We are open: 7:45am to 6pm Monday to Thursday
Fridays only-7:45am to 5pm
Preschool Session Times:
*7:45am to 12 noon
9am to 12 noon
9am to 3pm,
*9am – 4pm, 5pm or 6pm
*7:45am to 3pm, 4pm, 5pm or 6pm
12:15pm to 3:15pm
*You can use your funding only between the hours of 9am – 3pm. Hours outside these times are to be paid for. If you require additional sessions over your entitlement these can also be paid for.
We have 5 occasional or inset days where we close. We keep these days the same as Whickham Parochial Primary School.
When children first start preschool they seem to pick up every illness going, this slows down once they have been here a while and is building up their immune system for starting school.
Please keep your child at home if they are ill. We follow the UK Health Security Agency and NHS Guidelines to stop the spread of infection.
If we send your child home poorly they must be off school the following day too. Sickness and Diarrhoea requires your child to be absent for 48 hours after the last episode (regardless of how well they look and active they are, they could still be infectious).
Preschool is not a fun place to be when you are poorly, even with paracetamol as this wears out by lunchtime.
If too many staff become unwell we may be unable to keep safe ratios and may have to close the preschool. This is why it is so important to keep children who are unwell at home.
We have a Pandemic Policy with a COVID-19 section, this policy supersedes our usual illness policy during a pandemic.
Staff generally do not wear PPE unless they have an underlying medical condition, your child is displaying symptoms or needs intimate care.
Please do not give your child paracetamol before coming into preschool as it can mask a high temperature. Ensure all your emergency contacts are up to date and correct on EYLog, you should have at least 3.
If your child requires medication please complete a medicine form on the EYLog to allow staff to administer it during preschool hours. If it is only once or twice a day medication please do it at home
You can use your funded entitlement between the hours of 9am and 3pm Monday – Friday. This is your universal 15 hours or the extended 30 hours entitlement. Any additional hours or hours outside the 9am – 3pm must be paid for. The preschool is open for 39 weeks of the year, but funding only covers 38 weeks. To off set this we take 5 occasional days throughout the year.
You can find out about if you are eligible for up to 30 hours funding, tax free childcare etc. from the government website Childcare Choices.
If you receive a code for 30 hours you need to pass this onto our office as soon as you get it. The code will stay the same throughout your child’s time with us so you only need to tell us once. However you must keep an eye open for a reminder email and re validate the code every few months. Without a valid code you will not receive extra funding.
Funding only covers the hours your child is in preschool, lunches must be paid for separately or your child may bring in a packed lunch. Packed lunches must contain healthy food that is nut free and contain as little single use plastic packaging as possible. The preschool is a nut free environment to avoid accidental introduction of nuts to children who have allergies. Please only include one ‘treat’ item if you feel the need to add it, for example crisps or a cake, not both.
Consumables such as snack, EYLog, art supplies, cleaning products, equipment and many many other things are not covered by the funding. To allow us to run efficiently and effectively, we ask you for a small voluntary contribution per session towards these costs at the end of every month. We also sometimes ask you to provide resources to help such as tissues, plants, paper etc.
For any payments due, we will invoice parents at the end of the month. This will be to pay upon receipt. Payments can be made via BACs, Child Care Vouchers, Tax Free Childcare and cash.
Sorry we no longer accept cheques.
If you get Tax-Free Childcare, you’ll set up an online childcare account for your child. For every £8 you pay into this account, the government will pay in £2 to use to pay your provider.
You can get Tax-Free Childcare at the same time as 30 hours free childcare if you’re eligible for both.
Find out if you are eligible, don’t assume you aren’t!!! It is designed to help working families.
We promote the inclusion of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and support them in reaching their full potential, encouraging each child to value and respect diversity and difference.
When a child with a Special Educational Need or Disability requires a place within preschool, the usual admission arrangements will be made. Parents/carers can discuss with the SENCo and key person whether any additional resources or changes to the room layout will be needed or specific training for staff is required.
We will make any reasonable steps and adjustments required to the preschool so any child with SEND can access the environment and we will work with external professionals involved.
Children with SEND will not be treated less favourably than any other child and we will take steps to prevent discrimination from happening.
All children will have access to our full curriculum through playful opportunities using each child’s unique strengths and interests. The curriculum is relevant to all, purposeful, engaging and is delivered within a learning environment that stimulates creativity, challenges, motivates and is rewarding and fun.
Children do not need to wear uniform for preschool, however if you would prefer them to wear one we have teamed up with Logos unlimited they have shops behind Lidl in Swalwell if you would prefer to try them on. If your child wears a uniform it will save their other clothes from getting dirty, marked or worn out, if they don’t, please don’t send them in expensive clothes – they will get dirty!
Clothes should be easy to get on and off such as elasticated waists to enable the children to be independent. Please don’t put your child in dungarees, onesies, skinny jeans or lace up shoes. Also school trousers aren’t a good idea for preschool as they often have a teflon coating which prevents us from seeing if they have had an accident and often come with a clasp fastening which is difficult for little fingers.
The best thing to wear is leggings or joggers with an elasticated waist and a top
Shoes must be easy to get on and off independently such as Velcro straps to avoid and hinderance.
Please ensure your child is dressed appropriately for all weather conditions, they should bring a coat everyday.
Shoulders should be covered in hot sun, they should also bring in their own sunhat. Mittens are easier to put on independently and waterproof ones keep their hands warmer for longer.
All clothes, coats, hats, bags, shoes, wellies lunch boxes etc. must have their name in. If they don’t be prepared to lose a jumper or pair of shoes. It’s much easier for us to return anything that has a name inside and your child will learn to look for their name too. You can buy printed sticky labels for inside black shoes, they’re much cheaper than buying a new pair.
We bring our lunches over from the school kitchen and follow the Gateshead school lunch menu. If your child is a vegetarian or vegan, these meals must be booked in advance. Allergies, intolerances and any other medical needs (such as diabetes) are catered for everyday.
You can find out the daily menu here
Alternative is for you to provide a packed lunch.
Ensure your child’s packed lunch is in a named container. All containers must be named so we can return them if they get mixed up.
Packed lunches must be healthy, no chocolate, sweets, fizzy or sugary drinks and no glass bottles please. All foods must be nut free as other children sitting close by might have an allergy. Grapes and other small fruits must be cut in half or quartered to avoid choking.
Choosing an item from each food group helps support a balanced diet and goes towards the goal of 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day. If you need any advice or tips look at the NHS Change 4 Life website.
If you want to introduce new food to your children it can often help if you involve them in lunch box planning and/or shopping.
In hot weather you might want to pack an ice block to keep the food chilled, we do not have space in our fridge to keep these cool.
Independence is an essential skill to learn at preschool. We prefer children to wear jogging bottoms or leggings on their bottom half as school trousers, skirts and jeans can often be difficult for little fingers to get off when they go to the toilet.
Velcro is the best fastening for shoes as your little one will struggle with buckles and laces.
We do help children with everything, but we do encourage them to be as independent as possible as this helps promote their self esteem and build their self confidence.
The use of mobile phones inside the building or taking photos or videos from outside the building is strictly prohibited. This is to protect the children within our care and to maintain high levels of safeguarding at all times.
When collecting your child please do not use a mobile phone as the staff may need to speak with you. Also your child has missed you while they have been in preschool and they do not need to compete with your phone.
Smoking and the use of e-cigarettes, vapes etc. are not permitted anywhere on school sites or within the area of their entrances or carparks etc.
We try to model good practices for the children and using this paraphernalia is not something we endorse as good behaviour.
We are based within a residential area and we ask people using the school and preschool not to park within the school car park or the residential cul-de-sac. Please do not block people’s drives or any paths.
We are lucky enough to be able to use the Coachman car park, use this place to park if you must bring a car.
We would rather people walked as it is a healthier option and children learn about road safety for their future independent lives.
Please take care when walking as some drivers do not pay attention to the roads and some park on the paths you wish to use. We have tried many times various strategies but there is always some people who think they are above the law or their lives are more valuable than others. Please do not become one of these drivers!
Lets try and keep our school a safe environment for everyone.