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Helpful information and frequently asked questions

Helpful information and frequently asked questions

How do I make an enquiry?

If you would like to attend a Nursery tour, receive a registration form, or have any queries:

Click here to download a registration form now

Call us on 01392 405858

Email us at rduh.firststepsnursery@nhs.net

Or pop into Reception to request a paper copy.

Am I able to view your nursery?

Yes. Our team will be happy to spend time showing you around our setting to view the rooms and facilities that we have to offer as well as answering any questions that you may have.

Generally show-arounds are scheduled in for 10.30am and 2.30pm, Monday to Friday, by pre-appointment only. Please contact the nursery on 01392 405858 or email rduh.firststepsnursery@nhs.net to arrange

How soon do I need to make an enquiry and register my child?

In order to be offered a place at First Steps, we will need to know your child鈥檚 date of birth (or expected), the days and sessions per week that you need, and a proposed start date. If you have all of this information, we are more than happy to add your child to our waiting list. If you would like to be quick off the mark, this may even be before your child has been born.

How does your waiting list process work?

First Steps is a buzzing Nursery that is often inundated with enquiries and requests for children to go onto our waiting list. This means that we constantly have families on our waiting list looking to begin their Nursery journey from as soon as today, to as far as two years鈥 time. However, we do not have a first come, first served system per se 鈥 so do not fret about being added to the bottom of a very long list.

We regularly review our waiting list and look at each child individually to determine if we can offer a placement. This is based on a child鈥檚 age, needs, required Nursery sessions and requested start date alongside when their form was received. Some children will be prioritised such as siblings and vulnerable children. We review the children that would like to start at First Steps during the coming months and offer as many placements as we are able to.

Can my child have a settling in session?

Of course. We know how important settling in sessions are as they will help towards making your child鈥檚 transition to Nursery as smooth as possible. During the initial session you will stay with your child and spend time together meeting staff and discussing specific needs and routines.

Following on from this we offer a further session for your child to attend getting to know the room before their start date. If your child is still unsettled and requires a more specific transition plan then we will always work with parents to accommodate this as we know that these things cannot be rushed and all children are different.

What are your session times?

We are open from 7am to 6pm 鈥 please see our funding page for more details.

Can my child have additional sessions if required?

If you would like add a permanent change to your booking, please contact Reception to enquire about availability.

For ad-hoc sessions, we are able to accommodate these if we have availability so please do just ask 鈥 although we can only confirm these at a maximum of two weeks in advance.

My child has additional needs; what support can you offer?

We have a wealth of experience supporting a range of different needs including autism, global development delay, dyspraxia, sensory processing disorder, social emotional, communication and language, mobility etc as well as a range of medical conditions such as epilepsy, PEG feeding, transplants.

We have children with a range of needs and we are inclusive to all and our setting follows the Graduated Response to meet the needs of our children through quality universal, targeted and specialist provision. We regularly work alongside trained specialists such as Speech and Language Therapists, Nursery Plus and Educational Psychologists.

Please do give us a call to discuss your child鈥檚 needs and how we can support.

How many days per year is the Nursery open?

We are open 52 weeks of the year (excluding bank holidays).

Do you accept DCC funding?

Yes 鈥 please check our funding page for more info.

We have a dedicated email address for all childcare finance/funding queries so that any questions can be answered by our Finance team 鈥 rduh.childcarefinance@nhs.net

What payment methods are available for childcare fees?

We offer a range of different payment options (subject to meeting the criteria), including Tax-Free Childcare, in-house salary sacrifice, and childcare vouchers 鈥 please see our funding page for further details.

Do you have a buggy store that parents can use while their child is at Nursery?

Yes. We encourage healthy lifestyle choices so, to encourage parents to walk to Nursery where they can, we have two large buggy stores which parents can freely access each day. We request that all buggies are folded when using the storage facility to allow enough space for all.

My child has a food allergy/intolerance, would they be able to have Nursery lunches?

We provide a varied and inclusive weekly menu which includes Standard, Vegetarian, Allergen-Free and Halal meals for your child to enjoy. We also provide a hearty afternoon tea to fuel your little ones right up to home time. Although we are among some tough but tiny critics, some of our most popular items from the menu are the Fish Pie for lunch (parents are always surprised when we tell them this) and pittas, vegetable crudit茅s and homemade potato salad for afternoon snack.

An example copy of our menu can be found here. A copy of the most current menu will be provided when we are able to offer of a space at the Nursery.

Do we need to supply formula milk, wipes and nappies?

Our session fees are exclusive of these items so will need to be supplied by you. Please ensure your child has sufficient supplies each day as we will not be able to accept them into their session without these supplies.

Staff have experience with both disposable and re-usable nappies so we will support whatever you as parents choose to use.

We encourage breastfeeding mothers to transition their children to breastmilk via bottle in advance of starting at Nursery however if you wish to breastfeed your child throughout the day, you are welcome to collect your child to do so. There is currently a dedicated baby room in room E122, near the main entrance to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (Wonford) that you are welcome to use if you choose.

Do I need to pay extra for meals and snacks?

Morning and afternoon tea are included in the daily fees. If you would like a cooked lunch to be provided for your child, there is a small additional daily charge (please see our pricing聽for details).

How will information about my child and the Nursery be shared with me?

We use a software called Blossom to communicate with our parents and to promote any up-coming events and share need-to-know information. There is an App version of the software that parents and family members can download to their phone in order to easily access this information. You will also be able to read observations and view shared photos and videos documenting what your child has been getting up to at Nursery.

We also provide every parent with a monthly Newsletter and have noticeboards outside every room with information about what the room has been up to each day.

Information regarding your child can be shared at the beginning and end of each day when you come into your child鈥檚 room to drop-off and collect. Forming good relationships with you is always an absolute priority as you know their child best and it is important for us to know all about your child both at Nursery and at home. This provides us with opportunities to recommend how you can best support your child鈥檚 play and learning outside of the setting too.

We believe that the most important resource we have in our Nursery are our wonderful staff so we prioritise meaningful interactions with the children over paperwork.

That being said, each parent will receive a formative report at the end of each term, detailing an overview of your child鈥檚 progress and whether or not your child is on track with their learning and development.

If your child is not quite developing as expected and short-term interventions have been unsuccessful in 鈥榗losing the gap鈥, you will be provided with an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) detailing what support we are putting in place at Nursery, and suggestions of what you can do to support at home.

We are active users of our social media platforms that we regularly update with all of the exciting things we have been getting up to at First Steps. Please do follow us here:

Is home learning supported as well?

To support children鈥檚 play and learning at home, we have a large amount of fun and engaging home learning packs available for all parents to borrow in our main Reception. There is something for all ages, abilities and areas of learning and are 100% based on learning through play.

Our Blossom app also outlines a large number of home learning ideas.

Last updated: January 31, 2024

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