You’ve Got Questions. We’ve Got Answers
When is the Preschool open?
Our core hours are from 8.30 am - 3.00 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and we offer extended hours from 8.00 - 8.30 am and 3.00 - 4.00 pm. We are closed on Thursdays. The Preschool is open during school term.
From what age can my child start?
The Preschool takes children from 18 months old up to when they start school.
Can my child and I visit preschool together before my child starts at preschool?
Absolutely. We like to encourage familiarisation visits to help children prepare for starting with us, as this helps them settle in. It’s also reassuring for parents to see the setting and the activities their child will be doing. Just contact us to arrange a day and time for a visit.
When my child starts am I able to stay at preschool to help settle him/her?
We are happy for parents to stay on into a session if their child is upset at them leaving. However, Preschool staff are skilled at consoling crying children and diverting the attention of unsure children, so we do find that it’s often best for parents to stay bright and positive, tell their child that they will be back in a couple of hours to collect them, then leave. Familiarisation visits can be a valuable way for the child to get used to Preschool as they head towards activities or play areas that interest them.
What happens if I am late picking my child up?
If you know you’ll be running late, a quick phone call is appreciated so that staff are aware, and we can also let your child know as it can be very upsetting for a child if their parent does not turn up when they are expecting them. Unless prior arrangements have been made, a late fee of 50p per minute will be charged for any child who remains in Preschool’s care after the official session ends.
Can I change which sessions my child attends, mid term?
We appreciate that circumstances can change and aim to be as flexible as we can in accommodating your needs, but prefer to make changes at the start of a half term. Assuming there are spare spaces in the sessions into which you want to swap, we will always try to arrange this; just discuss this with the Preschool Leader.
Can I take my child out of preschool for holidays within term time?
Preschool education is not compulsory so you are free to take your child out whenever you like. However, you will still be charged for the sessions your child would have attended.
Is preschool open on bank holidays?
Most Bank Holidays fall outside term time (eg Christmas, New Year, Easter, August bank holiday), but the Preschool is closed on any that fall within term time (May).
What do I do if my child cannot attend a session?
If your child is not going to attend Preschool due to illness or any other reason, please ring us to let us know.
What should I do if my child is unwell at home?
Please do not bring your child to preschool if they are unwell. Everyday coughs and colds (without a temperature) are fine, but if the child has been vomiting and/or had diarrhoea, you must leave at least 48 hours after symptoms ease before bringing them back.
What happens if my child is unwell at preschool?
Your child would be well looked after by the trained staff, while someone calls either a parent or an emergency contact for them to collect the child as soon as possible. It is vital that your contact details to be correct and up to date. In an emergency it may be necessary for a member of staff to administer first aid, contact the child’s doctor or activate emergency services.
How do you help care for a child that has allergies or needs medication such as inhalers for asthma?
It’s really important that you let us know of any allergies, including food allergies, or medical conditions – please ensure you complete the relevant sections in the registration forms. Children taking prescribed medication must be well enough to attend Preschool. Staff will need to be made aware of any medication that needs to be given, and parents must give written permission for the administration of medication, including non-prescription medication such as Calpol. The child must come to school with any prescribed medication that may need to be given during the course of the day (eg inhalers); this must be clearly labelled.
Does my child need to be potty or toilet trained before he/she starts at preschool?
No. Staff are happy to help with potty training. You will need to advise on progress and expectations, and will need to provide nappies and wipes, as well as lots of clean clothes in case of accidents.
Does my child need to wear a uniform? If not, what clothing should he/she wear or take with them?
No, your child does not need to wear a uniform and can wear whatever he/she chooses. Your child will have fun playing with messy activities therefore please dress your child in clothes that you won’t mind getting dirty. Shoes should be sturdy and comfortable; flip flops etc are not recommended. We do have Preschool branded sweatshirts for sale if you’d like one.
Should I bring in spare clothing for my child?
Yes. Please ensure you provide a spare outfit in your child’s named bag, and additional change of clothing if the child is in the process of potty training, in case of accidents.
Will staff apply sun screen to my child in sunny weather?
Yes, although it is helpful if you have put sunscreen on your child before dropping him/her off at preschool. Please provide sun screen in your child’s named bag.
Do I need to bring in food and drink for my child?
Mid morning and afternoon, Preschool provides a variety of healthy snacks including chopped fruit, sliced raw vegetables, toast or crackers, and a drink of water or milk only. If your child is staying for lunch, please pack a lunch box for them. Please include an ice pack to keep items fresh.
If my child is staying for lunch, what type of food should I pack?
We actively encourage healthy eating and recommend sandwiches, cheese, chopped fruit, sliced raw vegetables such as carrots, cucumber etc and yogurts. Please do NOT put any NUTS in your child’s lunchbox.
Is my child allowed to bring toys from home to preschool?
Absolutely. A familiar toy from home offers the child comfort if they are feeling unsure. We have a ‘show and tell’ session where children have the chance to show the group something from home.
What is the Early Years Foundation Stage and where can I find out more about it?
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old. All schools and Ofsted-registered early years providers must follow the EYFS. You can find out more about the EYFS at www.foundationyears.org.uk.
What is a Key Person?
Every child is allocated a Key Person, who helps your child to settle in and will observe their development to aspects identified in the EYFS. They are responsible for completing your child’s profile according to the EYFS.
How can I contact my child’s key person?
You can either speak with your child’s key person at drop off or pick up or, as this can be a busy time, arrange an appointment with them. They will be happy to discuss your child’s progress and show you your child’s profile.
Will reports on my child’s progress at preschool be provided?
Your child will have an individual learning journal which will include observations taken during sessions, along with photographs and pieces of work. At the end of each term there will be a short summary of your child’s development and interests along with their next steps. You are welcome to review the journals at any time but they stay at the Preschool.
What happens in a preschool session?
We support children’s learning through both planned and child-initiated activities so have a variety of both indoor and outdoor play and activities.
Does the preschool accommodate children with special needs?
Yes, Harting Preschool supports children with special educational needs and disabilities by providing an environment in which all children are supported to reach their full potential. We have a designated Special Education Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO), who has many years of experience. For more information, please speak with the Preschool Leaders.
What precautions do you take to keep my child safe?
All children are supervised by the staff continuously, and we follow Ofsted ratios of staff:children. All our staff have been checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS – formerly CRB). We have procedures for recording the details of visitors to the setting, and no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children. We take steps to ensure children are not photographed or filmed on video for any other purpose than to record their development or their participation in events organised by us. Parents sign a consent form and have access to records holding visual images of their child. Children will never be allowed to leave with anybody unfamiliar to preschool, and if the child is to be collected by anyone other than their parent or primary carer, they will be requested to give an agreed password before being allowed to take the child. Please see our policy on Safeguarding and Child Protection for further details.
What policies and procedures do you have in place to protect my child from bullying, and how are children disciplined at Preschool?
Our policy on Achieving Positive Behaviour details how we manage behaviour. To achieve positive and considerate behaviour, we reinforce positive behaviour and support children in rationalising and
How do you help prepare children for the transition to primary school?
We keep our Monday sessions specifically for the children that will go to school the next September. We particularly focus on activities to develop pre-reading and pre-number skills, as well as French and Playball. In the summer term, we will work with your child and their new primary school to make the transition a smooth and positive experience: we take the children who will be going to Harting Primary school for a visit to their new school and invite Reception teaching staff from all local schools to visit the pre-school to meet the children, read stories and lead activities. This has proved a very successful arrangement for helping children to settle easily when they start at primary school.
Is the preschool a specific feeder for Harting Primary School?
Not at all. Children have gone on to a wide variety of primary schools in the area.
How will I be invoiced?
An invoice will be issued at the beginning of each term. Fees are payable either half-termly or at the beginning of the term.
How do I pay for my child’s preschool sessions?
We accept cash, cheques, bank transfers and childcare vouchers.
Does the Pre-School accept childcare vouchers?
When can I claim my 15 hours free childcare entitlement?
We are authorised to offer free entitlement places for all children for up to 15 hours per week from the beginning of the term following your child’s 3rd birthday. When your child is eligible for this free entitlement, the Preschool Leader will inform you. A copy of the West Sussex County Council scheme is available upon request.
My 2 year old child is eligible for funding – do you take funded children and how do I go about arranging this?
Yes we do. If your child is eligible for 2 year old funding, you will need to arrange this yourself through West Sussex County Council.
How can I secure a place for my child at the preschool?
We ask that you complete an ‘Expression of Interest’ form detailing the child’s date of birth and which sessions you may be interested in your child attending. The list of interest is structured in birth date order to avoid excluding those who have just moved to the area, those whose first language is not English, racial/cultural groups who are not familiar with the Preschool or childminders who may not have detailed information on specific children. In order to secure the place for a child we require a deposit of £25 per child (via cheque payable to Harting Village Preschool), which is deducted from the first invoice when the child starts. However, if a child will be using only Free Entitlement hours at the preschool, a deposit is not required, in alignment with clause 1.14 of the West Sussex County Council Free Entitlement Registration Form.
How do the staff and committee communicate with parents?
The staff are always available at drop off and pick up, and are very happy to discuss any particular queries or concerns you may have. At the start of each half of term, you will receive a newsletter and a summary of ‘Themes of the week’ – topics that we will focus on each week for that half of term. The Committee sends out regular emails to parents, keeping them up to date with what’s going on and upcoming events, including fundraising activities. We also have a Facebook page and an interactive whiteboard, both of which are regularly updated and used to share news.
How can I become more involved with preschool?
The Pre-School is a community group and we love our parents to feel part of our 'family'. We have many opportunities for you to become involved, from participating in fundraising activities to coming in to a Preschool session and sharing a skill with the children or reading a story. Let us know of your thoughts and ideas through our annual questionnaire or the comments box.