Welcome to The Ark

By Anna Reynolds,2014-06-16 20:37
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Welcome to The Ark ...

    The Ark‟


    Child Okeford Centre for Care and Learning

We open from 8.00 until 6.00 for 50 weeks per year, closing for one week at Christmas, and for the last

    week of August. We are registered to take 40 children per session.

     stWe are a registered charity, and from 1 October 2008, with the legal status of a company limited by

    guarantee, which protects members from financial risk. At the Annual General Meeting every July, a committee of directors is elected to administer and be responsible for the policy of the group; we need all our parents to be involved and value your help with fund-raising events.

The Ark has an equal opportunities policy which means that we do not discriminate on the grounds of

    race, colour, religion or gender, and we would expect parents to do likewise.

Our aims are

    ? To enhance the development and education of children in a parent-involving, community-based


    ? To offer good quality, affordable childcare.

    ? To provide a caring, safe, secure and stimulating environment for children from 0-10 years. ? To work within a framework that ensures equality of opportunity for all children and families.

We offer your child

    ? A specially tailored curriculum leading to approved outcomes.

    ? Individual care and attention made possible by a high ratio of qualified staff to children.

    ? Fun and friendship with children and adults.

    ? The support of a personal key worker.


The Baby Room

    Our Nursery is registered to take six babies/young children. The Baby Room is designed to create a calm and homely atmosphere, and will complement home routines as much as possible. Staff record children‟s

    routines and this is shared with carers at the end of the day. For younger babies, individual and small group contact and stimulation are combined with the flexible routine of eating and sleeping.

    As your baby gets older she/he will be introduced to a greater variety of experiences; planning and recording follows the Early Years Foundation Stage. There is a daily system of exchange of information between the parent and key person. This will be both verbal, and in the form of individual booklets

    containing information about the baby/child‟s routine - sleep times, food intake, nappy changes, activities

    and development.

Staff will follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Guidance, so all babies and children‟s learning needs

    are met. Daily activities will consist of lots of sensory play, both indoors and out. These will be carefully

    planned and be appropriate for the age and development of the babies/children.

When possible, and with parents written consent, staff will take the babies/children for outings around the

    village and to the park.

    Our staffing levels will ensure that babies and children will interact at regular and frequent intervals with a familiar adult childcare worker throughout the day. Once children reach the age of 18 months they will

    be given the opportunity to play and socially interact with an older group, if it is appropriate for their

    individual development.

    Examples of activities to encourage imagination, communication and creativity are: mirrors, photographs, feathers, soft toys, puppets, dressing up, streamers, bubbles, windmills, pull-along toys, treasure baskets, pots and pans, cornflour, water, play dough, paint, pasta, sand, jelly, paste, sorting sets, colour matching toys, wooden blocks, music and musical instruments singing rhymes and songs, stories and books.

    We ask you to bring in nappies, wipes and a change of clothes, bottles of milk, labelled with the baby‟s name. Meals can be provided for babies from weaning age in line with each baby‟s individual needs and

    with detailed consultation with parents.

    Cots, sleep mats and bedding are provided for babies and children to rest or sleep. Each baby or child will have his/her own bedding, kept in named, cotton drawstring bags. Bedding will be laundered by us.

    Sleeping babies are frequently checked.

Babies will be held whilst bottle feeding, by the same carer, and feeding will follow each baby‟s

    individual needs. The nursery will provide beakers, bowls, plates, cutlery and bibs.


Baby Room Routine

8.00 - 9.00 Breakfast club

    9.00 - 10.00 Free play and activity

    10.00 - 10.20 Snack (older children)

    10.20 - 10.45 Outside play/walk

    10.45 - 12.00 Free play

12.00 - 12.30 Lunch

12.30 - 1.30 Free play and activity

    1.30 - 2.00 Outside play/walk

    2.00 - 2.30 Snack (older children)

    2.30 - 3.15 Free play

    3.15 - 4.00 Get any children ready to go home at 3.15pm with older siblings 4.00 - 5.00 Teatime

    4.30 - 5.30 Free play, relax and unwind.

    5.45 - 6.00 Get children ready for home.

    All babies feeds and sleeps will be adhered to for each individual child. Older children will follow the routine above; however, individual sleep patterns will be adhered to.

Baby Room Fees

?18.00 per half day

    ?36.00 per full day


Toddlers and Pre-School

We are committed to meeting the individual needs of all children. The welfare of the children is central

    to our provision of care, learning and play. Individual care and attention is made possible by a high ratio of adults to children. All children are respected and valued and we provide experiences to support their

    physical, social, emotional and intellectual development in a warm, caring and secure environment.

    Through carefully planned activities, play opportunities and interactions, staff promote children‟s self-esteem and support them in developing skills, knowledge and understanding as they explore their world.

    Children are encouraged and supported in making choices and decisions as active learners. Their

    progress is monitored regularly in order to ensure that individual needs are identified and provided for.

Key workers make observations on children‟s interests, schemas, progress and achievements recording

    these in the children‟s individual records. This information is used to plan appropriate activities that will aid the children‟s development, and is shared with other staff to ensure continuity of care and learning.

We aim to keep parents and carers fully informed about the provision of care, learning and play for their


    We offer the children a broad and balanced curriculum which follows the Early Years Foundation Stage. A wide variety of activities, both planned and free choice, provide opportunities to learn through play. Activities are varied and include a mixture of active and quiet times throughout the day, and the children have opportunities to participate in both indoor and outdoor activities.

    Individual children‟s communication skills in speaking and listening are promoted. Children are encouraged to look at books, and opportunities are sought to both read to, and with, children.

Early mathematical skills are developed through everyday routines, as well as planned experiences and


    Activities which engage the children in problem-solving and investigation are provided.

We stimulate the children‟s imaginative and creative development through a range of activities,

    including: role play; a variety of painting, modelling and drawing experiences, both planned and free-choice; singing and dancing to music, as well as listening to music and playing instruments.


Toddlers and Pre-school Daily Routine

    8.00 Children arrive; light breakfast available, choice of wholegrain cereals and/or toast 9.00 Children arrive; find name and place on name board. Free play, choice of activities. 9.50 Children tidy away toys, then toilet and wash hands.

    10.00 Circle time. Children in large group, sing songs, or play a group game, conversation,

     drinks and snack time.

    10.20 Outside play.

    10.55 Inside, “group time”, children sit with key-worker for focussed activity. 11.15 Story time.

    11.30 Morning session ends.

    12.00 Lunch then rest/quiet time for children staying all day.

    12.45 Afternoon children arrive; find name and place name on board. Free play, choice of


    1.35 Children tidy away toys, children to toilet and wash hands

    1.45 Circle time,( as above) and snack time

    2.05 Outside play

    2.40 Inside, “group time”, children sit with key-worker for focussed activity. 3.00 Story time. 3.15 Afternoon session ends

    3.15 Free play sessions for children

    4.30 Light tea

    6.00 All children go home

Times may vary depending on children‟s involvement in activities. During the free play session children

    are able to move freely from the 3-5s room to the 2 -3s room if they so wish. Music and movement takes place on one morning and one afternoon session of each week. Brief plans are displayed in the foyer. Full plans are kept in the Planning Folder.


Breakfast Club

For children aged two to eleven years

    The Breakfast Club runs for 45 60 minutes before the start of the school day or the first Pre-School session.

    A light breakfast only is served e.g. cereal, toast and a drink.

    The fee of ?3.00 is payable regardless of whether your child has a meal.

After School Club/ Holiday Club

Children are divided into two age groups: 2 4 years and 5 10 years.

A cooked meal is available at lunchtime for ?2.00 (Holiday Club) or children may bring their own

    packed lunch, and we will provide a tea for the children, if desired, when staying beyond 4.30pm.

    Various activities are offered, such as free play; arts & crafts, including T-shirt designing, badge-making, pottery painting; cooking healthy snacks; dressing up and role play; indoor games; outdoor activities, including treasure hunts, bug hunts, village walks, team and individual games and sports. All activities are tailored to each age group.

    Various outings are organised for which there may be a small additional charge.

Session Times & Prices

Term - Time

    8.00 8.45 9.00 11.30 11.30 12.30 12.45 3.15 3.15 4.15 4.15 -5.15 5.15 6.00 ?3.00 ?10.50 under 3 ?3.00 ?10.50 under ?3.00 ?3.00 ?2.00

    yrs 3yrs

    ?9.50 3+ yrs ?9.50 3+ yrs

Children under statutory school age are eligible for an Early Years Education Grant from the term after

    their third birthday. This entitles your child to five free Pre-school sessions lasting 2.5 hours each session, during the school term.

School Holidays

    8.00 12.30 12.30 1.30 1.30 6.00 All Day

    ?10.00 ?3.00 ?10.00 ?20.00

    Those attending the lunchtime sessions may order cooked meals for ?2.00, or bring a packed lunch. Siblings of those children aged over 3 years receive a discount for After-School and Holiday Club only.

    To calculate the cost of the childcare you require, simply add up each element for each child, each day (not counting any free sessions, as outlined above).

    If you are working you may qualify for help with the cost of childcare through Tax Credits from HMRC, or through the childcare vouchers if your employer is a member of such a scheme.


Settling In

    Starting at a Nursery is a big step, both for children and for their families. These suggestions are intended to help you make it a successful and happy time:

    Be prepared to stay with your child on the first day, and for as many sessions as necessary, until he/she

    is settled and happy to part from you.

    Try to spend some time in the group if you can, or to attend open days/evenings, so that you know what

    goes on there. This will make it easier for you to talk to your child afterwards about what he/she has

    been doing.

    Welcome the paintings or other work your child might occasionally bring home, but don‟t assume that a child who brings nothing home has not been busy.

    If you are approached to help occasionally, please try to come if you possibly can. It can mean a lot to a

    child to see parents actively involved. If you are not free to attend pre-school sessions, it may be that there are ways you could help at other times

    The first days

    A child who is tense or unhappy will not be able to play or learn properly, so it is important for parents

    and childcare staff to work together to help the child to feel confident and secure in the group. This

    takes longer for some children than for others and parents should not feel worried if their child takes a

    while to settle.

    What to wear

    In order to feel free to explore and experiment with all kinds of materials, including messy ones, it is

    best to send children dressed in clothes which are easily washable or not too new. It is good for children to practise the skills which will make them independent. Simple clothing which

    they can handle themselves will enable them to go to the toilet when they want to and to put on and take

    off their outdoor clothes without being too dependent on other people‟s help.

     We hope that your child’s time with us will be a very happy and productive one. If you have any

    queries, or if we can be of any help, please contact the staff at any time.



    We are proud of the high ratio of adults to children in our group. This ensures individual attention to the

    needs and development of each child.

    Pauline Pinkney Manager NNEB, working towards Foundation Degree in Early Years Anne Gunning Deputy Manager, DPP

    Karren George Nursery Worker NVQ III

    Heather Nye Nursery Worker Qualified Early Years Teacher, working towards EYPS Josie House Nursery Worker NVQ III

    Fiona Farman Room Leader (2-3s) DPP

    Rachel Warren Nursery Worker NNEB

    Emma Anker Room Leader (0 2s) NNEB

    Jackie Netherway Nursery Worker NVQ III

    Helen O‟Sullivan Nursery Worker NVQ III

    Carly Ricketts Room Leader (5 10s) & P/T Nursery Worker (3 5s) NVQ III Lucy Eckett Nursery Worker

    Rita Revell Nursery Worker

    Sarah White Apprentice Nursery Worker

    Kevin Hessell Cook

    Maggie Vine Administrator


    We are constantly in touch with new thinking in the fields of childcare and education and care. We receive a monthly magazine offering practical advice and up to date information, and have access to a

    range of professionally produced publications. Parents may ask to see any of these. In addition, on-going training is available through Dorset County Council Early Years team. Informal training is

    available through local Forum meetings, and parents will be informed about these. We receive support

    and guidance from an Early Years Advisory Teacher.


Key Worker

    Our key worker system gives each member of staff particular responsibility for just a few children.

    Each child in the group has one special adult to relate to, which can make settling into the group very

    much easier. In addition, the key worker is in a position to tailor the group‟s curriculum to the unique needs of each child. The key worker maintains links with the child‟s home setting, working with

    parents through shared record keeping to ensure that all children are supported in reaching their full



    Our policy statements are displayed on the notice board. All our policies are designed to offer the best

    possible experience for the children and families in the group. Our policies are reviewed on a regular

    basis and comments and suggestions from parents are always welcome. Special needs

    The number of adults present in The Ark enables us to provide individual attention for each child. Each

    child is able to progress at her/his own rate in all areas of development, and this is true for children with

    and without disabilities or learning difficulties. We are experienced in working in close liaison with

    professionals across the range of special needs. We receive support and guidance from a special needs

    advisor. If you would like to discuss the group‟s ability to meet your own child‟s special needs, please talk to the childcare manager or your child‟s key worker.


    We arrange our waiting list in order of date of the application received for each year group. We are flexible about attendance patterns; however we do recommend children start with a minimum of two

    sessions a week.

     To secure a childcare place we ask parents to pay a deposit of ?50.00, when booking. This deposit is refundable from the first invoice. Fees are payable monthly, in advance, and we request one month‟s notice if you no longer require a childcare place. If any parent has a problem regarding the payment of

    the deposit or monthly fees, please speak to Pauline or Maggie.


    We hope you will find the following information useful:

    ? Old clothes are best for playing in, but we do provide aprons for messy activities.

    ? We have a „Healthy Eating Policy‟. We can provide nutritious cooked lunches, at a very

    reasonable cost. We provide drinking water for the 2 5 year olds. If you would like example

    menus please ask in the office.

    ? Children are given Organic Whole Milk or water at snack time. Water is available for the

    children to help themselves to throughout the sessions. Please bring fruit for the children to share

    at snack time.

    ? Please bring a change of clothes, and indoor shoes in a drawstring bag, and PLEASE NAME

    ALL ITEMS OF CLOTHING. The children need to wear boots during outside play.

    ? Please make sure you close the outside door when you leave the building, and MAKE SURE


    ? There is parking at the front of the school for disabled parents or carers. Otherwise, please DO

    NOT park in the staff car park between the hours of 8.30am and 3.30pm during the school term.

    There is also limited parking in the recreation ground next to the school, with safe access, by


    ? Smoking is not allowed on the premises at all.


    Sickness or diarrhoea no attendance until 48 hours has passed since the last attack. If in doubt either seek medical advice, ask one of the staff, or keep your child at home.

     Poloshirts and Sweatshirts

    We have a stock of „The Ark‟ polo and sweat

    shirts which are sold at cost price. Please see Pauline Pinkney or Maggie Vine.


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