Child Care Okehampton

News Letter February 2017

Posted on Thursday, February 9, 2017 in Newsletters

Dear Parents,

Who can believe that we are in the month of February already?  Out on our walks with Bertie, we are beginning to notice the signs of Spring with Snowdrops and Crocuses sprouting from the earth, frogspawn in the streams and ponds as well as the first lambs in the fields.  Do try and take your children out to the local parks and woodlands to discover these exciting changes for yourselves.

Meanwhile back to the nursery news and I know that the majority of you are waiting with abated breath to find out what is happening with the thirty-hour entitlement and so…

Early Years Sessions From September  2017

In a nutshell, many working parents of 3 to 4-year-olds will be eligible for 30 hours of free childcare.  But, you need to know that this is 30 hours free for only 38 weeks per year.  In theory, you may be able to spread the free childcare out over further weeks, but this will mean you’ll get fewer than 30 hours free childcare each week, 22 hours all year for example.

These thirty hours can be shared across two settings.

Who’s Eligible?

If your child is aged 3 or 4. Both parents must be working – or the sole parent is working in a lone parent family. Each parent earns, on average, a weekly minimum equivalent to 16 hours at National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage. Each parent must have an annual income of less than £100,000. You live in England?

What does it mean for us as a setting?

At this present time, we are gathering as much information as possible to ensure that we can offer the best service for you and your child.  Unfortunately, not all guidance has been clarified, and so we are still assessing how it will best fit our Nursery.  Finalisations are to be completed by April, so we have been told.  We are aware that many of you will want to take up this offer. However, we do have to be realistic that with the number of children on the books we may not be able to accommodate you all and we will have to find away that is fair for all who attends.

Open Evening on the 25th April 2017 at 6.30

Thirty Hours Free Childcare

To find out more about the new funding and how to access it

(This is a must for all parents who think they are eligible or would like to claim the 30 hrs)

Pack Lunches

Although we offer cooked lunches, we do understand that some of you prefer to bring packed lunches.  When bringing these in can we please ask parents to consider their contents.  We always encourage children to eat the healthiest option first and please note that we will not under any circumstances give chocolate or sweets.  Remember teaching children about the healthy options will set them up for life.


The use of the Stepping Stone App has proved very successful. All parents who have yet to download it, feel free to do so from the App Store for both Google and iPhone.

It is entirely free and has all of the home learning and news letters updated automatically as well as easy messaging to keep us informed of days off. Don’t forget to register on the Parent Tab???

Home Learning

Remember to look on Tapestry at your child next steps.  These are suggestions for you to carry out activities at home that are specific to your own child’s learning.  By working together, we are providing a strong foundation in readiness for when your child starts school.


A lot of children are beginning to bring their toys in from home.  Although we love to see items of interest we would like to discourage this where possible.  Unfortunately, these toys do get lost and broken which can cause distress to the children in question.

Collecting Children

Can you please ensure that members of staff are aware of who is collecting your child if it is not of the norm.  Many people are having to wait for confirmation before being allowed to leave.  To save embarrassment, please inform us by app, e-mail or telephone and if it is someone we have never seen ensure we have a name and a password to assist in verification.

Collection and Pick Up Times

It is important that your drop off’s and pick up times are correct?  We need to ensure that we are within correct ratios at all times.  If you need to adjust your hours, please speak to your room Team Leader. Extra Sessions,  please do bear with us if requesting additional session while we try to be as accommodating as possible, we are very very busy. The Bumble Bees do not currently have any spare sessions until the end of September the Caterpillars the beginning of September, and if all parents take up the offer of 30 hours the Butterflies may be full until September 2018 ?? 

Change of Clothes

Can we ask you to provide spare changes of clothes for your child during their nursery session.  If they are toilet training, we ask for more than one change.  We do have a limited selection of spare clothes, but these have reduced due to them not being returned.  Thank you for your co-operation in this matter.


If your child is in any way under the weather, please could you refrain from bringing them to nursery.  Unfortunately, this does have a knock on effect as illness does spread, not only among children but staff as well.  If your child had a temperature, we expect them to stay away for 24 hrs.  For sickness and diarrhoea, it is 48 hrs from when symptoms have ceased.  Please feel free to read our policies for further information (They are on the App).

Please consider that when a child is ill, all they want is their Mum or Dad.

Competition Time £50 worth of free child care…..

All parents who take the time to upload a home learning activity from the Home Learning ideas for the two weeks commencing 13th and 20th February will be entered into a draw to win £50 of child care vouchers.  When uploading to Tapestry title the entry as Home Learning the draw will take place on the 6th March to give all parents chance to read the Home Learning and upload to Tapestry.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all parents for their continued support; please remember if you have any concerns, questions or ideas our door is always open.

Clare, Chris,  Bertie and the Team at Stepping Stones    

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