We produce a School Brochure annually which includes details about us, what we do and guidance for parents about how we operate. You will be provided with a copy of this in your Welcome Pack when your child joins Balham Nursery School and Children’s Centre. Please contact the nursery if you would like a copy.
Some Frequently Asked Questions are detailed below. If you have a question that is not answered here please contact us and we will be happy to help you.
Children usually start with us in the September following their 3rd birthday. In the event that we have any vacancies, we may be able to offer a place in the Spring Term for those children’s whose 3rd birthday was in the preceding September to December.
We do have a small intake of 2 year olds. If you require any further information about these places, please contact a member of the Children’s Centre team.
It really helps if children wear comfortable clothes with simple fastenings and that you don’t mind getting dirty. They will need to be able to learn to go to the toilet independently as well as rolling/pushing up sleeves for messy play and hand washing. This makes it easier for them to learn, by getting lots of practice in doing things for themselves. For those occasions when a child doesn’t quite get to the toilet in time, a change of clothing in a named carrier bag is really useful.
As children play indoors and out they need shoes less likely to result in a trip, so no open toe sandals, sling back heels or crocs in summer please. Warm coats or jackets are necessary in winter. Please bring a pair of indoor shoes to change into if a child is wearing wellingtons. In the summer, please apply sunscreen before bringing your child to school and help him/her choose loose, comfy clothing and a sun hat.
Marking clothes and shoes is essential as so many wear the same size and make.
Every child is different, but all children are treated with the same personal care and attention to help them settle quickly. Some children settle in straight away, others take a few days and very few can take longer. It’s reassuring that all children we care for have settled happily with us and continue to greet staff with smiles and hugs as they come in the door.
Settling at nursery is often more worrying for parents than children, so we aim to make your experience just as stress-free by giving you lots of opportunity to play with your child in nursery and ask lots of questions before you leave them with us.
The short answer is - as often as they like. All three classes have doors leading to the large garden area. We work on a free-flow basis, so children can chose where they want to be and what they want to do. We actively encourage use of the outdoor space, whatever the weather. The garden is staffed at all times.
Keeping children safe relies on a safe premises, safe people and safe policies and practices. There will always be a designated safeguarding lead in the nursery with a high level of expertise in safeguarding and child protection. All staff are trained and are very aware of their duty to promote children’s welfare. We have a Premises Officer who does a daily tour of the whole nursery to ensure that the inside and outside areas are safe. We have fully qualified First Aiders across the nursery and most of the staff have received Paediatric First Aid training.
School policies for more information.
We have a staggered entry period at the beginning of the school year. This helps the staff to settle the children and give them more individual attention. Some children settle very quickly but others take longer.
We encourage parents to stay with their children until they become used to the new routine and the different grown ups in their lives. As the children begin to feel secure enough to become involved in play, parents are able to go to our Family Room to have coffee/tea, read, or chat with other parents.
As soon it has been agreed between the parents and the key person that the child is fully settled, parents can leave shortly after the session starts.
There are 3 classes or bases, Front Class and Back Class and Garden Room. Garden Room is the base for our 2 year olds and the 3-4 year olds are split evenly between Front and Back. This is where the children are welcomed and registered at the beginning of the session. The school reception is located on the ground floor, there is a family room on the first floor and also the Headteacher’s office. Children’s Centre and School Administration staff can also be found on the first floor.
Each base is staffed by a team comprising; the team leader/teacher, nursery nurses and nursery support workers. Most of these team members are a key person for a small number of children. The class teacher is responsible for monitoring and reporting your child’s progress, but all members of staff will work with your child and contribute to observations of development and progress.
Yes - currently we offer 20 places for those children who are eligible for 30 hours. You will need to register on the HMRC website in order to confirm eligibility and receive the DERN code and then complete our online application form.
Yes - we offer 12 places for children who meet the criteria for an Early Education place. Please apply online at www.wandsworth.gov.uk/2yo to obtain your voucher code and then complete our online application form.
Children attending our morning sessions start at 9.00am and finish at 11.25am. Children attending in the afternoons start at 12.45pm and finish at 3.10pm. All children attend for at least one full day 9.00am - 3.10pm. The full day is an opportunity for your child to have lunch with us.
All our lunches are freshly cooked daily onsite by our Chef, Marina. We provide a family service lunch where an adult sits at each table with the children and we all eat a school dinner. Parents often tell us their child(ren) eats better here than at home! Lunch costs £2.00 per meal and there is always a vegetarian option.
A healthy snack is provided in the morning and in the afternoon. This consists of fruit and an oat cake/rice cake and access to milk and water. To promote independence we encourage children to recognise when they are hungry or thirsty and to come to the snack table when they are ready. As a number of children in the school have food allergies/intolerances, we ask that you please do not pack a snack in your child’s bag.