, small world play (vehicles, people, farm yard, train and track, dinosaurs etc.), climbing frame, bikes and scooters, bats and balls, hoops and bean bags, mud kitchen, planting and lots more.  

 Festivals and Celebrations  

We also include festivals and celebrations where children can dress up, listen to and play different cultures. For example Chinese New Year, Diwali, Christmas, Easter, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. We encourage families to tell us about celebrations or festivals recognised at home and in their community . 

Assessment: 

We assess how young children are learning and developing by observing them frequently and document their progress and where this may be leading them. We believe that parents know their children best and we ask them to contribute to assessment by sharing information about what their children like to do at home and how parents and carers are supporting development. We collect this information from you when you first start with us, and then termly plus more frequently with WOW moment slips which are sent home for you to complete and return to us. 

We make periodic assessment summaries of children’s achievement based on our ongoing developmental records. These form part of the children’s achievement. We undertake these assessment summaries at regular intervals as well as times of transition. 

Learning Journal: 

The nursery keeps a learning journal for each child. We digitally record observations and achievements using SeeSaw; information about this can be viewed at www.web.seesaw.me

Staff and parents working together on the children’s learning journal is one of the ways in which the key person and parents work in partnership. Your child’s learning journal helps is to celebrate their achievements together and to work together to provide what your child needs for their well-being and to make progress. 

How parents take part in the nursery:  

Our nursery recognises parents as the first and most important educators of their children. All of the staff see themselves as partners with parents in providing care and education for their child. There are many ways in which parents take part in making the nursery 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;
  • Sharing their own special interests, careers and cultures with all the children; 
  • Being invited to Maths and Literacy sessions;  
  • Taking part in events such as fayres and outings; 
  • Building friendships with other parents in the nursery;  
  • Becoming an elected member of our Management Committee. 

Parents are always made to feel welcome when entering the nursery and can speak with the staff at any time or make an appointment if necessary.  

Policies: 

Copies of the nursery’s policies and procedures are available for you to see on our website.  www.caterpillarnursery.co.uk 

The nursery’s policies help us to make sure that the service provided by the nursery is a high quality one and that being part of the nursery is an enjoyable and beneficial experience for each child and her/his parents. 

Safeguarding Children:  

Our nursery has a duty under the law to help safeguard children against suspected or actual ‘significant harm’.   

Our employment practices ensure children are protected against the likelihood of abuse in our nursery, and we have a procedure for managing complaints or allegations against a member of staff.  

Our way of working with children and their parents and carers helps to ensure we are aware of any problems that may emerge and can offer support, including referral to appropriate agencies when necessary, to help families in difficulty. 

Further information and support can be found on the link below: 

https://www.westsussexscp.org.uk/

Additional Needs:  

As part of the nursery’s policy to make sure that its provision meets the needs of each individual child, we take account of any additional needs a child may have. The nursery works to the requirements of the 1993 Education Act and The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice [2014].  

Our Special Educational Needs Coordinator will always be happy to liaise with staff, parents and outside agencies on behalf of the child to ensure they receive appropriate care and education to suit their individual needs. Our Local Offer is available to view on our website or can be emailed to you. 

Our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator is Bev John. 

Equal Opportunities:  

At Leechpool Caterpillar nursery we operate an equal opportunities policy, we believe that ALL individuals are of equal worth and should therefore be given every opportunity to fulfil their potential. We endeavour to foster attitudes and relations which promote an understanding and respect for others. 

Toilet Training:  

We will not refuse a child who isn’t toilet trained. Please make sure that they have nappies or pull-ups in their bag along with wipes and nappy sacks, also a set of clean clothing. 

We will work with parents and carers to support toilet training when appropriate. 

https://www.eric.org.uk/pages/category/potty-training

If your child is unwell:  

If your child is under the weather, please do not send them to nursery. If they require medicine to get through the day, they are generally not well enough to come into nursery.  

 Children should not be at nursery if:- 

  • They have a temperature.  
  • They have a heavy cold or persistent cough. 
  • They have been sick or have had a tummy upset in the last 48 hours. 
  • They have spots or a rash and have not been seen by a doctor. 
  • COVID-19 symptoms (either the child, or someone they are in close contact with). 

Arrival and Collection: 

Getting to Nursery: 

If you are planning to drive to nursery, please always respect the residents on the surrounding roads as well as the fellow parents. Where possible, please walk. Parents of nursery children are not permitted to drive into the school grounds. 

Automatic Gates – Pedestrian Gates Only: 

Please follow these guidelines when bringing your child to nursery: 

The main school gates are “manned” by a member of the main school or nursery staff at the start and end of each session. Please wait outside the gates until you are welcomed in. The gates are locked at 9:00am; 12:00pm and 15:00pm. 

Before sessions start:  

When waiting to come in please wait in our garden area until the front door is opened at 8.50am or 11.50am.  The lunchbox and drinks trolley will be outside for you to place these items on. Children should not run around on the path or on the school field and please do not disturb the main school in any other way. 

PLEASE DO NOT LET CHILDREN ON THE CLIMBING FRAME OR TOUCH ANY OF THE OTHER EQUIPMENT THAT IS OUTSIDE BEFORE OR AFTER SESSIONS.  

Please say goodbye at the door. Staff are on hand to help the children with their coats, bags and name tags.  

After sessions: 

Please wait in our garden area until the main door is opened at 11.40am or 2.40pm.  At 11.50am your child will come out to you with a staff member.  

Collection: 

We will always understand on the odd occasion when you are late picking your child up because of an emergency, or something beyond your control.  

We need to know who will be collecting your child. If for some reason there is a change of person collecting your child, please tell the member of staff at the door or by telephone or email. f it is someone new to us, please bring them in and introduce them to us. Please give us their name, relationship to the child and a password which can be used to identify them. 

Accidents & Incidents: 

Please tell us about any accidents or incidents which may affect your child while they are in our care so that we can always provide the best care. E.g. Banging their head before a session etc. You may be asked to sign the accident or incident book. Any information given will remain confidential.  

Although we do our utmost to ensure that nursery is always a safe environment, accidents do happen. All of our staff are first aid trained and will administer the care needed to ensure your child receives the best care. We will communicate the details of any accidents to you, along with what care was given, and may ask you to sign the accident and incident book. If the accident or event is more serious, an ambulance will be called first, followed by a call to you. 

Medication: 

Please let the management team know if your child is taking prescribed medicine. If your child needs to take the medicine whilst at the nursery you will need to complete a Permission to Administer Medication Form in advance. 

Change of details:  

Please let us know when home, mobile, work or emergency contact numbers change so that we are always able to contact you in the case of an emergency.   

Notice boards:  

We have a larger notice board at the front of our garden. Please read notices regularly.  

ALL AREAS WITHIN LEECHPOOL SCHOOL GATES ARE NO SMOKING OR VAPING AREAS.  

CHILDREN WHO RIDE SCOOTERS AND BIKES TO THE SCHOOL ARE WELCOME TO LEAVE THEM OUTSIDE OUR GARDEN AREA DURING SESSIONS BUT PLEASE REMEMBER CHILDREN MUST NOT RIDE THEIR WHEELED TOYS IN THE SCHOOL GROUNDS.  

NO DOGS – DOGS ARE NOT ALLOWED THROUGH THE SCHOOL GATES.  

We hope that you and your children enjoy being part of Leechpool Caterpillar nursery and that many happy memories will be created and life-long friendships.