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In this section you can find answers to some of the questions parents often ask us. We guess you'll have plenty of other questions which are not covered on this page (about daily routines, waiting lists, food and drink, potty training, settling in procedures etc) and we'd be very happy to address these in person if you decide to come and see us.

How old does my child need to be to come to Polly’s?
At our nursery at Inchbrook we care for children aged from 9 months to 5 years old and at Brownshill we care for children aged from 18 months to 5 years old.

Children at both of our nurseries are cared for in groups according to their age. Our play rooms, toys, play equipment, activity programmes, teaching methods and daily routines are tailored to meet the specific needs of children in each age group and to support and promote children’s learning and development effectively at each stage.
What are your opening hours?
Both of our nurseries are open from 8am until 5.45pm, Monday to Friday. We are closed on all Public and Bank Holidays and on the days in between Christmas and New Year.
Do you offer morning (or afternoon) only sessions?
Do I need to book a minimum number of sessions?
We ask that parents book a minimum of one full day per week.
Can I book extra nursery sessions on an ad hoc basis if I need them?
Yes – provided we have space available. Just ask us and we’ll do our best to help you.
If my circumstances change, can I increase my sessions on an ongoing basis?
Yes – provided the additional sessions you need are available. We have a limited number of nursery places available which means that our ability to meet your request will depend on availability at the time. Lots of our parents have chosen to increase their sessions at Polly’s over the years and the key thing to remember is that the more notice you give us the better!
What is the EYFS?
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is a play-based framework which childcare providers follow to help children aged 0-5 to develop appropriate skills, knowledge and experiences within seven areas of learning and development.
The core purpose of the EYFS is to ensure that all children make progress in their individual learning and development whilst being cared for in a safe, healthy and secure environment.

The EYFS states that children should develop in three prime areas of learning first. These are:
  • Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings, to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to develop their confidence and self-esteem.
  • Communication and language is about giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
  • Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their coordination, control and range of movement. Children are also helped to understand the importance of physical activity and to learn about healthy choices in relation to food.

As children grow, their development in the three prime areas will help them to develop their skills in four specific areas of learning. These are:

  • Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters. For children's literacy to develop soundly it is important that children are able to access a wide range of reading materials (i.e. books, poems, magazines, comics, and other written materials we encounter in our daily lives such as shopping lists, labels and signs) and mark-making opportunities which engage them and ignite their interest.
  • Mathematics in the EYFS is about providing children with motivating opportunities to develop their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces and measures.
  • Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of the physical world and of the community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, tools, technology and the environment.
  • Expressive arts and design in the EYFS is about enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing motivating opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a wide variety of high quality activities in art, music, dance, role-play, design and technology.
Who are Ofsted and what do they do?
Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. Ofsted is responsible for regulating and inspecting childcare providers in England against the requirements of the EYFS and their remit is to raise standards and improve outcomes for children.

All registered childcare providers in England are inspected by Ofsted at least once every 3 to 4 years and the quality of their work is given an overall rating of either: ‘inadequate’; ‘satisfactory’; ‘good’; or, ‘outstanding’.

The Ofsted inspection rating is widely recognised as the most authoritative measure of the quality of a childcare provider
What are Childcare Vouchers?
Childcare Vouchers are a Government initiative to help working parents to save money on the cost of their childcare.

The scheme involves parents choosing to take part of their salary each month, before deductions for tax and national insurance are made, in the form of vouchers to be used to pay for Ofsted registered childcare.

The scheme saves parents money because they do not pay income tax or National Insurance on the money used to buy Childcare Vouchers.

The scheme also saves employers money on their employee NI contributions. Each parent can save up to around £933 per annum (or up to around £625 for higher rate tax payers) so it’s well worth asking your employer about whether they currently operate a Childcare Voucher scheme. The table below shows the allowances and potential savings for parents:

Potential savings Max allowance:
per week
Max allowance:
per month
annual saving
Basic Rate Tax Payer (20%) £55 £243 £933
Higher Rate Tax Payer (40%) £28 £124 £625
Additional Rate Tax Payer (50%) £22 £97 £606

If your employer doesn’t run a scheme at the moment, if you’d like us to, we can help you to put them in touch with a Childcare Voucher provider who can explain the benefits of the scheme and how it all works from your employer’s perspective.
What are Childcare Tax Credits and who can get them?
Officially known as the ‘childcare element’ of the ‘Working Tax Credit’, the Childcare Tax Credit is designed to help working parents to cover some of the cost of their childcare so that they still gain by working.

Under current rules, working parents can get help with up to 70% of their childcare costs each week - so it’s absolutely worth looking into. For further information and to see if you are entitled to claim the childcare element of the Working Tax Credit you should call the Tax Credit Helpline on 0845 300 3900.  There's also a link to the HMRC website on our Links and Downloads page.
What is Nursery Education Grant Funding?
The Nursery Education Grant funding scheme enables many three year olds and all four year olds to access funded nursery education sessions in Ofsted registered settings until they start school.

Nursery Education Grant Funding is not means tested and all children in Gloucestershire qualify for funding from the term after they turn 3 years old.

The point at which your child qualifies depends on the date of their birthday and the following ‘cut off’ dates apply:

Children born between: Become eligible for funding in:
1st January to 31st March Summer term
1st April to 31st August Autumn term
1st September to 31st December Spring term

Children are able to have up to fifteen hours of funded nursery education each week during school term times. The funding is paid directly to your childcare provider.

Please note that nursery education funding is a fixed amount per child (not per childcare setting) which means that if your child attends two childcare settings then the funding will be shared between those two settings on a pro rata basis. Claiming the funding is simple. We will let you know when your child qualifies and deal with the paperwork associated with the claim.