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  • Are you COVID secure?
    Here at Dandelion we are naturally COVID secure due to our incredible woodland setting, we are an entirely outdoor educational setting apart from our cosy yurt which we use for warming up on those brisk winter days! ​ We also implement many COVID specific safeguarding regulations, including: ​ - Regular hand washing - Socially distanced arrivals - Twice weekly lateral flow tests for all staff members - Emotional support: Staff members on each site have completed a covid trauma/bereavement course to support children and staff - We ask guardians and parents to contact us if there is a positive COVID test in the second setting. Download (PDF) our full Corona Risk Assessment here
  • How will my child keep warm in the winter/dry in the rain/cool in the sun?
    At Dandelion we provide a recommended kit list for all seasons. As long as children wear appropriate clothing, they are warm and dry whatever the weather! We have a cosy yurt with a fire if we ever need a cosy warm place to snuggle. The yurt is a place for resting, napping, reading. In the sun, we apply sun cream on a regular basis, legionnaires hats and long sleeved tops must be worn, again we provide a recommended kit list. We have covered areas where shaded activities are based. Children are asked to bring in their own suncreams, and we ask that this is applied before children arrive.
  • Where do they go to the toilet?
    We have 2 gorgeous composter toilets with child seats. The children learn how to use these, as it is a little different to your loo at home! We also have a changing shed for children in nappies; there are also potties in this area for children to use while in the transition from potty to loo.
  • Do you help with/encourage potty training?
    Dandelion’s approach is, as always, child-centred; we are led by the child, when they are ready, and potty training is always in discussion with carers. Research shows that forcing the transition out of nappies too soon can be damaging for the child; we believe that training should be linked to the stage of development rather than the age of the child.
  • What happens in extreme weather?
    Our yurt is built for extreme weather. We risk assess daily, half termly and seasonally; we check weather forecasts and have foul weather plans in place for any eventuality; this includes an evacuation location where fun and learning can continue outdoors. In extreme snowy weather, we continue as normal, but on a sledge!
  • How do you help to prepare the children for school (phonics, numbers etc)?"
    We have 6 fully qualified teachers as part of our team; as such they are aware of the skills that children need to develop as they progress. We have daily phonics sessions which children take part in; we use a rich resource: Read, Write INC, to help prepare children for early reading/Writing. We also offer parent meetings where we demonstrate our phonics’ teaching methods, and behaviour management approach; we plan daily play activities that will: encourage number recognition and number skills; encourage mark-making; promote letter recognition and book skills for early reading; we plan daily play activities that will build independent skills; skills needed for problem-solving, for working with others and collaborating, for language acquisition/skills and for promoting confident communication skills with both adults and children; we plan opportunities for thinking independently, for building resilience, self-efficacy, creative/critical thinking and positive decision making; we plan all of the above through both forest school and philosophy based activities.
  • Do you have set activities / how structured is the day?
    We plan our weeks through child-led themes and cover all areas of the Early Years Framework. Children can choose to take part in activities that are adult-led (such as cooking, yoga and risk assessment), they may play in any area they wish at all times; they may ask for help with a self-directed task at all times. We meet around the fire for a warm snack and story-time, at around 10.00am, and all children eat at the table at lunchtime around 12.30. Children are free to direct their own play, adults follow the child’s needs and interests. OUR FOCUS IS CHILD-LED LEARNING OUR APPROACH IS PROCESS OVER PRODUCT.
  • What happens if a child does not want to take part in an activity?
    We offer children positive choices, but would never force a child to take part in an activity if they do not wish to do so.
  • How will they be kept safe round the fire?
    We have a low fence surrounding the fire; there is a roped entrance that is drawn across if an adult is NOT in the circle. The children are taught the fire safety rules from day 1 of attendance; we learn these through singing and modelling. The member of staff on overview has a responsibility to oversee safety and is thus available to support children with their safety training.
  • Aren’t tools dangerous for young children? I am worried my child might hurt themself.
    It is vital that children are taught to manage risk for themselves; at Dandelion we allow an element of risk that has been pre-managed by staff, thus exposing children to a small element that allows them to develop their own management systems, build problem solving skills, responsibility, confidence, self-efficacy and resilience. Forest school tools are always used on a 1-1 basis with a trained practitioner; children are taught the safety rules from day 1. Tool work is available every day, and is a vital part of Dandelion. All areas of learning can be met through the use of tools.
  • What happens if my child has an accident?
    All staff hold 16 hour paediatric first aid qualifications, and our forest school leaders also hold a 16 hour forest-school first aid qualification; we have policies and procedures, and resources, in place to manage any accidents, this includes a protocol where parents are contacted first and immediately, if the accident necessitates an ambulance; emergency services are then called immediately and a member of staff is on-hand to travel to the hospital with the child if needed.
  • How will you comfort my child if they are upset? Do you give cuddles?
    Positive touch is a vital part of a child’s development. As in all settings, we comfort children when they are upset and offer hugs when they are needed! We are always available to offer comfort when needed. See our Touch Policy for further information.
  • Does going to a Dandelion nursery make it harder to settle into a ‘normal’ school?
    The skills we develop at Dandelion are life skills that enable children to manage change and transition with resilience and independence. Our focus on language acquisition, emotional literacy and executive functioning skills, means that children develop the skills needed to support them through transitions and difficult times. From feedback we have 100% agreement from families that their children have moved into their primary setting with confidence, independence, greater social skills and an enthusiasm for learning.
  • How do you deal with challenging behaviour? (Do you use time out etc?)
    At Dandelion we follow the therapeutic teaching approach to behaviour management, as advised through the Norfolk County Council Step-on programme. This is a gentle, non-threatening approach based on positive choices which allows the children to be in control of their own behaviours and enables them to make a connection between the action and the consequence. We NEVER use the word naughty, and NEVER use time out or ‘naughty-steps’. See our Promoting Positive Behaviour policy on the policies page.
  • What is the maximum number of children at any one time?
    This depends on ages and ratios at the time. Our busiest day is 30 children … we won’t go higher than this!
  • What food and drink do you provide? Do you cook your own food? Do you cater for dietary requirements?
    All of our snacks are vegan (excepting eggy bread which is made from free-range eggs). We offer rolling snacks all day: apples, rice cakes, bread sticks etc, and a warm mid-morning warm brunch such as almond milk porridge, banana pancakes, beans on toast or eggy bread. Children then bring in their own packed lunches (we provide families with a recommended list of foods) Some children bring in a flask with warm pasta/beans/soup etc. We amend our snack choices to accommodate our children, and reflect a theme ( e.g. bhajis for Diwali celebrations).
  • What happens if someone you don’t know comes to collect my child?
    Primary carers must always inform us if someone else is collecting their child. You must inform us face-to-face or via phone. This person must be nominated on your child’s registration form. We ask for a security password on your registration form which the nominated person must know. If we are ever in any doubt, we will phone you and will not release your child. We ask families to ensure contact numbers are correct and updated.
  • How will I be informed of my child’s development?
    As with all settings, we complete a learning journey for your child. We observe and assess your child, tracking their development throughout their time with us. This is via an electronic platform ‘Tapestry’. We also send an overview of the upcoming theme with ideas for activities at home to complement learning at Dandelion. We briefly discuss the day at pick-up time, we hold family-teacher consultations sessions, and family socials. We believe that families should be partners in learning and have an open door policy.
  • Can I book extra sessions? Can I swap sessions?
    You can book ad-hoc afternoon sessions if your child has attended that morning. Extra day or morning sessions can be booked ad-hoc, although we normally ask for a week’s notice in-order to ensure we maintain the ratio. We are unable to swap sessions.
  • What happens if I am late picking up my child?
    We ask that you contact us if you know that you are going to be late. We will contact the numbers given on the registration form. If after calling all numbers given, we may contact the authorities to ensure you are safe. A late fee may be applied to your next invoice.
  • What if my child requires medication/is ill/has additional needs?
    Should your child require medication, we ask that you complete a medication form and provide up-to-date medications. This is completed by us during the day and signed by you at the end of the day. We will only administer medication given under prescription. If you bring your child to nursery and ask us to administer calpol, we may recommend that your child stays at home. We will telephone you should your child become ill while at nursery. If your child has additional needs, we will make site amendments and make reasonable adjustments to accommodate your child and support their needs. We have an inclusion policy which states our commitment to inclusivity and equality of provision. One of our managers also has a national SENDco (Special Education Need and Disabilities) award and has trained in SEND for Early Years. Our Operations manager and a staff member on both sites holds a level 3 in SEND . Both directors/managers are experienced in working with outside agencies, making referrals, contributing to EHCPs and identifying/addressing a wide variety of needs. We will always work with you to ensure your child has equal access to our provision and gains the maximum benefit from our offer.
  • Who are OFSTED and what do they do?
    Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education. Children’s Services and Skills. They inspect and regulate services that care for children and young people, and services providing education and skills for learners of all ages. We are Ofsted registered and inspected.
  • How will you settle my child into nursery? What if I’m worried about my child settling in?
    We have a gentle, child-centred settling policy. We initially make a home visit to begin forming an early relationship with both you and your child. We then offer 5 settling sessions, of 1 hour per afternoon, shortly before your child begins. We strongly encourage you to attend our stay and play sessions with your child. It is usually possible to see how quickly your child will settle from the initial settling session, and, from this point, we then devise an individual program for settling with you and your child. EVERY CHILD IS UNIQUE, NO TWO SETTLING ROUTINES WILL BE THE SAME! Click here to learn more about our settling process.
  • Do you accept childcare vouchers?
    We are currently registered with several schemes, including: Tax free childcare, Edenred, Computershare and Kiddicare voucher schemes. We would be happy to join other voucher schemes that you may have access to, please email us with details and we will get back to you as soon as possibe.
  • How does the free entitlement for 3-4 year olds work?
    The government offers 15 hours of free childcare per week for every child aged 3+. We apply for this on your behalf.
  • Can my child stay beyond age 5?
    We currently take children who are aged between 2 and 8. Many children stay for Reception, several flexi-ed, and some home-ed along with attending Dandelion. We have our Dandelion DEN which is dedicated to flexi and home educated children.
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