Dear Parent (PDF)

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Dear Parent/Carer,
Children@Cherrywood is a home-based childcare setting open to children up to
the age of 6 years. I aim to offer a happy and caring setting where confidence,
growing independence and good communication skills are encouraged and where
positive self-esteem is fostered. The welfare and safety of children is
paramount at all times.
I became a registered childminder in December 2005 and have been awarded
'outstanding' in both Ofsted inspections. I continue to enjoy my role, caring for
all children, contributing towards their healthy growth and development and
helping them to achieve. [I am also a trained teacher with classroom experience
from Early Years to Year 4.]
My husband, Rob [a part-time teacher] acts as a childminding assistant when
My own children are 16 and 18 years old, together with my husband, we enjoy
music, bird-watching, cooking, and gardening. We have a pet rabbit called Hazel.
At Cherrywood I am to offer a pleasant and stimulating environment with a
good range of activities. There is a warm welcome extended to everyone,
with equal opportunity to share in what is available and appropriate. All round
development is encouraged for all who attend.
For all young children the Early Years Foundation Stage is followed*. It
is play-based and provides a flexible framework for positive development and
is a sympathetic approach to a child's needs, fostering growth- emotional,
intellectual, social and physical.
*This is a legal requirement.
Each child's progress is sensitively monitored through appropriate observation,
assessment and planning. I endeavour to enable your child's full potential to be
There is a similar care and concern for the welfare and development of older
children. The requirements of the Childcare Register ensure appropriate
practice is in place and best standards are maintained
Babies' emotional and physical needs are recognised and met with warm
nurturing care and support. Time is given for interaction with others and with
their environment within the setting and wider community. A growing awareness

of themselves and their capabilities is encouraged enabling them to experiment,
explore and discover, helping them to feel valued from as early as possible.

A Learning Journal is kept for each child. It includes photos and notes
regarding their development, achievements and learning. This becomes
a very useful resource to share with your child's next setting. Parents
are encouraged to contribute to the journal.
Ongoing consultation and communication with parents, is given the
importance it deserves:

Initial meeting to discuss expectations of the setting and needs
of your child.
Visits and exchange of information to help you decide on the
suitability of the setting for your child.

Listening to your wishes and adapting to the changing needs of your child
once s/he has joined the setting.

Provision of adequate daily feedback about your child's day with
me, e.g. activities & achievements in a daily diary or when we talk
at the end of the day.
Reviews about your child's welfare and development when

Confidentiality is always respected
An NCMA contract is studied and signed to make a formal agreement for
clarity concerning hours/payment, once parents are satisfied that the setting
suits their child.

If your child has any specific needs - medical, social, cultural, physical or
emotional we would need to discuss together the suitability of this setting for
your child with these specific needs in mind. A suitable match of child with
setting is important.
The contract will include a settling in period: important for all concerned to
make sure the new arrangement is working out well. Ideally pre-contract

informal settling-in visits are arranged for parent, child and childminder to build

Daily attendance and payment received are recorded; you will need to sign to
confirm on a weekly and monthly basis respectively. Receipts for payment are
Policies are in place to ensure your child's safety and welfare. A copy of each
will be given to you for you to read through. I'm very happy to discuss any
issues arising or queries you may have.
A happy setting is built on good partnership between all parties, I encourage
you as parents/carers to notify me of:

Anything that might affect your child's day, e.g. poor sleep, an
upsetting incident, a medical concern
Any particular achievement that should be acknowledged.
Anything your child might have anxieties about within the setting
Any concerns you yourselves might have.

As the childminder I endeavour to:

Listen to information given about the changing needs of your
Give comprehensive feedback and an appreciation of your child's
day, mentioning any particular achievements.
Discuss any concerns with you.

I encourage the children to express their needs, desires, anxieties and feelings
of achievement.
The daily diary is a very useful method of two-way communication for use by
both myself and you, the parents. Parents of babies receive notification
regarding sleep, feeding, nappy changing, interactions and play.
DAILY ROUTINES generally include:

indoor/outdoor play
Creative activity, e.g. cooking/painting
songs and poems
musical activity
story time
adult guided learning

TV appropriate for age
school/nursery run
helping with meal preparation when appropriate
eating together

On some days gardening, visiting local shops, the library, local groups, play areas
will form part of the routine.
There is respect for your child's capacity, moods and other demands made e.g.
nursery/school attendance. Routines are flexible and expectations are adapted
to suit!
An enabling environment which helps children learn through play and other
child-initiated activities is provided. There are plenty of resources available...

A good range of toys, games and books, construction activities, art and craft
materials, stationary, train set, dolls, cookery equipment, play kitchen, puzzles,
garage, vehicles, doll's house
And for outdoors;

Games equipment, gardening equipment, ride-on cars, scooter, ride-in cars, a
playhouse, a jungle climber, toddler side, TP climbing frame with monkey
run/slide, a tree platform, sand/water play, two digging patches. There is a also
a summerhouse for children's use.
Healthy and nutritious food to be provided by parent.
Mealtimes are usually shared together at the table as a social occasion; there is
more flexibility for younger children.
Children wash their hands before meals and are encouraged to clean their teeth
after meals.
It is important to let me know of any allergies or food intolerances.
Water to drink is readily available.
Daily food intake is noted in each child's diary.
There are a few simple house rules which your child is asked to observe.
*Enjoy being together.
*Be kind and polite in what you do and say.
*Share with others.

*Please look after toys and activities carefully... and help clear up!
Behaviour expected, and correction given is appropriate to age/stage with
a sensitive awareness of the cause, and the child's understanding and maturity.
Positive and consistent correction comes with explanation and a chance to
implement changed behaviour.
Good behaviour is celebrated; plenty of praise and approval is given. In the
event of difficulties with behaviour, parents will be consulted and cooperation sought.
By law, certain safeguarding children procedures must be followed in any
setting where children are looked after...

It is necessary for me to make a record of incidents/accidents
and their outcome that take place while your child is in my care.
It is also necessary for me to make a record of any injury,
however minor, sustained by your child which has occurred whilst
not in my care.

In both instances, an entry will be made in the Accident, Incident and
Medication Record Book or Existing Injuries Folder. The entry is then signed
by both of us, and a copy is given to you.
This procedure safeguards children from possible abuse. It not only safeguards
children, but also parents, childminders and their families.
If the well-being of a child is of concern, then it is important for childminder
and parent to sympathetically discuss the issue and/or seek help from other
Any unresolved cause for concern will need to be referred to
the appropriate agencies after, hopefully, having gained agreement with
Any notification of existing injuries or child protection referral is kept strictly
[Only when it is clear that there is no risk of harm to a child.]
Please see also Safeguarding Children policy.

In the event of your child needing to take medication while they are attending
the setting, there are procedures in place that must be followed. You will be
required to give specific details; I will need to give my assent to administer the
medication, and then confirm that the correct instructions have been followed
in the Medication Record.
Please see also Administration of Medicines Policy.

If your child becomes unwell whilst in my care, then I will need to contact you,
asking you to come and collect him/her. Your child will be cared for
appropriately until you arrive, of course.
Please see also Sick Children Policy.

I attended the approved 12 hour First Aid course in March 2011; this will be
renewed in 2014. My husband, Rob, who sometimes assists in a minor role,
completed the approved 12h First Aid course in October 2012.
First aid is readily available indoors and a first aid kit is carried on all outings.
In case an emergency arises you would need to supply emergency contact
numbers. As well as the parents contact numbers it is preferable to supply
contact of two other people who could easily collect and care for your child if
you were unable to.
Please see also Accident and Emergency policy.

If your child needs to sleep during the day, then care will be taken to carry out
your wishes concerning time of day/length of sleep.
There are two travel cots, a comfortable mattress and two larger settees for
daytime sleeping. Duvets/pillows/blankets are supplied.
Cherrywood has a a public liability insurance certificate and I have the
appropriate insurance cover to transport children by car provided they are
equipped with a suitable child seat. Please be aware, however that I do not
generally have use of the car: usually our outings are on foot or in the buggy.
Children enjoy bus rides too!
A comprehensive safe environment both indoors and out is maintained, with
daily checks made; also regular risk assessments are undertaken. There is also
supervision at all times and careful preparation is made for outings

A clean environment is maintained; the premises are cleaned daily wherever
necessary and weekly by a local cleaner. A more comprehensive clean is carried
out annually in August including the downstairs carpets
Cherrywood has an emergency evacuation procedure in case of fire. It is a
requirement that evacuation of the premises is practised regularly. The
procedure is carried out in a way appropriate to the age and stage of the
children (e.g. Fireman Sam for younger children.)
Once you have decided on a place for your child at this setting, I will need to
gain your permission regarding various matters, e,g:

emergency medical treatment
permission to administer medicine, long or short term, when the
need arises
routine outings/ other outings
use of outdoor play equipment
being transported by car/vehicle
observations, taking photographs
sun cream protection
assistance with personal care
use of computer
sharing information with other settings.

Additional details you might need to give:

parents particular wishes/expectations
food likes/dislikes
use of comforting/comfort toy
sleep requirements
particular worries or fears
favourite story/TV programme

Complaints Procedure
If at any time you wish to make a complaint concerning your child's welfare or
the setting, please feel able to discuss it with me. We will make a record of the
complaint, action taken, outcome. Please also see Complaints Policy

Otherwise you may contact Ofsted at:
0800 123 1231
Office for Standards in Education
Aviation House
125 Kingsway

For the purpose of inspection/welfare requirements etc
Early Years Register covers children up to 31st August following their 5th
Childcare Register
Compulsory: 1st September following the child's 5th birthday up to their 8th
Voluntary: from child's 8th birthday until 17y.

104 Hill End Lane, St Albans, Herts AL4 0AJ
Childminder: Philippa Wood
07743 277 972
May 2010
Revised July 2013

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