About Us

Sessions
Term Dates
Fees
Terms and Conditions
Curriculum
Daily Routine
Parents and Carers
Admissions
Clothing and Possessions
Unplanned Closure
Policies and Procedures

The Valley Preschool is a non-profit making registered charity (Number: 1067045), which follows the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, is affiliated to the Preschool Learning Alliance and has formally adopted their constitution.

Although the preschool is not run by, connected with, or financially supported by the Hampshire County Council or the Church of England, it receives support from the Meonstoke C of E Infant School teachers and from the Hampshire Early Years Development and Childcare Partnership.

It is managed by a voluntary committee and in common with other registered settings the preschool is inspected regularly by Ofsted and copies of previous inspection reports are available on the Ofsted website.

Our Ofsted registration permits a maximum of 24 children per session with a staff-to-child ratio of 1:4 for
2-3 year olds and 1:8 for 3+ years. However, we aim to maintain a lower (1:6) ratio for the 3+ years.

The current committee includes:

  • Samantha Whittaker (Chairperson)
  • Harriet Parker (Vice Chairperson)
  • Nicky Clark (Treasurer)
  • Emily Peachey (Vice Treasurer)
  • Annabell Terry (Secretary)
  • Ruth Voice (Committee Member)
  • Lorna Allured (Committee Member)
  • Linda Coumbe (Head Teacher and non voting member)

 

Sessions

The preschool is open daily during term time, offering two sessions, from 9am to noon and from noon to 3pm. Children doing the morning session can also stay for packed lunch.

By prior arrangement, we can be extremely flexible with alternative start and finish times to fit with parents’ requirements.

Term Dates

Academic year 2017- 2018

Autumn term

Monday 4th September 2017 (inset day on 4th September) – Thursday 21st December 2017

Half term: Monday 23rd October 2017- Friday 27th October 2017

Inset days:  22nd December 2016

Spring term

Spring Term: Thursday 4th January 2018- March 29th 2018

Half term: Monday 12th February  2018- Friday 16th 2018

Inset day Friday 25th July 2018

We close at 2pm on the last day of term

Summer term

Summer Term: Monday 16th April  2018 – July 23rd 2018

Half term: Monday 28th May 2018 – 1st June 2018

Inset day 20th and  23rd July 2018

We close at 2pm on the last day of term

Fees

The following is just a top-line summary; please refer to the Preschool Payment of Fees Policy for full details. Early Years Grant Fund is available for up to 15hrs per week from the start of the term after a child’s 3rd birthday but is subject to cut-off dates. For example a child born on 2nd January will not be funded for Spring term commencing on 5th January as the cut-off date is the 31st December.

We can also offer funding through the 2 Year Old Early Years Education Scheme for eligible children under the age of three years. Children are eligible if the parents or guardians are in receipt of one or more of the specified benefits, or if the child is looked after by the Local Authority. Please contact us to discuss if you believe you may be eligible.

Over 3 Years

Funded morning or afternoon sessions (3hrs, max 15hrs per week)
Unfunded morning or afternoon session (3hrs)
Lunch (1hr)
FREE
£13.80
£4.60
Under 3 Years
Funding for eligible children (3hrs, max 15hrs per week)
Morning or afternoon session (3hrs)
Lunch (1hr)
FREE
£16.50
£5.50

Fees for additional one-off sessions (morning or afternoon, 3hrs)

Over 3 years
Under 3 years
Lunch
 £5.60 per hour
£6.50 per hour
£5.50

Late collection £5 every 10 minutes

Terms and Conditions

1) Fees are payable termly in advance or half-termly in accordance with the terms set out in the Preschool Payment of Fees Policy. Any missed sessions must be paid for as running costs remain the same.

2) Invoices are issued in or around the second week of the start of term to allow for changes to sessions to be taken into account and payment must be received within 14 days.

3) A choice of payment methods are available: internet banking, cash, cheque or childcare vouchers (by prior arrangement with the Treasurer); either in a single payment or two equal installments.

4) The preschool cannot maintain your child’s place if fees are not paid and Parents will be given written notice if their child’s place is being withdrawn due to persistent non-payment of fees.

5) Additional one-off sessions, including lunches, are subject to available space and will be invoiced at the earliest opportunity by the Supervisor and such invoices must be paid within 7 days of receipt.

6) 6 weeks notice is required if you wish to withdraw your child from the preschool or decrease the number of sessions that your child attends. Fees for half a term are payable in lieu of notice.

7) Parents are asked to fill in a registration form at admission. Please provide the preschool with chances as soon as possible to ensure details provided are kept up to date.

Curriculum

Our curriculum is based on the requirements of the Revised Early Years Foundation Stage (Department for Education, September 2012) that sets the standards for Learning, Development and Care for children from birth to five. For more information please visit www.foundationyears.org.

Children start to learn about the world around them from the moment they are born. The care and education offered by The Valley Preschool will enable your child to learn skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate their understanding through interesting activities that are appropriate for their age and stage of development.

These are:
1. Personal, social and emotional development – we provide positive approaches to learning in order that the children are able to: find out about the world around them; gain confidence in themselves and their ability to do things and value their own achievements; work and make friendships with other people, both children and adults; keep to and be aware of the rules which we all need to help us to look after ourselves, other people and our environment; dress and undress themselves, look after their personal hygiene needs and gain independence; and expect to have their ways of doing things respected and to respect other people’s ways of doing things.

2. Communication and language – we enhance this by providing children with the opportunity to use and enhance: conversational skills with one other person, in small groups and in large groups to talk with and listen to others; their vocabulary by learning the meaning of, and being able to use, new words; their ability to use words to describe their experiences; their knowledge of the sounds and letters that make up the words we use; their ability to listen to, and talk about, stories. Through ‘Chatterbox’ sessions, when small groups of children play language games and practice phonics sounds, we see a significant boost to children’s self-esteem and language skills.

3. Literacy – knowledge of how to handle books and that they can be a source of stores and information; knowledge of the purposes for which we use writing ; and make their own attempts at writing. We are teaching phonics phase 1 to further help children’s transition to Reception.

4. Mathematics – this includes encouraging the children to: understand and gain ideas about how many, how much, how far and how big; understand and gain ideas about patterns, the shape of objects and parts of objects, and the amount of space taken up by objects; understand that numbers help us to answer questions about how many, how much, how far and bow big; understand and gain ideas about how to use counting to find out how many; and create early ideas about the result of adding more or taking away from the amount we already have. New for 2013, we will be introducing the children to Numicon, a multisensory approach to numeracy, which will also help with transition to Reception.

5. Understanding of the world – this includes: knowledge about the natural world an how it works; knowledge about the made world and how it works; learning about how to choose, and use, the right tool for a task; learning about computers, how to use them and what they can help us to do; skills on how to put together ideas about past and present and the links between them; learning about their locality and its special features; and learning about their own and other cultures.

6. Physical development – we provide children with opportunities to: increase control over the large movements that they can make with their arms, legs and bodies, so that they can run, jump, hop, skip, roll, climb, balance and lift; increase control over the small movements they can make with their arms, wrists and hands, so that they can pick up and use objects, tools and materials; and understand about the importance of, and how to look after, their bodies.

7. Expressive arts and design– includes the use of pain, materials, music, dance, words, stories and role-play to develop their imaginations, and express their ideas and feelings.

Daily Routine

We organise our sessions so that the children can choose from, and work at, 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 that introduce them to new experiences and help them to gain new skills, as well as helping them to learn to work with others. A newly fitted kitchen (to be accessed by adults only) means we can offer cookery activities that the children are always keen to participate in.

Outdoor activities contribute to children’s health, their physical development and their knowledge and understanding of the world around them. The children have the opportunity, and are encouraged, to take part in outdoor child-chosen and adult-led activities whatever the weather, as well as those provided in indoors. We have a wonderful mixed surface outdoor play-space offering a range of opportunities from installation musical instruments, to raised beds for growing flowers and vegetables, to developing their physical capabilities on the climbing equipment.

With the support of the Hampshire Gardens Trust, and Garsons, we have recently introduced a regular weekly gardening session during which the children will have the opportunity to grow flowers and vegetables in our outdoor space which they will then be encouraged to taste.

The following is just an example of how a day may be structured:

09:00 Arrival Settle in time
09:15 Circle Time Talk about activities, look at days of the week and share items of interest
09:30-11.30 Snack and free flow Free flow – a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities are available for the children to choose from. Indoor activities include messy play, reading, dressing up and role-play, building, and puzzles. Some activities are directly related to the current topic or theme, and others are more general.Snack time – children are encouraged to sit for a healthy snack and a drink of water or milk, having washed their hands. If your child has any food allergies or intolerances please make this known on the registration form.
09:45 Chatterbox group Selected children to go into quiet area for speech and language activities
10.00 – 11.15 Colour Groups Phonics, PSED, Games and items of interest – (15 mins per group: Green, Red, Yellow , Orange and Blue)
11:30 Tidy up time Get into key groups and tidy up together
11:40 Music and Movement Use Boogie Mites, sticky kids or similar CD and encourage everyone to join in
11:50 Story/Rhyme time Frogs and Tadpoles to split and have age appropriate stories or rhymes
12:00 Home/Arrival Say ‘hello’ to afternoon children and ‘goodbye’ to morning children
12:05 Lunch time Wash hands, register and prayers
13.00 – 14.55 Repeat of Morning schedule
14:55 Home Time Coats on, check trays etc ready to depart

 

Parents and Carers

We welcome opportunities to involve parents and carers in the preschool and the education of the children. Parents are welcome to stay and play with their children (together with younger siblings).

Each child’s progress at preschool is recorded in a confidential folder called a ‘record of achievement’ which a parent or carer can request at any time. These contain observations, photos and pieces of work; the children delight in looking at them, sharing them with an adult and adding to them. Your child’s key person will be happy to discuss your child’s progress and will work with you to update the record of achievement with information about the child’s needs, activities, interests and achievements at preschool and at home.

We produce a newsletter regularly which is emailed to parents with the latest information and additional ad-hoc information is placed in each child’s tray for parents to collect.

The Valley Preschool encourages parents to take an active part in the successful running of the preschool. As a community based setting, we depend on the good will of parents and their involvement, support and commitment to keep it going. This is the basis of the ‘mutuality’ that characterizes a Pre-school Learning Alliance member setting.

The Management Committee is a parent led, voluntary group that enhances and supports the preschool in its day-to-day running. The Annual General Meeting, which takes place in September, is open for all to attend and is an excellent way to meet other parents. We welcome anyone who wants to be involved, at whatever level, in their child’s environment and care, whether joining or helping the committee or simply coming to play with your child during a session.

Admissions

The Valley Preschool is registered for up to 24 children aged 2 years to rising 5 years (school age) per session. We would recommend registering your child’s name as early as possible to ensure you have a space when your child is eligible to start. We require a non-refundable £10 deposit when a child is registered with the preschool that reserves a place, although not any specific sessions.

Parents will be contacted during the half term prior to their child becoming eligible to attend to arrange the session they wish to attend. The choice of sessions available is offered to existing children first, then on a first-come, first-served basis, whilst also taking into account the age of the children to ensure we maintain required age dependent staff to child ratios. A £50 deposit is then required in order to secure the agreed sessions which will be returned when your child starts, but will not be refunded if sessions are allocated but not taken up. The Management Committee may reconsider this in exceptional circumstances.

Subject to available space, children may start at any time throughout the year. Once you have accepted the place, you and your child will be invited to attend a session before he/she is due to start at preschool. This visit helps your child to settle into the pre-school environment more easily and gives you a better understanding of what happens during the pre-school sessions. You will also get a chance to meet all the staff and children.

During this session a member of staff will go through further registration details to find out more about your child, detailing their likes and dislikes, what they enjoy doing, if they have any medical requirements, allergies etc.

Your child will be assigned to a member of staff to be their key person. The key person will work closely with you and your child, helping your child to settle in and monitor and encourage their development, recording their progress in their record of achievement.

Clothing and Possessions

Your child receives a Valley Preschool polo-shirt when they start. Valley Preschool fleeces and sweat-shirts are available to purchase at any time. It is not compulsory for children to wear a uniform but it would be appreciated if children were sent to preschool in old, clean clothes so as not to inhibit their play.

For safety reasons no flip-flops, ‘Crocs’ or badly fitting shoes should be worn to preschool and please minimise the amount of jewellery worn.

Please label all clothing brought to preschool with your child’s name and leave a spare set of clothes on your child’s peg and, if your child is wearing nappies, please bring at least two nappies and cleansing wipes each day.

We encourage outdoor play whatever the weather so please supply labeled wellington boots, warm clothing in winter and a sun hat and sun cream (in a named bottle to be kept safely by the staff) for the summer. In the summer please apply sun cream before arriving at preschool.

In order to avoid stress at the end of your child’s session, please try and dissuade your child from bringing treasured toys from home. Preschool is a large place and small items are easily mislaid.

Unplanned Closure

In the event of extreme weather conditions or enforced closure a text message will be sent by Meonstoke Infant School notifying parents of the unplanned closure of the school and preschool. Please ensure we have your current mobile number so we can add you to the text list. A message will also be recorded on the preschool telephone (01489 878 019).

Policies and Procedures

Copies of the Valley Preschool’s policies and procedures are available on request from the preschool office.

 

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