Frequently Asked Questions
Placing your child in any pre-school environment will of course raise lots of questions for you. We hope some of these may be answered below. For any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us!
What time will the Pre-School gates open?
In the morning, the gates open at 8.20am for an 8.30am start. The gates will be closed by 8.40am. From this time, please bring your child through the main school entrance. In the afternoon, the gates will be open from 11.50am for a 12.00pm start. The gates will be closed by 12.10pm. From this time, please bring your child through the main school entrance.
How do I contact the school if I need to?
Both of our school sites share the same telephone number - 01234 750261. Please press '2' for Saint Paul's Site. Our Pre-School Administrator, Mrs Alice Edmunds, will be happy to support you with any questions you may have. Our e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also tweet us, @ClivetheCrane.
How can I be sure my child will settle and get used to the routines?
When your child has officially been given a place at Little Cranes Pre-School and you have received written confirmation of the sessions available to them, we will ensure a complimentary, ‘settling in visit’ for yourselves and your child. The settling in visit will be arranged at a time and date of your convenience.
At Little Cranes Pre-School, we want to ensure that your settling in visit gives you, the parent, and your child the confidence and reassurance that Little Cranes will offer an excellent provision to support your child’s earliest learning experiences.
Your Pre-School visit will:
- Be led by your child’s Key Worker – an excellent chance to meet the adult who has the special responsibility to ensure your child’s care and educational needs and be your first ‘port of call’ for discussions about your child.
- Allow you to experience the Pre-School ‘in action’ – a chance for you to see how your child settles in, interacts with others and explores the free-flow learning environment.
- Be an opportunity to meet Room Leaders and other key workers – it’s important to us that, like your child, you know all of the adults who will enjoy, achieve and learn with them each day.
- Allow your child to play, learn and enjoy – a wonderful opportunity for your child to get to know both Pre-School rooms and the outside area, with you in a comforting proximity.
- Be a time to share any questions or concerns you have - your key worker will have of course read the ‘All About Me’ form you have returned prior, but we are committed to ensuring we make the very best start to our Pre-School and Parent relationship. Please don’t hesitate to speak to your friendly Key Worker.
Following your settling in visit, your child’s booked sessions will commence, we hope, with confidence and excitement! Our fortnightly ‘Crane Mail’ newsletter, open access to your child’s Early Years Framework and a welcoming open-door policy, will provide you with continued support, feedback and reassurance. After a month of your child having been a Little Crane, you will also receive a settling in report from your Key Worker.
To help the children settle we will follow a daily routine e.g. snack times are at the same time every day, outdoor play times are at set times daily etc.
Do you have a curriculum? What kind of activities do you provide?
We use the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework as the foundation for our play and learning. We incorporate this with our children’s interests to form the basis of our activities. We provide a range of activities to support every area of development and the children have access to the outdoor area daily. We have a messy/exploratory activity every day and opportunities for large and small group work to enhance social skills. We ensure age and stage related ICT opportunities are available; this includes push button toys through to computers and digital cameras.
If my child is unwell are they allowed to attend? Can you give medication?
We have an illness and infection policy with periods of exclusion for some contagious infections which follows the Local Authority policy. This is reviewed in accordance with annual health protection agency guidelines. A cough and cold and regular childhood illnesses can be managed. If any medicine is to be administered prior consent must be given. All policies, including a policy for administering medicines can be viewed by clicking here.
In accordance with our attendance policy and safeguarding policy, we request that you contact the school office to notify the Pre-School every day of your child’s absence.
We want the children attending Pre-School to be fit and healthy; please do not send your child if they are showing signs of illness.
What happens if my child becomes ill whilst at Preschool?
If your child becomes ill we will contact you immediately and ask you to collect your child if required. To support us with this we ask that you ensure that the contact numbers you provide are up to date and accurate.
What if my child has antibiotics?
As stated in our administering medicines policy we are happy to administer antibiotics which have been prescribed by a doctor. We will require you to complete a medication form giving us consent to administer the medicine.
My child has asthma, is that a problem?
Not at all! We are able to administer inhalers with your consent. We ask that you have an extra inhaler, in a named container, to leave at Pre-School at all times.
What if my child has an accident?
We have an accident policy in place and all staff are aware of the procedures to follow. The majority of our staff have paediatric first aid qualifications, which are updated every three years. We inform you of any accident involving your child and, if necessary, ask you to sign the accident form at the end of the day. In the unlikely event of a serious injury you would be advised immediately if medical attention is/was required, and if necessary an ambulance will be called.
What if I can’t get to the Pre-School in time for the session closing? Can I send someone else?
If you can’t get to the Pre-School in time to collect your child at the end of a session you may send someone else but they must be over 16 years old. This person must have consent to collect your child. You must inform the school office who will be coming and give us a full description of the person and what time they will be arriving.
Do I pay fees?
Children are entitled to government funding for up to 15 hours of childcare from the term after they turn 3. A funding form will be given to you in the first week of each term and we ask that you complete and return this form as promptly as possible. Currently the entitlement allows for up to 15 hours of childcare per week and this can be shared between two settings if you wish. There is also funding available for 2 year olds. There is a criteria your child must meet to access this funding. If you require any further information about this please click here.
If you require further sessions in addition to the funded 15 hours a week for your child additional charges will apply and you will be invoiced for these sessions in advance. Sessions will be invoiced half termly at the beginning of each half term, and there are no reductions for absence or holidays. We ask for payment by cash, cheque or childcare vouchers.
If you wish your child to attend lunch club you will be required to pay the lunch club fees. Places at lunch club will be limited and will need to be booked in advance at the Braeburn Way School Office.
Do the children go on outings?
We use the local area facilities for outings e.g. walks, a trip to the shops or park. You will have already provided consent for these trips in your enrolment forms but will be advised in advance if a trip is planned. For a trip outside Cranfield you will need to provide written parental consent and a voluntary contribution may be required to fund the excursion.
Are your staff qualified and checked for suitability?
All of our employees are subject to an enhanced DBS disclosure and appropriate references are sought. The qualifications across our team meet the current welfare requirements. We have staff with Early Years Practitioner status and most other staff have an NVQ Level 2 or 3 (or equivalent). All staff have access to continuous professional development. We also have work experience students and trainee teachers (from local colleges/university); students never have unsupervised access to the children.
What are your opening hours?
Sessions are divided into mornings and afternoons.
Morning: 8.30am to 11.30am.
Afternoon: 12.00pm to 3.00pm.
What are the typical routines my child will experience?
Arrive at setting.
Self Registration and discussion with children.
Free learning play – free flow supervised by staff.
Adult supported group activities and free flow activities.
Snacks and drinks will be available during the middle part of the session.
Group songs / stories and rhymes / circle time.
Home time and collection.
Once a week – transition sessions will take place with the Braeburn Way Reception Class during a morning and an afternoon session for the older Pre-School children (from the spring term, once all children are settled).
What are the procedures for collecting and dropping off my child?
Please try to arrive a few minutes before the start of your child’s session so that we can start promptly. Similarly, it is important to collect your child on time. If you are running late please contact us so that we can support your child.
Anyone who drops off or collects your child must be over 16 years of age.
If you are persistently late in either dropping off or collecting your child, we will ask you to attend a meeting so we can discuss ways to support you in ensuring your child takes advantage of a full session at Pre-School and is collected promptly at the end of a session.
We are grateful to parents / carers who walk to collect their child. Where this is not possible we appreciate your considerate parking.
Do you cater for dietary requirements?
On application for a place we ask you to provide information of dietary requirements and/or known allergies to ensure individual needs are catered for.
My child has Special Educational Needs, is that a problem?
No. We operate a comprehensive SEND and Inclusion policy. We have a SENDCO, Mrs Jo Dormer, who has a great deal of experience. More information can be viewed in the SEND tab at the top of this page. We will work collaboratively with parents and other professionals to ensure the needs of your child are met.
When can my child start?
Children can attend our Pre-School once they have celebrated their third birthday, subject to availability of spaces. Upon receipt of your child’s details, we will add their name(s) to our waiting list. Your child’s place will be confirmed during the half term before they are due to start.
Can I lose my Pre-School place?
After 10 days of unexplained absence a child’s place at the Pre-School will be forfeited. Should the parent wish the child to be re-admitted the child will be placed on the waiting list.
What clothes should my child wear?
Little Cranes Pre School has a uniform which we encourage your child to wear to all sessions. Click here to view information on this uniform.
We provide aprons for use during ‘messy’ play; however we cannot accept liability for damaged or stained clothing. Pre-School will also provide waterproof trousers for the children to wear if conditions / activities require this. When choosing clothing please consider articles which the child can manage. This develops their self-esteem and helps them to become independent. Belts, braces, dungarees, trainers and high laced boots are difficult to master. Open-toed sandals are not permitted for Health & Safety reasons. Each child must have a named change of clothes every day. We appreciate any clothes loaned by Pre-School being returned as soon as possible, freshly laundered and ironed.
Jewellery should not be worn.
Children also have the opportunity to play and learn outside throughout the whole year. Please ensure they have a coat, hat and gloves as appropriate. During the summer it is essential that suitable footwear is worn; no flip flops, open-toed sandals or bare feet. Please supply a named sun hat and apply sun cream prior to the session.
Can my child wear nappies?
Pull Ups or nappies must be provided by you for your child, with named wipes and sacks. The Pre-School has a small stock for emergencies. Cranfield Academy has an Intimate Care policy which is available to read on our Policies Page.