Frequently Asked Questions
I’m interested in a nursery place for my child. What should I do?
Please phone the nursery or email for availability of sessions. We often have a waiting list and so the sooner you book your place the better. It helps enormously if you can be flexible in your choice of sessions.
We are proud of our nursery and love showing people round it, please book an appointment to come and see us in action!
We find that children settle quicker, and continue to remain settled, the more sessions that they have at nursery. Therefore, we insist on a minimum attendance of 2 full days a week or equivalent half days.
The date that my child is due to start is approaching. What should I do now?
We understand that getting to know children best means seeing them in an environment that they are comfortable in. All families are offered a home visit before the child begins settling in sessions. Two members of staff will visit you and your child in your home. We will spend time interacting with your child and ask lots of questions in order to get to know your child, their family and their routines. After this you and child will be invited to attend settling in sessions to ease their transition into nursery life. These will be arranged with you by the Room Manager.
How does the nursery communicate with parents and how can parents share information with the nursery?
For a child to achieve their full potential we believe that child, parents and nursery should all work together. We encourage parents to share worries, achievements and day to day routine information with us as we do with them. Staff in the rooms and in the office are always on hand to talk on arrival and at the end of the day. We use Famly as a form of written communication. This is a two-way communication tool which allows both parents and nursery staff to communicate with each other during the day. Photos are posted on a room’s group story page and a little information about what the children have been doing together. More private messages are sent to individual parents regarding sleep times etc. at the end of the session.
How is my child’s progress monitored?
We soon get to know your child as we interact with them, and observe them at nursery, and with your input, we soon learn what your child enjoys doing, their interests, their developmental stage and how your child learns best. Using all this information we create a child’s next steps and then plan activities in order to help a child achieve their next steps. We then observe again and so the cycle continues! Each half term we track your child’s progress to make sure that they are continually making progress. This highlights any gaps in their learning which we can then act upon and intervene quickly if necessary. It also helps us to notice if a child is particularly excelling in an area of learning so that we can provide further challenges to extend their learning.
Each child has a learning journal. At the Bell we use ‘Famly’, which is an online learning journal. Your child’s key person adds lots of observations to your child’s journal, photos and some video clips. This is available for you to view at any time and hopefully add to as well!
My child is about to turn 3 years old , how do I apply for 15 or 30 hours funding?
All children aged three or four years old who live in England are entitled to 15 hours of free early years education or childcare per week. Many are entitled to a full 30 hours per week, please look on the government website to see which applies to you. You will be contacted by Gina to discuss your options and to put in place the funding. IF you are able to get 30 hours free funding you will need to supply Gina with your code and NI number. For all funding you will receive a email from Funding Loop this is your funding form which you need to complete in order for the nursery to accept this. Gina is always on hand to help :-) contact her on or message on Famly.
What is the Tax Free Childcare Scheme?
Are you eligible for the Childcare scheme?
Unlike the current voucher scheme, it will not rely on your employer choosing to enrol - instead it will be available to all qualifying families.
It provides tax free childcare support to your family if:
Both parents (or a lone parent) are in work
Both parents are not receiving support through the Childcare Element of Working Tax Credits/Universal Credit
Neither parent has an income over £100,000
Both parents earn at least £115 a week
Both parents are an employee, self-employed or on a minimum wage
One parent is in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance, or is a full time carer in receipt of Carer's Allowance, provided the other party is in work
A lone parent is in receipt of ESA or Carer's Allowance will be eligible for the scheme
What do you get from the scheme?
Under the scheme you will pay 80% of childcare costs per eligible child, with the remaining 20% paid by the government.
The maximum amount the government will pay is £2,000, and you would have to pay in £8,000 yourself for that amount. You will be responsible for any costs over £10,000.
The scheme also covers children with disabilities until they are 17. Read our guide for more ways you can get help with the cost of childcare.
How do you claim the support?
The government's contribution to childcare support will be paid directly into an online account you can open through the Gov.uk website.
You will also have to pay your contribution into this account, with the flexibility to pay in whenever you like. For every 80p you contribute, the government will add 20p.
The accounts will be run by HM Revenue & Customs alongside National Savings & Investments.
You can use the money paid into the account by you and the government to pay the registered UK childcare provider of your choice, as the new system will not be administered by employers.
You will be allowed to continue to claim under the Tax Free Childcare scheme while you are on paid leave, including:
Maternity or Paternity leave
However, you can only claim for children eligible before you began that leave. You will not be able to claim during any unpaid leave.