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FAQ

01

What are the fees?

We charge a flat fee of £5.50 an hour.

 

This includes all meals and snacks.

We also do not charge extra for trips.

 

We may be available at weekends and Bank Holidays on the same fee.

 

All regular hours are billed in advance at the beginning of the month. Ad hoc extra hours are billed in arrears.

02

Do we pay when we or you are on holiday?



We charge full fee when you are on holiday but we do not charge when we are on holiday.

03

How many children do you look after?
 

Between the two of us we look after up to 6 pre-schoolers. We choose not to take on school-aged children after school, however our 5 year old son might have a friend to play.

04

When are you closed?

We generally take 5 weeks holiday a year. We will provide you with the dates for the year when your child starts.

05

What will my child be doing?

Forest School

 

A large proportion of what we do is providing Forest School sessions for the children.

 

The children will go to local woodland sites (e.g. Coombe Brook Valley Nature Reserve, Leigh Woods, Tyntesfield woodland) where they will be exploring and playing. The activities are child-led but what we provide is designed to enhance a whole range of their skills, based on their developmental age.

 

Sessions will be evaluated weekly to ensure that what we do builds on any progress made, matches the interests of the group and enables individualised learning. While there is always a plan, if the children come up with an idea on the day or we make an exciting discovery that’s fine, Forest Schools are very flexible!

 

Some of the things we will be doing:

  • Bug hunting

  • Treasure hunts

  • Mud sliding

  • Shelter building

  • Natural artwork

  • Tree climbing

  • Campfire cooking

  • Using tools (depending on the age of the child)

 

You can find more information about Forest School here.

 

Trips

 

We regularly take the children on trips to:

 

 

At home

 

At home we provide stimulating and fun play both indoors and outside in our garden, including painting, messy play, water play, imaginative play, and we include the children as much as possible in cooking and preparing meals.

06

How can I verify the quality of the provision?

Mike is a registered childminder currently working towards the Level 3 Diploma Children and Young People’s Workforce (Early Learning and Childcare).

 

Mike's childminding provision has recently been rated “Outstanding” by Ofsted on all three inspection categories (The quality of the provision; Outcomes for children; Effectiveness of leadership and management). Take a minute to read the Ofsted Inspection Report here.

 

Mike and Charissa are also both qualified Forest School Leaders (level 3).

 

Mike and Charissa have current Paediatric First Aid Certificates and Charissa obtained her Outdoor First Aid certificate in April 2014.

 

If you want to know what other parents have said about us, just look at the references on this site.

 

07

What is Forest School?

Forest Schools is an inspirational process that offers regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence through hands on learning in a woodland environment. Activities are child centred and child led. Small manageable tasks help children to take care of themselves and others: take risks safely and manage responsibility.

 

What are the benefits?

 

One element is the developing body. As well as nourishment, it requires air and exercise. There is fresh air outside, and it is usually cleaner and fresher in the wilder spaces. This is also true of exercise - opportunities occur ahappily outdoors and they are more diverse, flexible and exhilarating in uneven, irregular and diverse spaces. Developing bodies develop better bone density, heart and lung function, and better muscle tone when they are stretched and tested. Children are more likely to undertake exercise when motivated by climging a tree or moving a log than they are by carefully planned exercise routines.

 

In terms of the developing mind, evidence indicates increases in the following areas when children in the UK engage in Forest School:

 

  • Confidence - self-confidence and self-belief from freedom, time and space to learn, grow and demonstrate independence

  • Social skills - increased awareness of the consequences of their actions on other people, and to work cooperatively.

  • Language and communication - more sophisticated language prompted by their sensory experiences at Forest School

  • Motivation and concentration - a keenness to participate in exploratory learning and play activities, an ability to focus for extended periods of time.

  • Physical skills - improved stamina and gross motor skills through free and easy movement, fine motor skills by making things.

  • Knowledge and understanding - respect for the environment, interest in natural surroundings, observational improvement.

  • New perspectives - for adults seeing children in different settings, giving understanding and identifying learning styles.

  • Ripple effect - asking to go out at weekends and holidays, parent's interests and attitudes for Forest School and environmental change.

 

 

How does the Forest School school approach link to the Early Years Foundation Stage? 

 

The Forest School approach is ideally placed to support the seven areas of Learning and Development specified in the EYFS:

 

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development;

  • Physical Development;

  • Communication and Language;

  • Literacy;

  • Mathematics;

  • Understanding the world;

  • Expressive Arts and Design.

 

(Read more about this here)

 

 

How safe is the Forest school approach?

 

Safety is obviously very important in a Forest School. I am fully trained in first aid (Paediatric First Aid and Outdoor First Aid) and risk assessment. I do seasonal risk assessments for the areas of woodland we use, which is reviewed for each session. The health and safety policy, my DBS (previously CRB) check and risk assessments are available if you want to see them.

 

Some of the activities (using tools and cooking) are obviously ‘higher-risk activities’. Children will not be able to take part in these activities until they have demonstrated that they are, as a group, ready to be responsible enough and are able to maintain certain behaviours.

 

Will my child be exposed to risks?

 

Forest School activities are as safe as necessary but not as safe as possible. Children are encouraged and supported in recognising and managing risk for themselves, through games and activities in the woods. Forest School allows a level of perceived risk for the developmental benefit of children. For example, climbing a tree is risky, but the benefits of doing so outweigh the risks.

 

What clothing will my child need?

 

We will go outside whatever the weather so please make sure your child is appropriately dressed. We ask parents to provide good quality wellies (and warm socks and layers in winter), but we will provide the children with high quality waterproof trousers and jackets.

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