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Frequently Asked Questions


Q) How do I arrange a visit?
We operate an open door policy and are pleased to arrange tours with prospective parents.  Please also see our short video tour of the Nursery.  Please e-mail chiddnursery@btconnect.com or call us on 01892 871315 to arrange a mutually convenient date and time.

Q) Are you Ofsted registered?
Yes we are. Our Ofsted number is 2578690. Before our conversion to CIO (early 2020), our Ofsted number was 295610. Please see our Ofsted page to view our most recent report.

Q) Are you a day care provision?

No, Chiddingstone Nursery School CIO is a pre-school providing care between the hours of 9.00 am and 3.00 pm Monday to Friday and 9.00 am to 12.00 pm on Friday. We are open in line with school term times, 38 weeks a year.

Q) When is the Nursery open?
We are open Monday to Thursday from 09.00 am to 3.00 pm and Friday from 09.00 am to 12.00 pm.  We operate for 38 weeks per year, term time only.

Q) What happens if I am delayed collecting my child?
Sometimes parents are unavoidably delayed.  Please let us know as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary concerns.  Arrangements will be made to look after your child until you arrive.  In the event that you are more than 15 minutes late, we will have to make a late collection charge of £10 to cover staff costs. If you can arrange for a responsible adult from your emergency contact numbers to collect your child to avoid them getting distressed, please inform the Nursery to authorise the collection changes.

Q) How do I know my child will be safe and secure?
All our staff undergo enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks before they are allowed to be with the children.  In addition, references are taken up prior to starting work with Chiddingstone Nursery School CIO. Staff : child ratios, staff qualifications and training are compliant with statutory requirements.

We have a coded entry system gate before entering the Nursery. We also operate a password system to unknown people collecting children. When the unknown person comes to collect the child they will be asked for the password before being allowed entry and to pick up the child.  Under no circumstances will any child be allowed to leave the Nursery premises with an adult the staff do not know and does not have the correct password.

We carry out regular Fire Drills with the children, so that they become familiar with the routine, and should we have an emergency, we will be able to clear the building quickly and safely.

All areas inside and outside the Nursery are risk assessed. We ensure toys and equipment in the Nursery are of a high quality and risk evaluating procedures are carried out to ensure everything is maintained to the highest standard Outings and visits are risk assessed prior to taking place.

Q) What is the Early Years Foundation?
More information is available at www.foundationyears.org.uk.

Q) What activities will my child do at Nursery?
Children are offered a mixture of different activities inside and outside throughout the day to focus on each child’s individual characteristics of effective learning, which will include creative play, activities to help with numeracy and literacy, construction and problem-solving, story time, dance and movement, rest and relaxation.  There is also plenty of opportunity for free play to allow children to be inventive and use their imaginations and creativity.

Q) What about sun cream?
We ask that parents apply sun cream to their children during the warmer months before coming into the Nursery. We also ensure your child is safe from the sun by applying sun cream to children when they play outside in the warmer months.  You can either supply your own named sun cream or we can supply the sun cream.  If you wish to supply it yourself, especially if your child is allergic to certain brands of sun cream, please make sure the bottle is new, clearly labelled with your child’s name and is a minimum of factor 40.

Starting Nursery

Q) What happens when my child starts nursery?

To ensure your child is happy when they start at Chiddingstone Nursery CIO you’ll be invited to bring your child to Nursery for an induction session.  We want to find out as much as possible about your child’s home life, their routine and we’ll ask you to fill out an induction form, with your key person whilst your child plays, with information about your child’s routine, likes/dislikes and any allergies or dietary requirements.

Q) Will my child be required to bring anything with them when starting nursery?
Yes – if your child is still in nappies/pull ups we ask that parents send their child to nursery with a bag containing spare nappies/pull ups, wet wipes, nappy cream and a spare change of clothes. If your child is attending a morning session, a piece of fresh fruit for morning snack time will also be required. In the winter months, we also ask that your child brings a pair of named wellies which can be left at the Nursery so your child can join in with outside play. The Nursery does have spare wellingtons if your own are not available. Outside clothing e.g. coats, scarf, hat, gloves etc appropriate to the weather. Please consider weather conditions when providing your child with clothes for the day to ensure your child can join in with outside play even in the winter months.  In hot weather children will need a suitable sun hat and sun cream.

Q) What kind of day will my child have at nursery?
Your child’s day will be full of fun activities where they will be able to play with other children, learn new things and explore the world around them.  We ensure we take the children outside for play on a daily basis unless it is unsafe to do so. Snack time is mid-morning and lunch is around midday.  After lunch we generally spend time in the Nursery garden in the summer or at a variety of focused creative activities.  

Q) My child is very active and loves being outdoors how will the nursery support this?

All children are offered outside activities on a daily basis unless it is unsafe to do (icy).  The Nursery has a cobbled courtyard area that is secure if uneven in parts and a selection of slides, bikes, gutter runs, water tray, builders yard, mud kitchen, sand and compost pits, shops, kitchen area, planting pots, stage and picnic tables which provide a variety of activities and experiences.

The Nursery has the use of a front garden and the castle grounds. 

Q) How do I find out about my child’s day at nursery when I collect him/her?
Each member of staff will be able to give you a brief run-down of your child’s day at Nursery. Please wait in the specific designated Parent chat zone which is situated under the clock within the Nursery.

The online observation and assessment system called Tapestry enables staff to photo and video activities and achievements that your child completes during their session and these are uploaded for you to view on a regular basis.

On your child’s first morning, staff take pictures of a variety of experiences that are sent home for you to share as a family in order to support the transit between Nursery and home and home to Nursery when they return.

Q) Do I have to provide nappies?
Yes please.  We are happy to use both disposable and cotton nappies.  Nappies, wet wipes, nappy cream and a spare change of clothes can be left at nursery in their individual bag stored on their peg.

Q) If my child is tired and needs a nap is there somewhere quiet for them to sleep?

The Nursery provides sleep mats and bedding for children that may feel tired and they can rest in the quiet/book area where a staff member will monitor them as they sleep.


Q) What will my child be given to eat and drink?
At snack time, we offer the children a varied and healthy snack shared from the fruit brought from home. Milk and water are available to drink.  Children staying all day bring a packed lunch from home which can either be cold or hot (in a flask).

Q) My child has a dietary requirement, food allergy/intolerance – can you accommodate this?
We can accommodate all dietary and cultural requirements including vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, dairy free & nut free. Parents provide appropriate milk for snack and suitable packed lunches. We also request information on allergies is provided at the induction morning and individual care plans are made for specific children’s allergies.


Q) How many staff will there be at Nursery?
The number of staff working at the Nursery depends on how many children are attending that particular day.  We ensure we adhere to the statutory staff to children ratio’s, which are:
1:5 for children aged between 2 and 3 years old.
1:8 for children aged 3 years and older.

Q) What qualifications do the staff have?
We adhere to the statutory staff qualification requirements with 3 staff qualified to level 3 or above, the Nursery Leader and Deputy to Level 6 and other staff experienced in Early Years practice.  All staff currently undergo a 6-month induction period and attend Paediatric First Aid training, Safeguarding Children, Prevent, British Values, SEN and Food & Hygiene.  We ensure this training is continually updated and refreshed.  As an organisation we are committed to the continuous development of our staff and we ensure they also attend other courses relevant to their work. 

Q) How do I find out more about the staff working at Nursery?
When your child starts you will be given a Welcome Pack that gives information about the staff working with your child.  We have a noticeboard in the Nursery with photographs and information or you can ask the Nursery Leader who will be happy to answer any query you have. Each child will be allocated a member of staff as their key person who will be introduced at the induction session.


Q) What happens if my child is taken ill at the Nursery?

If your child is taken ill at the Nursery, a member of staff will contact parent/carers to come and collect them as soon as possible or arrange for another authorised responsible adult to collect and inform the Nursery to authorise collection. If a parent/carer cannot be contacted the Nursery will use the emergency contact list in the admission form. Please refer to our Managing Children with Allergies or who are Sick and Infectious Control Policy and Procedure.

Q) What if my child is ill and cannot attend Nursery?
If your child misses Nursery due to illness, unfortunately no refund can be made.  If your child has a case of sickness or diarrhoea they must not attend Nursery until 48hrs after the last symptom has occurred.  In the interest of the other children, it is important that your child is well before returning them to the Nursery.

If your child is prescribed a course of antibiotics, we ask that your child stay at home for the first day of the course in case of any allergic reaction from the medication.

Q) My child needs medication during the day – what is your policy?

If prescribed medication is to be administered by the staff, we must receive written consent and instructions before any medication can be given.  Please speak to the Nursery Leader if this presents a problem.  We are unable to administer non-prescribed medicines.

Please refer to our First Aid and Administering Medicines Policy.

Fees and Funding

Q) How much will it cost for my child to attend Chiddingstone Nursery School CIO?

The fee of £19.50 will be charged per unfunded session for children not yet eligible for government funding or in receipt of government funding but attend more than 15 hours (6 sessions) a week.  The government funding may be used in 2.5 hour blocks, leaving 30 minutes per session (morning or afternoon) as chargeable at a rate of £7.50 per session, or £15 a day for those attending a full day.  Funding and charges for Nursery places is dependent upon government support and therefore is subject to change. Chiddingstone Nursery School CIO does not participate in the Government 30 hours free funding initiative.

Families attending the Nursery may be eligible to receive funding under the government ‘free for 2 scheme’ and the Early Years Pupil Premium. Full details of these schemes and their eligibility criteria can be provided by the Nursery. Please take a look at our Funding and Fees page for further information on the fees payable.

Q) Do you offer a discount to parents placing more than one child at Chiddingstone Nursery School CIO?

Q) Can I book extra sessions?
We are very happy to accommodate a request for extra sessions if we have the places available and are within our ratios.  Please speak to a member of staff for availability. Session availability is included in the termly newsletters.

Q) Do you accept childcare vouchers?
Yes, we accept all childcare vouchers from employer schemes.  Check with your employer if they offer childcare vouchers.

Q) My child is 3 years old – how do I get the funding from the government?
All three and four year olds are entitled to 15 hours (up to six 2.5hr sessions in a week) of free nursery education in the term following their 3rd birthday, for 38 weeks of the year. This applies until they reach compulsory school age (the term following their fifth birthday).
We will apply for your funding from the local authority for the term after your child reaches three years old. We will ask parent/carers to complete termly a declaration forms confirming the sessions attending. A copy of the birth certificate is required as evidence of your child’s age.

Please read our Terms and Conditions.


Q) How do you communicate with parents?
As well as daily contact between staff and parents we also send out a weekly newsletter via email. We also send a termly newsletter which gives you the latest news about the Nursery.  We invite parents/carers into the Nursery once a term for “stay and play” sessions. Parents are invited in for regular progress meetings once a quarter. We also hold an annual Open morning during the Summer term.  Parents can also book an appointment to speak to a member of staff, or the Nursery Leader, at any time.

Q) What is a key person?
Every child attending Chiddingstone Nursery School CIO is assigned a key person.  The role of a key person is to assist in the learning of each child to help them reach their full potential and works closely with the child and their parents/carers.

Your child’s key person is responsible for compiling your child’s Learning Journal via Tapestry.  A Learning Journal is a collection of written and photographic evidence relating to your child’s development and progress whilst they are at Chiddingstone Nursery School CIO.  It is important to remember that whilst the Key Person has responsibility for their child’s Learning Journal, all members of staff undertake observations on all children. If you need to discuss anything about your child’s development, please speak to their key person or the Nursery Leader who will be happy to advise you.

Q) How do you support unwanted behaviour?

Chiddingstone Nursery School CIO provides positive role models in the members of the staff team. Children are distracted where possible but firm yet fair golden rules suggested by children and staff give a visual support clue.

Timers are used as a visual clue for turn taking and sharing.

Children are provided with independent strategies to express their feelings and encouraged to vocalise these to their peers.

Please view the Achieving Positive Behaviour policy

Q) If I have a complaint, what should I do?
We always want to hear if you or your child are unhappy with any aspect of the nursery.  Please raise any concerns you have initially with the Nursery Leader who will endeavour to resolve your complaint. If this is not possible, it can then be escalated to the Management Committee.  Should you still be unhappy, you can take your complaint further by contacting OFSTED directly.