This page provides a list of some of our most frequently asked questions. 

We also have a page for questions relating specifically to COVID-19. 

Waiting list and admissions

Is there a waiting list?

Yes there is a waiting list for some age groups particularly for children under 2 years.

How are places allocated?

We work in date order according to your date of application with a waiting list for each age group: Babies, toddlers and pre-school. When you reach the top of the list or just before we will inform you and allocate the next available place to you as close to the preferred start date as we can.

It helps us if you keep us informed of any changes in circumstances including change of contact details, address, work status or changes to preferred attendance days.

Can you guarantee I will get my preferred start date?

We note down your preferred start date and work towards this where possible, unfortunately due to the waiting list and children ages and internal moving from room to room, this is not always possible. 

Can you guarantee my request for fulltime or part-time days?

If you need a full-time place and we are unable to offer this by your preferred start date, you will remain at the top of the list until the next fulltime place is available.  

If you have stated you wish to have full-time and a part-time place becomes available you will be offered this until the full-time place becomes available.

Can I choose the room my child goes into?

Due to the waiting list pressures, we are unable to offer a choice of rooms for parents.

Settling children into in Early Years

What is a settling in period?

The settling in period are 3 separate sessions of approximately 1 – 2 hours where parents and carers bring their children in to meet their key person and see their new environment. 

It is an opportunity for parents and carers to get to get to know the team and the routine and to share information about their child.

What information do you need to share?

You are the most important people in your child’s life and you know them best. We would like you to share information about your child that will help us take care and understand their needs.

This can be information about what they like, what they dislike, their development, their needs, medical and health conditions, any concerns or family circumstances that would be beneficial for us to know about.

How can I prepare for the settling in?

Bring with you just what your child would need for a day away from home, this might include nappies, wipes, creams, spare clothes, bibs, comforters such as favourite toys.

Also bring with you the parent handbook that you have completed and up-to-date information about medical needs, allergies and immunisations. Please also provide information about who you give permission to collect your child from the EYEC. 

You may be asked to complete some forms which may include health care plan, developmental information or allergy information.

Why do I need to stay?

The settling in period is a great chance for you to meet the team who will be working with you and your child, it is an opportunity for you to begin to build up trusting relationships and this helps your child to settle If they can see you are comfortable in the environment and with the people yo meet here.  You will also get a chance to ask questions that you might have.

Can I bring a member of family to the settling in day?

Yes, you can bring a family member and we recommend no more than 2 people attend with the child as it can be a little overwhelming for other children.  You could send different people on different days if they would like to share the settling in period and see the centre.

Do I need to label my child’s clothing?

It is a good idea to label children’s personal belongings and clothing items. 

We also ask that you send a sheet of long lasting printed washable name stickers for us to use to label your child’s items (e.g. their drinking cup etc) while they are with us. We recommend using My Name Tags but there are other companies that you may use.

Early Years closures

Why does Early Years close days for staff training?

Early Years has two closure days each year for essential and mandatory team training, such as safeguarding, first aid or Early Years practice training. Children do not attend on these days. This is set out in the parents' terms and conditions.  We also try to take most training days where the dates fall within local borough school holidays in order to make it easier for parents with other children at school.

Why does Early Years close on 5 additional days to college closures?

The Early Years takes 5 days from staff annual leave allowance and adds them to the college Christmas and Easter Closures. This reduces the amount of leave that EYEC staff take throughout the year, increasing familiar staff presence for continuity for the children and reduces the need for expensive agency cover. During these closures essential maintenance and cleaning takes place.

What if I am part time, can I swap my days on closure days?

We are unable to offer swap days for closures, this is due to the room schedules of staff: child ratios and in fairness to fulltime attendees.  We try to balance the day of closures to even out the closure day of the week i.e. not always on Fridays.

Do I need to pay for these closure days?

We calculate our nursery fees annually, taking into consideration bank holidays, College Closures and nursery training days which we don’t charge for. We then divide this total payment into equal monthly instalments instead of charging precise monthly rates.