Prospective Parents/Carers

An introduction to our pre-school

South Woodham Pre-school would like to extend a warm welcome your family. We hope that your child’s time with us will be very happy and rewarding for you all.

The main consideration of all the Pre-school staff is the well-being and happiness of their small charges. As a parent, if you are worried or puzzled by anything, please do not hesitate to speak to them. We have an open door policy, whereby you can have an informal/formal chat whenever needed. We are very keen to build up friendly relationships with parents/carers, as it allows the children to settle quicker and enjoy Pre-school to the full.

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Our Session times

8.50 am to 11.20 am - Monday to Friday (2.5 hours)
11.20 am to 12 noon - Monday to Friday (40 mins - Lunch Club)
12 noon to 3.00 pm - Monday to Friday (3 hours)

What we offer your child

Pre-school offers children the opportunity to meet other children, make friends, have fun and learn. We recognise children as individuals with specific needs. We are supportive in ensuring each child achieves their potential at their own pace, by means of developmentally appropriate play activities and a high level of individual adult input. We offer a curriculum based on the Early Learning Goals, which enables children to progress through the Foundation Stage and prepare them for school. Details of our curriculum can be found in our Prospectus.

The first day

A child who is nervous or unhappy will not play or learn properly, so it is important for parents and Pre-school staff to work together to help your child feel confident and secure in the group.This can take longer for some children than others and please do not feel worried if your child takes a while to settle. Some parents like some assistance in leaving their child; others prefer to settle the child themselves before leaving. If you would like assistance on leaving your child, please do not hesitate to ask. We are here to help you, as well as your child.


We offer a lunch club from 11.20 am to 12 noon, whereby the child brings a healthy packed lunch in from home to eat at pre-school. This allows your child to stay after a morning session for lunch, come in for lunch before an afternoon session or even stay all day (subject to availability).There is a £5.30 charge for this. You will be invoiced for this per term, and please be aware if your child is receiving funding for their sessions, this can not be used to cover the cost of lunch club. Please also note, no concession of lunch fees will be given due to absences (sickness/holiday etc) as we have to ensure correct staffing is in place in advance.

Keeping in touch

Every half term, newsletters are sent out via email, keeping you up to date of recent and upcoming events. We use the email address you provide on your child’s registration card for this, but if you would like us to use another email address, please let us know. We do find that this email often goes into the junk file, so please check there if you haven’t received it. Also have a closed Facebook group, open only to all the parents/carers of children attending the setting.


We encourage the purchase and use of pre-school uniform; it gives the children a sense of belonging. Order forms and price list can be obtained from the Pre-school and are available on the website. We also have a large stock of second hand uniform at a reduced cost. We support our children to practise skills that will make them independent, and simple clothing which they can manage themselves when using the toilet will encourage this. Also, please send your child in suitable footwear as some of the activities are physical and flip flops/sandals/crocs etc increases the risk of injury.

We have nappy changing facilities, and appropriate disposal. If your child should become distressed during a change, we would contact you, and work with you to overcome any upset. Any child who has a ‘toilet accident’ or ‘water play accident’ will be changed into dry clothing and the child’s feelings are always taken into account.


Please ensure you are on time to drop off and collect your child at the start/end of a session, as this can disrupt the session and cause distress to your child. If you are not collecting your child, please let the Supervisor know at the beginning of the session. We operate a password system to ensure only authorised personnel collect children. If you are unable to collect your child for any reason, please telephone the Pre-school office on 01245 425746 informing them who will be collecting your child, ensuring that person has the password.

No child will be allowed to leave Pre-school if the Supervisor does not know that person, has not been notified of any changes to collection, or no password has been given. Please note, children under the age of sixteen years cannot have legal responsibility for another child, therefore cannot collect a child from Pre-school.

Please also ensure all emergency contacts are kept up to date.


Please make sure pre-school are aware of any allergies/intolerances your child may suffer from on their registration cards, and please keep us updated of any changes. Milk, water and a snack are provided during the session.Details of the snack on offer each week are available on the newsletter and website. Please speak to staff if you have any concerns.

We ask for a voluntary contribution of 10p per session towards our snack expenses, ensuring we can offer a varied choice. Please also notify pre-school of any foods etc your child can not have, due to religious reasons/beliefs.

Health and Safety

If your child suffers vomiting or diarrhoea, they must be kept home from pre-school until at least 48 hours has elapsed since the last attack. This will help to prevent such illnesses spreading.

If your child has an existing injury please inform the Supervisor on entry. You will then be asked to complete a form explaining how the injury occurred, with a diagram showing the injury site. The supervisor will make all staff aware, so they monitor your child in case they deteriorate.

If your child has an accident during their time at pre-school, you will be informed of the circumstances, injury treatment etc when you collect them, and be asked to sign a form, unless it is a serious injury in which case you will be contacted immediately. If a childminder/carer collects your child and signs the form, a copy will be sent home with them to pass onto the parents later.

Stepping Stones

This group is for the children who will be commencing mainstream education the following September. We use a demountable building within the grounds of Woodville School and each Stepping Stone child is offered at least one session within this group. These sessions run concurrently with the main pre-school sessions. The remainder of your child's sessions will be taken in the main demountable building. More details about Stepping Stones are sent home the term before your child is due to start. They are also available on the website.


We are a registered charity and a Committee run non-profit making pre-school. A Committee is elected annually at the Annual General Meeting and is formed by a group of parents whose children attend pre-school or people in the community who are interested in supporting the aims of the preschool. The Committee consists of three main Officers: Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary, plus other members to assist the Officers - these are called Fundraisers. A committee member is a voluntary role and we rely heavily on the support of parents/carers particularly for fundraising. Costs are by no means covered by the fees and enjoyable fundraising activities such as sponsored events, fetes etc. are organised by the Committee. We encourage and appreciate any support you can offer to Pre-school.

The Pre-school has a management structure, consisting of a manager and deputy managers, who are responsible for the day to day running of the Pre-school, ensuring standards are maintained to the requirements of Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education).They regularly report to the Committee, which is responsible for the administration of the Pre-school.

Can you help?

If you feel being a Committee member would be too big a task at the moment, we do encourage parents to come in and help out. It gives parents the opportunity to take an active part in the group to see what happens and to talk about it afterwards with their child. Parents who work in any interesting jobs, i.e. emergency services, working with animals etc., have interesting/unusual pets, plays musical instruments are encouraged to let Pre-school know so the children can benefit from this.


The fees for non-funded children are subsidised by the Pre-school to ensure accessibility to the majority and are raised periodically to cover overhead increases. We also operate a discounted rate of 20% for fee-paying siblings attending Pre-school concurrently. No concession/refund of fees will be given due to absences during term time.

Unless you are receiving 2 year old funding for your child, your child will be eligible for government funding the term after their third birthday. This entitles you to up to 15 hours a week (subject to availability). South Woodham Pre-school accept 30 hour funding allowing a maximum of three full days/six sessions per child per week, subject to availability. Funding can be split across two providers, and must be declared when you sign the parent declaration form each term.

Invoices are issued each term, and payment must be made at the start of the term, if you pay termly, or at the start of the month if you pay per month. BACs details are on the invoice, and we also accept payment by cash or childcare vouchers. If you have a problem regarding the paying of fees, please do not hesitate to contact us; it will be treated in the strictest confidence. Please see our Non-Payment of Fees Policy attached in your welcome pack.

It only remains for us to wish you and your child a very happy time at Pre-school.

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