Frequently Asked Questions
What are your opening hours?
We open from 8am to 6pm every day, except for two weeks over Christmas.
We have a range of sessions to suit your needs, but if you cannot see the times you require, please speak to us and we will work with you to create a bespoke timetable for your child.
As St Edmund’s originally opened as a term time pre-school only, we have some children who attend term time only, and others who attend all year round.
If you elect to book term time only sessions, you will always have the option to book sessions in the holidays, as and when you need them, and space is available.
In the summer holidays, we operate as a Holiday Club and arrange activities and trips that differ from our normal schedule.
Do you require children to attend a minimum number of sessions?
To ensure children get the most out of their time here and have a sense of continuity, we request that 2 year olds and under attend a minimum of two sessions per week, and 3 year olds attend a minimum of three sessions. A session will be classed as 3 hours.
What are your costs?
Our costs are broken down by session as follows:
Breakfast club: 8am-9am £8 / inclusive of a healthy breakfast.
Morning session 1: 9am-1pm £25.20 / inclusive of a snack and lunch provided by you.
Morning session 2: 9am-12pm £19 / inclusive of a snack.
Afternoon session 1: 1pm-3pm £16 / this includes an additional activity provided by a qualified teacher. Full details of these extra activities can be found here.
Afternoon session 2: 1pm-6pm £34 / this includes a hot evening meal served at around 5pm.
All day session 1: 8am-6pm £65 / with meals as detailed above.
Children in nappies will need to have these provided by their parents.
We also provide an ad-hoc provision if you need childcare at short notice. Please see our admissions page for full details of this.
How and when do parents make payment to you?
We can accept payment via online banking, cash or cheque. We issue invoices for the next term in the last week of the current term, and payment is due by the first date of the new term.
If you choose to place your child with us all year round including school holidays, invoicing will still follow the termly schedule. We are happy to work with parents to agree individual payment plans if this is required.
Can I claim my child’s Free Education Entitlement for their time with you?
Yes, your child will be able to access Government funding through the Free Entitlement provided by Essex County Council. It is available for all 3 year olds in the term after their third birthday, and for all 4 year olds. Each eligible child is entitled to a maximum of 15 funded hours per week. Any entitlement you are eligible for will be deducted from your fees. We are also approved to accept 2 year old funding for qualifying children.
What is your registration process?
Once you have decided that you would like to send your child to St Edmunds, we ask for a £50 registration fee to secure your place. We will then ask you to complete our admissions and registration documents prior to starting. Please see How do you make sure children settle well with you? For more details on what happens following registration.
Is there parking for parents?
Yes. Some times are busier than others, but we are fortunate to have a large parking space for parents to use.
What is your Ofsted rating?
We were inspected in November 2015 and were very pleased to be awarded a Good rating. Full details of the inspection can be found here.
Do you have outside space?
Yes, we have a beautiful secure garden at the rear of our premises, which contains a sandpit, mud garden, willow den, climbing equipment and much more. Even in the colder months, we always try to ensure the children have some time outside to burn off some of their youthful energy.
What qualifications do your staff hold?
Our staff hold a range of childcare related qualifications, including Level 3 Montessori, and between them have over 25 years experience working with children.
Our full list of staff members and their respective qualifications can be found here.
How do you make sure children settle well with you?
Your child is very welcome to attend your first visit to St Edmund’s and join in with activities while you look around. Once you decide to start your child with us, we offer three Stay and Play sessions at times agreed between us. These sessions generally last around two hours and each time the parent(s) withdraw more from the setting, allowing their child to settle in and feel comfortable and relaxed. All children are allocated a key worker who is responsible for the well being of that child, and who provides continuity of care. Children are also welcome to bring in any comforters they may have to help them during the settling period.
We also ask children to bring in copies of their favourite photos from home, which can be of any subject that makes the child happy – family, pets, days out, friends etc. They will then work with their key worker to create a Family Album which encourages a lovely dialogue between key worker and child, and allows us to understand childrens interests and family network.
How do I know what my child has been doing all day?
At collection time, parents are provided with daily feedback sheets which outline what Montessori activities children have undertaken, and include suggestions of what complimentary activities parents might like to try to home. Of course, we also chat with parents and fill them in on all the fun and exciting things children have been doing that day. Working in partnership with parents is of paramount importance to us, and we will always make time to discuss your child with you.
What can I put in my child’s packed lunch?
We encourage healthy eating and therefore ask that children do not bring in sweets or chocolate. We are also a nut free nursery, so no nuts or items that contain nuts are allowed. If you would like to send food that needs to be heated, i.e pasta, we are happy to do this for you. Please just let our staff know in the morning so we can have it ready for lunchtime.
What does my child need to bring in to nursery?
We ask that children have a pair of wellies that they are able to leave at nursery for outdoor play. To ensure that our floors stay as clean as possible we also ask that children keep a pair of slippers or indoor shoes here for daytime wear.
Can I see your policies and procedures?
We have a full set of policies and procedures available for parents to look at. The main policies will be included in the parent handbook that everyone receives upon joining, and the full set are always available for anyone who would like to read them.
What is the procedure for changing sessions or leaving the nursery?
One full term’s notice (12 weeks Term time only) in writing is required if you wish to withdraw your child, or a term’s fees will be charged in lieu plus legal fees and interest incurred by this default.
Once sessions are booked and paid for, no refunds will be given if sessions are subsequently changed and/or cancelled during the term.
Any changes to hours and sessions for the upcoming term need to be communicated to the nursery manager prior to the end of the current term. Minor changes to hours and sessions mid-term will be considered on a case by case basis, but we reserve the right to refuse such changes if we feel it will impact on our funding and/or pre-arranged staffing rota’s.