At what age can my child join Acorn Preschool?
Children can join us from age 2 years 6 months to 4 years 11 months.
What are your opening hours?
We are open from 08.45am - 3.15pm. The day is divided into two sessions as follows:
08.45am - 11.45am - Morning session
11.45am - 12.15pm - Lunch Club
12.15pm - 3.15pm - Afternoon session
Are you open during school holidays?
No, we are only open during term time.
What does my child need to bring with them?
We ask that each child brings a snack (fruit, breadsticks etc) for the morning and afternoon sessions. These are shared among all the children together with water and milk. We also ask that you provide a named water bottle for your child to use throughout the day.
It is important that your child has a spare set of weather-appropriate clothing in their bag and nappies/nappy bags/wipes if appropriate.
What is Lunch Club?
Our Lunch Club was introduced in 2014 and has proved very popular. It costs just £3.50 a day and is available to those children attending a morning session or all day. From 11.45am - 12.15pm your child will sit down with others and eat the packed lunch they have brought in.
What is the drop-off procedure?
We open at 08.45am. On arrival parents assist their child in finding their name card, putting their water bottle and packed lunch in the allocated area, choosing a peg, hanging bags and coats in the cloakroom and ensuring they have their snack. It is important that no snacks (or suncream in summer months) are left in bags - we have a box to collect both. We greet each child at the classroom door and tick the register.
What is the pick-up procedure?
The morning session finishes at 11.45am and the afternoon session at 3.15pm. Parents wait in the outdoor play area until our cloakroom door is opened and then queue as each child is called forward one at a time. If there is a change to who will be collecting your child you must inform us in advance either at the time of drop-off or by phone during the day. You will be asked to provide a password that the person must use when collecting, without it we will not allow your child to leave.
Does my child have to be toilet-trained?
No, we are happy to assist with this once the time comes. However, we are not able to supply nappies and ask that you provide nappies and wipes, as appropriate, and a change of clothing. For safety reasons we ask that you do not put plastic bags/nappy sacks in your child's bag.
What is the role of a key person?
This is a member of staff who will be allocated to your child from day one and attend as many of the same sessions as possible. The key person will ensure that your child sees a familiar face on a regular basis and that they feel confident and safe at Acorn. Also, this means that you have a point of contact for any issues/concerns as well as updates on progress through your child's Learning Story.
We ensure that when your child's key person is not available, other well-known staff members are available to care for your child.
How will you help my child settle in?
We work closely with you to ensure your little one feels happy coming to us. We approach this by staggering key start dates where large numbers are starting; ensuring that whenever possible you child's key person is there at their first session; and by giving you the option to stay until your child feels settled.
Is there a uniform?
We have Acorn t-shirts and sweatshirts available to buy, but it is not compulsory to wear them.
How can I get involved in Acorn Preschool?
Your involvement would be very welcome! All parents are encouraged to come and help out at a session, or share specific skills and knowledge with the children. You can also join the committee and play a key part in our development and direction as well as meeting other like-minded parents.
How does Acorn Preschool communicate with parents?
As well as face-to-face, we use a notice board outside the classroom for regular updates, requests and information; we will also text parents with topical or urgent information; we issue a newsletter each term; we use email and we have a Facebook group that all parents can join; We use the online learning journal system 'Tapestry' where parents can view their childs learning and development via a secure login. In addition each child is given a home/setting diary to be used for comments between home/Acorn and any other preschool or child minder your child attends.
I would like my child to join Acorn Preschool, what do I do next?
Please contact us and we will send you a Welcome Pack. This gives you more information about us and includes a registration form to be completed and returned. You are also welcome to come and visit at a pre-arranged time, to see our facilities and meet the team.
Please note that although we try and meet everyone's choice of day/times, it is not always possible. If this happened you will be offered an alternative where available, or your child's name will go onto our waiting list.
Can I view your policies and procedures?
Yes. We will provide you with a full copy of our policies and procedures when your child joins, however if you'd like to view these before then, please let us know.
If my child attends Acorn Preschool does this mean automatic entry to Dussindale Primary School?
No, we are completely independent and you must apply for your child to attend your preferred school in the usual way.