Here are answers to your questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Here we list some of the frequently asked questions you may have, and perhaps some you hadn’t thought of, to help give you all the information you need regarding Ballymena Nursery. If you have any other queries please do not hesitate to contact us. We also have our policies and procedures available to download from our resources page as well as copies of our latest ETI inspection report.
What happens when my child starts nursery?
We want to find out as much as possible about your child before they start nursery so we will give you some important forms in your welcome pack. We ask you to fill these out and return to nursery as soon as possible. To ensure your child is happy when they start at Ballymena Nursery you’ll be asked to bring your child to nursery for short “settling-in” sessions. We do encourage you to leave your child with us rather than staying at nursery but we are very happy to call you to let you know if your child is unsettled. Almost all children settle quickly and stay for the full session at nursery so we will all be able to greet you with a smile when the session is over. For more information about starting nursery, please read our August blogs about getting ready for nursery.
Will my child be required to bring anything with them when starting nursery?
Yes – Parents send their child to nursery at the start of the year with a change of clothes bag containing spare pants, socks, trousers, t-shirt and jumper. We also ask that you send a pair of wellies for your child to be kept in nursery for outdoor play. Please consider weather conditions when providing your child with clothes for the day to ensure your child can join in with outside play; warm coat and gloves for the winter, sun hat and sunglasses for the summer. At nursery we store wet wipes, tissues and spare clothes for the children but any donations of these are always welcome.
What kind of day will my child have at nursery?
Every day at nursery is different but each day will be full of fun activities where they will be able to play with other children, learn new things and explore the world around them. We have a buffet style snack provided throughout the session. After snack is cleared away we have ‘story time’ where we sit down to sing songs and tell stories. We then aim take the children outside for play as often as we can, weather permitting! Activities vary between classroom and are rotated on a weekly basis, but generally the main activities available for free access by the children include; role play in the house corner, art and craft, malleable and messy play, sand and water play, small and big construction toys.
What will my child have to eat while at nursery?
At nursery we acknowledge the children are with us for only 2.5 hours max, and that sessions are between a child’s main meals. Therefore we only provide children with a small snack. We ensure we offer the children a varied and healthy snack made from fresh produce including fruit or vegetables, bread, water and milk. For more information about the type of food we provide please visit the Education Authorities website - https://www.eani.org.uk/parents/school-meals/healthy-eating If your child has a dietary and cultural requirement including vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, dairy free & nut free it is your responsibility to inform staff as soon as possible. For children with dietary requirements, nursery will provide an alternative snack for them.
How do I find out about my child’s day at nursery?
We aim to ensure good home-school links here at Ballymena Nursery and have lots of ways to keep parents in touch. As well as our website, which will provide regular updates about activities at school, you can find out more by - *Staying up to date with emails, announcements and observations sent to inbox *Checking messages sent to your mobile phone through our texting service *Keeping up to date with your child's private account in our Tapestry app. If you wish to speak to teaching staff please use the contatct details provided here on our website.
How do I know my child will be safe and secure?
All our staff have undergone early education training and are committed to ensure your child has a positive learning experience at Ballymena Nursery. We regularly attend training for professional development to ensure that the children receive the best, most up to date experiences. All staff and volunteers also undergo enhanced criminal checks before they are allowed to be with the children, and are regularly involved in child protection training. Ballymena Nursery is a designated “Safe Place” for all. All the toys and equipment in the Nursery are of a high quality and regular risk assessments on equipment and procedures are carried out to ensure everything is maintained to the highest standard. Children identified as having Special Educational Needs will have a specific risk assessment carried out on their behalf in order to ensure their safety and the safety of others. We carry out regular fire drills with the children, so that they become familiar with the routine, and should we have an emergency, we will be able to clear the building quickly and safely. Only adults named on a child’s collection form will be allowed to collect them. Under no circumstances will any child be allowed to leave the nursery premises with an adult the staff do not know and does not have permission to collect by the person of parental responsibility. ID and phone numbers will be checked, and pupils will remain in the care of staff while the office endeavours to confirm collection. Please read our policies available on the resources page for more information and if you have any other questions regarding your child’s safety and well-being please do not hesitate to contact our principal.
How much will it cost to send my child to Ballymena Nursery?
Your child’s nursery place is funded by the Education Authority as part of their early education, not as part of day-care provision. However, here at Ballymena Nursery School we ask that each parent pays £20 per month as a contribution towards your child’s learning experience. This money goes towards birthday, Christmas and Easter gifts, arts and crafts materials, messy malleable and world around us resources, visitors to nursery and daily snack ingredients.
What happens if my child is taken ill?
***During the Covid-19 pandemic all pupils, parents and staff must follow NHS guidelines regarding health and safety*** If your child misses nursery due to illness, unfortunately no refund of fees can be made. If your child has a case of sickness or diarrhoea they must not attend nursery until 48hrs after the last symptom has occurred. In the interest of the other children, it is important that your child is well before returning them to the Nursery. Please read our blog “Safe not Sorry” available from September for additional information regarding childhood illnesses or visit the NHS website [https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/is-my-child-too-ill-for-school/](https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/is-my-child-too-ill-for-school). [https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/infectious-illnesses-children/?tabname=babies-and-toddlers](https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/infectious-illnesses-children/?tabname=babies-and-toddlers). If your child is prescribed a course of medication, including antibiotics, we ask that your child stay at home for the first day of the course in case of any allergic reaction from the medication. Please refer to our Medication Policy for more information regarding administering medicine while at nursery. If your child becomes injured or unwell during their nursery session, you will be contacted as soon as possible and asked to collect them and take them safely home.
What do I do if I have a query or complaint?
We always want to hear if you or your child are unhappy with any aspect of the nursery. Please raise any concerns you have initially with your class teacher who will endeavour to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction. Should you still be unhappy, you can take your complaint further by contacting our principal or our Board of Governors.
What do I do if I would like to visit nursery?
Parents of current pupils will be invited to join us at nursery for different events throughout the year. We will also be hosting “Stay and Play” sessions for parents to come to nursery to play with their children during the second term. If you do not have a child at nursery but would be interested in visiting us as a prospective parent, a volunteer or an educational visitor please contact the office to arrange an appointment. Please bear in mind we are a busy nursery with 4 classes running between 8:45-3:00, appointments are most readily available 11:30-12:30 or after 3pm. We look forward to seeing you very soon! ***Please note, events and access to nursery may be different during the Covid-19 pandemic***