Dear parents/carers

I am writing to you all to update you about the issue of 30 hours funding and the position of Puddleducks in relation to it.

 

Thank you to everyone who took time to complete the parent’s questionnaire. It gave the Committee valuable feedback in relation to this and other issues.

 

As you know, the Committee decided that Puddleducks would not offer 30 hours funded places as of September 2017 when the scheme comes into force. The group will continue to offer 15 hours for those children who are eligible as before. This decision will however be reviewed. The Committee will have to determine whether:-

 

  1. there is a demand for the group to offer 30 hours to eligible families

  2. the impact of offering these hours on the sessions we can offer and the number of children we can accommodate

  3. it is financially viable for this group to offer 30 hours (or between 15-30 hours)

 

This is a complex decision and one that needs to examined carefully. This is why we have decided against offering 30 hours as of September. We did not want to rush the decision and the full details of the funding levels were only made available to providers very recently. You may have seen in the press that many nurseries and pre-schools are going to face significant financial difficulties and even have to close if they have to offer 30 hours. We do not want this to happen to Puddleducks.

 

The feedback that we received from parents from the questionnaire is that the majority of parents would not require Puddleducks to provide their child with 30 hours care. A small number parents indicated that they would. If we did offer all eligible children 30 hours, it is likely that we would have to restrict the number of children who could attend. We already have a waiting list. The Committee are very keen that the group should be available to all who want it. Also, we may have to restrict the number of 2 year olds, and mix them with the older children, something which many parents indicated that they would be against.

 

One of the major factors in this decision is, unfortunately, financial. As you know we currently charge £4 an hour for all non-funded children. The amount we would get from the government for funded children would be £3.65. By offering more funded hours we would get less income. We have recently had to increase wages of staff to ensure they meet the minimum wage requirements and also have had to start making contributions to pensions. In short, our costs have risen significantly and we already struggle to break even.

 

As I said, we will constantly review this issue. We want to provide the children and parents and carers the best quality childcare in a way that fulfils the needs of both parents and children. Your views are crucial in assisting us with deciding how to take this forward. Please do get in touch with me or any of the committee if you have any views about this important issue. Any views would be gratefully received by me by the end of September 2017 and the committee would like to be in a position to make a decision about this issue by Easter 2018, in order to implement any changes in September 2018. Or volunteer to become a member of the committee if you would like to be a part of making decisions about this and other issues which affect our group.

 

Many thanks

 Rachel Cushing

Chair of Puddleducks Committee

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Happy New Year to you all.


Welcome back for the start of another busy term. We would like to say a ‘Big Thank You’ to everyone that gave gifts of chocolate, biscuits and wine to the staff team before Christmas. They were very much enjoyed by us all.


This half term we are thinking about ‘Winter’ and the different seasons, we are also focusing on wildlife and animals. After the February half term our focus topics will be Favourite books, which will be extended with some drama sessions and the preschool trip. We are pleased to say that Jo from The Little Peoples' Drama Company will be returning this academic year and we will be working with her to ensure that we extend this to all children by varying the days that she comes into group. Fundraising monies is not only spent on new resources but it also funds the drama workshops and trips out.

We have also secured tickets for the Pre-school children to visit Norwich Playhouse in March to watch a performance of David Walliams The First Hippo on The Moon. This is a new production that is touring the country and we look forward to seeing it. Details to follow.

The children will be celebrating the Chinese New Year. They will be tasting noodles and prawn crackers, and will have a go at using chop sticks to eat with. If your child has allergies or you do not wish them to take part in this activity, then please let Sarah know. They will be dragon dancing, making something special for Valentine’s Day and tasting pancakes on Shrove Tuesday.


This half term we will be focusing on helping our Preschool children to become more independent in their dressing skills. We will be encouraging them to put their own coats, shoes and boots on, this is to ensure they are able to do this before starting school. In order for them to be independent, please could you ensure that the items of clothing they are wearing are easy to put on and off. Please could we ask that you support them at home to do this, encouraging them and supporting them when necessary.

Sarah Webster
Lead practitioner

 

The Committee
On behalf of the committee I hope that all children attending Puddleducks are enjoying their experience, and we particularly welcome the new starters. The committee have met several times already this academic year and, together with the staff, we are working hard to make Puddleducks the best we can. We have authorised expenditure on some new equipment which will be delivered soon,
including new carpets for the children to sit on and new toys and activities. This expenditure has come out money that we have raised through our fundraising activities, including the Christmas Fayre which we hope you enjoyed.

Further events will be planned throughout the year so please keep an eye on the website for dates. Support from parents is crucial to making our group a success so any time any of you can spare to help with fundraising or to come in and spend time to help during sessions would be greatly appreciated. Please speak to any of the staff if you are able to help and I urge you to sign up to help if you can.

It is great honour to be Chair of such a fantastic group as Puddleducks. Please contact me at any time if you have any queries, concerns or suggestions about the group and how it's run and any ideas for improvement in the future. My email address is on the website.

Kind regards.
Rachel Cushing
Management Committee

 

SAFEGUARDING
Please could we also politely request that all parents and carers say goodbye to their children in the main room and that you do not accompany them through to the toilets in order to safeguard
and allow the children privacy within the toilet area. Could we also ask parents not to talk to the member of staff on the door please, they are there to make sure the children so not leave the
building. At Puddleducks we are committed to achieving a ‘culture of safety’ for everyone; staff, children, parents, carers and visitors.


Phone Number
Puddleducks phone number:
01508 571285
Please could we remind you to call the playgroup in the morning to inform us of any absence/sickness. Please do not use the Facebook page to inform us, staff do not have access to Facebook whilst in group.


Gentle reminders
Please could you remember to clearly label all toys, clothes, shoes, wellies, lunch and snack boxes with your child’s name. It saves confusion and frustration as some children have the same or similar things. 

Please could we remind parents that they need to ensure their child’s bag is free from any potential hazards. We understand that some children use their bags on days out, but items such as hand gel, medicines and other items could potentially be a hazard to not only their child but other children it our care.

Could we also ask that you try to dress your children appropriately and suitably for their day at Puddleducks which often incorporates messy play.


SUNCREAM
Please could we ask that if your child attends a morning session then they have sun cream applied before they arrive at Puddleducks. The staff will reapply sun cream if they are children that stay all day.


If your child require nappies, please could you provide a few including wipes in their bag.


COLD WEATHER
As the weather gets colder we will still be taking the children to play outside. So please bring a pair of wellies and ensure the children has a suitable coat, gloves and hat. Please make sure all items are clearly labeled as we have a lot of children with the same items.


Parent Rota
We do not run a compulsory parent rota. However, the children benefit hugely by having a parent of relative in group. It also gives the staff an extra pair of hands. If you have a morning of afternoon free we would love you to stop and play. If you would like to do this please let the staff know when is best for you.


Drop off/pick up times
A polite reminder that session finish times are 12pm or 3.30pm.
It is now Playgroup policy that if you collect your child later than 12.15pm or 3.30pm then you will be charged £5.00 for every fifteen minutes.

Also could we please ask that children arrive promptly at 9am and again at 12.30pm. Register and carpet time is an important part of the daily routine.


Healthy Eating
Here at Puddleducks we regard snack and meal times as an important part of the children’s day. We promote healthy eating at snack and lunch time, we encourage nutritious foods that meet the child’s individual dietary requirements. Snacks are provided by Puddleducks with produce from Paddocks Farm Shop and our own garden. Please continue to send lunch with your child/children if he/she are staying for lunch club, all day or afternoon sessions. Please supply your child/children with lunch boxes that are as healthy as possible.

Suitable items include: fruit, vegetable sticks, rice cakes, crackers, bread sticks, dried fruit, yoghurt, cheese.

Please do not pack any crisps, chocolate or sweets.


We are unable to refrigerate lunch boxes so if you include items that need to stay cold e.g. yoghurt, please use a cold pack.
We will continue to supply milk and/or water so you do not need to supply a drink.
Lunch boxes should be clearly labelled with your child’s name

PLEASE REMEMBER PUDDLEDUCKS IS A NUT FREE ZONE. PLEASE COULD WE ASK THAT YOU DO NOT GIVE YOUR CHILD PEANUT BUTTER, NUTELLA or CHOCOLATE SPREAD.

Library books
These will be available for all children to see and choose from on a daily basis. These can be found on the book rack. Please encourage your child to choose a new book and don’t forget that any book
taken needs to be recorded in the black library records book. This is just to ensure we can keep track of our books. We also have a selection of story sacks for the children to choose from, as with
the books, please make sure you record which sack has been taken.


Medication
Medicines should only be taken to group when essential, and only medicines prescribed by a doctor, dentist, nurse or pharmacist will be administered. If medicine is to be given the following will apply:
1. Medicines are stored in their original containers, clearly labeled and inaccessible to children. Medication must not be left in the child's bag, but instead must be handed to a member of staff.
2. The parent must give prior written permission to administer any medication. Written records are kept of all medicines administered to children, and parents sign the record book to acknowledge the entry.


Show and Tell
Please encourage your child to be involved with circle time. Encourage them to find and bring something that relates to the colour of the week, or something special that they wish to share with
their friends. If your child brings things to show, please could we ask that they are clearly labelled.


Comments Box
In the entrance hall on the table you will find a suggestion box, please fill in a slip with any suggestions you may have for activities, trips, visitors you would like to see in group or any other
comments you may like to make about the service we provide at Puddleducks. We value any comments that are made and will endeavour to make changes and introduce new ideas based on
feedback from our families.


Facebook And Email Addresses
Please do not use personal Facebook accounts or personal email addresses to communicate with Puddleducks staff - should you wish to do so, please use our Puddleducks emails addresses listed
below, according to your query:

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Term times

3rd January 2017 – 10th February 2017
Half Term
20th February 2017 – 31st March 2017
Easter Holidays
18th April 2017 – 26th May 2017
Half Term
5 th June 2017 – 21st July 2017
Summer Holidays

 

 

Welcome Back!

We very much hope that you have all had a wonderful summer, and are now feeling relaxed and

refreshed!

We would like to take this opportunity to welcome our new children and their families to

Puddleducks and hope you all feel they have settled very quickly. Please do not hesitate to contact a member of the staff team if you have any questions.

We would also like to say a big ‘hello and welcome back’ to the children and their families who were with us last term. 

First of all the staff team would like to say a very big ‘thank you’ to all of our families who generously gave gifts at the end of the summer term. The chocolate and the biscuits have been consumed and enjoyed. Thank you.

This half term we are welcoming our new children into their sessions and getting them settled. The children will be harvesting the pears, sweetcorn, leeks and pumpkins from our Eco garden and where possible we will use these either in the children’s snack or in cooking activities.

Across the term we will be looking at Autumn and harvest and offering focused activities around this. We will explore our local environment, going on walks to collect items for our nature pictures. We will also be looking at the different celebrations that happen over the Autumn, such as Halloween, Diwali and Bonfire night, creating firework pictures, Rangoli patterns and maybe some spiders and bats. 

Sarah Webster

Lead Practitioner 

Committee Message

The Committee would like to say a big welcome back to all our children and parents, especially to all the new children and parents joining us this term.

The Committee have a busy term ahead with our Annual General Meeting next month and we need new Committee members to join and also parents to attend the meeting.

The AGM is Friday 14th October 2016, 8.00pm Worlds End Function Room, I can not stress how important it is that we fill the vacancies and have parents attend, further details can be found on our website http://www.puddleducksmulbarton.co.uk/ and a letter will be coming home with the children with further details.

We have sadly had to temporarily close our stay and play Groups, Monkey Club and Ducklings, we are currently beavering away to find a solution to opening these again and hope to have some  news on this very soon.

Our Fundraising team have also been busy over the summer holidays with the re appearance of the Pop up café, I'd like to say a big thank you to them and all who visited and supported us over the summer. The Fundraising team are already looking ahead to Christmas and have some great ideas in the planning, so watch this space. 

As many of you are aware, Puddleducks had an OFSTED inspection on Friday 23rd September, we are currently waiting the inspectors report and will forward an update as soon as we can.

In the meantime I would like to thank the parents who took the time out to speak to the Inspector, and Committee would like to say a big thank you to the staff for not only maintaining a professional and business as usual approach whilst under inspection, and for all their hard work leading up to it. 

Sarah Haddon

Management Committee Chair

SAFEGUARDING

Please could we also politely request that all parents and carers say goodbye to their children in the main room and that you do not accompany them through to the toilets in order to safeguard and allow the children privacy within the toilet area. Could we also ask parents not to talk to the member of staff on the door please, they are there to make sure the children so not leave the building. At Puddleducks we are committed to achieving a ‘culture of safety’ for everyone; staff, children, parents, carers and visitors.

TERM DATES 

5th September to 21st October 

Half Term 

31st October to 16th December 

Christmas Holidays

 

 

 

 

Well who can believe we are nearly at the end of another school year, we will be saying farewell to 38 pre-school children and we wish them every happiness as they move on to their new schools, Mulbarton Infants, Wreningham Primary and Hethersett Infants to continue their learning. 

Last half term the preschool children went on their visits to Mulbarton Infant school, and this half term we will welcome the teaching and support staff from the Reception base at Mulbarton Infants.

Our theme for this half term is Travel and vehicles. We will be looking at the different ways we can travel to places.

We are looking forward to welcoming Jo and Pip from The Little Peoples Drama company back, to work with children in some drama sessions based on the story Wow Said the Owl and in July she will return to the group to deliver a drama session called Summer Holiday.

Due to limited spaces on these sessions they are being offered to those children that are in session on the dates that Jo will be in.

 In the last few weeks we have been very lucky to receive lots of great new equipment. The children have enjoyed playing with the new equipment. We have explored the new water canals, working together to join the pieces so that the water flows through them.

We have used the new crate sets to build boats, using the ropes to tie them together and making anchors. We have also got a new dark den and accessories to explore the dark, such as torches, fibre optic lights and other light up toys. All of this new equipment has been purchased with monies that have been raised by the great events that the fundraising committee organise and to them we would like to say ‘thank you’ for all the hard work you put in to these events. We would also like to say thank you to everyone that supports these events. 

HELP WANTED!!

We are in desperate need for some help in our eco garden to help tackle the weeds that are really growing fast due to all of the wet weather. Could you spare half an hour or even an hour to come in and help get the weeds out.  Please let Sarah know if you can help, we would be most grateful if you could.

SAFEGUARDING

Please could we also politely request that all parents and carers say goodbye to their children in the main room and that you do not accompany them through to the toilets in order to safeguard and allow the children privacy within the toilet area. Could we also ask parents not to talk to the member of staff on the door please, they are there to make sure the children so not leave the building. At Puddleducks we are committed to achieving a ‘culture of safety’ for everyone; staff, children, parents, carers and visitors.

Please could you also remember to remove items from your child’s bag that may have been left in there from a day out or a stay at their grandparents. Items such as hand gel, calpol, sweets, other medicines, carrier bags could all pose a health and safety issues if children were to remove these from their bags without an adult knowing.

Please could you remember to clearly label all toys, clothes, and lunch boxes with your child’s name. It saves confusion and frustration as some children have the same or similar things.

Could we also ask that you try to dress your children appropriately for their day at Puddleducks, dresses although very beautiful are not always suitable. For health and safety please could we also ask that children wear shoes that have enclosed toes and although the princess shoes are very pretty, please could we ask that they are brought in to show and not be worn. If children do not have sensible shoes then it could mean they are unable to

Please could we also ask that you send your children in clothes that you do not mind them getting wet, muddy or sandy. We like to be able to have messy play and although we do have aprons and all in one suits it is not always possible to keep the children clean and dry.

During this term we will be having lots of water play so please can you ensure that your child has a complete change of clothes in their bag.

Regards

Sarah and the staff team

Staff

As some of you may know we are sad to be saying ‘Goodbye’ to Marie at the end of this term. Marie joined the Puddleducks staff team just over two years ago. Marie has been a dedicated member of the staff team and will be missed by us all. Whilst Marie has been at Puddleducks she has introduced the children to her pet bird Tilly, and between they have entertained the children with their fun and frolics. They will both be missed by us all. We wish Marie every success as she heads off to her new job as a Teaching Assistant.

Dates for the Diary 

•5th July – Little People Drama Company
•6th July – Spree books return date.
•14th July – Leavers Afternoon
•20th July – End of Term Party
•3rd, 10th & 24th Aug – Pop Up Café
•5th Sept – Return to Puddleducks
•19th Nov – Photography Day
 

New Phone Number

Puddleducks has a new phone number:

01508 571285

Please could we remind you to call the playgroup in the morning to inform us of any absence/sickness. Please do not use the Facebook page to inform us, staff do not have access to Facebook whilst in group.

Puddleducks AGM

Date TBC 

Puddleducks is a charity playgroup that is run by a voluntary committee, made up of parents. Without the volunteers we are unable to open the doors of the Playgroup.

A number of long standing members are stepping down this year as their children move on to the Infant School so we are looking for new volunteers to step up to the challenge!

Please consider if you have a few hours one evening a month to come along and help support the playgroup. Further details will follow.

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