At Highwood we pride ourselves on providing quality childcare for children aged three months to five years. Each room, from Bunnies to Owls, has been carefully planned, giving children a choice of free-flow-play and opportunities to learn through exploration.
Our children are encouraged to develop their individuality and self-confidence through our Highwood curriculum as they explore a wide range of activities. Our ‘in the moment’ planning is a child-centred approach that enables children to grow, learn, explore and progress through play at their own pace.
Our five golden rules encourage good behaviour, self-control and empathy.
These rules are included in our Behaviour Management Policy and are displayed in the Nursery for the children to see.
Our Nursery staff work hard to encourage children to learn them and abide by them.
They are as follows:
- We will always walk, not run, in the Nursery.
- We will treat other people’s feelings and property with care and concern.
- We will wait patiently for our turn.
- We will listen and talk quietly to one another.
- We will share and be kind and helpful to others.
We aim to be as flexible as possible in order to fit around busy lives. The facilities at Highwood Nursery are open from Monday to Friday 7:45am – 6:00pm. We are open 50 weeks of the year. We are closed on Bank Holidays and for two weeks over Christmas and the New Year usually linked with the Hampshire school holidays. We also close for two staff training days per year, dates are given to parents in advance.
Sessions at the Nursery are booked on an hourly or half hourly basis. We do require that you book a minimum session of 4 hours in either the morning or afternoon for your child to make the most of the opportunities available to them. Children must attend for at least two sessions per week.
One month’s written notice is required if you no longer wish your child to attend the Nursery, or if you need to change your child’s hours. Occasional alterations can be made if staffing allows, but this must be confirmed in advance with a senior member of staff. Hours must be adhered to due to the required staffing ratios.
In the event of your late arrival collecting your child you will be charged for any extra time at your normal rate if it is before 6:00pm. After 6:00pm you will be charged £7.50 per half-hour.
We aim to make settling as easy as possible, helping to ensure a stress-free experience for everyone involved.
We encourage you and your child to visit two or three times before starting at the Nursery. These settling sessions should be pre-booked with the Childcare Manager or one of her deputies. Please note that there is no charge for these sessions.
On your first visit we suggest you stay with your child for one or two hours, depending on your child’s age and previous nursery experience. This will give you the chance to spend time with your child’s Key Carer and discuss issues such as weaning, sleep patterns and dietary requirements.
On your second visit we suggest you stay with your child until he or she is happy for you to leave. We may suggest you leave the Nursery for an hour or so. If after these two visits your child is still not settled, then we will suggest another settling session.
Settling always depends on the child. Some settle very quickly and others take longer. The idea of settling sessions is to ensure your child does not feel like he or she has been abandoned. That may sound a little extreme, but it might be exactly how he or she feels. Our experience tells us that time set aside for settling your child is time well spent.
At Highwood we encourage children to explore their environment, which may mean getting their clothes dirty from time to time.
Although we provide protective clothing for activities such as painting and gluing, some children may still get substances on their clothes. Therefore, please ensure your child wears easily washable clothes that he or she does not have to worry about getting dirty.
We encourage all those who are capable of dressing and undressing themselves to do so when appropriate. The kind of clothes you give your child to wear will either help or hinder this. For example, toggles, large zips, or press studs are much easier to use than fiddly buttons. Therefore, particularly when toilet training, please consider your child’s clothing carefully and ensure it is easy to remove.
The weather does not usually keep us indoors, so it is essential that you send your child to us with suitable clothing. Warm and waterproof coats are needed during the cold months, and a sun hat and sun cream will be appropriate for the warmer months.
Please provide a named bag for your child’s personal belongings that can be placed on a peg in their room. All clothing must be marked with your child’s name.
Dietary requirements are communicated to the nursery cook daily to ensure the correct meals are provided. A list of all children’s dietary requirements is kept in each area of the nursery to ensure staff can check that snacks and any meals are appropriate for each child’s individual needs. You will be informed both verbally and through a menu board about the meals and snacks that have been provided on any given day. They will also be notified about the amount of food that has been eaten by their child.
Staff are encouraged to sit and eat with the children at mealtimes. A monthly menu plan is devised to ensure variety and cultural variation. The menu is planned to represent the four main food groups, ensuring children attending on the same day each week have variety over a four-week period, and that those in every day of the week benefit from variety as well. Snacks complement the meal menu and staff ensure children are offered at least five portions of fruit and vegetables throughout the day. Milk or fresh drinking water is also available throughout the day.
Food preparation and practise
Staff will encourage regular drinking in hot weather and will monitor children to ensure adequate hydration. All food is prepared daily on site by the nursery cook, or staff with the relevant food hygiene qualifications if the cook is on leave. The nursery kitchen conforms to Environmental Health Procedures and is inspected regularly by Environmental Health Officers to ensure it complies with all relevant legislation and regulations.
You are encouraged to provide a healthy diet if providing packed lunch. This must be in a suitable named container, stored safely (with a cool pack) and refrigerated if necessary. Importantly, we ask you not to pack nut products in lunchboxes in order to protect those with nut allergies. Sweets and chocolate should remain at home also.