Information for New Starters

Please make sure that you have explored the other areas of the website, there is so much helpful information there for you! In particular, the areas below will have essential information that you need to know:

What does my child need to bring into Pre-School on a normal day?

All items must be named. You will be given name tags for a coat and bag which are easily readable for the staff.

Where do I drop off and pick up my child from for their sessions?

Children arriving for their sessions, whether this be the morning or afternoon session, should come to the front door of Penenden Heath Social Hall.  A member of staff will open the main door at the start of the session and greet you. Please ensure that your child has already changed into their 'indoor shoes' using the chairs provided so that they can come straight into the Hall. Parents may accompany their child into the Hall if agreed with the staff member at the door, although this is usually not necessary once your child has settled in with us.  

Children are collected from Pre-School at the end of the morning or afternoon sessions at the back door of the Penenden Heath Social Hall.

If my child does not settle straight away how is this managed?

Every child is an individual and they may all have different requirements to help them settle and so initially the Key Person and carers will discuss a variety of ways that could help your child at this time. Below are a few examples of these:

–   Ensuring that the Key Person is available to greet you and your child on arrival.

–   Starting later in the session after the initial noise levels at the start of a day have passed.

–   Being collected before the end of session to avoid excessive tiredness.

–   Ensuring that your child’s favoured style of toys are available

–   You or a close carer may stay in the setting and help to settle your child.

It is normal for children to feel anxious or upset when they are separated from you.  This may last a few sessions, or they may happily wave you goodbye.  All of our staff are very experienced and are all parents too.  Many of us have experienced this with our own children and understand it can be upsetting.  We will always call you if your child hasn’t settled after a reasonable amount of time and you are very welcome to call us, just to make sure they are ok.

My child has a dummy and/or comforter. Do you allow these at Pre-School?

We discourage bringing in items from home, however if you feel your child needs this, we ask that it is put in their bag.  It is then ‘out of sight’ but available if we feel your child requires it.  We encourage the children to talk to us and dummies can affect the formation of children’s teeth and placement of their tongue, which can affect the clarity of their speech.

How will I know if they've made friends? 

Children at this age will generally play happily alongside other children and will often be unable to tell you the names of the children. They may come home and tell you they haven’t played with anything or anyone all day when in fact they’ve spend 20 minutes with two other children pouring water down a funnel and making mud pies!

I'm worried you may not understand what my child saying. What can I do to help?

If you have a concern about your child’s language development please talk to us.  A few tips to help develop a child’s language are to:

Use their name to get attention before speaking to them.  Keep background noise to a minimum. Get down to their level when speaking with them – this way they can see your mouth and facial expression.  Give them time to respond – at least 5 to 8 seconds.  Stop and listen to show you are interested in what they are saying.  Give good examples of speech, e.g. if they say dun instead of sun, say “yes, there’s the sun”. Use short sentences and single words so they understand.  Nursery Rhymes and reading stories are great for verbal development. 

How do you support children who struggle to share?

Don’t worry!  Sharing is a development stage that some children reach sooner than others.  Covid-19 has changed the social activities of the children and many haven’t had the opportunity to mix and learn to share toys at groups due to the pandemic.  However, all of the staff will role model playing and sharing and the children quickly learn.  We have many little tricks up our sleeve to help this and we will share ideas with you to use at home if we have any concerns. 

How often will my child go outside?

We will encourage your child to play in the garden at least once during every session.  Sometimes this will be in a small group, or may be with all of the children from the session. 

My child has a medical condition, how will you manage this? 

On the Personal Details form that you will complete as part of starting with us, we ask you to provide any information regarding medical needs/intolerances and allergies.  Please tell us about any medical conditions/intolerances or allergies your child has.  We may ask you to complete subsequent forms which will help us to manage your child’s medical condition.  You may also wish to read our Administering Medicines policy which can be found on our policies page.