Child Care Okehampton

Newsletter Oct 2016

Posted on Monday, October 10, 2016 in Newsletters

Stepping Stones News Letter 

October 2016 

Dear Parents,

The Summer Holidays are over and we are now into early October.  We have been very lucky with the weather and the children have been enjoying the Indian Summer as they continue to explore the outdoor area.  For us personally, this is a lovely time of year as we welcome back old friends and also make new ones as we are introduced to new children and their families.


This is the perfect opportunity to welcome Katie Jones to the Bumblebee Unit as Team Leader.  Katie is degree trained and has experience working with the under two’s.

Sadly Teresa after being with us for many years has decided to have a change of career left us at the end of September.  Teresa will be replaced with Marika King, who is level three at this current time but will be starting her degree this month.  Abby Ward has also joined the Bumblebee Team who is a newly qualified level three.  Congratulations to Hayley who has recently completed her degree and good luck to Laura who has started her degree this term.


You are probably aware that we have had our inspection and the document is now ready to be read.  We are pleased to announce that we received a GOOD  the recommendations have been considered and are already in place.  If you have any queries please feel free to speak to either myself or any of the team leaders.

Chris and I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of the team for making the nursery what it is.  We have been consistently ‘GOOD’ for the last 20 years which makes us very proud of the team we have here at Stepping Stones. 

We really couldn’t do it without them.

Events for Parents

15th October – Okehampton medical centre are offering flu vaccinations for young children.  This will be a special event with things going on for the younger children.  Please note that this vaccination is in the format of a nasal spray.

19th October – Letters and Sounds evening.  Come and have a fun filled evening joining in with activities that encourage literacy.

10th November – Open evening for schools.  Come and find out how to enrol your child into your chosen school.  If you are not yet sure which one to attend come and meet the local primary school’s first hand.

Term Dates 

As you are aware the nursery is open all year, however some children are Term Time only.  For those children only, Half Term falls on the week commencing the 24th October.  The last day of Term is the 16th December, returning back after the Christmas break on the 9th January.

For full time children we break up on the 23rd December and re-open again on the 3rd of January.

Festivals to Celebrate

This Term we have already celebrated Harvest Festival.  In October we look forward to seeing the Carnival come to the Town.  Will you be watching or taking part in the parade?  Don’t forget to share your photo’s with us.

At the end of October we have Halloween and in November we have Bonfire Night.  These are all festivals that the children will be involved in over the coming months and we look forward to bringing these interests into our Nursery Life.

The Christmas Party will be the 23rd December to which all children will get an invite.


The nursery is currently very busy, with all groups fully booked.  Unfortunately we will be unable to offer spaces until at least March 2017 for the Bumblebees, May for Caterpillars and very limited availability for the Butterflies.  Please bear this in mind if you are hoping to increase hours when your child is entitled to funding.   We do have a waiting list but give priority to existing parents when allocating waiting list spaces. We do work on a first come, first serve basis, and in all case try to accommodate requests where possible.

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 completely 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???

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

Please can you ensure 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.

Change of Clothes

Please, please, please 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.


Can I please remind all parents that 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.  Please consider that when a child is ill all they really want is their Mum or Dad.

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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