What to look for when choosing Childcare
As a parent, choosing the right childcare can be daunting with many difficult decisions to make. At The Lime Tree Children’s Day Nursery, we understand this and we’re here to support you through the transition. Here are some things to look for when visiting a day nursery or any other childcare provider.
Do the opening hours fit with your work schedule?
We are open 8am - 6pm, 51 weeks of the year (closed between Christmas and New Year and bank holidays). We are conveniently located close to the A31 and mainline railway station, with plenty of parking.
Are the staff well qualified?
We have an amazing team who know the children well. Between them, they have high qualifications and many years of experience. That said, we have also welcomed a couple of apprentices, who are highly dedicated and working hard towards their level 3 childcare qualification (this is the qualification needed for management level).
What meals are provided?
We serve a selection of cereals and fresh fruit for breakfast, a hot two course meal for lunch and a one course afternoon tea around 4pm. The latter two are provided by an award winning caterer, who specialises in nutrition for children under school age. We can accommodate all food allergies.
Is there a garden or outside space for play?
Wellies and waterproofs are essential at The Lime Tree Children’s Day Nursery! We love the outdoors, jumping in puddles and going on bug hunts. We’re outside every day regardless of the weather with a fully enclosed natural garden, and easy access to Anstey Park on our doorstep.
What’s the atmosphere like?
We’re a family business and pride ourselves on our home from home feel. We treat every child as an individual, enjoying sharing in their growth and development, and building their confidence to explore the world around them.
What’s the daily routine?
There are themed activities throughout the day. Your child will spend some time with their own age group and some time mixing with children of all ages. We believe this is a more realistic family inspired way of supporting the children to learn from each other.
Are there extra-curricular activities available?
We offer a range of activities throughout the week, which parents can choose to sign their children up for. These currently include French sessions with Les Petits Lapins and Yoga with Club Morgan. More are being added over time.
Is there a sleeping area?
We have two sleep rooms and these are equipped with blackout curtains. Each child is provided with their own bedding, although some parents choose to bring their own from home with a cuddly toy, which can help a child feel calm and comforted just like home.
Is there a daily activity diary?
The Lime Tree team are available at the start and end of your child’s day to talk with you about your child’s session. Children in nappies will be sent home with an activity sheet daily, which covers meals, naps, nappy changes as well as the activities your child has been involved with that day. We have a private Facebook group, which is used to share activities and photos with parents. We also have an online parent’s portal and email address, which enables us to keep in touch. We often send important dates, such as Sports Days and the upcoming Christmas events to parents this way. Each term, parents are invited to have a short meeting with your child’s key
person to discuss how your child is settling and progressing through the EYFS. Parents are invited to take home their child’s Learning Journal for perusal.
Does the childcare provider follow the EYFS and what is this?
The Lime Tree Children’s Day Nursery follows the EYFS. All schools and Ofsted registered early years providers must follow the EYFS, including childminders, preschools, nurseries and school reception classes. The Early Years Foundation Stage framework sets standards for the learning,development and care of children from birth to 5 years old. It gives all professionals a set of common principles and commitments to deliver quality early education and childcare experiences to all children.
How do the staff deal with misbehaviour?
At the Lime Tree Children’s Day Nursery we will be positive role models for our children. We will show every child that they are valued by giving them individual attention, listening to them and valuing their opinions. We will strive to keep to routines so that children feel secure and know what to expect next. All children will misbehave at some point. When this happens, we have a range of strategies, which are detailed in full in our policies and procedures documents.
How secure is the nursery?
You’ll see the entrance is set back well away from the main road and the garden is private and fully enclosed. As you would expect, only adults with authorisation can collect children from the nursery. All visitors must sign in and out and be escorted through the nursery. Any professionals visiting will be asked to provide their clean DBS. No mobile phones or personal possessions (handbags etc) are permitted into the rooms with children, to minimise risk of unauthorised photography. Full details are provided in our policies and procedures document.
What is included in the fees?
Meals and activities (unless otherwise specifically stated) are included in the fees. Parents are asked to bring in nappies, wipes and cream as well as changes of clothes, wellies and waterproofs.
Do you accept childcare vouchers?
Yes, just let us know which type you have so we can make arrangements.
Is the childcare facility Ofsted registered?
All children’s nurseries and childminders should be registered with Ofsted or a similar organisation and their certificate should be displayed on their wall for all to see.
The Lime Tree Children’s Day Nursery is registered with Ofsted, which means this independent organisation has deemed the nursery and the team suitable for childcare. Our Ofsted registration number is EY543007. The building and its resources have been inspected, the policies and procedures as well as the management have been thoroughly assessed to ensure children will be safe and looked after in a caring environment with plenty of learning and development opportunities, following the EYFS, available to them.
Is the government supported free childcare available?
The Lime Tree Children’s Day Nursery offer 2 year old and 3 year old free government funding, subject to eligibility and terms and conditions. These can be for the free 15 hours or free 30 hours. Note that we are a year-round nursery (closed over Christmas and bank holidays), so we stretch the free funding over the year, rather than just in term time weeks. The advantage to parents is that your bills will not surge during school holidays, when the funding would not normally cover the sessions.
Do you work with local schools?
Yes we do. We invite the teachers into nursery to meet the children who will be joining them and we visit the school to help make the transition as smooth as possible for the children. We have regular cluster meetings with all of the local schools to ensure we are working closely together throughout.
For more information about choosing childcare We’re always happy to answers your questions and you can contact us via email or telephone, or alternatively visit www.hants.gov.uk/childcare