The Ark provides a nursery and pre-school that offers high quality childcare in a large, safe and stimulating environment. We practice a Christian ethos at The Ark and seek to promote respect for all, regardless of ethnic background.
Our staff are selected very carefully, not only for their qualifications and experience but also for their love of children. We understand that continuity of care for the children is paramount and for that reason we are totally committed to promoting staff loyalty. Our friendly team are enthusiastic, highly motivated and very keen to support your child in all areas. All members of our team are supported in developing their skills future through training.
Our primary goal is to ensure that we provide the highest quality childcare that is both accessible and affordable. Our nursery will differentiate itself by a passionate attention to detail in everything we do underpinned by our quality programme.
Your children will be safe, loved and stimulated in an efficient, well maintained and above all homely environment. We will promote a healthy understanding and respect for natural values in all aspects of the nursery.
Above all, we want your children to leave our nursery with the confidence and skills to help them meet the challenges that lie ahead in the school system and beyond. We passionately believe this to be a joint effort between the nursery and parents and to that end we will promote the right environment for that partnership to succeed.
Children learn best through play. We provide a broad range of challenging and stimulating play activities, both indoors and outdoors, that promote children`s overall development. The Early Years Foundation Stage provides the statutory framework for young children’s learning and development from birth.
The Curriculum is divided into seven areas of learning:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication, Language
- Expressive Art and Design
- Physical Development
- Knowledge and Understanding of the world
- The Ark operates an anti-discriminatory policy. We welcome children and families from all ethnic origins, religious backgrounds, faiths and those who have special needs.
- Information packs will be provided to all parents wishing to register for a nursery place.
- Priority will be given to those requiring full day care 4-5 days per week.
- We recommend a minimum attendance of 2 days per week in order for children to feel comfortable with the nursery environment although in special circumstances exceptions will be made to this.
- It may also be necessary to put children on our waiting list; however we endeavour to place all children as soon as possible.
- We aim to work with parents to best meet their childcare needs. To help us to do this they will be required to complete some pre-admission information sheets, particular attention is given to identifying any special needs their child has. All information supplied by parents is treated in the strictest confidence.
- Deposit of £200 will be payable to secure a place at the nursery along with completed application for admission forms.
- The first fee will be due before the first settling day and the monthly fee thereafter will be due on the 1st of each month, payable for the month in advance.
- Deposits can be balanced against the last payment or can be refunded upon completion of the child’s attendance provided one month’s notice of departure is given.
Settling in Procedure
At The Ark we aim to ensure all children settle in to the nursery with minimal emotional upset. For this reason the following is a guide only and will be adjusted on a child by child basis. During this period you will receive forms to complete with information regarding your child’s interests, abilities, routine etc.... This will assist us in becoming familiar with and understanding your child. We will do our utmost to ensure your child’s key worker is available during every settling in day to get to know you and your child.
Parent and child attend the nursery for an hour. Parent is present for duration of visit. The purpose of this visit is to familiarise the child with staff, other children and the environment whilst they feel safe with a parent present. On this day you will mainly be responsible for your child as they will not count towards our staff: child ratio.
Parent and child attend the nursery for an hour. Parent is present for all but 10 minutes of the visit. Prior to leaving the child their parent says goodbye and explains that they will be returning. The purpose of this visit is to demonstrate to the child that their parent will return.
The child attends the nursery for an hour. At the beginning of the hour the parent farewells the child as they will on every other day of attendance and explain again that they will return. This visit is to extend on the length of time the child is present. During this visit parents are required to stay in close proximity to the nursery in case their child becomes overly distressed. In this case we will contact them and arrange for them to come back. At this point we may re-assess days 4 and 5.
Days 4 and 5
The child attends the nursery for approximately 3 hours. The parent is required to bring any bottles, comforters and nappies. Once again farewell the child, explaining that they will return. We will arrange the time for today’s visit to incorporate the individual child so that they eat lunch and sleep on premises, to prepare them for their longer days next week. Parents are again required to remain in close proximity in case their child becomes overly distressed.
The Role of the Key Person
The key person plays a vital role in caring for their key children.
- The key person will greet and settle their key children each day when possible, especially during the settling in process which is outlined in the attachment.
- The key person will be responsible for ensuring the nursery has adequate information on their children’s routines and interests, including ensuring the attached settling in checklist is completed for each new child.
- The key person will be responsible for completing observations for their key children and providing input into the daily planning with reference to each key child’s interests and abilities.
- The key person will ensure their key children’s needs are met each day.
Interviews will be conducted on The Ark premises by the Director, Manager or Deputy Manager. We have interview questions which will be asked in every interview. These questions ascertain the applicants’ experience, qualifications and overall suitability for the position they are applying for.
Applicants may be asked to have attend the nursery for a trial, either on the day of the interview or shortly thereafter. This trial is generally 1 week duration during which the applicants’ interactions with the children will be observed. Applicants completing a trial will never be left alone with the children.
Upon employment by The Ark employees will receive an induction.
DBS' will be obtained for all staff. Staff who are awaiting DBS approval will not be left alone with children.
5 STAFF ABSENCES
When staff are taking holidays they will attempt to notify all relevant parents in person. There will also be a notice explaining when the staff member will be away and who will be replacing them displayed on the parent information board in the foyer. When staff are absent on short notice i.e. ill, we will attempt to notify parents in advance who will be replacing them although this is not always possible. There will always be a permanent member of staff on premises.
6 RELIEF STAFF
Where possible we will maintain a consistent relief staff list. These are people who we know and will use consistently to provide continuity of care. On occasion we may however have to use agency staff.
7 VOLUNTEERS AND STUDENT PLACEMENTS
On occasion The Ark may accept student placements or volunteers. These students and volunteers will be accessed for their suitability at The Ark. Any volunteers or students will not be left alone with children although if they are long-standing students or volunteers they may be counted in ratio if staff deem them competent.
Food and Drink
The Ark understands that the health of your child is of fundamental significance to you. All of the Ark Nurseries provide meals for the children daily. We ensure:
· Breakfast is served between 8:15 and 8:45am, other meals are served as follows (approximate times) :
o Snack at 9:30am
o Lunch at 11:30am
o Snack at 3:00pm
o Tea at 4:30pm
· We do not add sugar or salt to foods.
· Most of the vegetables are steamed, this also helps to keep more of the nutrients in the food.
· Food is cooked fresh on premises by our qualified cook.
· The menu is designed in accordance with daily dietary intakes ensuring that the children receive the 5 food groups every day.
· We ensure that great care is taken to present meals, where the food is cut into small pieces, enabling your child to eat enjoyably and safely. For these reasons, we have our own strict regulations regarding food shape i.e. we do not serve your child whole cherry tomatoes, whole meatballs and any other foods with potential to cause difficulty in swallowing.
· The nursery participates in the cool milk program. Children are provided milk to drink every day however we will alternate which meal this is provided at.
· Water is available to the children at all times in their individual, parent-provided water bottles/sippy cups.
· A jug of water and clean cups is accessible to the older children throughout the day.
Staff at The Ark will only administer medication that is prescribed or for pain or fever relief as outlined in this policy. When staff at the nursery are presented with any aforementioned medication from any parent or guardian to administer to a child attending the nursery they must adhere to the following procedure:
On receipt of any medication to be administered to a child, a Medication Consent Form must be filled out in full by a parent or guardian on the morning of the day the medicine needs to be administered. This form must be handed to the appropriate member of staff who will make sure all of the information obtained is correct. The parent must then sign the Medication Form. A manager must be informed that there is a child who needs to be given medication on that day.
2 PRESCRIBED MEDICATION
The medication label must contain the following information:
The Child's correct name
The name of the medication
The strength (if applicable)
The expiry date (if applicable)
The medication must be in the original packaging or bottle with the original pharmacy label on it.
If we do not have all of the relevant information, the medication will not be administered.
Once the medication has been administered, the staff member responsible must sign the medication form. When the parent or guardian collects the child at the end of the day they must counter sign the back of the medication form alongside the member of staff's signature.
If the medication has to be refrigerated, it is to be put into the fridge in the main kitchen. The position for storage will be clearly marked "MEDICATION". Otherwise it will be stored in the appropriate place in each room or in the cabinet in the office.
If the medication is short-term and/or needs to also be administered at home it will be handed to the parent or guardian, by a member of staff as the child leaves the nursery.
Any medicine that needs to be discarded because it is out of date or no longer required will be either returned to the parents to discard.
If your child suffers from Asthma please make sure they have a pump with them at all times when they are at Nursery. This can be left in the office so we have quick access to it when needed
4 FEVER RELIEF
In the event of a child having a fever the only medicine we will administer is Calpol and in that case the following procedure will take place:
- If child reaches a temperature of 37° c to 37.8° c (normal being 36.3° c to 37° c) a manager will be informed and the child monitored regularly with the temperature being recorded in writing on the reverse of the child's medicine record form. Action will be taken to bring this temperature down i.e. giving water to drink and removal of clothing.
- If the temperature reaches 37.9° c then the parent or carer will be contacted and the child's symptoms discussed. At this point a decision will be made as whether or not to administer Calpol.
- Calpol WILL ONLY be administered once the parent has filled out a medication form giving written permission for us to administer this. A verbal message given to a member of staff is not sufficient and will not be taken as 'parent consent'.
- If Calpol has been administered the parent or carer must sign a medication consent form when the child is collected and it must be signed by the member of staff who administered the medication.
5 PAIN RELIEF
In the event of a child requiring pain relief we only will administer Calpol, teething gel or teething powder and follow the same procedure as for prescribed medication. Although these medications are not prescribed they must still be in the original packaging with a pharmacy label attached.
At the Ark we attempt to minimise the spread of illnesses.
1 ILLNESS IN THE NURSERY
When a child in our care becomes unwell we will contact the parent/carer and discuss the situation. For this reason a minimum of 2 emergency contact numbers must be provided or the parents/carers must be contactable at all times. There is a responsibility on the part of the parent to make sure that all relevant information regarding their child's medical needs is passed on to staff at The Ark. If we suspect a child has a contagious illness we will remove the child from contact with other children and contact the child’s parent/s to arrange immediate pick-up.
2 ILLNESS AT HOME
We request that children who are ill should do not attend the nursery and that if a child has had sickness or diarrhoea he/she should not return to the nursery for at least 48 hours from when the symptoms have ceased. Please notify us if your child is absent through illness including what the illness is, if possible.
OFSTED requires notification if some serious illnesses are found to be present in the nursery. This is why we ask for notification when children are sick. If one of the illnesses is in the nursery we will contact OFSTED on 0300 123 1231. These illnesses are:
Meningococcal septicaemia (without meningitis)
Dysentery (amoebic or bacillary)
Viral haemorrhagic fever
The Borough will be notified of illnesses as requested on the attached form.
4 MINIMISING THE SPREAD OF INFECTION
Upon notification of a serious illness being present in the nursery we will endeavour to minimise the spread of infection. This may include disinfecting toys and equipment, washing bedding and cushions or using anti-bacterial air spray after the nursery has closed for the day. Depending on how the illness is spread.
It is the responsibility of the parent to notify the nursery of any allergies or suspected allergies. Staff will do their utmost to ensure children are not exposed to the cause of their allergies. This may involve excluding part of the menu from the child’s diet by offering them an alternative or limiting their exposure to a certain activity by providing another activity. There is an allergy notification sign in the kitchen so that the cook is aware of which children have allergies and what they are allergic to.
1 OPENING HOURS
The nursery closes promptly at 6:00pm daily. If it is anticipated a child will not be collected by this time a parent/guardian must call the nursery and notify us of the expected pick up time.
We charge a late fee of £10.00 for every 15 minute interval that a child is on the premises after 6:00pm. This is because we have a legal requirement to have 2 staff on the premises whilst a child is present.
3 UNCOLLECTED CHILD
If a child is on the premises at 6:30pm and staff have not been contacted by their parent/guardian they will attempt to contact any parents/guardians and emergency contacts listed on the child’s application form.
At 7:00pm if staff have been unsuccessful at contacting any of the aforementioned persons Social Services will be notified. Their phone number is: 0208 314 6000.
At The Ark we are concerned about the welfare and safety of all our children and aim to create an ethos in which they feel secure, valued, listened to and taken seriously. We abide by the local child protection procedures in place in our area and will happily work together with parents in following these guidelines.
All staff in the nursery are trained to be aware of behavioural and physical indicators that suggest the possibility of abuse. Staff are aware of the procedures to be taken if they believe a child has been abused or is at risk of abuse. Should any member of staff have any fears about a particular child, he/she will immediately take up the matter with the Manager, who may decide that further advice is needed. We will consider discussion with parents/carers in the first instance and respect for confidentiality will be kept at all times.
If there is any suspicion of abuse this will be recorded and the Manager will contact Social Services without undue delay. All staff will co-operate with any investigation and will act in accordance with the wishes of the Police and Social Services.
If a member if staff is accused of abuse within the nursery they will immediately be suspended on full pay pending the outcome of an enquiry. If OFSTED and Social Services are not aware already of this allegation they will be informed immediately. Social Services or OFSTED will then take over the investigation and keep us informed of the progress. Dependent on the outcome of the investigation the member of staff will either be reinstated or dismissed following the nursery disciplinary procedures. The Child Protection Line can always be called on 0808 800 5000.
COLLECTING CHILDREN FROM THE ARK DAYCARE NURSERY
When starting at The Ark, parents/carers must provide names of all authorised adults that will be collecting their child or introduce them to the staff members on settling in day. Any parent/carer who wishes for someone other than themselves to collect their child must inform us prior to the person arriving. Staff members will then ask the person who they have come to collect and also request photo identification. We only ever release a child to someone when we are absolutely sure that it is the person they are authorised to leave with. If someone arrives to collect a child and we have not been informed of this, staff will attempt to contact the child’s parent/s to obtain approval. If approval cannot be sought the child will be not permitted to leave the premises.
CHILD PROTECTION OFFICER
The Nursery Manager has overall responsibility but there is also a ‘designated officer’. All members of staff must know who the designated person is. Staff have a responsibility to inform the designated person of any concerns they have regarding a child.
If abuse is suspected photographs, observations etc... will be documented in a confidential file. Observations must be written accurately, objectively and promptly with no assumptions. A written record must be kept for any suspected incident of child abuse using form DBS Record of Incident Involving Child Protection.
The Designated Officer is responsible for assessing the evidence, informing the Nursery Manager and taking appropriate action as warranted.
Identifying or suspecting child abuse can be a stressful experience for staff. There is support for staff to discuss their feelings. Management can organise this.
IDENTIFICATION AND ACTION
The Designated Officer must take action according to the information available in individual cases. However, there are some general rules:
- In cases of suspected abuse, the parent/carer must not be informed before a referral to social services.
- In the event of a bruise or mark being observed, the key worker must talk to parents/carers and record their explanation, using the Incident/Accident form, in addition to any explanation given by the child.
- Parents/carers must be informed of accidents that happened on the nursery premises or when children are on excursions, and these should be recorded in the Accident/Incident folder.
Our Nursery believes that children and parents are entitled to expect courtesy and prompt, careful attention to their needs and wishes. We welcome suggestions on how to improve our Nursery and will give prompt and serious attention to any concerns about the running of the Nursery. We anticipate that most concerns will be resolved quickly by an informal approach to the appropriate member of staff. It this does not achieve the desired result we have a set of procedures for dealing with concerns.
We aim to bring all concerns about the running of our Nursery to a satisfactory conclusion for all of the parties involved.
To achieve this, we operate the following Complaints Procedure.
How to complain
Any parent who is uneasy about an aspect of the Nursery provision talks over, first of all his/her worries and anxieties with:
a) The child’s Key Person or room Leader
b) The Manager
Any parent who requires a written response to their concerns should request one at this stage.
If this does not have a satisfactory outcome, or if the problem recurs, the parent moves on by making a formal complaint in writing (forms available in Nursery) to the Manager who will investigate the complaint. The complainant can expect a written reply in acknowledgement of receipt of the complaint, as well as some indication of how and when the complaint will be addressed within 5 working days.
When a formal complaint has been fully investigated, the Manager should ensure that the person who made the complaint is informed, in writing, of the outcome of the investigation within 28 days of having received the complaint.
If the person who made the complaint is not satisfied with the outcome of the complaint, they should contact the Provider, who is responsible for matters arising which cannot be resolved by the Manager.
If the complainant still remains dissatisfied after an internal investigation has taken place, they are entitled to take their complaint to Ofsted.
Contact details for Ofsted are: