Frequently asked questions

FAQs

  • Children

    • Can my child come to nursery for just one day a week?

      The minimum number of sessions per week that must be taken is two. Please see your nursery’s fee schedule for available sessions. Click here to find your nearest nursery.

    • How do I know about my child’s daily routine?

      In each of our rooms we aim to follow, as much as possible, the routine that you have in place at home. The routines of the day will also be discussed with you during the settling in visits.

       

      You will receive a handover when you collect your child, detailing when they have slept, what they’ve eaten, what they have been up to and any funny stories from the day!

       

      We also use online journals for parents to access. Here, the staff will log what your child’s day has entailed and only you will have access to this.

    • How do your nurseries support children with SEN?

      During the settling in sessions, we will endeavour to find out as much as possible about your child, the support they might need and how we can best support them. Each of our settings has a SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator), who has received additional specialist training.

       

      We also have staff in our teams who are undertaking L3 qualifications in SEN. We will welcome into the setting any outside agencies who may be involved with your child.

    • How will I know if my child is settling in?

      Here at The Old Station Nursery Group, we understand that starting nursery can be difficult for both your child, but also for you and your family.

       

      It is a big step, so we aim to support you every step of the way. Your child will be offered some settling in sessions before they start with us. The first one will be an information exchange where you will be given the opportunity to spend time in your child’s room with them (COVID depending), getting to know the staff and asking questions.

       

      The staff will spend time with you and your child in order to get to know you both. You will be able to leave your child for a short period of time on subsequent visits.

       

      You will be given a thorough hand over at the end of each session, and you are encouraged to call the nursery to see how your little one is if you have any concerns. We know it’s a daunting time for parents too!

  • Curriculum

    • What is taught in your nurseries?

      All nurseries in England must follow the Early Years Foundation Stage, founded by Robert Owen in 1771, who established the first nursery school in the UK.

       

      Through the EYFS framework, your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge, and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.

       

      Alongside the EYFS framework, The Old Station Nursery Group offers a bespoke set of learning programmes designed as curriculum enrichments. These are our golden threads of enrichment, intertwined within our core curriculum provision. Read more on our curriculum here.

  • Financial

    • When does 30 hours funded childcare stop?

      If you remain eligible, your child can continue to receive the 30 hours of funded childcare until they start school reception class or reach compulsory school age.  Read more here.

    • How do I apply for 30 hours funded childcare?

      To apply for 30 hours funded childcare, you must set up a childcare account online with the government to confirm your details, such as passport information and/or a recent payslip. If you wish to start your application today, click here.

       

      If you are eligible, you will be given a code which you then give to your provider. You will need to confirm your eligibility and details every three months to keep the code. Read more here.

    • Who qualifies for 30 hours funded childcare?

      The 30 hours funded childcare scheme is for working parents and guardians with children aged 3* or 4 years old and who earn at least the equivalent of 16 hours per week at the National Minimum or Living Wage, but less than £100,000 a year. *Available the term after the child turns 3 years old. Read more by clicking here.

    • What is Tax-Free Childcare?

      Tax-Free Childcare is a scheme where the government pays 20% of your childcare costs up to a limit. You can usually receive Tax-Free Childcare if you (and your partner if applicable) are: in work, on sick leave or annual leave, on shared parental, maternity, paternity, or adoption leave. Read more by clicking here.

    • Can I pay for hourly childcare?

      At most of our nurseries, we offer our sessions in 5-hour blocks between 8am-1pm or 1pm-6pm, or a full day. This is to ensure that we are able to offer funded sessions to the maximum number of families in a sustainable way.

    • How often do you review your fees?

      Our fees are reviewed annually.

    • What are Childcare Vouchers?

      The Childcare Vouchers scheme was a scheme where some of your wages were converted into vouchers to be used for paying for childcare. Your employer could deduct to £55 per week from your wage, which would not be taxed or paid National Insurance on.

       

      However, the scheme closed for new applicants in 2018 and was replaced by Tax-Free Childcare. Most people who received Childcare Vouchers can continue to do so. Read more here.

    • Can I get 30 hours funded childcare and Tax-Free Childcare at the same time?

      Yes, you can receive Tax-Free Childcare at the same time as 30 hours funded childcare if you are eligible for both. Read more here.

    • What help can I get with childcare costs?

      There are a few different government schemes that can help reduce the cost of your childcare. These include Tax-Free childcare, 15 and 30-hours funded childcare and through Universal Credit. For more information, please contact the nursery you are interested in, and the Nursery Manager will be more than happy to help.

       

      Find your nearest nursery by clicking here.

    • How much does nursery cost per day?

      Our nursery fees vary across the group. To explore pricing in detail, please contact the Nursery Manager at the location you are interested in. For more information, please click here.

    • When does 30 hours funded childcare stop?

      If you remain eligible, your child can continue to receive the 30 hours of funded childcare until they start school reception class or reach compulsory school age. Read more here.

    • How do I apply for 30 hours funded childcare?

      To apply for 30 hours funded childcare, you must set up a childcare account online with the government to confirm your details, such as passport information and/or a recent payslip. If you wish to start your application today, click here.

       

      If you are eligible, you will be given a code which you then give to your provider. You will need to confirm your eligibility and details every three months to keep the code. Read more here.

    • Who qualifies for 30 hours funded childcare?

      The 30 hours funded childcare scheme is for working parents and guardians with children aged 3* or 4 years old and who earn at least the equivalent of 16 hours per week at the National Minimum or Living Wage, but less than £100,000 a year. *Available the term after the child turns 3 years old. Read more by clicking here.

    • What is Tax-Free Childcare?

      Tax-Free Childcare is a scheme where the government pays 20% of your childcare costs up to a limit. You can usually get Tax-Free Childcare if you (and your partner if you have one) are: in work. on sick leave or annual leave. on shared parental, maternity, paternity, or adoption leave. Read more here.

    • Can I pay for hourly childcare?

      At most of our nurseries, we offer our sessions in 5-hour blocks between 8am-1pm or 1pm-6pm, or a full day. This is to ensure that we are able to offer funded sessions to the maximum number of families in a sustainable way.

    • How often do you review your fees?

      Our fees are reviewed annually.

  • Food & Drink

    • What will my child eat at nursery or Club?

      Good nutrition is the building block of a healthy, happy child, which is why we only serve nutritious meals at our nurseries. Every dish is cooked from scratch, using fresh ingredients and organic vegetables, whenever possible. Our eggs are free-range, and we buy our food from local suppliers.

       

      Our Nursery Cooks are trained using Schools Food Trust guidelines to ensure mealtimes are delicious, packed with good nutrients and, above all, enjoyable for children to eat.

       

      Whenever we can, we meet with nutritionists to ensure our menus have all the right ingredients for strong bodies and alert minds. We can also cater for all dietary requirements and any allergies – and we’ll discuss them with you during your child’s settling in visits.

  • Health & Safety

    • Covid-19

      All our nurseries continue to follow government guidelines, with individual Risk Assessments at each setting. Information regarding COVID-19 may vary depending on the nursery you wish to enquire about, so we would suggest contacting the Nursery Manager to find out more. To do this, simply complete an online form.

       

      We have invested in Edge Protect Fogging Machines across all our nursery sites, killing and protecting against 99.99% of bacteria and enveloped viruses; proven to kill Coronavirus, MRSA, E-Coli and Norovirus. This procedure will remain in place at all nurseries and continue to provide a safe and hygienic environment for all children and our team.

    • What happens if there is a fire?

      All our nurseries take part in regular fire drills; therefore, the staff and children know exactly what they must do in the event of a fire. They know where the fire evacuation points are.

    • What does the nursery do about medications?

      If your child is prescribed medication, either long-term on short-term, you will be asked to complete a medication permission form. This form details what the medication is for and when it is to be administered. At the end of the day, you will be asked to sign to say that the child has had the medication and that you have been informed. This may also be completed on the online portal.

    • My child has an allergy. How can you ensure they do not become exposed?

      Your child’s allergy will be discussed with staff during settling in visits and a plan will be put in to place to protect them. If the allergy requires use of an epi-pen then staff will receive training on how to administer this if they do not already have this training.

       

      All rooms and the kitchen display allergy sheets which has a photo of the child, their name, the days they attend, the allergy, symptoms of exposure and what to do in an emergency.

       

      All children have a place card for mealtimes, which has their photo and details of their allergy (in red). Children who have an allergy will have their meal served on a red plate with a member of staff sitting next to them. This is all done very diplomatically and sensitively so that the child doesn’t feel singled out.

       

      This is all done very diplomatically and sensitively so that the child doesn’t feel singled out.

    • Who regulates childcare in the UK?

      Each country in the UK has its own independent regulatory body for childcare.

       

      • England: Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted)
      • Wales: Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW)
      • Scotland: Care Inspectorate (CI)
      • Northern Ireland: Early Years Teams

       

      Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Oftsed) regulate a range of early years and children’s social care services by checking that people, premises and the services provided are suitable to care for children and young people.

       

      They issue licences to childcare and children’s social care providers that meet the required standards. If they find that providers are not meeting the required standards, they use our enforcement powers to ensure that the nursery will make the necessary improvements.

       

      At The Old Station Nursery Group, we also have a Quality and Training team who review and monitor content, organise training and provide all the tools that we need to ensure for a safe, secure, and fun environment for all children and staff.

  • Nurseries

    • Do you open for Bank Holidays and holidays?

      You’ll be pleased to hear that we are open during the holidays, although this may vary depending on which nursery you are enquiring at, so we would suggest that you contact the Nursery Manager directly. Our nurseries across the group are closed on Bank Holidays.

    • What are the staff to child ratios in your nurseries?

      The Old Station Nursery Group follows the government’s guidelines and adhere to ratios carefully. In England, as in many other countries, central government limits the number of children each member of staff in a nursery can look after through mandatory staff: child ratios. Please see below our ratios:

       

      • For under two-year-olds – one carer to three children
      • For two- to three-year-olds – one carer to four children
      • For three- to five-year-olds – one carer to eight children

       

    • What age do children start your nurseries?

      Most of our nurseries welcome children from 3 months old up until they are 5 years old, but this can depend on the location. To enquire about your local nursery, please complete an online form by clicking here.

    • What does my child need at nursery?

      Some of our nurseries supply nappies, so please discuss this with them during the settling in visits. We also provide formula milk up to the age of 1.

       

      We ask that parents provide a change of clothes (including socks and underwear) and appropriate clothing for the season (coat, wellies, hats and gloves). We do provide sun cream for the summer months, but you are welcome to provide your own.

       

      Please remember to bring your child’s comforter if they have one and any medication they may need. You will be asked to complete a medication form for this before starting.

    • When should you apply for nursery?

      When to apply for nursery can be highly individual as it will depend on your own and your child’s circumstances, however it’s never too early, as sometimes we receive applications from parents before their child is born! We recommend reserving your child’s place as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Reserve your child’s place by completing an online form.

       

      Apply Now by clicking here.

    • How do I choose a nursery?

      Choosing a nursery can be difficult so our teams are here to help you at every step of the way. To choose a nursery, decide which type of nursery setting will work best for your child and your preferred location.  Browse locations using our ‘Find your nursery’ drop-down menu, or by clicking here.

       

      Choosing the right nursery – NDNA – OSN Facesheet

    • What is wrap around childcare?

      Wrap around childcare means that a setting will provide childcare outside of its normal hours, for example through breakfast clubs or after school childcare. This allows parents to drop their children off before work and pick them up on their way home.

       

      Here at The Old Station Nursery Group, we aim to provide the best support possible to all families and therefore most of our nurseries also offer wraparound care for busy families!

       

      Below is a list of our nurseries that offer childcare outside of its normal hours. Click on an individual location to find out more about fees and what clubs are available.

       

      Faringdon Day Nursery

      Colchester Day Nursery

    • What is Forest School?

      Forest School is a unique approach to development, where children spend significant time outdoors, exploring and learning about nature and the environment.

       

      At The Old Station Nursery Group, outdoor learning is important at all of our nurseries. Some of our nurseries are lucky enough to also have qualified Forest School Teachers to carry our Forest School sessions with the children.

       

      See below a list of our Forest Schools and click on them to read more about what’s on offer and why this approach is beneficial to helping your little one grow.

       

      The Old Station Nursery Henley

    • What is a Montessori nursery?

      Developed by Italian physician Dr Maria Montessori, these nurseries follow the national curriculum, but are taught using a unique approach, known as Montessori. By using this approach, children can freely choose the activities they want to do, allowing them to make individual choices whilst learning and developing at their own pace.

       

      See below a list of our Montessori nurseries and click on them to read more about the available facilities and how this approach is beneficial for your child’s growth and development.

    • Do you have a Montessori nursery?

      Yes, see below a list of our Montessori nurseries and click on them to read more about the available facilities:

       

    • What are the different types of nurseries?

      The different types of nurseries include day nurseries, pre-schools, independent nursery schools, private nursery schools, state-funded nursery schools as well as children’s centres.

       

      The Old Station Nursery Group is made up of several day nurseries and pre-schools, as well as some holiday clubs, available for older children.

       

      Our nurseries also follow different approaches to early years learning, such as Montessori or Reggio Emilia. This means that at some of our nurseries, we have slightly different facilities and resources, layout of the setting and structure of the sessions. Click here to find your nearest nursery and the facilities on offer.

    • Do I need to make an appointment to look around?

      Yes. To ensure that we can set some time aside and give you the best possible tour, please book an appointment in advance. To explore one of our nurseries, please book a tour by completing an online form here.

    • What are the staff to child ratios in your nurseries?

      The Old Station Nursery Group follows the government’s guidelines and adhere to ratios carefully. In England as in many other countries, central government limits the number of children each member of staff in a nursery can look after through mandatory staff: child ratios. Please see below our current ratios:

      • For under two-year-olds – one carer to three children
      • For two- to three-year-olds – one carer to four children

      For three- to five-year-olds – one carer to eight children

    • What age do children start your nurseries?

      Most of our nurseries welcome children from 3 months old – 5 years old, but this can depend on the location. To enquire about your local nursery, please complete an online form by clicking here.

       

       

    • Do you provide nappies?

      What is included in the fees differs across the group. Please contact the nursery directly to enquire. Find your nearest nursery by clicking here.

  • Our People

    • What qualifications do your nursery staff hold?

      Within our nurseries, we have a variety of qualifications that span across the group. This mixture consists of fully qualified team members that have completed extensive training as well as those who have recently started their career journey in the Early Years.

       

      As our teams are made up of people who have worked with The Old Station Nursery Group for a significant amount of time, they are able to transfer knowledge specific to the nursery and children to our new starters.

       

      The Old Station Nursery Group is committed to delivering high-quality childcare through recruiting, training, and retaining the best staff. We are accredited with the Investors in People Standard and work hard to ensure our staff are given every opportunity to develop their careers.

       

      We offer the following courses to our staff:

      • NVQ 2, 3 and 4 in Early Years and Childcare
      • NVQ 3 in Management
      • Early Years Foundation Degree
      • Early Years Teacher Status

       

      We also provide the following training within the company:

      • Paediatric First Aid
      • Basic Food Hygiene
      • Safeguarding Children
      • Behaviour Management
      • Manual Handling
      • Health and Safety at Work
    • What is a Key Carer?

      At The Old Station Nursery Group, we follow the key carer approach.

       

      The role of a key carer is to help ensure that every child’s care is tailored to meet individual needs, to help the child become familiar with the setting, offer a settled relationship for the child, and build a relationship with their parents. (EYFS statutory framework, 2021).

       

      The key carer will work with you to help your child settle, feel confident and safe, as well as meeting their needs through monitoring and recording their development progress. Additionally, a key carer can support the transition within and beyond our nursery settings, offering a tailored approach for what is suitable for your child.

       

      In the instance that the key carer is ‘away’, our buddy system will ensure that your child continues to receive constant support and will be available during: dropping off time, picking up time, open evening and at any other convenient time.

  • Parent App

    • How do I receive updates?

      Through our parent app, parents can log in and view their child’s activities and ‘wow’ moments when it is most convenient for them. Parents can contribute to their child’s learning journey, make notes for their key carer, and strengthen their bond with the staff and setting all from their secure app.

      If you’d like to find out more about how we use the Parent app, click here.

    • What is the 'Parent App'?

      At The Old Station Nursery Group, most of our nurseries are using the ParentZone app to keep you up to date about your child’s learning and development. Although some of our nurseries use a slightly different app, it functions in a similar way to ParentZone.

       

      On the parent app, parents care able to access information about their child’s day at a time that suits them best. Our parent app helps to increase partnership with parents by allowing two-way communication between parents and your nursery.

       

      Our teams regularly update the app to provide parents with regular updates on your child and all the exciting activities they’ve been getting up to.

       

      Further details on ParentZone (or the relevant parent app) are shared with parents before starting at nursery.

Book a Tour

  • Parent Information

  • Child Information

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  • Tour Information

  • Please provide a few days and times when you are available for a tour.
  • Please note that this is not a confirmation of your tour. One of our nursery team will endeavour to get back to you ASAP to confirm your date and time. Thank you.

* If you are looking to arrange a tour within the next 48 hours, we recommend calling the Nursery directly.