FAQS: A Day at Nursery

Discover answers to our most asked questions below.

Hours & sessions

Can my child come to nursery for just one day a week?

Yes but we strongly encourage children to attend nursery for at least four sessions a week over two days. This is because children find it easier to settle in and benefit from nursery if they attend regularly.

What are your opening hours?

We are open from 8am – 5pm every day. We are closed for 4 weeks a year and for bank holidays.

Can I choose to bring my child in after, or pick-up earlier, than my booked hours?

You can choose when to bring in or take home your child but we will charge you for the sessions you have booked.

Do you offer nursery at the weekend?

No. We run from 8am – 5pm Monday to Friday.

Meals & snacks

Do I need to pay extra for meals and snacks while my child is at nursery?

Yes. We charge £2.50 for lunch and snacks each 9-3 day (or just 40p for snacks if you bring a packed lunch). For an 8-5 day we charge £3.50 for lunch, tea and snacks Inc. breakfast (or just 60p for snacks if you bring a packed lunch). We do this to try and keep fees as low as possible. If you have any trouble paying these, please come and speak to the office staff. 

My child's a really fussy eater. Can I send them to nursery with a packed lunch?

Yes, children can come to nursery with a healthy packed lunch. However, if your child is fussy we would encourage you to speak to their play partner and come up with a plan to eat nursery lunch – over time, and sitting with their friends, we find most children start to eat the meals provided (and enjoy them!).

What will mealtimes be like?

Children sit down together and eat at tables – we call this ‘family dining’. They will pour their own water and adults will help encourage them to use a knife and fork. We believe mealtimes are an important learning opportunity and an important time for children to develop their social skills.

What to bring

Do you provide nappies?

No. Families are requested to provide nappies and wipes, which we label and store in the changing area.

What do I need to bring to nursery?

We ask families to provide a spare set of clothes, suncream and a sunhat in the summer and wellies for outside play.

Nursery trips

How many trips take place a week and where do they go?

We make sure we go offsite at least once every half term. See calendar of events LINK.

How do you keep the children safe on trips?

All children wear hi-vis jackets when on trips and we always ensure we have a ratio of 1:3 so we ask parents to join us if they can. A risk assessment is completed by the nursery manager, signed off by the headteacher and shared with all staff before the trip. A trained first aider will always accompany an offsite trip.

How do you manage these trips with staff? Do you leave the nursery short if they go?

We always maintain ratios of team members at the nursery & enhance our numbers when off-site. We rely on parent volunteers to support the trips and find that parents and children always enjoy it!

Monitoring

How will I know what my child has been up to during the day?

You’ll be able to talk to your child’s play partner or another member of the team at the end of each day, and they will run you through all of the activities and exciting developments of the day. You can also arrange to meet the play partner or nursery manager at a different time if you want to discuss anything in more detail.

What is a play partner?

A play partner is your child’s key worker. They are responsible for ensuring your child settles in and is happy at nursery. They will also be responsible for working with families to make sure children are learning. 

Do you have CCTV? Can I view it remotely?

The perimeter fence of our nurseries are fitted with CCTV. The CCTV is managed by the school (which owns the site) so any requests to view CCTV must be made to the school.  

Health, Safety and Welfare

What are the safety measures followed in UK nurseries?

All nurseries have a responsibility to ensure that children are safe. Like many nurseries, Ark Start has in place the following safety measures to ensure children’s wellbeing and safety is prioritised at all times.

  1. Childproofing: Nursery environments should be childproofed to prevent accidents. At Ark Start we ensure a full risk assessment has taken place which includes covering electrical outlets, using safety gates, securing heavy furniture to the walls, and ensuring that small objects that can be choking hazards are out of reach.
  2. Supervision: Adequate adult supervision is essential. There are legal minimums for the number of staff required with different age children. Ark Start staffs our nurseries with above the legal minimum to ensure there is always a safe level of supervision in  
  3. Emergency Plans: Nurseries should have well-defined emergency plans for various situations. Ark Start has detailed plans in place for emergencies such as fires, medical emergencies, or natural disasters. Staff are trained on these procedures, and we carry out regular drills.
  4. First Aid and Medical Supplies: Ark Start staff are all trained as paediatric first aiders and we have a fully stocked first aid kit available in every setting. Nursery staff must be informed about any specific medical needs of the children, such as allergies or medications to ensure we can put in place a specific plan where necessary.
  5. Health and Hygiene Practices: Proper hygiene practices are essential. We ensure regular handwashing for both children and staff, as well as proper changing procedures. Toys and equipment are regularly cleaned and sanitized.
  6. Background Checks: Our staff members have all been through a rigorous recruitment and induction process to ensure they are safe and appropriate to work with children.  
  7. Secure Entry and Exit: Ark Start nurseries are secure and only known adults can enter the site. We make sure that only authorized individuals can pick up children.
  8. Safe Equipment and Play Areas: Play equipment is well maintained and checked regularly. We make sure children can only access equipment that is age appropriate.
  9. Fire Safety: Fire alarms, extinguishers, and sprinkler systems are in place and regularly maintained. Staff and children are educated about fire safety procedures.
  10. Medication Protocols: Where necessary, we put in place clear protocols for administering medications to children, including proper documentation.
  11. Healthy Food Handling: All our staff are trained in food hygiene and proper food handling and storage practices are followed to prevent foodborne illnesses.
  12. Safe Sleep Practices: Safe sleep practices are followed in line with advice from the Lullaby Trust.

You can read our safeguarding and health and safety policies here

Opportunities at Ark Start

Join the Team

Our nurseries are about much more than childcare. Our team works together to ensure that every child has a joyful, engaging and secure nursery experience and leaves us ready to start school happily and confidently. We are driven by our values in everything we do: Aim High, Be Brave, Be Kind and Keep Learning.

Ark Start is at an exciting time in its evolution. We opened two nurseries in South London last year and aim to expand our reach over the coming years. As we expand, we are looking for Early Educators to join our founding team. We are looking for someone with a genuine passion for young children and with the skill, creativity, commitment and energy to deliver excellent provision at Ark Start John Archer.

play worker helping nursery children read in term time

So much more than childcare