January 2017 newsletter

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


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.

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.

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


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.

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