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We take children from 6 months up to 5 years old. During this time they develop from babies to young girls and boys ready to start school.

They will also go through a number of transitions as they start with us and move up through the rooms. Throughout this we encourage and guide the children, giving them the foundations to grow and you the advice and support you need. When your child is due to move on to school we ensure that their move is as smooth as possible.

Settling In

Before children start at Ambler your child’s key person will undertake a home visit. This helps your child recognise the staff as an accepted part of their world. It also allows us to learn about your child’s likes, dislikes and personality in a setting in which they feel relaxed and open. On their first day at the Children’s Centre they will only stay for around an hour with their parent or carer. Over the next few sessions we encourage your child to stay for longer periods on their own until we all agree that your child is settled and ready to do their full slot. If we have any concerns we will raise them with you promptly. There will be a parent consultation after six weeks to ensure everything is going well.

We have devised set procedures to aid the settling process so refer to the ‘Documents & Policies’ section of the website for further details.

Nappies and Potty Training

For children in nappies we ask parents to provide wipes, nappies and any creams you use for your child. We are happy to use either disposables or cloth nappies depending on what you have chosen to use at home.

We work with you to decide when your child is ready to start potty training. When they are ready we consider your child’s needs and personality to find the right path for him or her. During this period we would ask that you provide ample spare clothes to manage any little mishaps and to check spare clothing levels on a daily basis..

Mealtimes and introducing solid foods

Food and nutrition are of course crucial to each child’s development. We aim to work alongside you to ensure your child gets a healthy and varied diet.

For babies who are not yet weaned we ask you to bring in the breast milk / formula and bottles or cups they have at home. We work alongside your feeding routine. When your child is ready to be weaned we will work with you to decide how best to do it.

All of our food is freshly prepared on site. We have worked extensively with our onsite catering team to make sure that our menu meets the nutritional needs of growing children. All the meals and snacks we provide work well as a cohesive menu across the day and through the week. We are able to cater for special dietary requirements and will ensure that all staff are aware of these.

For those attending the early extended hours slot, breakfast is served from 8.15am. There is a mid-morning snack for all children and lunch is served around midday. There is an afternoon snack and then a light tea at 4.00 for babies and toddlers and 4:30 for nursery and reception for those attending the late extended day slot.

All children eat in ‘family groupings’, sitting round small tables with their peers. The food is served at the table. We encourage children to be independent and serve themselves during meal times (supported by and supervised by early years staff) and also pour their own water if they are able to.

Babies’ meals are served in their room. The Toddlers eat in the atrium. Nursery and Reception children eat in the Lower Hall but join the younger children for breakfast (which is currently served in the outreach hall in the children’s centre) and are given a light tea in the Atrium area

Naps

Sleep is a crucial time in which children process what they have learned. In deciding on a sleep routine we consider the needs of the child above all. Each child who needs a nap has his or her own cot or bed. We recognise the importance of having familiar items to help children settle. We encourage you to bring in any comforters that will help your child fall easily to sleep, these could be a toy, blanket, dummy or other item that they have become attached to.

As your child grows they may no longer need a nap. We will work on phasing these out when your child is ready and in discussions with yourself.

Moving On

We know that change can be daunting for some children and stressful for you so we aim to make it as smooth as possible.

When your child is about to move from one room to the next your child’s key person will show you the new room and introduce you to their new key person. In the weeks leading up to the move there will be regular visits to the new room to familiarise your child with it and the children and staff in the room.

When it is time for you to choose a school for your child we are happy to help guide you through the application process whichever school you choose. Further details about schools admissions can be found on the Islington Council website at www.islington.gov.uk/admissions

Once your child has been allocated a school place we will try to arrange a visit from their reception teacher to the nursery. We will also aim to arrange a visit to their reception class. We compliment this with a range of sessions, books and other resources on the topic of starting school.

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brockman.eric@gmail.com