Kids at Heart was established by Julie Shaw in 1994 to provide high quality childcare in a comfortable, safe and stimulating environment. Nidderdale Nursery has been operating since 1994, although the current nursery was purpose-built in 2004. The School House Nursery in Pannal has been operating since 1995 and Western Kids’ Club and Woodlands Kids’ Club, were both opened in the same year too.
All our settings are registered separately as required by Ofsted. The purpose of the Ofsted inspection is to identify strengths and weaknesses so that we, as providers, can improve the quality of educational provision and help children achieve the Early Learning Goals for children’s learning on entering compulsory education. It is also to assure parents and the public that the nursery education funded by the Government is of an acceptable quality. Currently this allows 15 hours of free entitlement for children the term after their 3rd birthday. This entitlement is for term time only. For more information see our Ofsted page.
Each room is different and we follow Ofsted guidelines. The numbers of children are determined by the amount and age of children along with the available floor space.
Our minimum staff:child ratios requirements are as follows:
0-2 years 1:3
2-3 years 1:4
3-5 years 1:8
Where there are children with additional needs, staff to child ratios will be increased to appropriately meet the particular needs of these children. In calculating ratios of staff to children, students on placement will not be counted although they may be involved as occasional helpers within the group as part of their training.
Each room has a team of carers working together under a Room Head. The teams are carefully put together to ensure a diverse range of qualifications, experience and personalities. Key Persons within the team are appropriately matched to the children with regard to days they both attend.
Rigorous interviewing and robust safeguarding checks made through the Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) are carried out for each new member of staff. All staff are qualified or working towards a childcare qualification as well as on-going internal and external short courses. All staff work under the guidelines of written policies and procedures to ensure consistency, high quality and safety standards. Policies and Procedure manuals are available for inspection in reception at any time.
All staff are qualified, or working towards a qualification, in childcare. Staff are also trained in Child Protection, Paediatric First Aid and Basic Food Hygiene as a minimum. We strongly encourage and support all staff training and have staff trained from NVQ/Diploma level 2 in Early Years Childcare and Education, up to post graduate Early Years Professional status.
Observations and assessments are carried out on your child on a regular basis to ensure that they are working towards, meeting or exceeding the Early Learning Goals. Each stage of your child’s development is recorded and used to plan for their next steps. Photographs and observations are recorded on Tapestry (which is an online learning journal) by your child’s Key Person. This helps nurseries and parents record, track and celebrate children’s progress in their Early Years education. Summative assessments will be available for you to pass on to school. This link with the school also helps to effect a smooth transition for your child from Pre-school.
Every day – whenever possible. We believe strongly in a healthy lifestyle which includes fresh air and exercise, and that includes babies through to pre-schoolers. We ask you to bring wellies, warm waterproof coats, hats and scarves – although we also have a selection of waterproofs, wellies and sunhats available. Curiosity is a key disposition for learning that we want to foster in young children. Within our secure garden environment, curious children, from a very early age, explore the world around them through touching, smelling, listening and looking. Through asking questions and trying things out, children make sense their world and develop their skills as independent learners. We aim to provide them with opportunities to find out about themselves, significant people in their lives, their immediate environment and the natural and man-made world.
Nidderdale and The School House fees include Nursery care, 2-course freshly prepared hot lunch and tea (see our sample menus), plus snacks and drinks. You will have the option to buy nursery photographs twice a year (individual and group). Kids’ Clubs fees include snacks and drinks.
The Room Head or Nursery Manager will contact you to arrange introductory sessions before your child’s start date. This will give you and your child the opportunity to come into the nursery a few times for an hour or two to familiarise yourselves with the carers and the new environment and it will also allow you to sit down with your child’s Key Person to go through the Care Plan and share information about your child’s developmental stage, routine, interestes, personality, likes, dislikes and so on.
Each room has sleeping arrangements and we will follow your routine. The babies and younger children have sleeping areas within their rooms, the older children join the toddlers in their quiet room for a chance to recharge their batteries.
The menus are carefully drawn up to ensure nutritious, well balanced meals which the children will enjoy. The menus are seasonal to ensure as much fresh produce as possible. Babies’ meals are adapted from the main menu and special diets are catered for wherever possible. We are part of ‘Stop the Rot’ campaign and endeavour to avoid hidden sugars in food and drinks where possible. Although we have delicious home cooked desserts as a treat, there is always yoghurt and fruit healthy options available.
As a parent starting Nursery or Kids’ Club, you may or may not be aware that you might be entitled to help with fees, dependent on your income. For more information, contact Working Families Tax Credit on www.direct.gov.uk/doesitworkforyou or www.hmrc.gov.uk/taxcredits. We are registered to take 2, 3 and 4 year old funding, subject to eligibility. Please ask for more details.
Also your employer may use a tax free voucher scheme which is deducted from your monthly salary. We currently accept vouchers from over 12 different schemes and we would also be pleased to register and accept any other voucher scheme in order to help you. We also offer 10% sibling discount when 3 full days or more are booked.
Children who attend Stage 1, 2 ,3 and 4 will be given a written daily report sheet detailing sleep, feed times and nappy changes (where applicable) verbal communication will be given for Stage 5 children and Kids’ Club. Staff from your child’s room will be available at the beginning and end of each session to tell you about your child’s day. Each child will have their own unique online learning journal within the ‘Tapestry’ software package that we use, allowing us to capture and share your child’s experiences as well as monitor development and learning. Monthly newsletters are sent out by email giving details of what’s happening in nursery and what’s coming up. These are also available to collect from nursery. In our Nurseries, Parents’ Evening is held once or twice a year to enable you to discuss your child’s progress with their Room Head or Key Person. However, senior staff are available on a daily basis, or an appointment can be made for a more comprehensive discussion. We believe that an open access policy is the best way of encouraging participation with parents. Parents are welcome to view the policies and procedures file at any time. They are also welcome to see the records kept on their child, but as this would require withdrawing a member of staff from their usual duties, arrangements should be made in advance to ensure staff availability. We welcome the opportunity to share your child’s learning with you.