Welcome to our March/April newsletter!
We would like to welcome the following children and their families to our nursery: Benjamin, Ethan, Freddie, and Penny (all Baby Room); and Iris (Preschool Room).
Babies and Teenies activities
The Babies and Teenies have been learning the names of different animals, and the sounds that they make. They have also been learning about the human body, with the aid of different pictures, puppet shows, and reading and singing about the body.
The babies are planning to help the older children to plant flowers and vegetables in our garden.
The older babies have been learning to feed themselves, and they are doing very well, showing their independence. The children have been learning the prime numbers and shapes. Why not continue this activity at home by playing with ducks and fishes in the bath, and counting these together.
The younger babies have been learning to hold bottles by themselves, crawling, and standing with support. They have also been joining in with the older babies for different role play, such as picnic, shopping (one of the children’s favourites!), and caring for the dolls.
Toddler and Preschool activities
The Toddlers (2-3 year-olds) and Pre-school (3-5 year-olds) children have been concentrating on the letters, D and E, and have been looking at shapes in our environment.
The children have also been learning to measure out ingredients while cooking, and learning about size and proportions (ie, big, small, more and less). The children have been concentrating on potty training, and sleeping without pull-ups – we are very proud of the children’s achievements! Thank you to all parents for working closely with us regarding this.
The Toddlers have been learning to use knives and forks correctly, and to put their shoes and coats on by themselves. We celebrated Pancake Day, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day with cooking. Why not continue this activity at home by making simple biscuits with your child for the coming celebrations of Easter, St Patrick’s Day and St George’s Day. Let your child see and measure out the ingredients. Feel free to take some pictures and share them with your child’s nursery friends.
The Preschool children have been following the different celebrations, and they have also started to prepare our nursery garden for planting flowers and vegetables. We talked about our families, extended families, and pets. The children enjoyed sharing their stories, and were proud to introduce their families using the photos on our family tree.If you have not already done so, please bring a family photograph into the nursery for our family tree.
We will be talking about different modes of transport, and it would be particularly good for the children if any parents have time to come into the nursery to talk about this.We will try to organise for the fire service and the police to visit the nursery to talk to the children, and to show their vehicles.
Why not look at different cars with your child while you are on the way to the park, while out shopping, or visiting friends. Take some photos for your child to use as a talking point, and to allow your child to share the photos with their nursery friends.
The children will also be learning Irish dancing with Bernie following St Patrick’s Day. I hope that your child can teach you at home too!
It has come to my attention that some parents are requesting specific sleep times for their child, such as 20 or 30 minutes. This is disruptive for children, resulting in mood swings as they are woken up without enough sleep, and is also disruptive to other children who are sleeping. The recommended amount of sleep for the different age groups is as follows:
Infants (4- 12 months-old) – 12 to 16 hours
Toddlers (1-2 years-old) – 11 to 14 hours
Toddlers (2-3 years-old) – 10 to 12 hours
Preschoolers (3-5 years-old) 10 to 13 hours (Preschool children can go without a nap, and this also prepares the older children for school).
At Monkey Puzzle, children have the opportunity to rest or sleep if they want to throughout the day. We do take your requests into consideration,although we cannot force a child to sleep, wake up, or to keep a child awake against their will. We do wake children gently, but some children are tearful and do not want to participate in activities with the other children who do not sleep. This can also disturb those children who want to sleep for longer.
Children need sleep and rest periods to help their development.
It is important that children are not subjected to the rigours of the nursery day if they are unwell. If a child is unwell then they will prefer to be at home with their parent(s) rather than at nursery with their peers.
Our sickness policy can be found on the parents’ notice boards. It is important that we keep our children healthy at all times, and to prevent the spread of infection. We adhere to the advice from Public Health England on whether a child should remain at the nursery for certain illnesses. Should a child have an infectious disease, such as an eye/ear infection or sickness and diarrhoea, they should not return to nursery until they have been clear for at least 48 hours. Children on antibiotics must remain at home for the first 24 hours of the course.
Also, we MUST have your updated contact number for when we need to contact you if your child is ill. There have been a few situations where we have been unable to contact any parent or the emergency contacts.This is not helpful, as staff cannot administer medication if they do not have information on whether a child has taken any medication before they came into the nursery.
A few reminders
Please ensure that your child has enough nappies at the nursery, as we cannot borrow nappies from other children.
I would like to remind all Baby Room parents to bring proper, hard-soled outdoor shoes (and not soft-soled shoes) for the older babies for when they go outside. This is important for development of the children’s feet, and to aid balancing.
Can I also remind all parents of children over 12 months, that we are looking at jaw muscle development, and later speech development at this stage. Children’s eating habits at this time are especially important, as we noticed that some of the children are still eating pureed food. If there is a particular need or problem, that your child is unable to move on from pureed food, please let me know.
Language of the month
Our languages of the months of March and April are Japanese and Makaton (sign language), respectively.
Nursery questionnaire results
Thank you to all parents who participated in our annual questionnaire about your nursery experience. The results wilI be used to improve the nursery and help us in our planning for the nursery.
I am pleased to report that parents are generally happy with the nursery and care overall. Parents find the Monkey Puzzle team approachable.
A few parents have suggested that the lunch menus could be changed regularly. Our 4-weekly menus were devised by a nutritionist and are reviewed on a regular basis. The menus incorporate all the food groups and we try to introduce an international flavour. We promote healthy eating at our nursery, and also take into consideration what children like to eat. Our menus can be found on our website. We have recently made some adjustments to the menus, so that we now have an Autumn/Winter menu, and a Spring/ Summer menu, to reflect food seasonality.
A few parents have commented that our outdoor space is too small. This, unfortunately, cannot be changed. We utilise our outdoor space as best we can. We have a rota for our younger and older children to ensure that the children take turns in the garden, allowing them enough space for play. As with our indoor space, we review the outside space regularly, with input from the Operational Manager from Monkey Puzzle Head Office, to ensure that we effectively utilize the space that we have. As well as the garden, children are also taken to the local park where practicable, and also walk to the local library.
I would like to thank Michael’s and Oria’s mum, Gabriela (Preschool Room) for coming in to the nursery to talk to the children about the equipment in the first aid boxes, and about the brave children who come to see her with certain injuries at the hospital where she works. The children were very excited about this, and have been talking about it all week! Following this, the children took part in play activities between themselves, and also using the dolls.
I would also like to thank William’s mum, Joanna (Toddler Room), for coming to the nursery on World Book Day to read to our children.
Please feel free to follow our monthly themes. Please try to find time to join us for an activity at the nursery. The children enjoy having parents in the nursery, and it is great for their development.
The nursery will be closed for Easter on Friday 30th March. We will re-open at the usual time on Tuesday 3rd April.
Our INSET days this year will be on Friday 13th July and Friday 23rd November 2018. The nursery will be closed on these days for essential staff training. Please arrange alternative childcare for these days.
Please note that monthly fees take INSET days into consideration so that you are not charged.
Forthcoming special days/celebrations
17th March – St Patrick’s Day
1st April – Easter Sunday
10th April – Siblings Day
23rd April – St George’s Day
I would like to remind parents that we will be holding our Parents’ meetings week, commencing on 16th April 2018. Please come to the office to book a 20-minute appointment with your child’s Key Teacher if you have not already done so.
The deadline for new applications to the Childcare Vouchers scheme is 5th April 2018. After this date, parents who are not already signed up for childcare vouchers cannot join the scheme. This is because the Government has rolled out Tax-Free Childcare, which replaces childcare vouchers, giving eligible parents an extra 20% towards childcare costs, up to a max of £2,000 per child per year. For further details, please see https://www.gov.uk/help-with-childcare-costs/childcare-vouchers
Did you know…….
The nursery is committed to contributing to a greener environment. We try to create a paperless nursery wherever possible (all newsletters and invoices are sent to parents by email). All waste generated at the nursery is bagged together and sorted for recycling by a specialist company.
When using the car park for drop-offs or pick-ups, please could all parents park in one direction, facing the building, and not facing the low wall.
Please ensure that pushchairs are stored folded and upright in the buggy storage area to ensure that all pushchairs can fit into the area. Please do not place pushchairs flat on the floor, as this takes up valuable space and can be damaged if other pushchairs are placed on top. Just a reminder that pushchairs must not block either of the double doors next to the buggy area (marked by silver tape), nor the stairway, as this is our fire exit route. Pushchairs must not be left in the nursery overnight. Your continued co-operation will be much appreciated.
Also, please do not bring pushchairs into the rooms. We need to keep the carpets clean for the children at all times, as they often play on the floors. Thank you for your co-operation.
Emergency mobile telephone number
If you need to call the nursery, please phone our nursery landline on 020 8840 1116. If for any reason the landline is down, please call the emergency nursery mobile on 07745219888 (please do not leave voicemail or text messages on the nursery mobile. Messages may, however, be left by email). If in doubt, you can contact Head Office on 01442 878887.
If you require extra sessions at the nursery, please let me know. Please give as much notice as possible, as we need to ensure that our staff to child ratios are met at all times. However, if you have a last minute request for extra sessions, we will try to accommodate when possible. Please check with us whether we can accommodate extra sessions for your child before you bring your child into the nursery. Please note that extra sessions must be paid for prior to attendance and cannot be cancelled once booking has been confirmed.
This also applies to parents requiring an early drop in (7:30), as sometimes we are unable to accommodate your request because of our staff: child ratio. The nursery will open at 08:00 should we not have any children for 07:30 starts, and we would therefore be unable to change this mid-week because of our advance-planned staff shift rotas.
If your child is unwell or intends to be away from the nursery for any reason (eg, holidays or sickness), please could you let us know as soon as possible. This helps us to plan our activities and staff rotas.
Please note that nursery fees are payable when your child is off sick or away on holiday, as specified on our Terms and Conditions. In addition, registered attendance days cannot be changed or swapped.
Please could all parents ensure that they pick up their child promptly as soon as their nursery session finishes at 1 pm or 6 pm. Late collection is disruptive and can affect our staff/child ratios. Late collection charges will apply.
The nursery closes at 6:00 pm. Please pick up your child before this time to allow for feedback about your child. Your consideration would be much appreciated.
Contacting the nursery
If you need to contact the nursery, please telephone us on our landline. You may also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, but please be aware that I am not always at my desk to pick up emails throughout the day. Please phone me for anything urgent, or for anything that needs my same-day attention.
Children’s development profiles
Your child’s development profile is available for you to see at any time. Just ask your child’s key person if you wish to view this.
If you have any concerns, queries or suggestions, please feel free to speak to me at any time.
Manager, Monkey Puzzle Day Nursery Ealing
020 8840 1116