Welcome to ‘tinylittletinkers’
Scallywags / St Albans / Fairlands / Ruxley Lane / St Clement’s Pre School’s
We recognise that all children are unique.
A blend of their genes and early experiences, means that all children have their own learning style. Adhering rigidly to one child development theory, practice or methodology will benefit some and disadvantage others.
What children need most is love and care from a responsive Key Person who recognises their child’s changing needs and alters their interactive style to suit.
We recognise that children learn best through play.
Play’s vital role in fostering young children’s healthy social and psychological development is well documented. Play not only aids children’s mental and physical health, it teaches them risk taking and problem-solving skills, promoting imagination, independence and creativity.
We see adults as facilitators to play: ensuring children have an enriched environment to explore their interests, free access to resources, acting as collaborators, inspiring, encouraging and challenging.
In all play, there is a point when children can be supported by an adult to extend their thinking and learning. We call this a “teachable moment”. It may come during a moment of sustained shared thinking; the child’s key person sees an opportunity to help them extend their idea, achieving a new milestone. The child’s Key Person may have known this moment was imminent, it may be a pleasant surprise. Either way, they have the skills and the resources to support their child through this new experience and will use it to inform future opportunities for meeting learning goals.
Families are an essential part of each child’s learning journey. We will keep you in the loop with your child’s learning and encourage families to do the same.
Our termly parent’s meetings will provide you with feedback and give you information about your child’s progression and what you can do to support them at home.
How Can I Help My Child
A happy introduction to the Pre School is very important. It is advisable to visit the Pre School beforehand with your child before trying to settle him/her into the group. On the first morning your child will feel shy and strange, therefore be prepared to stay. Having you there will give confidence in the new surroundings and he/she may soon be happy to let you go home. The Pre School staff will help you decide when this time has come.
We want your child to feel happy and confident in the Pre School you have chosen.
Pre School staff are always available to discuss your child’s needs at the beginning and end of each session. If you would like more private time with your child’s key-person, please book for a ten-minute appointment at your convenience during the session. Your child’s Key Person will keep a record of his/her progress, which you may ask to view at any time during your child’s stay. When your child leaves you will be given their notes to keep and transition records will be sent on to the next setting.
Whilst on the premises parents/carers must be responsible for the supervision of their own children.
Aims & Objectives
Are aims & objectives are to aid the social, physical and intellectual development of children in a safe, fun, learning environment, whilst attending to the individual needs of each child in our multi-cultural community.
- We use a practical system that results in the children learning new skills, developing concepts and establishing attitudes.
- We use a variety of different topics and themes to enable children to build on first hand experiences in all areas of their environment and the curriculum.
- We give children the right opportunities and appropriate adult support to gain practical experience and considerable achievement, incorporating the religious and cultural beliefs, along with the principles of the community, into our learning program.
- We support children’s explorations and understanding of the world around them and create an environment within which children learn to respect and care for themselves and others.
- We welcome parental input and encourage you to take an active role in your child’s learning and development, by keeping you informed of our plans.
- We ensure that through the use of observation and record keeping, that our session plans specify learning outcomes and meet the real needs of the children.
- We ensure that development is monitored allowing children to progress continually in all areas of our curriculum.
- We believe a broad and balanced Pre School curriculum provides the essential foundation for lifelong learning, preparing children for later studies.
- We believe good planning is essential for effective early year’s education and care. Through planning, we will ensure that the children learn what they need.
- We believe if children are to learn the skills they need most, which will enrich their lives and make them useful members of society, adults must plan a curriculum accordingly.
A child’s name is entered on the waiting list immediately the parent/carer approaches the Pre School.
We require name, address, telephone number and date of birth for our records. When a place becomes available, you will be notified. Your child must be 2 years of age to enter the Pre School. Depending on availability, you will be able to choose the sessions you require.
When a Pre School place has been taken you will be able to change sessions when available.
Although we have a current waiting list, please do not worry if you are new to the area. We will endeavour to help you find a place within the ‘tinylittletinker’s group.
Please note that we require half a terms notice in writing of leaving the group.
The ratio of children to staff is 1 member of staff to every 3 children under 2, 1 member of staff to every 4 two year olds and 1 member of staff to every 8 children ages three and above.
We always have at least one member of staff trained in first aid and a minimum of 50% qualified staff per day.
On occasions, we have voluntary parents and students from local schools and colleges. No volunteer is left unattended with the children.
There will always be a member of staff on the door when you arrive and leave to ensure the children leave with the right parent or guardian. If there is not a member of staff at the door it will be kept locked and you will have to ring the bell.
We want to see equal treatment for the whole Pre School and do not tolerate discrimination of any kind against any person on grounds of gender, disability, ethnic and cultural background. Please see our Policy Folder.
In this Pre School we aim to encourage socially acceptable behaviour by praise and example i.e. treating children, as we would wish to be treated ourselves. The Pre School adopts a behaviour management policy and this is available in our Policy and Procedure folder displayed daily.
We welcome children with all types of special needs and aim to work in partnership with parents and other agencies.
Pre School Rules
- If your child is to be collected by anyone other than the parent or guardian, the Pre School must be notified, i.e., phone Pre School, advise staff, use your child’s code word.
- An emergency telephone number and record sheet must be completed on the first day of Pre School.
- The Pre School should be notified of any allergies or special dietary details on first day of starting the group.
- Children may bring one toy with their name attached. The Pre School cannot be responsible for any damage to, or loss of any toys which are bought into the Pre School
- On you first day please make sure that bags, coats, toys etc. are named. This avoids any confusion during ‘changing time/home time etc.
- Children must wear soft shoes
- Payment of fees is required during the first two weeks of every half term.
- Payment is still due for Bank Holidays and Polling Days during term time.
- Cheques, cash, electronic bank payments and childcare vouchers accepted.
- If we do not receive payment within the first two weeks of each half term then your child’s place will be cancelled.
- Half a terms notice is required for the cancellation of a place. This must be submitted in writing and no refunds will be given. Notice for funded children will be as per the Councils terms & conditions.
- No refund will be given in the event that your child is absent from the pre school during term time.
- A £20 fine will be incurred for late payment.
- A registration fee of £35 is due for all children including funded children.
If you have a three year old child, funding is available from the term after your child becomes three. Funding is also available to 2 year olds subject to application to the local authority, and an additional 15 hours through the government childcare scheme. The grant is available for up to 15 hours per week. You are responsible for paying the Pre School for any sessions, which are not covered by the nursery grant scheme (i.e. holiday scheme weeks).
From January to July we have a waiting list for extra sessions, so you may not be able to use all of your 15 hours at our pre-schools. You may however, use any remaining hours at other Ofsted approved groups
Please put you name down on the waiting list as soon as you require extra sessions.
Please remember to view our notice board regularly for any changes to the Pre School. Any increase in fees will be notified the term before changing.
If Your Child is Absent
Please contact the Pre School if your child will be absent from the Pre School.
St Albans Pre School – 07856 218 121
Fairlands Pre School - 07840 232 500
Ruxley Lane Pre School - 07856 218 123
Scallywags Day Nursery & Pre School – 07856 239 469
St Clements Pre School - 07756 813 611
Policies & Procedure
All our policies and procedures are available in our folder-displayed daily and on our web site – www.tinylittletinkers.co.uk They are reviewed once a year.
Please ensure you read our ‘Safeguarding Policy’ which can be found on our website or in the setting. Please note the following:
- Parents are normally the first point of contact. Concerns are discussed with parents to gain their view of events, unless it is felt that this may put the child in greater danger.
- Parents are informed when we make a record of concerns in their child’s file and that we also make a note of any discussion we have with them regarding a concern.
- If a suspicion of abuse warrants referral to social care, parents are informed at the same time that the referral will be made, except where the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board does not allow this, for example, where it is believed that the child may be placed in greater danger.
- This will usually be the case where the parent is the likely abuser. In these cases, the social workers will inform parents.
If you have any complaints or grievances regarding the Pre school, please contact the Pre School leader or Proprietor immediately or contact the Ofsted help line on 0300 1231231.
We aim to build strong, positive relationships with the parents and carers of all the child who attend our setting. The Pre-School staff recognise that all parents and carers are the first educators of their children and that working in partnership is essential if we are to provide a happy, caring and stable environment for the children in our care.
Good relationships will allow us to share information with parents and carers easily and comfortably and allow us to provide an overview of the experience and activities that the children are involved in.
A range of tools are used to work with parents. These include:
- Parent welcome packs are given out to all new parents providing information about the Pre-School including the EYFS.
- A learning Journal is maintained by your child’s key-worker and are available for parents and carers to view at all times.
- There are termly meetings for staff and parents where the learning journals and your child’s development are discussed and progress reviewed.
- Pre School news is regularly updated on our website and Facebook page.
- There is a pre school notice board which is used to share information about special activities, important messages etc. with parents.
- Staff are always available to speak to parents at dropping off and collection times.
Fair Processing Notice – Early Years Settings
Important information on the Data Protection Act 1998
Organisations that hold information about children and their families must comply with the Data Protection Act 1998. This means that the information they hold must only be used for specific purposes that are allowed by law. We are registered with the ICO and our registration number is ZA063605.
The details below cover the different types of information that organisations might hold, why that information is held, and to whom it may be passed on to.
‘tinylittletinkers’ holds information on children to:
- support their development
- monitor their progress
- provide appropriate care
- assess how well the setting itself is doing.
This information includes: contact details, attendance information, characteristics such as ethnic group, special educational needs and any relevant medical information. (Parent/carer data supplied will also be kept on record by the setting).
Early Years Settings are sometimes required to pass on some of this information to other groups such as:
- Local Authorities (LA’s)
- Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF)
- The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA)
- Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector for Schools
- The National Assessment Agency (NAA)
- The Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families
The Local Authority (LA) uses information about children to help it plan and deliver services for the local community. For example, the Local Authority will make an assessment of any special educational needs a child may have. It also uses the information to produce statistics to help make various decisions. The statistics are used in such a way that individual children cannot be identified from them.
The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) uses information about children to administer national assessments such as the Foundation Stage Profile. Any results passed on to the DCSF are used to produce statistics on trends and patterns in levels of development. The QCA can use the information to determine how effective the national curriculum and assessments are, and to ensure that these are continually improved.
Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector for Schools and Ofsted use information about the progress and performance of children to help inspectors evaluate the work of Early Years Settings, to help them in their self-evaluation, and as part of Ofsted’s assessment of the success of new initiatives and policies in education.
The National Assessment Agency (NAA) uses information for those settings undertaking the Foundation Stage Profile. The data that these settings produce is passed on to the NAA who then use the information when working with schools, the QCA, and Awarding Bodies, to help ensure that there is an efficient and effective assessment system for all ages of school children across the country.
The Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families and the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) uses information about children for research, to produce statistics, to allocate funds, to develop new policies on education and to monitor the performance of the education and children’s services.
Children have rights under the Data Protection Act 1998, including a general right to be given access to personal data held about them. If you would like a copy of the information that our setting, or any other group, keeps about your child, please write to the organisation at the address given below.
Organisation contact details
Local Authority (LA)
Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA)
Data Protection Officer, QCA, 83 Piccadilly, London, W1J 8QA
Data Protection Officer, Alexandra House, 33 Kingsway, London, WC2B 6SE
National Assessment Agency (NAA)
Data Protection Officer, NAA, 29 Bolton Street, London, W1J 8BT
Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF)
Data Protection Officer, DCSF, Caxton House, Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NA
An introduction to the Early Years Foundation Stage for parents
If your child is under the age of 5 and attends a childcare provision they will be looked after and educated by early years professionals who understand how children develop and learn.
You may choose to send them to a pre-school, a nursery or a childminder, your choice will depend on what you think is best for your child and what is available in your local area.
One thing that your child’s early years provider will have in common is that they will all have to meet the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?
The EYFS was introduced in 2008 and is how the Government and professionals working with young children describe the important stage in a child’s life between birth and age 5.
The EYFS has been updated several times over the years, to take account of current research into how young children learn and develop, and government policy related to children and families. The most recent version of the EYFS came into force on 1 September 2021.
Nurseries, pre-schools, and childminders (early years providers) registered with Ofsted or a Childminder agency, must follow the EYFS framework. They are registered and inspected by Ofsted to ensure the quality and standards of their provision. Because the EYFS goes up to age 5, this includes Reception classes in school too.
Ofsted’s role is to establish whether the early years provider is meeting the requirements of the EYFS and decide on whether they remain suitable for registration.
The EYFS is a legal document and any failure to meet a requirement of the EYFS may result in action being taken by Ofsted.
Why do we have the EYFS?
Children learn and develop rapidly from the moment they are born.
The home is the first environment where play and learning take place, supported by parents and other family members. Babies learn to crawl, walk, and talk, they begin to interact with people and the environment around them.
Their brains develop rapidly in the early years and create vital foundations for learning throughout life.
Research confirms that the experiences that a child has in the early years has a significant impact on their future life chances and that high quality early years care and education makes the biggest difference to every child.
The EYFS provides a framework that ‘sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good progress through school and life’. (EYFS 2021)
What is in the EYFS?
The EYFS has three sections:
Section 1 Learning and development describes what early years providers must do to promote the learning and development of all children in their care in seven areas:
- communication and language
- physical development
- personal social and emotional development
- understanding the world
- expressive arts and design
The first three areas listed are described as the prime areas of learning and development because they are closely linked to a child’s brain development in the first three years of life.
The following four areas are described as specific areas of learning that develop when parents and early years educators know what they want children to learn and create the right opportunities for learning to take place.
The activities and experiences (educational programmes), that early years settings provide are based on a child’s individual needs and interests.
The emphasis is on learning through play because ‘play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, relate to others, set their own goals and solve problems’ (EYFS 2021).
Section 2 Assessment describes how children’s progress is recognised.
There is additional guidance that supports the EYFS to help educators to recognise and interpret where a child is in their learning journey. The additional guidance is not intended to be a checklist that educators use to track a child’s development by ticking off one stage after another.
Learning does not progress in a set sequence of events which is why educators observe children constantly and use their professional knowledge to identify the areas of learning that a child is secure in, what they need to know next, and any areas where they may need additional support.
Assessment is not all about paperwork and written reports, but the EYFS expects that ‘parents and/or carers should be kept up-to-date with their child’s progress and development’ and discuss any additional needs with you and any relevant professionals, for example, if your child appears to be struggling with their speech and language, your child’s key person may suggest that they would benefit from being referred to a Speech and Language Therapist.
There are three formal assessment points in the EYFS:
- the progress check at age 2 when you will receive a short, written summary of your child’s development in the prime areas
- the Reception Baseline Assessment completed by your child’s school within the first six weeks of them starting reception, and…
- assessment at the end of the EYFS – the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP) which is completed in the final term of the year your child turns five. The profile is assessed against a set of early learning goals for the seven areas of learning and development that the early years educators have been supporting them towards.
Section 3 the safeguarding and welfare requirements explain what providers must do to safeguard children; ensure the suitability of adults who have contact with children; promote good health; manage behaviour; and maintain records, policies and procedures (EYFS 2021)
How are parents involved?
Early years educators are professionals who understand how children learn and develop, they are appropriately qualified for the role they undertake and continue to update their skills and knowledge.
They understand that you make a vital difference to children’s outcomes which is why the EYFS places a strong emphasis on the importance of working in partnership with parents.
A two-way flow of information between you and your child’s key person helps to ensure that your child gets the best possible care and learning.
What you do at home with your child makes a big difference.
What if I am worried about my child’s development?
If you’re worried about your child’s progress, talk to you early years provider and together you can agree how to support your child. If your child’s home language is not English, their early years provider must give them opportunities to develop and use their home language in play and learning to support their language development at home. Your early years provider must also make sure your child has enough opportunities to learn and reach a good standard in English language during the EYFS.
Healthy Eating & Living
We promote healthy eating within our Pre School. Variety underlies any healthy diet so try to vary the contents of the lunchbox.
Please bring in a piece of fruit to each session for the children to share together.
Keep them fuller for longer. Base the main lunchbox item on foods like bread, rice, pasta and potatoes. Choose wholegrain where you can.
Freeze for variety. Keep a small selection of different types of bread in the freezer so you have a variety of options – like bagels, pittas and wraps, granary, wholemeal and multigrain.
DIY lunches. Wraps and pots of fillings can be more exciting for kids when they get to make them. Dipping foods are also fun and a nice change from a sandwich each day.
Cut back on fat. Pick lower-fat fillings – like lean meats (including chicken or turkey), fish (such as tuna or salmon), lower-fat spread, reduced-fat cream cheese and reduced-fat hard cheese. And try to avoid using mayonnaise in sandwiches.
Mix your slices. If your child does not like wholegrain, try making a sandwich from 1 slice of white bread and 1 slice of brown bread.
Always add veg. Cherry tomatoes, or sticks of carrot, cucumber, celery and peppers all count towards their 5 A Day. Adding a small pot of reduced-fat hummus or other dips may help with getting kids to eat vegetables.
Ever green. Always add salad to sandwiches and wraps too – it all counts towards your child's 5 A Day!
Cheesy does it…Cheese can be high in fat and salt, so choose stronger-tasting ones – and use less of it – or try reduced-fat varieties.
Cut down on crisps. If your child really likes their crisps try reducing the number of times you include them in their lunchbox, and swap for homemade plain popcorn or plain rice cakes instead.
Add bite-sized fruit. Try chopped apple, peeled satsuma segments, strawberries, blueberries, halved grapes or melon slices to make it easier for them to eat. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to stop it from going brown.
Tinned fruit counts too. A small pot of tinned fruit in juice – not syrup – is perfect for a lunchbox and easily stored in the cupboard.
Swap the fruit bars. Dried fruit like raisins, sultanas and dried apricots are not only cheaper than processed fruit bars and snacks but can be healthier too. Just remember to keep dried fruit to mealtimes as it can be bad for teeth.
Switch the sweets. Swap cakes, chocolate, cereal bars and biscuits for malt loaf, fruited teacakes, fruit breads or fruit (fresh, dried or tinned – in juice not syrup).
Yoghurts: go low-fat and lower-sugar. Pop in low-fat and lower-sugar yoghurts or fromage frais and add your own fruit.
Get them involved. Get your kids involved in preparing and choosing what goes in their lunchbox. They are more likely to eat it if they helped make it.
Variety is the spice of lunch! Be adventurous and get creative to mix up what goes in their lunchbox. Keeping them guessing with healthier ideas will keep them interested and more open to trying things.
- Be sugar smart – make healthier food and drink choices by swapping out sugar.
- Visit the dentist regularly –trips to an NHS dentist are free for pregnant women and anyone under the age of 18 (19 if in full time education).
- Brush your teeth twice a day
For more information, please see Start4Life & Change4Life.