Latest News & Events
Since the last quarterly newsletter was issued at the start of this year, we have been trialling the weekly newsletters issued by room leaders as an alternative way of communicating with you. Following lots of positive feedback on these, we will be continuing to issue them and as always encourage you to send us your own news and any photos in return. We love being able to talk to the children about events at home, and they love to share the photos with their friends.
We have also decided to reinstate these quarterly newsletter, to provide more general information on events and changes across the nursery. If you have any suggestions for what you would like to be included in these, we would love to hear them.
As usual we have had a very busy start to the academic year at nursery. We have welcomed a number of new children, and supported others to transition to new rooms. We have also continued to work hard to support and develop the staff so that we can maintain our existing high standards of practice, and address any areas for improvement.
One achievement we are celebrating is the retention of the top rating award for food hygiene. The inspection took place at the end of October and Helen clearly impressed the inspector as no significant actions were identified. Well done Helen!
As you may be aware, we are developing the current Rainbow Room (next to the office) into a Parents Room. Following some redecoration, we will be using the room to display useful information (e.g. about events, policies etc.), and handouts, leaflets etc. will be provided for you to take away. Seating will also be provided for parents to use when children are settling in, and the space will also be used for parent meetings.
We told you earlier in the year that we were applying for Millies Mark, an award from Millies Trust recognising best practice in first aid provision in nursery settings. Our documents were submitted in September and we are hoping for a decision at the next panel meeting, currently scheduled for the end of November. We will of course keep you informed.
Upcoming dates for your diary include the following:
Children in Need week starts Monday 13th November and coincides with World Nursery Rhyme Week. To mark these events we will be having special themes and activities each day. More details to follow.
Parents Evening is on Thursday 16th November. Please speak to a member of staff to arrange an appointment.
The Toddler Christmas Singalong is on 8th December. All parents are welcome to come and join us.
Babies Christmas Stay & Make is on 13th December. Parents are invited to come into nursery and partake in Christmas crafts with the children.
Christmas Party Day is 19th December this year. Jabberjacks will be providing the entertainment, and Helen will be cooking a full roast dinner with trimmings. Children are invited to come to nursery in party clothes, and if not normally in on that day, can attend the party if accompanied by an adult.
The Preschool Christmas Show is on 15th December. More details to follow.
Please remember nursery closes for the Christmas holidays at 6,30pm Friday 22nd December and reopens at 7.30am Tuesday 2nd January.
Since our last newsletter, Melanie Barnard has joined the team as Nursery Administrator. Most of you will have already met Mel or spoken to her on the phone, and she has settled in really well. We’re not sure how we managed without her!
The other main staff change was the departure of Sam at the start of summer as she moved to the South West to be with her family. We are still recruiting for a new Deputy Manager with Katie being Acting Deputy Manager in the interim.
Finally, some wonderful staff news…many of you will already know that Katie and partner Reece are expecting their first baby. We know that Katie will make a fantastic Mummy and look forward to meeting the little one when he or she arrives in May.
In every edition of our newsletter, we like to provide a profile of individual staff members so that you can get to know us better. This time it is the turn of Steph Wood.
Steph joined Monkey Puzzle at the end of 2016 and currently works in the Baby Room. She has a degree in Early Years from Manchester Metropolitan University, and has 10 years’ experience working with children. Most recently she was a nanny for a local family with 4 children but prior to that worked as a teaching assistant in a primary school. She has also worked previously in nurseries in the local area. In her spare time, Steph enjoys baking and creating wall murals.
As you would expect, we have a raft of policies at nursery relating to all aspects of the nursery operations. These are available to view at nursery any time, and if you would like to see them, please let us know. We also like to provide a summary of key policies in our newsletters. Here are the main points taken from our new First Aid policy:
- It is our policy for all staff having direct contact with children to be fully trained in paediatric first aid (PFA). We are committed to achieving and maintaining Millies Mark as a mark of best practice in first aid provision.
- New staff without a full PFA qualification are registered on an appropriate training course, to be completed within 3 months of their start date. Our preferred training provider is Millies Trust, and due diligence has been carried out to verify that the training provided meets the necessary requirements. For staff with an existing qualification, the training provider is contacted to perform due diligence. If necessary, the staff member is booked onto a new course to be completed within 3 months of their start date.
- Following training, staff competence and confidence are assessed in a routine supervision meeting with a manager (or earlier if appropriate). Providing the staff member can demonstrate a suitable level of confidence and competence, they are labelled as a Lead First Aider. If this is not possible, additional training requirements are identified and addressed, with further reassessment at subsequent supervisions.
- Lead first aiders are identified on the parent noticeboard in our hallway, and on lists displayed in the office and main childcare rooms.
- Non-lead first aiders are always deployed alongside Lead First Aiders where possible and always during outings. A Lead First Aider must be present on the premises at all time. Lone working is not permitted for longer than brief periods (see separate lone working policy).
- First aid information is provided to staff on day 1 of their induction, and refreshed at regular staff meetings. The first aid policy is provided to parents for information purposes.
If you would like more information about anything just ask. If there is enough interest in a specific area, we can always put on a workshop one evening.
Now that the Learning Book system is well embedded we would love to see more input from parents. The staff work really hard uploading photos, videos and comments of your children, and it would be lovely if you could log in regularly and upload comments and photos of your own. If you have lost your login details, please ask for them to be reissued. We have a parents’ guide if you would like a copy, and this is also available on the learning book website (http://www.learningbook.co.uk)
Now that the weather is colder, please can you ensure that all children have suitable warm outdoor clothing and footwear with them when they are at nursery.
Please also remember that the nursery closes at 6.30pm and all children should be off the premises by this time so that staff can go home! There are a number of parents and children who are regularly on the premises after we officially close. We reserve the right to charge a late fee for repeat offenders.