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May & June 2017

March & April 2017

Welcome to our March/April Newsletter!

New staff

We would like to introduce you to our new staff members:

Iris Dos Santos joins us as a Senior Room Leader. Iris was previously Senior Room Leader at Wimbledon Day Nursery. Iris will lead the Preschool Room, and will support myself and Kiera as part of the management team. Iris is NVQ Level-3 qualified in both Childcare and Management.

Monika Chwedczyk joins us as a Nursery Practitioner in the Baby Room. Monika has been a Nursery Teacher in Poland since 2006, and has also worked with children with special needs.

Evgenia Vasiakaki, Hannah Smolar Fourniol and Pornngarm (Lek) Atkinson join us as part of our Bank Staff team. Evgenia previously worked as a reception class teacher. Hannah is currently on a gap year, having completed her ‘A’ Levels. Hannah has previously undertaken voluntary work at Aktiva afterschool club and at Grange Primary School. Lek previously worked with us at our Acton nursery before we moved to our current Ealing site. In between, Lek, an experienced chef, has been cooking in a care home for the elderly.

Welcome Iris, Monika, Evgenia, Hannah, and Lek!

Iriucka is currently on maternity leave, and hopes to return to work early next year. I will keep you posted.

Babies and Teenies activities
The Babies and Teenies have been talking about families, Spring, colours and animals.

The older babies have been learning how to pour water and looking at growing plants. The children also talked about families, and looked at photos of our families (if we do not have a photo of your family, I would be grateful if you could bring one to the nursery) .The children also talked about different colours and have been learning how to pronounce the names of the colours and recognise the colours.

Why not continue these activities at home by planting seeds with your child, watering and looking after the plants together, and watching them grow. Feel free to take pictures of this activity to share with your child’s friends at the nursery.

The younger babies have been looking at family photos and colours too. The babies also played with soft toy animals and read books about animals. The younger babies have been learning to hold bottles by themselves and to use cutlery. We are very proud of the learning development of our babies, as they have quickly learnt to hold bottles and cups by themselves. Some of our babies have been learning to crawl, and stand with support.

Toddler and Preschool activities
The Toddlers (2-3 year-olds) and Pre-school (3-5 year-olds) children have been exploring the sign language, Makaton. We talked about people who are hard of hearing, and the children showed much interest in this. We also celebrated Valentine’s Day and International Women’s Day. The children made individual cards for their loved ones.

Valentines

The Toddlers have been talking about nature and the weather. The children planted sunflowers and explored earth worms in the garden. The younger toddlers learnt to use cutlery properly, and some have started potty training. The children have also been learning about table manners, and saying ‘thank you’ and ‘please’.

Why not visit the local park with your child and explore what is in the grass and soil. Feel free to take some photos to share with your child’s friends at the nursery. The children are usually very excited by this.

We have had a few children transitioning from the Baby Room to the Toddler Room, and they have settled in very well. A few of these children still feel anxious when being separated from their parents in the morning, but please rest assured that the children are fine during the day, while they explore the new room, toys, and new activities.

Our Preschool children have been concentrating on phonics, familiar letters and writing the letters. Our older children have been learning to write simple sentences, and we are very proud of them! We will be introducing letters of the week, and our Preschool teachers will be sharing ideas with you on how to extend those activities at home. We had several activities with our older children regarding looking after toys, books and resources.

The Preschool children will be exploring more natural resources as the weather gets warmer, through nursery resources and visits to the park.

We have introduced a new construction area to our Preschool children, where they can develop their skills.

Why not continue these activities at home by collecting natural resources from the park, and playing with these at home. Combine these natural resources together with toys that your child already has at home. Please feel free to take photos to share with your child’s nursery friends.

‘Love’ is our word of the month for March, and we will be doing lots of activities for children to understand and to write the word.

wbdAs you are aware, we embraced World Book Day in March. We talked to the children about the importance of both reading and looking after books. Each child was given a book token to use towards the cost of a new book from a book shop. Please see me if your child did not receive a book token.

I would like to say a big thank you to Alice (Daniel’s sister) and Caitlin (Ellis’ sister) for coming into the nursery to read to the children.

Language of the month
Our languages of the months of March and April are Makaton and Spanish, respectively.

Positive word of the month
Our positive words for March and April are ‘love’ and ‘humour’, respectively.

Nursery questionnaire results
Thank you to all parents who completed a nursery questionnaire. The results wilI be used to improve the nursery and help us in our planning for the nursery. I am pleased to report that we had a good response, and that parents are generally happy with the nursery and care overall.

A few parents have expressed that they were not aware of our process for dealing with issues and concerns. Our complaints policy can be found on the parents’ notice boards for your reference.

One or two parents were not aware that they can view their child’s development profile at any time, on request. This is stated on the bottom of each newsletter as a reminder to parents.

A few parents have commented that the tea served to children is not substantial enough. Children have a snack in the morning and afternoon, and are provided with a substantial lunch with dessert. Food served in the afternoon is only intended as a light tea before children go home for dinner.

One or two parents have expressed interest in half-day sessions. As our nursery places fill up, we have been unable to offer half-day sessions to parents wanting to change to these sessions. However, should these sessions become available, I will let you know.

One or two parents have commented on the lack of storage space for pushchairs. As I am sure that you are aware, space in London is at a premium, and we would hate to take away space used by the children for storage of pushchairs. The space that we use for pushchair storage is actually a communal area that the landlord has kindly agreed to allow us to use on the proviso that the fire exits remain clear, and that pushchairs are folded up and stored neatly and not left overnight.

Sainsbury’s Active Kids vouchers
PrintWe are collecting Sainsbury’s Active Kids vouchers again. These will be exchanged for sports equipment, toys and other resources to be used in the nursery. We would be grateful for any vouchers that you and your friends and family wish to donate to the nursery. Please drop vouchers into the voucher box in the entrance foyer – thank you.

Parent-Keyworker meeting
We will be holding Parent-Keyworker meetings between 24th and 28th April 2017. Please see me in the office to book a timeslot.

Forthcoming special days/celebrations
17 March – St Patrick’s Day
26th March- Mother’s day
16 April – Easter Sunday
23 April – St George’s Day

Bringing toys into the nursery
Several of our Toddlers and Preschool children have been continuously bringing toys from home to the nursery. We understand that children are attached to certain special toys, but please put those toys in your child’s bag when you arrived at the nursery as they can be lost or inadvertently hidden in the nursery, leading to upset children. It is also time consuming trying to locate those toys at the end of the day, when staff are at their busiest and need to be in ratio with the children.

We have plenty of toys at the nursery, and I would be grateful if you could discourage your child from bringing toys from home into the nursery where possible.

Each Tuesday, the Toddlers and Preschool children have an opportunity to bring something specific (or a special toy) from home to show to their friends for Show and Tell.

Junk Modelling
If you have any of the following unwanted household items from home, we would be grateful if you could donate these to the nursery: old telephones, keyboards, bags/different materials/small cardboard boxes, jar lids, old unwanted keys and old princess dresses. These items have proved to be more interesting for the children than some toys. The familiarity of these items are good for children’s exploring, imaginative play, and learning development.

“Sugar tax” to support mental health in the young
Around £415m of funding from the “sugar tax” could be used to improve support for young people with mental or physical health problems. The funding generated, from the Soft Drinks Industry Levy, will be available to schools in 2018, with more detail on how it will be distributed among schools due to be published later this year. The funding was originally earmarked to improve physical health through sports in primary schools, and to allow secondary schools to opt in to longer school hours so they could offer a wider range of activities for pupils. The Education Secretary, Justine Greening, has stated that mental health and physical conditions are now also on the agenda.

Nursery closure for INSET day
Our INSET days this year will be on Friday 21st July and Friday 24th November 2017. 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.

Pushchairs
Thank you to all parents for folding up pushchairs in the buggy storage area. 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. Your continued co-operation will be much appreciated.

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.

Extra sessions
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 sometime we are unable to accommodate your requests 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.

Absences
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.

Late collection
I have noticed that several parents have been late in picking up their children from the nursery. 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 manager@monkeypuzzleealing.co.uk, 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.

Biljana Dokmanovic
Manager, Monkey Puzzle Day Nursery Ealing
020 8840 1116