Questions to ask when looking around a nursery

To help prospective parents, we have devised a list of common questions. You can view the full document with these questions by clicking here.

Are the Nursery Staff qualified?

At Pennies 98% of our staff are fully qualified to NVQ Level 3. We have up to three members of staff working towards their level 3 at any one time. We also encourage members of staff to progress within childcare and offer staff the opportunity to train to NVQ Level 4 (Management Qualification).

What are your opening and closing times?

Nursery: 7.30am-6.30pm
(Nursery closes at 6.30pm, but we ask that parents collect by 6.15pm to allow adequate time for a handover)

Breakfast Club: 7.00am-8.10am
(8.30am departure from Breakfast Club dependent on School)

After School Club: 3.00pm – 6.30pm
(Please note that the children are not generally back from School until 3.45pm)

How do I book my child's place?

Complete the registration form and send it with a deposit which represents 50% of a month’s fees.

What is your settling in policy?

We offer 3 settling in sessions. These are approximately 1 hr to 1 ½ hrs long. On the first visit we ask that you stay with your child. This will settle your child and allow us to explain details of the day to day routine in the unit and show you this in action. This is also your opportunity to ask any questions that you may have. On the further two visits you can leave your child with us, if you wish, for the duration of the settling in session. If after your three visits you feel that your child may benefit from further visits just speak with the Head of Unit who will be more than happy to arrange further visits for you and your child. Please refer to our settling in policy.

How do you wean babies?

This would be covered in your pre-start visits as we mirror what stage you are at with your baby’s weaning. We will not introduce anything without permission from yourself.

How do you cater for children with additional needs?

The most important point to make is that we take every child with additional needs as an individual case. For general guidance on how this works please refer to our SEND policy.

How will I know how my children are progressing at Nursery?

Each individual child has an individual learning journal. Tapestry builds a very special record of a child’s experiences, development and learning journey through their early years and primary education and contains the following information.

Pennies Philosophy – States our ethos in caring for a child.
Introduction – This provides information on how we are governed.
Photographs – Of events that your child takes part in.
Birth to five tracker record – This will track your child’s progress.
Observations – Which are either short snap observations which can be carried out daily.
Children’s work– This shows development progress.

Which vary but include short snap observations which can be carried out weekly.

You may have access to these at any time; just speak with your child’s key person and they will be more than happy to go through it with you.
We also offer two parent’s evenings throughout the year where you can make an appointment with your child’s key person who will give you a detailed report of their development and well-being.

What do I need to bring into Nursery for my child?

We are a fully inclusive nursery. We supply formula milk up to 18 months, your child’s meals throughout the day, nappies, wipes and sun cream. All your child will need is appropriate clothing and a change of clothes in a named draw string bag. If your child has a special blanket/ comforter they are more than welcome to bring them along.

Do the children have set routines at the Nursery?

We try to follow your child’s home routine up to 18 months where then the only part of the day that is structured is our meal times (this applies to the 18months+). We will discuss your child’s routine with you during your pre-start visits.

What sort of activities will my child be involved in?

Good planning is the key to making children’s learning effective, exciting, varied and progressive. Your child’s Key Person will ensure that activities are made available that will support your child’s development.

Will my child have a Key Person?

Yes your child would have a Key Person. It will be the Key Person’s responsibility to develop a positive relationship with you and your child. Ensuring that they carry out regular observations and plan appropriate play and learning experiences based on your child’s interests and needs.

What is your sickness policy?

Please refer to our illness exclusion policy.

How do you calculate your fees?

We calculate your fees over 50 weeks of the year this takes into account Bank Holidays and the closure over the Xmas period.
For example:
£49.00 x 2 days = £98.00
£98.00 x 50 (weeks) = £4,900
£4,900 ÷ 12 = £408.33 = your monthly fee.

Do you operate a Healthy Eating Plan and do you cater for special dietary requirements?

We will adhere to any special dietary requirement. All we ask is for parents to give a detailed report on what the child is or is not allowed to have – what their reaction is to the food and inform us of any changes throughout their time at Nursery, in writing.

We ensure that our children receive a healthy and varied diet while in our care from breakfast, snack, lunch and tea. You will always find a menu displayed outside your child’s room. The staff at the end of the day will inform you of what the child has had and how they have eaten.

What are the childcare fees?

Please see our downloadable fee structures.

What are your Ofsted numbers?

Newnham Court (between Maidstone and Bearsted) Ofsted Number: EY284697
Hockers Lane (on the edge of Bearsted) Ofsted Number: EY127442
Marc Cross (near Tunbridge Wells and Crowborough) Ofsted Number: EY498253

What is your notice period?

Please see our downloadable Terms and Conditions for notice periods required to withdrawal/change your sessions.

What After School Care do you provide?

After School Kids Clubs (PKC) run every day at our Newnham Court and Mark Cross sites from 3.15pm-6.30pm (last pick up at 6.15pm) during school term. We pick children up from range of local schools, bringing them to our well-equipped Pennies Kids Club areas which offer a wide variety of games and activities.

What should I do if I am running late?

If you are running late and unable to collect your child from Nursery or PKC at their usual time please contact the nursery to inform a member of staff as soon as you are aware of the problem. This will enable the manager to staff the rooms accordingly. There is a £10 charge for every five minutes late.

Christmas Closing

All Nurseries close at 4.30pm on Christmas Eve.

Hockers Lane

149 Hockers Lane, Weavering, Maidstone, Kent ME14 5JY
01622 630207
Visit Nursery

Mark Cross

Mark Cross, Crowborough, East Sussex,
01892 852187
Visit Nursery

Newnham Court

Newnham Court Shopping Village, Bearsted Road, Maidstone, Kent ME14 5LH
01622 737733
Visit Nursery

Head office

23 Turkey Court, Turkey Mill Business Park, Ashford Road Maidstone, Kent, ME14 5PP
01622 737733 ext. 2
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