St Joseph’s Playgroup was founded in 1986 and since that time has enjoyed a close relationship with St Joseph’s School. The Playgroup is supported by a Committee of parents employing a Manager, Julie Kane and a Deputy Manager, Colleen Huegett. The Playgroup is a member of the Pre-school Learning Alliance and is registered with Ofsted to provide sessional day care for 24 children from 2 years old to school age.
The Playgroup is covered by Public Liability Insurance.
Staff are qualified in Paediatric First Aid which is renewed every 3 years.
The Playgroup is open to all families in our community. We have procedures in place to accommodate the individual needs of the children and their families and everyone is welcome.
All 3 & 4 year olds in our setting can claim the Nursery Education Grant. Parents can claim up to 15 hours free a week starting in the term after their child’s third birthday which can be split between different childcare providers.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9 am to 12:15 o’clock.
Tuesday and Thursday 9am to 1:15 o’clock. These sessions are open for children who will be attending school in the following academic year.
Fees are currently £14.50 for Playgroup and £16.50 for Pre-School. Fees are reviewed annually, these fees are confirmed as at September 2018. Fees are payable each half term and are not refundable.
Enforced Late Payment fee – Parents will be charged £10.00 for any late payments unless previously arranged with the Preschool.
Key person system
During the first few weeks at Playgroup your child will be allocated their own key person from the staff team. Key persons have particular responsibility for monitoring your child’s development throughout their time at Playgroup. Children benefit most where there is a good relationship between parents and Playgroup. Please feel free to ask for time to discuss any concerns you may have about your child at any time with their key person.
What your child will need
Please provide your child with warm outdoor clothes (coats, hats, gloves) during the colder months as we will continue with outdoor play during the winter months. In the summer, sun hats are a necessity and sun-cream must be pre-applied. Please label all clothes that will be left at Playgroup or that you expect your child to take off (coats, hats, shoes etc). It is also useful to provide a spare set of clothes on your child’s peg, although we do keep spare clothes for emergencies. In order to feel free to explore and experiment with all kinds of activities, including messy ones, it is wise to dress your child in clothes that are easily washable or not too new. Aprons are provided for messy activities but they do not provide complete protection.
We provide a snack during the session, usually in the form of cereal, a piece of fruit, cheese and crackers or a piece of toast and milk. Water is always available for the children if they require it throughout the session.
On arrival/departure at Playgroup, please sign the signing-in book located in the Entrance Hall. The main entrance door will be opened 10 minutes prior to the end of the session. Please ensure your child is signed out.
Collection of children
At the end of the session, please wait in the Entrance Hall until a member of staff calls the children out. Don’t forget to collect up their belongings. Please check the notice board for any announcements. For safety reasons it would be helpful to the staff if they could meet anyone who will be collecting your child from Playgroup. Your child will not be handed over to anyone other than yourself, unless you have previously informed the staff. Written permission needs to be given by the parent/carer to the staff for another person to collect their child. Children will not be handed over to anyone under the age of 16.
If a parent/carer is running late to collect a child from Playgroup, please make every effort to contact the Playgroup on the mobile Tel. No. 07792657808 and advise them of the situation.
Staff can only remain at Playgroup for a limited amount of time. Two members of staff will remain on the premises with the child until the parent/carer arrives to collect the child.
In the event of non-collection of a child, the procedures will be followed as set out in the Policy and Procedures Handbook.
We welcome children at whatever stage of potty training they have reached. The staff will support the potty training process as much as they can. If your child uses nappies, please provide nappies and wipes and leave on their peg. Please ensure that all bags are clearly marked on the outside with your child’s name.
Your child will benefit from home to setting communication and a good relationship with your child’s key person will play an important role with this. As a parent you will have access to your child’s development record, should you wish to view their file then just see their key person to make an appointment.
The Committee maintain communication about the running of the setting, with information about events and upcoming meetings by newsletters and information displayed on the noticeboard.
We ensure that all children feel valued and are free from any kind of discrimination. We are committed to equality and recognise that a child’s attitude towards others is established in their early years.
We will ensure that the children learn about equality and justice through their play. Children are encouraged to appreciate and value each other’s similarities and differences.
A range of resources and activities are provided to ensure that children are made aware of differing cultures such as food, clothing and religious festivals.
Within the Playgroup we have a Special Needs Co-ordinator, Mrs Colleen Huegett, who will work closely with any child and their family whilst liaising with the relevant professionals and other agencies if needed.
If your child is unwell and unable attend Playgroup, please inform us on Tel. No. 07792657808. In line with the policy currently held, if your child is suffering from vomiting or diarrhoea, please do not send them back to Playgroup until at least 48 hours after their symptoms last appeared. This is to prevent the spread of the infection.
Should it be necessary for the setting not to open or be forced to close unexpectedly then you will be contacted by a member of staff or Committee member. In the event of closure due to snow then we make an announcement using Stray FM’s snow watch facility. You will be able to view this on their website www.strayfm.com
Events and outings
Playgroup recognises the importance of celebrating events throughout the year and put a lot of emphasis on this. During the year children take part in, Easter and Summer Concerts. In order for these events to be successful we need the support of parents/carers. Volunteers are needed to help set up/tidy up and serve refreshments.
Policies and procedures
As a registered Early Years setting, we have a number of policies and procedures. These cover numerous subjects including, Behaviour, Health & Safety and Equal Opportunities. The policies and procedures form the basis of our approach to care, education and safety of all children on our register and are therefore strictly adhered to. We therefore encourage all parents to take the time to read and familiarise themselves with them when their child commences Playgroup. The Policy and Procedures Handbook can be found in the Entrance Hall and whilst this file may not be removed from the premises, staff members will be happy to provide any copies you may require.
St Joseph’s Pre-School Code of Practice
We will provide a happy, safe, secure and stimulating environment where children’s self-confidence and self- esteem can grow.
We will provide enjoyable and educational activities where positive attitudes to learning are fostered in a continuous learning experience.
We will encourage an environment where self-respect, politeness and kindness are expected as standard.
Staff will behave in a courteous and polite manner when dealing with parents and other members of Staff.
All members of staff are aware of the different cultures and religious beliefs which enrich the Playgroup’s environment.
Each and every activity at the setting will be functional regardless of gender and physical ability. If however, a disability restricts the activity then the activity will be modified to ensure that every child is included.
Each and every activity at the setting is viewed with safety in mind. Certain areas such as the kitchen are prohibited for the children to use. Each half term a fire drill is carried out to ensure that all children are aware of our procedure in the case of a real emergency.
In the event of an accident the following action will be taken:
The child will be comforted
The injury will be treated
If necessary the parents will be contacted
The details of the incident will be entered in the Accident book with the necessary details and signatures.
Should Staff ever feel that there are grounds for a concern about a child’s welfare, in the first instance this will be discussed with the parent/carer. All information held is confidential but it is the settings duty to report to Social Services any concerns relating to a Child Protection issue.
The security of your child whilst attending the setting is constantly observed. The external door is locked during sessions and is manned by a member of staff when unlocked for arrival and departure. The external door is unlocked 10 mins prior to the end of the session, at this time all children remain in the hall until a parent arrives, at this time a member of staff remains with the children at all times.