Parents frequently asked questions

Are you Ofsted registered and what does this mean?

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. 

What times do sessions run?

Seedling Nursery is open from 8:00 to 18:00 with sessions running up to, or from, 13:00. 

Is the nursery open throughout the year?

We are open 51 weeks of the year. We are closed for the week between Christmas and New Year, Public Holidays and weekends.

Can I book extra sessions if I need more care?

Yes, we will always do our best to provide extra sessions, subject to availability.

How many children and carers are in at Seedling? 

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.

How are staff selected, screened and trained?

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 at any time.

Are all staff qualified and/or experienced?

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.

Do you update me on my child's progress?

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. These observations provide the next steps in our planning for your child's development. Each child has an individual Record of Achievement file which is completed by their Key Person and is yours to look at in nursery and to take home and keep as your child move into the next stage, when a new one will take over.

How often do the children go outside?

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 outdoor sessions, 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.

What's included in the fees?

Our fees include Nursery care, 2-course freshly prepared hot lunch and tea, plus snacks and drinks. All are classes are also included. 

What happens if my child needs to sleep during the day?

We have sleeping arrangements and we follow a sleep routine. The babies and younger children have sleeping areas within the room, the older children join the toddlers in their quiet room for a chance to recharge their batteries.

What's the menu like?

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. 

Help with fees?

As a parent starting Nursery, 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 or We are registered to take 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 would be pleased to register and accept any other voucher scheme in order to help you. We also offer families with more than one child a 5% discount and a 10% twin discount.

How do I know what my child has been doing?

All children will be given a written daily report sheet detailing sleep, feed times and nappy changes. Staff will be available at the beginning and end of each session to tell you about your child's day. Record of Achievement files are compiled for each child and are available for parents to look at, at any time. 

Monthly newsletters are sent out by email giving details of what's happening in nursery and what's coming up. In our Nurseries, Parents' Evening is held once or twice a year to enable you to discuss your child's progress with their 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.