- Do you spend all your time outdoors?
As well as the two hours dedicated time in the Forest in the mornings, we try to spend a similar amount of time in the our half acre garden in the afternoons.
- Play in the treehouse or sunken boat
- Ride trikes in our ‘ride on’ area
- Play with water, sand and mud
- Collect eggs from our chickens and ducks
- Sweep up windfall apples
- Help in the working garden or greenhouse
We have two beautiful light and cosy spaces for children to use when we are indoors. Well-equipped and ever changing in provision, the children have a rich and varied curriculum offering opportunities for role play, block play and construction, small world play, art and creativity, investigation or sensory play.
All of these are used to facilitate early learning of phonics, counting, number, shape and pattern, communication and language skills, reading, mark making and writing, which we extend during our Rhyme time and Number time sessions together. All our planning follows the Early Years Foundation Stage.
- Do the children go outside in all weathers?
We subscribe to the Scandanavian saying that there is ‘No such thing as bad weather, just poor clothing!’. Puddle Lane is situated between farmland and woods, and near St Catherine’s Hill. The children are regularly taken to explore other outdoor spaces, such as local beaches in all seasons. We sometimes visit our local farm where Richard and Kate welcome us and provide animal experiences such as bottle feeding lambs.
We can advise you on how to dress children in warm and waterproof layers so that they keep enjoying the outdoors, whatever the weather.
- Opening times and length of day
We are open flexibly from 8am to 5.30pm Monday to Wednesday for children from 9 months old to 5 years old. When considering the length of the day your child stays in childcare, within these times, we recommend if your working hours allow, using the length of school day as a guide.
- Can I drop off before 8am and/or pick up after 5.30pm?
We can offer Early Out of Hours Care by special arrangement from 7.30am to 8.00am. You will need to book beforehand. This costs £5. Puddle Lane will charge a late fee of £5.00 per 15 minutes for late pick-ups after 5.30pm.
- Do you open for bank holidays and holidays?
Puddle Lane is open during term time only. We are closed on public/bank holidays.
- What is the minimum number of days my child may attend Puddle Lane?
2 days is the minimum number of days a child may attend. Exceptions to this may be requested in certain circumstances.
- Can I change my child’s days?
A variation to your attendance days, or an increase or decrease in your child’s days at nursery can be requested by email. This is subject to terms and conditions set out in the Fees policy, notice and availability.
- What food is provided at Puddle Lane?
We operate a healthy eating policy at Puddle Lane. Each child brings a healthy lunch which has a balance of nutrition, savoury and sweet flavours, including vegetables and fruit. Children bring a bottle from home, we provide water. We provide a variety of fruit for the children mid-morning and mid-afternoon.
- What provision is there for sleep?
Cots and prams are available inside dependent on your little one’s preferences. If your child sleeps when we are at Forest school, they may even curl up in a hammock in the fresh air!
- Do we get refunded if our child isn’t at Puddle Lane?
There are no refunds when your child is absent from Puddle Lane for any reason (including illness, holidays or events beyond our control).
- How often do you review your fees?
Our fees are reviewed annually through a process to look at the costs of running the nursery. If we feel that the operating costs have risen we may increase your childcare fees. You will receive a minimum of half a term’s notice prior to any fee increase.
- Can I read your Policies/Terms and Conditions?
Yes, please do ask, and we can email them to you.
- What are Childcare Vouchers?
The Childcare Vouchers scheme is offered by employers to help working parents save on registered childcare costs. Puddle Lane accepts all Childcare Vouchers as part or full payment of your child’s fees. Please contact us to discuss this.
- Does Puddle Lane provide Funded Childcare for 3 and 4 year olds?
Yes we do! You can have funded hours up to a maximum of 570 hours per year from the government for 3 and 4 year olds. This is set at either 15 hours per week, or 30 hours dependent on your working hours. Funded childcare is not completely free, and some charges are still applied.
- When does my child qualify for Funded Childcare?
All 3 and 4 year olds become eligible for Funded Childcare the term after their third birthday. Please ask us if you would like more information.
- Can family/friends pick up my child?
Yes, providing you have given us advance warning, and your family/friends know the password for collection. Puddle Lane will not release a child to someone that we do not know.
- Who can I speak to if I have any questions about my child’s care?
We are really happy to talk to you about your child. You can speak to any member of the team, or specifically to your child’s key person. We make ourselves available when you need us, but have most time to speak to you at the end of each day. The whole team know the children well as we have a high staff ratio of 3:1. If you still have questions you can arrange to speak to Helen.
- What happens if my child is unwell?
We ask that you keep your child at home if your child has an illness which is infectious such as chickenpox, measles, diarrhoea, vomiting or a fever. It is important that they are no longer infectiouswhen they return. (You can find out through the NHS website.) For diarrhoea and vomiting it isrecommended as 48 hours.
Please do let us know that your child will not be attending and the reason they will not be with us.
- What medication can be given to my child whilst at Puddle Lane?
We can administer Calpol, or prescription medication, as long as we have your permission in advance, and we ask that you sign the medication folder at the end of the day.
- How will I find out about how my child’s day was at Puddle Lane?
We use an online platform called Tapestry which enables you to view some of your child’s Learning Journey. Photographs, videos and a description of their progress is sent to you by the team. You can share your learning moments with us through Tapestry too.
- How can I request a place at Puddle Lane?
Please email us at and we will let you know about spaces based on our placement calendar. You are welcome to visit for a pre-booked tour with your child. The majority of places become available in September, but can become available at other times, so joining our waiting list is a good idea. A non-refundable deposit of £100 is paid once you have committed to put your child’s name on the placement calendar.