March 2018 Memo
We have now completed our fencing and the gate is due to be fitted this week. Please remember to close the gate behind you. We have had a number of complaints about the speed that some parents and Taxis enter the car park. Please slow down and advise your Taxi’s to enter the car park with care. The fence will stop children running into the car park however children still have to walk to the cars.
Our next plan is to have a new conservatory running from the office to the nursery. This is a huge expense and really has no benefit to the children and so gets pushed to the back.
Late payment for unpaid Fees
Due to the error on the invoices, which stated that the fees were due on the 8th of the month, we have refunded most of the late payment fees. Fees should be paid by the 1st of the month, and late payment fees of £15 per week, will be applied after this point. If you want our bank details to set up a standing order to avoid late payments please come to the office. If you have been blocked from the door please make sure you come to the office to have the door released.
As you know we try to keep our fees as low as we can, you may be aware that the government are increasing the minimum wage. The increase is approximately 5% and we have no option but to increase our fees in line with this increase. Please see the fee sheet on the reverse of this memo. We have postponed the increase for a month, they will be in place by May and not April. All nurseries are having to increase the fees and we are still one of the most reasonably priced quality nursery in the area.
Please make sure that you log on to your child’s learning Journey, we love to share your child’s day with you and let you know what we are working on. If you have not logged on you will be given an appointment time to come in and share it with your key person, please allow half an hour for this visit. It is very important that we share next steps and progress with you.
Little Potters Memo January 2017
Sadly for us Jade has been offered a fantastic opportunity with an incredible pay rise. We are not permitted to give any further information due to the nature of her role. She did not want this to be announced as she is not allowed to discuss her new role. We have had to respect her wishes on this matter.
We will all miss Jade she has made some incredible changes to preschool that will be carried on. We all wish her well and she has promised to cover for staff holidays if we need her.
Jemma has accepted the position of pre-school room leader and will take over when she returns from her honeymoon. We are sure she will take over seamlessly from Jade.
After much soul searching Hannah has decided that childcare is not the job for her. She came to us straight from University and gave the profession a try. She wants to follow psychology which she studied at university. She has agreed to stay with us until Jemma Returns and to introduce Hannah who join’s us on Monday 30th January to replace her. We are sure you will offer (new) Hannah a warm welcome and wish (old) Hannah well for the future.
Kirstie is joining us for two days a week, her role primarily is to carry out quality checks and to support and mentor the team. Kirstie is transferring to us from our Derby Nursery. Please introduce yourself to Kirstie if you see her around the nursery. She is happy to discuss her role and if you would like to get involved with quality checks or policy reviews speak to Ceri and she will make an appointment for you to meet with Kirstie.
As always if you wish to discuss this or any other issues my door is always open.
24th February 2016
You may have noticed that we are getting very busy in nursery, this is mainly due to the reputation we have and also the closure of a couple of local nurseries. We are continuing to develop the nursery, unfortunately many of the repairs this year have been structural, and we have plans for this year that will benefit the children more directly.
Unfortunately we still have a few parents who are not paying fees on time, and in some cases not at all. We have had to get very tough now as we have a waiting list, and we owe it to those of you who pay to give places to people who are also willing to pay.
As you know we try to keep our fees as low as we can, you may be aware that the government are introducing the new living wage as of April 1st. We are trying to absorb as much of this as we can. Although we are very proud of the fact that our team have many years experience, the living wage is going to have a big impact on our overheads. We have kept this as low as we can and sessions will only increase by 50p, please see attached price list.
We are pleased that our new learning journey has been so successful, and many of you are now sending in photos of home learning and your observations. This helps us with our assessments. If you need help accessing this please do not hesitate to contact us.
Laura and Ceri
It is with great sadness that we will shortly be saying goodbye to Kate as she leaves us to move on to a promotion in another childcare setting. We are sure you will all miss her as much as we will as Kate has cared for the majority of the children over her years with us. It has been a pleasure to watch her develop as a practitioner and we wish her all the best for the future.
All the staff at Little Potters.
Once again the year seems to have flown by and now there is only 5 weeks to Christmas! We would all like to take this opportunity to wish you Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year. At this time of year we have lots of things happening so get your diaries ready.
Before we give you the dates we would like to welcome all of our new members of staff that have joined the nursery over the past couple of months. Jen has become our cook after Ruth went to join her partner in his rapidly expanding business. Hannah has come to join the Tot’s Room team after completing her psychology degree at the University of Wolverhampton. Lil has joined us as an apprentice working in all of the rooms of the nursery as she qualifies as a child care practitioner, and Nicole has joined us to work with Fallon in the Out of School club. They are all settling in well as our good reputation continues to grow and we get busier and busier!
Dates For Your Diary
Nursery Closure days
Nursery will be closed on 25th December 2015, 28th December 2015 and 1st January 2016. We are closing the nursery at 3.30pm on Christmas Eve to allow the staff to close up the nursery and enjoy some family time.
We are currently making catering and staffing arrangements and would be very grateful if you could you let us have your child’s holiday plans over the Christmas period by the 11th December this would be great
We would like to invite all children to a Christmas Party on the 24th December for fun and games followed by party food. The party will start at 2pm for the children who do not normally attend on this day. Please note the party will finish at 3.30pm for all children as the nursery will be closing early. All parents are welcome to join us for the party fun.
Ashley and Alice are again planning a wonderful Christmas Show with their talented group of Pre-school actors. This will be held in the main room at the Village Hall on Friday 11th December from 10.00am until 11.00am for those parents who wish to attend. Please check with Ashley if your child does not normally attend on this day and she will let you know what time to arrive at the hall.
Due to the success of our last Christmas play we have hired the larger hall with the stage. Our Tot’s will open the show with their very own performance. Please ask Becky for instructions if your child is not normally in on this day. Please could we ask that any Tot’s Room children who are travelling up with us to bring their own car seats to nursery that day. Please can you return the slip with how many seats you require by Friday 4th December.
Babies will be staying at nursery and having lots of Christmas fun here with Kate and Claire.
We know it’s Christmas and the last thing we want to do is discuss the fees. It has been a difficult past few months. An increasing amount of parents paying late and running up bills. This is very hard to manage as a small company. Laura is spending days at a time chasing fees, it’s not her favourite job, and puts a strain on parent relationships. Please help us to continue to provide the quality of service you have come to expect, and pay on time. Many thanks.
We are nearly ready to roll out our new online Learning Journey system and are just waiting for the last few parents to return their permission slips to us. As soon as we have these we will be able to give you your password so you can log on and see your child’s Learning Journey. We are all still becoming familiar with this system but are looking forward to you being able to comment on observations and add your own photos and videos of your child.
Once again we would like to take the opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Melanie and Nigel
Memo July 2015
Well I don’t know about you but I certainly think we are in for a really nice summer this year; last year was not very generous so we are making the most of this glorious weather and enjoying the sun while we can. We are being extra cautious at the moment with outdoor playtimes as the sun rays have been very hot from as early as 9am so routine times for outdoor play may differ slightly but I can assure you this is only in the best interest of the children as their safety is paramount to us here at the nursery.
Hot weather, Sun cream and sun hats!
Please can we remind you that now the weather is warming up to send in a sun hat and some sun cream for your child. This can be brought in every day or left at nursery for the staff to put on before taking the children into the garden. As the temperatures rise we do avoid taking the children out between the hours of 11am and 3pm but we still need to make sure they are protected from the sun. We are sure you appreciate how important it is to keep your children safe in the hotter weather.
We are delighted to announce that Kate is back with us on a full time basis in the Baby Room. Unfortunately Kim left us at the end of April. We believe that all staff should have passed their first aid, unfortunately Kim was not able to achieve this and we felt particularly in the baby room that this was essential element of the job. We all wish her well. Sadly at the end of the school year we will be saying goodbye to Gina. Gina has been with us for many years and held various roles, more recently she decided she wanted to work with older children and moved to the out of school club, she has now been offered an opportunity in a path that has always been close to her heart. Raheela, has recently started with us in the afternoons working along side the team in preparation to fully take over the school club in September.
Pre-school Graduation and going to school
This year’s graduation will be held on August 7th at 2pm. We are making the most of the lovely weather (hopefully) and will be holding the ceremony in the nursery garden. The pre-school Room have already started to prepare for this special occasion and you will be receiving your official invite shortly. Please help us to ensure the ceremony runs smoothly by completing the little slip at the bottom to book seats.
As you know you have to give us a months notice and so we should have received your notice if your child is leaving for school on the 17th July, if you have not done this you need to speak to Laura regarding your full notice period. if however you are staying with us until they start in School in September it would be most helpful if you could give your notice in early, we are trying to plan for September and see how many spaces we have available.
Last funding dates / return date
The funding for the summer term will end on July 17th and then the autumn term will commence from Monday 7th September until 18th December. There is one half term within that time which is 26th – 30th October so there will be no funded places that week.
As with most years the minimum wage increases in October, this combined with increasing overheads unfortunately means our fees have to reflect this. Therefore our October invoices will all reflect the new prices, please see the attached the fee sheet along with the revised fee structure, we are still having to clamp down on late/non payment of fees and will be strictly applying the surcharge for late payment.
The heart breaking thing here is that if all parents paid, as agreed, when they sign up we could probably halve the increase but sadly some parents still feel it is acceptable to come for free and we all have to bare these costs. I always say it’s like going to Asda walking out with your shopping and saying I’ll pay for it when I’ve eaten it maybe. Luckily for Asda they can call the police, I wish we could it would probably be more effective after all theft is theft, but we have to rely on the courts which is a long and painful process but we continue to chase them and regularly send out bailiffs.
After waiting for nearly 4 and a half years for our inspection Ofsted finally landed on our doorstep on 11th May 2015. It was way overdue and we had been eagerly awaiting their arrival for some time. Our inspection has been posted on the Ofsted page now, but the link to help you to find this more efficiently is:
Alternatively there is a hard copy located in the nursery office reception, the link will also be on our website.
Our overall outcome was GOOD which was very emotional for us all as you can imagine all of the team here at the nursery work so hard and this is shown in our report. We have read reports that had an outstanding rating that did not read as good as ours. The area that stopped us from being outstanding was not considering the younger children in large groups. In short, the inspector did not feel the rising 2 year olds should not be with the three and four year olds. We explained that these children could be going to school in September and we felt we had to be getting them ready, the inspector however felt we should do what is best for the children not what is best for school. I have to say that I agree that these children should not be going to school straight from the tots room, but the fact of the matter is some of them will and I feel we owe it to these children to prepare them to cope best they can, so in my mind that is putting the child first . However as a result of the inspection we will look more deeply into how/if we move the younger children up to Pre School. These are just my beliefs, Melanie, based on years of studying young children. As parents you make your own decisions based on your knowledge of your child and I know the decision you make will be right for your family. All children are different and we can not apply a one size fits all approach.
We are all very proud of the report, the nursery has come a long way since we took over five years ago, and everyone is so dedicated to the children and their families. They have all embraced the training, and changed their practice to reflect the training, always putting in extra time and effort to make things right for the children. As the inspector left she said that we are so close to outstanding that next time she felt sure we would be. Well Ofsted only spent about 3 hours out of the day in the nursery, I would say most of the time the team is outstanding and occasionally they are very good, as owners we can not ask for anything more. We are sure you will join us in congratulating them on this high achievement.
With our new Ofsted report under our belt, confirming the quality service we provide, we feel it is time to shake off the bad reputation that the previous owners had managed to inflict on the nursery once and for all. We have ordered our new signs and are holding an open day to officially become LITTLE POTTERS DAY NURSERY on 29th August 2015. We would like to take this opportunity to invite you all to this special day to celebrate with us from 10am to 2pm. Laura and Ceri have lots of things planned for this big day i.e. stalls, face painting and games. Any other suggestions please feel free to pass them on. All money raised from this event will be used to develop the garden as this is our next big project!
As always may we take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support, and as ever you can contact Laura or Ceri directly on the nursery number or Nigel and I via the nursery email, if you wish to discuss any aspect of the memo.
Melanie and Nigel Henshaw