Monday, 5 November 2018

Newsletter - November 2018

Important Dates for your Diary
Tuesday 20th & Thursday 22nd November - Parent Evenings
Wednesday 28th November - Inset Day - pre-school is closed
w/c 3rd December - Non-Uniform Week - ‘bring-a-bottle’
Saturday 8th December - Christmas Fair, 2pm - 4pm
Wednesday 12th & Thursday 13th December - Christmas Concerts - more information to follow
Thursday 20th December - Last day of term
Friday 21st December - Inset Day - pre-school is closed
Monday 7th January - Start of Spring Term

Session Fees
Invoices for session fees have been issued; all invoices are issued for the term up to the 21st December and should be paid by Wednesday 21st November.

Session Requirements
Letters will be coming home regarding session requirements for after Christmas; it is imperative that parents respond promptly so that we can accommodate requests for changes and increases to sessions. Some children will become eligible for their government funded hours (their ‘free’ place) for the first time and the appropriate paperwork will be issued prior to the end of this term. All parents are advised to visit www.childcarechoices.gov.uk to find out what they may be entitled to and how to access it. Any questions please speak to Jayne.

Essential Supplies
We would like to inform all our parents that we will be changing how we calculate our ‘Essential Supplies’ contribution with effect from January 2019. These will now be calculated at a rate of 50p per session, per week, per half term. So for example a child attending three sessions per week for the first Spring half term of 6 weeks would be calculated as follows; 
3 sessions per week x 50p x 6 weeks = £9 for the half term. 
This contribution helps us to provide all sorts of things that keep pre-school operational; everything from baby wipes to art supplies to cleaning supplies.
Historically pre-school has been funded through government funding received for all children aged three and over, by modest fees and lots of fundraising. Over the years we have seen our expenses increase but the government funding has stagnated. Simply put we can not survive as a pre-school by relying on the government funding and so find ourselves having to ask our parents to help out more and more. This is not a decision that we have taken lightly and is one that has been made to ensure that we can continue to operate to the highest standards possible.

Student Placement
We always try to work with our local colleges and support students who are undertaking their childcare qualifications. This year we have a young girl by the name of Lucy who is joining us on Wednesdays and Fridays and will be with us until early June.

Inset Day
Please be advised that we have added in an Inset Day on Wednesday 28th November and therefore pre-school will be closed. Please note that as a result the scheduled Inset Day for Wednesday 20th March 2019 has been cancelled.

Cake Sale Success
Thank you to everyone who baked and bought during last term’s cake sale; you raised a fantastic £99!

Christmas Fair – Saturday 8th December - 2pm - 4pm
Please note that the date for the fair has CHANGED and it is now SATURDAY 8TH DECEMBER 2PM - 4PM
Plans are now under way for our first major fundraiser of the school year; this is always a lovely festive event with Santa in his grotto and lots of lovely things to do. But in order to make it a success we need lots of helpers; so if you can help out in anyway or have any ideas for a stall or know a local company who’d like to donate a prize for our raffle then please speak to either Jayne or any of our committee (Helen - Maisie’s mum or Nikki - Charlie’s mum).

Non-Uniform Week- w/c 3rd December
To help support our Christmas Fair we will be having a non-uniform week starting 3rd December and all we ask in return is the donation of a bottle of something for our bottle tombola; wine, beer, perfume – anything you like as long as it’s in a bottle!! Thank you!

Have you seen our new grass?!
So a big thank you has to go out firstly to Tesco and everyone who voted for us in their Bags of Help scheme, as well as everyone who has contributed to any of our recent fundraisers because we have now been able to re-vamp our grass. Whilst the Summer this year was lovely with plenty of sunshine and very hot, our grass didn’t fair very well and by the end of June had turned to dust!
So in stepped ‘Artificial Lawns 4 U’ (www.artificiallawns4u.com) who over half term have transformed our weed patch into a lovely, bright and inviting grass area by installing artificial grass. This means we will be able to use this area all year round and it will look good all year too...no more mowing for the ladies! The company were great, gave us a really good deal, were able to fit in around our school holidays and have done a fantastic job. We can’t wait to get out and play on it :)

Up-to-date Information
Please remember to let us know if there are any changes to your circumstances as this could be vital to your child’s well being whilst at pre-school. For example changes in family circumstances, developmental concerns, moving house, contact details (it is vital that we have your correct phone number) or anything else which you feel may be of importance. Parents can either speak direct to a member of staff, use Tapestry or drop us an email.

Policies & Procedures
In order for pre-school to operate effectively and within the legislation laid down by the Early Years Foundation Stage we have a set of policies and procedures to follow. These are available within pre-school for parents to read and we are now in the process of uploading them to this website. Any questions please speak to Jayne.

Coats & Bags
Could we please ask parents to help us by placing their child’s bag/back-pack on the bottom of the coat rack underneath their child’s peg; this ensures there is enough space for their coat on the peg itself. Red book bags should be placed in your child’s drawer. Many thanks for helping with this.

Family Photos
We have a fab display taking shape (see the door to the back room) but we are missing some of you! So please get your family photos into us as soon as possible if you haven’t already done so. Thank you!

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

What is the EYFS?

As with any workplace there is a lot of jargon that gets used and even in the 'Early Years' sector we can be guilty too. You may have heard the phrase 'E Y F S' get used...but what is this?

This actually stands for 'Early Years Foundation Stage' and is the curriculum that all children follow from birth until the end of their Reception year.

This is a guide to ensure that all children make progress and achieve their potential. But what does it all mean...well rather than waffle on here we'd like to direct parents to a great website called Foundation Years that has lots of useful information for parents from babies all the way to Reception year.

There is a great document that explains all about the Early Years Foundation Stage that we think parents will benefit from reading so just click here.

If parents would like to know more or would like a paper copy of this information then please just speak to any of our staff.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

A Guide to Fees & Funding

A Guide to Pre-School Fees and Government Funding

Pre-School Fees
  • Fees will be calculated at a rate of £4.15 per hour. 
  • Fees for 3 year olds will only apply to any hours taken outside of their allowed government funding. 
  • For those parents who need to pay fees an invoice will be placed in your child’s drawer during the first week of each half term. 
  • We request that fees are paid in full by the stipulated date. 
  • Fees are payable when a child is absent from pre-school. 
  • Fees are payable for ‘Inset Days’. 
  • There will be no charge for bank holidays or special circumstances when activities dictate the need for sessions to be cancelled. 
  • Payment is accepted in cash or via bank transfer. 
  • Receipts will be issued for all cash payments received. 
  • Reminders will be issued if fees have not been paid by the stipulated date, requesting payment in full within 7 days. 
  • If payment is not received following the issue of the reminder an administration charge of £15.00 will be incurred. 
  • Late payment of fees will be subject to an administration charge of £15.00. 
  • Springfield pre-school reserves the right to withdraw a child’s place if payment of fees are not made or if there are extended periods of absence without prior notification and agreement.
Derbyshire County Council Funding
  • Derbyshire County Council provides funding for all 3 & 4 year olds, as well as some 2 year olds (dependent on meeting certain criteria). 
  • This funding is provided up to a maximum of 30 hours per week per 38-week school year. This is split between Universal Funding of 15 hours per week which is available for all 3 & 4 year olds and Extended Funding; this is an additional 15 hours per week dependant on certain criteria being met. 
  • Parents are advised to visit www.childcarechoices.gov.uk to determine what they are entitled to and how to claim those entitlements. 
  • Your child will become eligible for funding the term following their 3rd birthday as follows; 
           Birthday Date     Term Funding will be Received
           1/4 – 31/8           Autumn (September)
           1/9 – 31/12         Spring (January)
           1/1 – 31/3           Summer (After Easter)
  • Parents eligible for the Extended Entitlement will need a ‘30 Hours Code’ before funding can be claimed. 
  • ‘30 Hours Codes’ must be obtained prior to the start of the terms quoted above. Failure to do this will result in parents being invoiced for any hours attended over the Universal Funding of 15 hours. 
  • All ‘30 Hours Codes’ must be re-confirmed every 3 months via the HMRC, failure to do this will result in the Extended Entitlement funding being withdrawn. 
  • As your child becomes eligible for funding pre-school will ask you to complete an FE1 form. This form provides details about the funding, how to claim it and what you are entitled to claim. 
  • Parents will need to provide their child’s birth certificate/passport/red NHS health record book before funding can be claimed. 
  • Funding is not claimed for days when pre-school is closed. 
  • If your child attends another setting you are able to ‘split’ the funding between a maximum of three settings (limited to two settings per day). 
  • Each term parents will be asked to consider the number of hours their child attends so that any amendments can be forwarded to Derbyshire County Council to ensure that the funding issued is correct. 
  • At this time parents will be asked to sign the FE1 form again as confirmation of their wish to claim funding. 
  • Each term has a ‘Headcount Date’ as decided by Derbyshire County Council. This is the date that children must be registered with us in order to receive funding. 
  • Funding cannot be guaranteed for any changes to the number of hours that a child attends that are made after ‘Headcount Date’ and could result in parents paying the appropriate fees. 
  • Children who attend for more than their funded entitlement will need to pay for the extra hours attended at a rate of £4.15 per hour. 
  • Children who claim all their funded entitlement at another setting will be required to pay £4.15 per hour attended. 
Lunch Period
  • Any child attending for a full day must provide a packed lunch. 
  • Children attending for half days have the option to have lunch at pre-school. This must be decided in advance and a packed lunch must be provided. 
Essential Supplies Contribution
  • A contribution towards the provision of essential supplies such as snack, craft supplies, wipes, tissues etc are requested at £5 per half term for children attending 9 hours or less per week, £10 per half term for children attending 18 hours or less per week and £15 for children attending for more than 18 hours per week. 
Drop-In Fees
  • ‘Drop-In’ hours are those that are taken over and above a child’s regular hours, and usually at short notice. 
  • Parents are advised to speak to the Early Years Manager if ‘drop-in’ hours are required giving as much notice as possible. 
  • ‘Drop-In’ hours are paid for at the time and will incur the normal hourly rate. 

If you have any concerns or questions regarding anything to do with fees or funding then please speak to our Early Years Manager who will be only too happy to help.

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Summer Fair Success

We had a lovely time at our Summer Fair on Friday and thanks to everyone who supported the event we managed to raise a fabulous £882!

A big thank you to the committee and staff who worked tirelessly organising the event, thank you to all those parents who donated items and to everyone who came along and spent their hard earned cash.

We would also like to thank the following businesses who supported by way of raffle prizes and supplies;

Asda, Long Eaton
Lidl, Sandiacre
Warm for Life
Co-op, Sandiacre
Morrisons, Ilkeston
The Vanda Vase
Halfords
Pure Destinations
KH Hair
B-Yoo-Tee
Rush Hair
Sutherland & Barnet
NET
TrentBarton
Theatre Royal, Nottingham
Derby County Football Club
Trent Bridge
Two for Tea
Jade & Ella Nail Spa
Buonissima
Springfield Hall
Gusto cafe
Simply Hair & Beauty
Marcos, Kegworth
Marks & Spencer
Colourworks
Highfields Happy Hens
Cyrils Nut Hut
Highfields Park Mini Golf
McDonalds, Chilwell
Skinderella
Pasha Barbers
Tropic Skincare
Diddly Doo's

THANK YOU ALL :)

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Summer term part two...

Well there's lots happening this term, especially as we get ready to say goodbye to all those moving onto 'big school' and nursery.

Some dates for your diaries;

Friday 29th June - Summer Fair, 4pm - 6pm
Wednesday 4th July - INSET DAY
Monday 16th July - Leavers Concert
Friday 20th July - End of Term

Session Fees
Just a reminder that all fees should be paid in full by Wednesdya 20th June please. Any problems please speak to Jayne as soon as possible.

Changes From September
Please remember that we have some changes happening in September;
Opening Hours - Our opening hours will change to 9.15am to 3.15pm. Mornings will be 9.15am - 12.15pm and afternoons will be 12.15pm - 3.15pm.
Fees - All fees will be charged at a standard rate of £4.15 per hour. The contribution towards ‘Essential Supplies’ will be requested as follows; £5.00 (up to 3 sessions per week), £10.00 (up to 6 sessions per week), £15.00 (more than 6 sessions per week).

Sessions
Everyone has now been advised of the allocated sessions for September. Places are now starting to fill up so should you require any changes or extra sessions please speak to Jayne as soon as possible.

Help when you shop!
Do you shop online at Amazon?
If you do then please visit www.smile.amazon.co.uk and choose Springfield Pre-School as your chosen charity. Then everytime you shop via this link Amazon will donate 0.5% to pre-school at no cost to you!
Tesco(Long Eaton & Chilwell) & Waitrose (Wollaton)
Both these supermarkets have their own community support schemes; when you shop remember to pick up your tokens and then simply vote for us on your way out! The more votes we get the more money we get! The money raised from these schemes will go towards our ‘Let’s Get Active’ project to install some fitness equipment onto our grassed area along with ensuring that we have the best small world and role play resources. We’d also like to be able to install some outdoor musical instruments as well as some willow fencing; so lots of exciting plans if we get the money!!

Toilet-time!
Please be mindful of the clothes that you send your little ones in to pre-school especially in regards to using the toilet! Items like dungarees or tricky belts can be somewhat difficult to manage when time is of the essence!

Drinks at Pre-School
We have water available for the children at all times during the day but should you wish to bring a drink in for your child then can you please make sure that it is water only. This does not apply to drinks for those children who stay for lunch; but please make sure these are of the non-fizzy variety. Thank you.


Toys at Pre-School
If your child wants to bring a toy with them to pre-school then please make sure it is of a size that will fit in their tray. Small toys can be a great talking point between friends but please remember we cannot be held responsible for any loss or damages. Please also remember that those children approaching school age will likely not be allowed to take anything into school and so parents may wish to instill a ‘no toys at school approach’ with them now to get them ready for school.

Transition to School
As part of our transition process we have invited all the schools that our children will be moving onto this September to come and visit us. Some schools will choose to visit or speak to us on the phone but some unfortunately do not. Your child should be invited to visit their new school at some point this term so please remember to let us know as this will help us as we speak with you children about ‘big school’ - thank you.

Fundraising
At the end of April we applied to Erewash Borough Council’s Community Grant Scheme and we have been awarded £1000! This money will be used to get some much needed new flooring for pre-school, but this money alone is not enough. Our focus for this years Summer Fair will be to raise as much money as possible so that we can go ahead with our new flooring plans over the Summer holidays. But we need your help to raise the money; we estimate that we need at least another £1000...perhaps even more! So let’s make this the best Summer Fair EVER! If you can help out in anyway please let Jayne know who will put you in touch with our committee. Do you have any contacts for raffle prizes? Do you know anyone who’d like to have a stall for a donation of £10? Can you promote the event for us? Do you have any ideas for stalls? Please either speak to Jayne or drop us an email springfieldpreschool@hotmail.co.uk your help is really appreciated, thank you.

Instagram
We now have an Instagram account, so please follow us at ‘springfieldpreschoolsandiacre’.

Leavers
All those children who are leaving us will take part in a special concert on Monday 16th July; notes have been sent home and keep your eyes open for more information closer to the date. We are also organising some souvenirs in the form of tea towels and t-shirts with the children's own artwork. Once again a separate note has been sent home and orders should be returned to pre-school by Wednesday 20th June.

Phew! We said it was a busy term!

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Newsletter - April 2018

Here's our first newsletter of the Summer term;

Important Dates for your DiaryTuesday 24th April - INSET DAY
Tuesday 8th May - INSET DAY CANCELLED
Friday 25th May - End of Term
Monday 4th June - Start of Term
Tuesday 5th June - Committee AGM, 7.30pm @ pre-school
Friday 29th June - Summer Fair, 4pm - 6pm
Wednesday 4th July - INSET DAY
Monday 16th July - Leavers Concert
Friday 20th July - End of Term

Session Fees
Invoices for session fees, lunch club and snack have been issued; all invoices are issued for the term up to the 25th May and should be paid by Wednesday 25th April 2018. Late payment of fees will automatically incur a penalty fee and continuous failure to pay fees could result in the removal of your child’s place from pre-school. Please speak to Jayne regarding any payment issues so that this can be avoided – many thanks.

Primary School Places
Parents of those children starting reception year this September will soon be receiving confirmation of their child’s primary school. Please let us know as soon as possible which school your child will be attending so that we can start our transition process.

Planning for September!
It may only be April but we will be starting our planning for September anytime soon. Letters will be coming home asking parents which sessions they would like for their child in September and it is imperative that these are returned quickly so we can help everyone to get the sessions they would like.

If you’re child turns 3 between 1st April and 31st August then they will be eligible for a government funded place. More details will be in the letter but parents will need to start thinking about the number of hours they require and whether they will be eligible for the Extended Entitlement funding (often referred to as 30 Hours Free Childcare). Parents are advised to visit www.childcarechoices.gov.uk to find out what they are entitled to and how to claim it. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is that parents find out this information and action it promptly. Without correct codes, obtained within specified deadlines, parents may find they miss out on their full entitlement. Please read carefully the letter coming home and speak to Jayne should you have any questions.

Changes From September
Last September the introduction of the government’s new ‘30 Hours Free Childcare’ forced Springfield to make some changes to the way in which we offered our sessions and the fees that we charged. Having now completed two full terms under these new guidelines we have evaluated the impact and feel that it is necessary to make some changes which will take effect from September 2018.

Opening Hours - Our opening hours will change to 9.15am to 3.15pm. Parents will be able to choose from either a 9.15am to 12.15pm session, a 12.15pm - 3.15pm session or a full day from 9.15am - 3.15pm. Parents who choose half days will also be able to decide whether their child has their lunch at pre-school. Parents will still need to provide a packed lunch and all children who attend for a full day MUST bring a packed lunch.

Fees - There will no longer be a charge for ‘lunch club’. All fees will now be charged at a standard rate of £4.15 per hour. The contribution towards ‘Essential Supplies’ will be requested as follows; £5.00 (up to 3 sessions per week), £10.00 (up to 6 sessions per week), £15.00 (more than 6 sessions per week).

Easter Fair Success
Many thanks to everyone who helped organise and supported our Easter Fair which raised £430 for pre-school. Events like these are vital to the existence of pre-school, these extra funds help ensure that we can continue to provide exciting and stimulating activities and resources for your children.

Backpacks
All children should bring a backpack/small bag to pre-school with a change of clothes just in case of accidents or getting overly messy! However, can parents please ensure that bags DO NOT contain any food items or any medicines including creams of any kind. We cannot take the risk that a child accidently gets into another child’s bag and is exposed to medicines or foods that they may be allergic to. If your child needs access to medicine/cream then please speak to Jayne so that the necessary paperwork can be completed and the medicine stored safely. This applies to ALL creams and medicines.

Any food or medicine items found in bags will be removed and handed back to parents at the end of the day. Thank you for your co-operation in this matter.

Pre-School Committee AGM - Tuesday 5th June @ 7.30pmAs we move towards the end of one academic year we start our planning for September and part of that forward planning is to ensure that we have an elected committee in place. So on Tuesday 5th June, at pre-school, at 7.30pm we will hold our Annual General Meeting where we will elect the committee.

In order for pre-school to open its doors we need to have a parent committee in place. The committee are there to oversee the operation of pre-school, to assist the management team and most importantly organise and run our fundraisers. We need a minimum of 5 committee members and of these there are three named roles - Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer. Should you wish to know more about being part of the committee please speak to Jayne who will be only too happy to chat and pass on any relevant information.

Without the support of our parents Springfield would not be what it is today. The role of our committee is vital to ensure the continued growth and development of pre-school and is a role very much appreciated by all of us involved with Springfield.

Fundraising!
Springfield Pre-school is a registered charity that aims to offer high quality, and affordable, care and education for all. Fundraising, therefore, is a vital part of pre-school life and helps provide a multitude of resources and activities. The costs involved in running our pre-school are wide and varied; everything from the obvious wages and rent to perhaps the less obvious basics like washing up liquid, toilet roll and then everything else in between!

Despite receiving government funding for children aged 3 and over, plus the modest fees that we charge for other children, we find ourselves struggling to make ends meet. Sometimes when we fundraise we may have a specific item in mind; for example following our recent cake sale we were able to purchase a model human torso to support our ‘All About Me’ topic. But a lot of the time the fundraising is simply there to keep pre-school open and operational.

We try to run a variety of events that parents can then choose from and support at whatever level they can. But we are always on the lookout for new and fun ways to raise money and welcome any and all ideas! So if you think you’d like to get involved in helping us raise this much needed cash please chat to Jayne or come along to our AGM on 5th June, we would truly appreciate your involvement.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Snow Day

Just to let everyone know that pre-school will be CLOSED today THURSDAY 1ST MARCH because of the heavy snow overnight and still falling this morning.

This decision has been made with the safety of our children, parents and staff in mind. We will review as the day goes on and let parents know as soon as we can about tomorrow.

We will post updates on our Facebook page, via Twitter, here on the wesbite and via text.

Thanks for your understanding and apologies for any inconvenience caused.

UPDATE

Due to the continued snowy weather, strong winds and potential for treacherous conditions we have decided that pre-school will remain CLOSED on FRIDAY 2ND MARCH.

This decision has been made with the safety of all in mind. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank our parents for their continued patience and understanding.

Parents wishing to get in touch can do so via email springfieldpreschool@hotmail.co.uk