In our parent handbook you will find lots of useful information including what you will need to bring each day to nursery, registration, booking additional sessions and further information on our policies and procedures.
Our new Bitterne Park nursery was inspected in May 2019. Please follow the link below to see the report. If you have any questions relating to the report and the nurseries development strategies please don't hesitate to contact us.
Registering your child
Once you have made the decision that you would like your child to attend the Mulberry Bush and you have confirmed the availability of sessions we ask that complete an online registration form and pay a non-refundable registration fee (bank details will be provided once you have submitted your registrations form). The registration fee is to cover the administration procedure. Once registration form and fee are received and start dates and days of attendance are agreed we will then send a confirmation letter or email.
To avoid disappointment please DO NOT complete a registration form until you have confirmed availability of sessions.
Please be aware that session availability can change very quickly. To avoid disappointment complete your registration form as soon as possible after confirmation of session availability.
Please be aware that changing start date or days of attendance, after registration has been confirmed, may jeopardise your child’s place in the nursery and we reserve the right to decline such requests.
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS):
The EYFS is a framework for learning, development and care for children from birth to eight. Its purpose is not to introduce a curriculum for babies and young children, or to force children to read or write before they are ready. Quite the reverse, it focuses on ensuring that each individual child is able to learn through high quality play that is tailored to them so that they develop at their own pace.
“Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems, and relate to others. Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play which is guided by adults.”
'Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2017'
Staff at the Mulberry Bush are trained to work with the Early Years Foundation Stage. We spend a lot of time observing each child to ensure that we are providing the right equipment, atmosphere and staffing so that every child’s learning is extended.
For further information on the EYFS please visit www.foundationyears.org.uk
Key Person System:
At the Mulberry Bush we celebrate each and every child as an individual. It is vital that children are able to forge a strong, trusting bond with their primary carer in the nursery, as well as good, positive relationships with the rest of the team. These relationships help children to explore and learn with confidence. In order to achieve this we work with the key person program. Your child will be assigned a key practitioner who will be responsible for ensuring that they receive tailor-made care, designed to help them develop in ways that interest them and at their own pace. Your key person is responsible for sharing your child’s day with you when you come to collect them; what they have enjoyed and achieved and what they may have found challenging.
Another important element of the key person’s role is to build a good, communicative and open relationship with their key child’s family and other carers. The more that they know about your child’s world beyond the nursery the better they can adapt activities and experiences to fully support your child. Please see information on the induction and transition process for further information.
Approximately 2 months before your child is due to start attending the nursery we will be in touch to arrange a meeting between you, as parents or primary carers and your child’s key person as well as booking additional settling in sessions. We will request that you attend a meeting with your child where you will complete an ‘All About Me’ form with your key person. This will provide us with lots of information about your child and their likes and dislikes. This meeting is also a chance for us to tell you about the day to day experience that you and your child will have at the Mulberry Bush and to address any questions that you might have. We would like you to tell us as much as possible about your child’s life beyond nursery as it helps us to make their settling in as smooth as possible.
We advise at minimum of one 30 minute session and one 1 hr session prior to your child’s first full session with us, these sessions are not charged. If you and your key person feel that it is appropriate we will suggest that you leave your child with us for 30mins after your ‘All About Me Meeting’ to start to introduce them to the idea of being in the setting without you. We will then schedule a 1 hour session for you to drop your child off with us for a short play. This may be sufficient for your child however we encourage parents and carers to consider booking additional half day sessions prior your child’s official start date to help them to settle in as smoothly as possible, these additional sessions are charged. Please speak to your key person and the setting manager/deputy manager to discuss availability of additional sessions.
If you suspect that your child may need some additional time to achieve a smooth transition into the nursery please let us know as soon as possible so we can plan accordingly. In some circumstances we will provide a home visit service to help children who are very anxious about starting nursery.
Moving from one age group to the next can be a challenging experience for both children and parents. We work hard to make this transition as smooth and stress free as possible. Approximately a month before your child is due to make the move into their next room you will receive a letter notifying you as to who your new key person will be and asking to make an appointment for you to meet them. During this meeting they will ask you to help them update your child’s ‘All About Me’ document with information about their routine, likes and dislikes. They will talk to you about the changes that your child will experience in their new room, these will include changes in routine and procedures, changes in staff and changes in staff to child ratios. There may be a difference in the way in which you receive information about your child’s day, for example, in Blueberries each child has a daily diary detailing information such as sleep times, nappies, food and general information about their day. When they move into Raspberries they will no longer have a diary and you will receive daily information from their key person in a verbal handover.
Your current key person will also give a detailed handover to their new key person before their transition date.
Following your meeting we will start transition visits for your child. These visits are tailored to each child. If a child is particularly anxious then we may send them on their visits with a member of staff whom they are confident with and start with very short periods that we gradually lengthen. If a child is very confident in their new room then they may be happy to start with longer visits unaccompanied by a familiar staff member. We will usually move a child as soon as possible after their birthday.
Transitions to School:
One of the biggest transitions for any child, and of course for their parents, is the transition from nursery to school. We support this process in many ways.
Many schools produce their own transition material including picture booklets for the children to see their new environment and often photos of their new teachers too. If they do not produce their own then we will visit and make them ourselves. We invite all the reception teachers to visit the nursery if they can. We ask that the schools donate to or lend us samples of uniform, book bags etc for our role play area as this helps the children to explore their own feelings and ideas about the move to school. Wherever possible we will accompany them during their visits. Most importantly we encourage the children to talk about school and express any thoughts or anxieties that they may have. We encourage and support them to leave the Mulberry Bush confident in the skills that they need to thrive in a school environment. These skills include how to hold their pens correctly, recognise numbers, handle scissors, recognise their names and be confident in their own hygiene care. Some children will of course be ahead of this and happily write their names and even some simple words. Each child will learn at their own rate and we will support them on their own, individual journey.
Policies and Procedures:
Please find a selection of our most commonly referred to policies and procedures.
Our full policies are available on request.
- Safeguarding Children Policy Locks Heath
- Sickness and Illness
- Allergy policy
- Inclusions and Equality
- Late collections and non collections
- Promoting positive behaviour
If your child has been prescribed a medication that needs to be administered during their day at nursery we require a medication form to be completed and signed. You can complete this online form before you come to nursery and we will be have it ready for you to approve and sign on arrival.
Please note that children who have been prescribed antibiotics for a non infectious condition must have been taking them for a minimum of 24 hours before they can attend nursery and for an infectious condition a minimum of 48 hours.
Children who have been suffering from sickness or diarrhea cannot attend nursery until 48 hours after the last bout of illness.