How we share information

We will share information with you about your child’s learning journey through a log in page on our web site, this will show you photographs, videos and observations of your child throughout the day they spend with us. This information will be secure and personal to you as parents. We will communicate via text messages, phone calls, emails, newsletters. We will have a notice board with what we have done that you will be able to read on collection, information boards and a Facebook page. (No identifiable images of children will be displayed on our Facebook page in line with our safeguarding policy.)

Opening times

We are not strict on dropping off times in the mornings, we are looking at leaving the scout hut around 9.30am each day, if you are later than that you may need to ring Sally and meet us in the woods. If you would like to collect early this is also fine again you may need to ring Sally and meet us in the woods. (The daily rate will still apply.)

Potty training or nappies

We are happy to accept children in nappies (disposable or washable) or potty training, we will carry spare clothes/spare waterproofs, nappies and wipes in our ruck sacks.

Additional needs

If your child has additional needs we will try our best to accommodate them, please contact us directly to discuss how we can best meet your child’s and families needs.

Tired children 

We have pop up tents and hammocks for quiet areas and for nap times in the afternoon if children need them.

We will be walking to and from our base camp at the children’s pace and will allow plenty of time to explore the surroundings and for slower walkers.

Weather

If the weather is too cold, too wet, too windy we will come back to the scout hut base camp early, that is why we have it. We will do indoor activities in the hut and use the outdoor space at the hut for those still wanting to be outside. Alongside your required kit you can purchase fully water proof gloves and a fully water proof hat at a discounted price.

Registration cost

It is a requirement for your children to be dressed appropriately to ensure they are comfortable. We have spent a long time researching the right equipment. We do require you to purchase the registration kit prior to your child starting with us. We have managed to secure the waterproofs at a discounted rate and have added the correct size bag for your child to be wearing in a highly visible colour, plus a long sleeved top to minimise the risk of sunburn, insect bites and bramble scratches and still be identifiable when they have taken their jacket off. Your child must arrive in this kit each day they attend. The staff will be wearing the same uniform making us all highly visible and identifiable as a group which is a safeguarding requirement from our registration with Ofsted.

Settling in sessions

We are able to accommodate settling in during August through Den in the Woods Summer Holiday Club. You are welcome to meet us in the woods spend some time and then leave your child for a short time in our care. All settling in will be free of charge unless you are leaving your child for a full day with us, we will have a designated staff member working as key worker for your child on that day. Please email us to let us know what day and time is most suitable for you and we will let you know whereabouts we will be.

If you would like to book your preschool child or older siblings in for the Den in the Woods for the full day childcare please follow this link http://learninginthewoods.co.uk/den/

Other settings

If your child attends another setting their key worker at that setting is welcome to come and visit us and your child’s key worker with us can go and visit them. We can also do home visits to assist with the transition to us if that would help please contact us if this is something you are interested in.

Funding

We have secured Free entitlement funding with Warrington Borough Council of 15 hours per week, you can use this to pay for your childcare, we also accept childcare vouchers through work schemes, if you require 15 hours funding for September we need you to fill in a funding form as soon as possible. This cannot be done online so you will need to contact us and we will get one to you as soon as possible. Your funding can be split between 2 settings, each day with us will use 6 hours of your funding. You are welcome to use funding for so many hours and top up the rest of the hours with payment. Please contact us if you are unsure how the funding works.

If you are entitled to early years pupil premium for 3 and 4 year old children this will cover the cost of your registration kit.

If you wanted to defer your child entry to school until the term after they are 5 years old we can continue to offer the 4 year old free entitlement just like other settings can. If you wish to continue after your child has started school until they reach 5 years this is something we can accommodate, however you will need to speak to individual schools about their admission policy. As you will not be able to claim free hours with us and have your school place you would need to pay £30 for the daily fee.

Staff Professional Development

Warrington Families Information Service came to our open day we will be attending their training courses and have been assigned a quality support officer just like any other childcare provider. We attend the Forest School Association Conference, we attend skill shares with other practitioners, we are sending staff on forest school Level 3 qualification, NVQ L3 childcare qualification and Early Years Teacher courses as needed. We are developing a forest school sharing good practice network across the North West with 2 other early years settings. We are attending forest school cluster meetings with Mersey Forest once a term.

Ratios

Our ratios are lower than requirements; we work on a 1:3 for under 3 years and a 1:6 for 3 year old and above. On a daily basis there will be 3 staff members all qualified to level 3 childcare or above. In addition to our ratios we have 2 students completing Level 3 qualifications in childcare starting with us as volunteers and will be DBS cleared before they start.

The children will never be left unaccompanied at any point inside or outside the scout hut, if we all come into the scout hut the scout hut doors will be closed, if we all go out the scout hut doors will be closed. There will always be a staff member posted near the gate to the canal when the children are outside, this is all part of our safeguarding procedures.

Out and about

We will judge the children’s abilities each day and make a decision about where our base camp will be on that day. Once out and about we have business cards that will be handed out to any curious general public – we will not be stopping to chat. Children will be taught to stand still if there are any dogs. If we encounter any difficulties in the day we will come back to the scout hut.