Information for Parents
At Tigers Day Nurseries we believe that effective communication with our parents is vital. It ensures continuity and security for your child and promotes understanding between our staff and parents. The well-being and happiness of every child in our care is the focus of all we do and we aim to involve and inform our parents so we can work in partnership to achieve this.
This section of our website provides easy access to all the information you might need regarding the policies and procedures implemented at our nurseries. Should you require further information or have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.
- Choosing a Nursery
- Trial Sessions
- Frequently asked questions
- Arranging a visit
- How we partner with parents
- Registration and admission
Choosing a nursery
Atmosphere and welcome
After researching a nursery, always visit in person with your child to feel the atmosphere and experience the daily routine. Are the staff friendly and welcoming? Were they happy to accommodate your visit at a time to suit you? Do the children appear relaxed and happy? Are they engaged in a variety of activities? What is the atmosphere like? Are the staff happy to provide you with the setting’s latest Ofsted report and/or specific policies and procedures that may be of interest to you?
Facilities and space
Does the nursery have plenty of space for the children to run around in? If there is no outdoor space, what solution does the nursery have for outdoor play? Are there quiet places, especially in the younger children’s rooms, where they can sleep? Do the older children have access to toilets and hand-washing facilities?
Equipment, resources and activities
Is a variety of equipment and resources available for the children to play with? Is everything in good condition? Is there a good mix of creative activities like painting, sensory play, construction toys, ride-on toys, role-play and small world toys for the children to choose? Do the children get plenty of exercise outdoors on a regular basis? If they are taken off the premises for outings, what procedures are followed to ensure their safety?
Your child’s safety is the most important consideration. Is safety clearly a priority? Are the premises protected from intrusion? Are visitors logged in and supervised at all times? Does the nursery have emergency procedures in place? Are these practised regularly? Have risks been minimised in the children’s environment with finger guards on doors, safety covers on sockets etc? Are all the staff aware of health and safety, emergency and medical procedures?
Staff to child ratios
Minimum ratios are set by law, but not all settings adhere to them correctly. For babies and toddlers up to two years, the minimum ratio is 1:3, for two to three year olds, 1:4 and for three to five year olds, 1:8. Are there sufficient staff in each room to meet these requirements? Is the setting able to provide special support or one-to-one care if needed? Is each child assigned a key worker to monitor their development and liaise with parents?
Are the staff down at the children’s level? Are they engaged with the children? Are the children talking to them and asking questions confidently? Are they responsive to children’s needs, assisting promptly when needed? Are they guiding the children in their learning? How do they deal with challenging behaviour?
Staff quality, qualifications and training
Are the staff suitably qualified? Is team leadership and mentoring in evidence? Are the staff offered ongoing training and allowed to develop their skills? Do the staff have good knowledge of child development enabling them to support individual children’s learning at their own pace? Is there clear management of staff at the nursery? Are all staff trained in first aid?
Communication with parents
Does the nursery seek to involve and inform its parents? Who is responsible for liaising with the parents on a daily basis? What form does this take? Are regular parents’ meetings arranged? What happens if a child is identified as needing special support? How are parents informed of illness or accidents? Ask the nursery to introduce you to parents so that you can ask how they find the level of information and communication.
How rigid are drop off and pick up times? If required, does the nursery offer term-time only places? Do they charge extra if you are late? Are rigorous procedures in place to identify people collecting children?
Meals and snacks
What meals are provided? Ask to see a sample menu. Is it nutritionally balanced and appealing? Is food prepared and cooked freshly each day on-site? Do the staff engage with the children during mealtimes? How do they deal with children who don’t like certain foods? If your child has an allergy or intolerance or requires a special diet, can this be supported? Are babies’ home feed times honoured or must they change their routine at nursery?
What is the nursery’s sickness policy and are the staff conversant with it? Will they provide a copy of their policy and procedures? What is the procedure when a child falls ill? How is administering of medication managed when a child returns to nursery after illness? Are all medicines kept safely out of reach?
What are the costs? Can the nursery offer advice on any financial help available? Does the nursery offer funded places? If so, how are these managed?
If you would like to see our nurseries’ answers to the questions above, please take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions section below.
Arranging a visit
All prospective parents are welcome to visit our nurseries, be shown around and ask any questions they may have about the philosophy, vision and values of a setting, its daily routines and the arrangements in place to provide the quality childcare. We encourage prospective parents to bring their child along so that they can experience the nursery and see the other children having fun together.
Please either call or email the nursery manager at the setting you would like to visit to arrange a time to suit you.
For Tigers Day Nursery
Contact Nicola Barkhouse
Tel: 01635 528857
For Tigers at Swindon Day Nursery
Contact Emily Kersey
Tel: 01793 877025
For Tigers at Theale Day Nursery
Contact Vicky Attard
Tel: 01189 303000
Registration and admission
Tigers Day Nurseries seek to admit all children whose parents wish to use our service, in line with our Equality Opportunities policy.
Following an enquiry, details of prospective parents are recorded and the information is held on file at the setting. A prospectus is sent out on request, along with any other documents required.
Prospective parents are given a registration form on request, usually when they visit the setting to look around. Parents are asked to return the form with required registration fee. (Families in receipt of ‘deprivation funding’ for 2 year olds are not required to pay a registration fee.) We acknowledge receipt of the registration form in writing.
Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis taking into consideration the sessions requested and availability of these, including ‘free at source’ funded hours. All families have an equal right to places but priority is always given to siblings of children already attending the nursery.
Every effort is made to accommodate children, but within each space we adhere strictly to the adult to child ratios that are a condition of the registration of our settings.
We offer some funded-only sessions for 2 year olds identified by the Local Authority as being ‘in need’ and also for some 3 and 4 year olds in receipt of ‘free at source’ LEA funding.
We are able to offer additional services including extended hours, meals and extra activities such as French, dance, football and music for which we seek parental consent.
We plan each child’s progress through the nursery in accordance with their age, stage of development and individual needs. In the event of a child being placed on the waiting list, parents are kept fully informed of the timescale within which a place would become available. If a parent refuses an available place they will placed at the bottom of the waiting list.
If parents are registering a baby before its birth, they are asked to contact the setting once baby has arrived.
Parents are contacted by letter a term before the child’s start date and requested to pay a deposit of four weeks’ fees, based on the number of days booked at registration. 60 days’ notice of changes to requested sessions is required, otherwise full fees are payable for this period. Childcare vouchers can be used to meet this cost accompanied by an un-cashed cheque for the full amount which is cashed should the parent decide to withdraw.
The child’s trial sessions can then be arranged with the Room Senior at the chosen setting.
At Tigers Day Nurseries we try to make the transition from home to nursery as stress-free as possible for our parents and children alike. We offer a home visit before starting at nursery which gives us the opportunity to get to know you and your child, to answer any questions you may have and for your little one to meet their key worker in familiar surroundings.
Trial sessions are arranged with the parent at a mutually convenient time. Both child and parent spend initial periods of time within the setting during a normal session. Child and parent trial sessions are used as an opportunity for parents to ask questions, for the child to settle into the environment and for the staff to get to know the child.
Trial sessions with for the child alone are organised when the child is ready. Child-only trial sessions will include mealtimes, sleep times, outdoor play etc. over a period of time.
The child will join the nursery when they have spent an equivalent booked day with us e.g. if the child’s booked sessions are mornings, then when a full morning has been completed, if the child’s booked sessions are full day bookings, then when they have completed a full day.
How we partner with parents
At Tigers Day Nurseries we endeavour to build strong, positive relationships with parents and carers of all children who attend our nurseries. To support this we provide information for parents on policies and procedures in a variety of formats. We take time to explain what our policies mean and how we translate our ideals into practice.
Initially parents receive information about their child’s base room and this will contain information on up-to-date activities and expectations. Extra support will always be available during transition times for families within the nursery.
Questions are answered honestly and straightforwardly and we are always keen to hear what parents say about what we do. Parents are consulted on all issues that affect the welfare, well-being, learning and development of all the children. Their views are taken into account.
Arrangements are in place to ensure that information about children’s care, learning and development is shared on a daily basis with parents. An overview of the experiences and activities in which the children are involved is shared with parents to enable them to participate fully in their children’s lives in the nursery.
Parents are encouraged to look at and contribute to their child’s development folder and opportunities are provided to discuss progress on a regular basis. Any concerns that arise about a child’s progress or behaviour are discussed fully with parents and plans made to address any issues.
Each setting also works in partnership with a wide range of other professionals and organisations and information, support and advice are freely available to parents and carers who may wish to access these services.
We regularly invite parents and carers to join in with nursery activities - something which is enjoyed by parents, children and staff alike.
Frequently Asked Questions
When can I arrange a visit to the nursery?
We would be pleased to arrange a date and time for you to visit at your convenience. It is always best to visit during the day so that you can experience the children’s daily routine. If there are particular aspects of the nursery that you would like to see, please let us know so that we can suggest a good time to come along. Contact us to arrange a visit.
Can I have a copy of the latest Ofsted report and the setting’s policies and procedures?
Yes, with pleasure. These can be sent to you by email or provided in hard copy on request.
My child has allergies and may need treatment with an EpiPen on occasions. Are your staff trained to deal with this?
All our staff are first aid trained and each room has at least two qualified staff who are trained in use of the EpiPen. The nursery has a written procedure covering this which you can find under Anti-Allergy and Intolerances Policy in our Policies and Procedures section.
Do all the children have time outdoors every day, weather permitting?
All our children have plenty of opportunity to run around and play with their friends outside. In spring and summer we take care to protect them against the sun and in colder months, they are wrapped up warm in coats, hats and gloves. All our outdoor areas are well-equipped with a wide variety of toys and resources. Both our Thatcham settings have extensive outdoor play areas fitted with safety surfaces and at Tigers we have a large wild garden and growing area. At Tigers Too, we take full advantage of our location and the children regularly enjoy outings to local parks and walks in the town.
Do the children have a chance to rest during their busy days?
Yes, all our rooms have quiet areas where the children can have a nap. Our babies, toddlers and many of the two year olds have a regular nap after lunch and the older children can have a rest if they wish or some quiet time with a book or puzzle.
How do you handle potty training?
Many of the children take to potty training between the ages of two and three and we encourage and reward them, but never pressurise them. We provide support throughout the process, making use of our own potty training resources which our parents can borrow.
Do the older children have easy access to toilets and hand-washing facilities?
Each room has accessible toilets at child height. All children are encouraged to wash their hands frequently and always after using the toilet and before meals.
What precautions to do you take to ensure the children are kept safe?
Our children’s safety is of paramount importance at our nurseries. Each setting has a Health and Safety Officer and a Safeguarding Officer reporting to the Operations Manager and the children’s safety is the primary concern for all staff. Access to the premises and to each room is controlled by key locks and monitored, visitors must sign-in and are always supervised, we have stringent health and safety, safeguarding and confidentiality policies in place and all staff are trained to adhere to these policies. Every precaution is taken to remove any potential danger from our settings. We have safety floors, finger guards, low stair rails, temperature-controlled water for the children to use, socket covers and low storage units for toys so that children can reach the items they want to play with easily. Emergency procedures are in place and we have regular fire drills. Every electrical item undergoes regular PAT testing.
Are toys and equipment cleaned and maintained regularly?
We have our own team of maintenance staff responsible for ensuring that the whole nursery environment is safe and well-maintained. Any defective or broken toys or equipment are immediately removed by the staff and repaired or disposed of by the maintenance team. All toys, floors and play surfaces are kept clean and are subject to regular deep cleans. High standards of personal hygiene are demanded of all the staff and instilled in our children from the beginning.
Are children encouraged to choose what to play with?
Yes, we encourage all our children to select their own toys and to involve themselves in activities that take their interest. We also provide adult-led activities to help broaden their experiences and group activities to develop their social and communication skills.
What are your staff to child ratios?
Minimum ratios are set by law, and we always have at least the minimum number of staff present in each room, but often more. We never compromise on this and where we have adjoining rooms, each is treated as a separate space in terms of staffing at all times. For babies and toddlers up to two years, the minimum ratio is 1:3, for two to three year olds, 1:4 and for three to five year olds, 1:8. All our settings are able to provide special support or one-to-one care if needed.
Do you have a key worker policy?
Yes, each child in our nurseries is allotted a key worker who is responsible for their well-being, for monitoring and recording their development and for liaising regularly with the parents. Key workers get to know each individual child in their care well and plan activities according to the child’s preferences and development needs in line with Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) guidelines.
Are the staff properly qualified and first aid trained?
All our staff are dedicated, knowledgeable childcare professionals and all are trained in first aid. The management team ensures that every member of staff is not only suitably qualified, but that they have a passion for the work they do and a desire to deliver quality care. Each nursery has a highly qualified and experienced manager who oversees the nursery team. Each room has a Senior Nursery Nurse who heads up a team of qualified professionals and is responsible for the mentoring of junior staff and trainees within their room. Each nursery has specialist staff, including Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs). Every member of our staff is encouraged to continue training and all take part in regular first aid refresher courses and workshops to keep them abreast of new ideas, new legislation and best practice.
How do you keep the parents informed?
We endeavour to build strong, positive relationships with the parents and carers of all children who attend our nurseries. To support this we provide information for parents on policies and procedures in a variety of formats. We take time to explain what our policies mean and how we translate our ideals into practice. Initially parents receive information about their child’s base room and this will contain information on up-to-date activities and expectations. Questions are answered honestly and straightforwardly and we are always keen to hear what parents say about what we do. Parents are consulted on all issues that affect the welfare, well-being, learning and development of all the children. Their views are taken into account
Arrangements are in place to ensure that information about children’s care, learning and development is shared on a daily basis with parents. An overview of the experiences and activities in which the children are involved is shared with parents to enable them to participate fully in their children’s lives in the nursery. Parents are encouraged to look at and contribute to their child’s development folder and opportunities are provided to discuss progress on a regular basis. Any concerns that arise about a child’s progress or behaviour are discussed fully with parents and plans made to address any issues.
What happens if I am late for pick-up?
We understand the pressures of work and unpredictability of travel so adopt a flexible attitude to drop-off and collect times. All parents must, however, provide emergency contacts that we can call on should they be severely delayed.
Are the children’s meals freshly-prepared and nutritionally balanced?
All our meals are prepared and cooked on-site by our qualified chef using fresh produce, sourced locally where possible. Our menus are carefully balanced to provide the right nutrition for the children and are changed seasonally. We are happy to support special dietary requirements
What happens if my child is sick?
Our nurseries have a clear policy for managing sick children which can be found in full under our Policies and Procedures section. Certain conditions require that a child is sent home or kept at home – these are listed in the Sickness Policy Guidelines document in our Downloads section, but include a high temperature, developing a rash, diarrhoea and vomiting. Staff use these guidelines with a common sense approach with the sole purpose of protecting all children and adults in the setting and ensuring their well-being.