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Q:     What is the EYFS

The EYFS is made up of a Statutory Framework for the Early Years which sets the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five years.

A Practice Guidance document supports staff in assessing a child's progress and helps them to provide the best learning experience for all babies and children.

The aim is to ensure that every child is given the opportunity to learn through high quality play experiences. For additional information, please click on the above link to the EYFS.

Play is vital for children. It helps them to understand the world around them and to develop socially and emotionally.
It is through play that our children learn, develop at their own pace and have fun with adults who understand, support and care about them.

Play & Learn Day Nursery want the children we care for to feel secure, not pushed or pressured, and to have the confidence to deal with whatever life brings. 

On Monday 3rd September 2012, the EYFS was revised to focus more on the things that matter most, and to make it easier and clearer to use. There is now also a greater emphasis on the role parents and carers have in helping children develop. 

The Government states that parents must receive written progress reports for their child when they reach the age of two and again at five.

At Play & Learn Day Nursery, a key person will give you a progress report every 12 to 16 weeks in your child's Incredible Learning Journal, because we know just how important it is for there to be regular, written feedback to let you know how your child is getting on

For detailed information on the EYFS please visit

Q:     What is Nursery Education Funding

All three and four year olds are entitled to a free part time early education place. The funding is available from the term after your childs third birthday.  To utilize your free nursery place please click here.

Q:    Do I qualify for 2 year old funding?

You may be entitled to claim a maximum of 11 hours per week throughout the year or a maximum of 15 hours term time (pro-rata).
Every eligible child will be given the opportunity to experience high quality early years education with the support of a trained, high quality nursery.

Who is eligible? 
Families must live in London borough of Barking and Dagenham and be in receipt of one or more of the following:


  • claiming an income based benefit such as Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance;

  • families receive Working Tax Credits and have an annual gross earnings of no more than £16,190 per year;

  • child has a current statement of SEN or an Education, Health and Care plan;

  • child attracts Disability Living Allowance;

  • child is looked after by the Local Authority;

  • child has left care through special guardianship or an adoption or residence order;

  • special criteria will apply to children known to Social Care or Portage

Q:    I am finding it difficult to return to work and leave my child at nursery

Placing your child into nursery when you have to return to work, can be quite a heart-wrenching activity. Even the most easy-going parent can find the whole experience difficult.  As is often the way with these things - our stress can rub off on our children, making an otherwise adaptable child suddenly resistant to change.

The tips below are designed to make the transition from home to childcare as smooth-running as possible for your child...and you! Of course the advice will vary slightly depending on the age of your child but we hope you'll find the general guidance below adaptable, whatever your personal circumstances.

1. Be positive about the change
Even very young babies are incredibly intuitive and can pick up on adult stresses and anxieties. So if you've been feeling a little unsettled about your imminent return to work your child may gain an awareness that 'mummy is worried about something'. So in the run-up to the big day it's important to try and keep a positive mindset to avoid transferring stress onto your child. 

When you're feeling anxious try to remind yourself that your child will gain hugely from being a little more independent from you. They will be getting used to new environments, making new relationships and learning important social skills - all fantastic 'life training' and great preparation for formal education.

2. Talk to your child about starting nursery
Be open with your child about what will be happening soon and the new change to their routine. Little children like the security of routine so it's important to prepare them by chatting with your child about their new nursery and giving them helpful reference points. Make a few 'trial runs' to the nursery so they become familiar with the location. Explain what nursery is all about - there will be lots of new friends to meet, lovely new toys to play with etc. Perhaps you could take a look at some books which look at this concept - the following are especially good:


  • My First Day at Nursery School

  • Going to Nursery

  • Maisy Goes to Nursery

3. Attending Play & Learn Day Nursery Settles
We provide a minimum of three visits for children and parents to attend together.  As it's a useful way for you to get a proper feel for what a normal day is like, the routines that are followed and the activities that are on offer. You can also take this opportunity to share information about your child with their keyworker; their interests, likes and dislikes, special words, preferred foods, favourite toys, routines they like to follow, etc. You might be asked to provide this info in written format.

Depending on the age of your child you might like to make a booklet together, to give to us, which could include family photos and pics of your child doing their favourite things - older children can help you do this. 

4. Keep In Touch
The Play & Learn team understand the emotional turmoil you may be experiencing as you prepare to leave your little one to return to work. We have built up plenty of experience of looking after children that find the transition difficult, and will know how to approach the challenge of separation anxiety. Try and trust your key worker and remember they are childcare experts, well versed in the art of distraction when mummy is about to leave the room!

If you're worried about any aspect of settling your child into their new environment, share your concerns with your key worker. It  goes without saying that we all want your child to be happy in the setting, so keep in contact with that key individual - just an informal chat when you pick your child up should suffice, so you both have an opportunity to say how you think the settling-in period is progressing.

5. Use comforters if necessary
That could be a dummy, a 'blankie' or a favourite cuddly toy. Any familiar reference from home can help assure your child during the early days of settling into nursery. Of course the transition to childcare might co-incide with the time when you were hoping to wean your little one off their dummy or blankie, but it's probably not advisable to do so during a period of change if your child's life. There aren't many adults walking round sucking dummies or clutching blankets so don't stress about sticking to timescales for giving up comforters!

6. Keep your goodbyes as brief as possible
Saying goodbye at the nursery door can test the resolve of even the most practically-minded parent. But it's really important to handle your departure in the right way - a 'clean break' where your child is clear about what is happening is far more preferable to spinning things out and confusing your child. Experts agree that you should tell your child that you are leaving, give them a kiss and then leave; but make sure they understand that you will be coming back for them soon. It's a good idea to give them some kind of time-related reference, eg "Mummy will pick you up in time for tea".
Even if your child cries as you leave, hold firm and continue on your way. Don't leave then go back into the room if your child is crying, as heart-wrenching as that might feel. Your key worker will provide the comfort your child needs and there will be plenty of distraction to take their mind off your departure. This isn't easy, we agree, but keep in mind how much enjoyment your child will experience at the nursery. You can always give them a call when you're at work to make sure everything's going okay, a good way to put your mind at rest.  At Play & Learn we are more than happy for parents to call during the day to check on their little one's progress, especially during those early days. 

7. Tears are normal
Your child may cry every day when you drop them off, for quite some time. Or you may find that just when you thought everything was starting to fall into place your child regresses and becomes tearful about drop-off for no apparent reason. But tears are just a normal form of expression for your child and do not necessarily indicate that there's a problem you need to follow up. But do be sure to talk to your key worker if your child seems unusually upset. Many children will cry when mum or dad leaves but are then comforted and perfectly happy for the rest of the day. It's just that children can be rather indignant about being left out of mum's plans - the tears are just a normal way of vocalising this!

8. Don't underestimate tiredness
The settling-in period will probably be an incredibly tiring experience for your child. With a new environment to get used to, and lots of new people to get to know, there's lots for them to take on so try not to pack too many other activities or busy weekends into your schedule for a few weeks. Of course if your child is being particularly teary during these early days this could simply be a manifestation of physical and mental tiredness.

9. Keep updated on your child's progress
Once you've negotiated those tricky early days it's still a good idea to keep up your communication with your key worker - this helps you to feel in the loop and aware of any issues or developments relating to your child. All children will have a Learning Journey profile that outlines their development and achievements. This is freely available to parents, please contribute and share your child’s achievements at home. At Play & Learn we recognise that parents know their children best and we are happy to listen.

10 tax credits for your childcare
Nine out of ten families are eligible for some financial assistance through the new Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit. The amount you receive will depend on your circumstances.

Families with children can claim Child Tax Credit if their income is no more than £58,175 a year (up to £66,350 if you have a child under one).

The amount you get depends on various things, including your annual income and is paid directly into the bank of the main carer.

The other tax credit you may be entitled to, if either you or your partner is working, is called Working Tax Credit.
It includes a childcare element to help families who are working and spending money on childcare.

Find out more:


  • UK Government overview on child tax credits

  • HMRC Tax Credits calculator

You'll need to know the following details before you use the calculator:


  • your income

  • your partner’s income

  • your working hours

  • any benefits you’re claiming, or have just stopped claiming

  • the average weekly amount you spend on childcare

Q:    What financial support is available to help with my fees: what are child care vouchers?

childcare vouchers are accepted at Play & Learn Day Nursery

Play & Learn Day Nursery accept childcare vouchers as part or full payment of your child's daycare costs - contact our finance office on or discuss setting up this as a method of paying your invoice.

Childcare Vouchers is a scheme some employers offer to help working parents save on registered childcare costs.

Childcare vouchers are not means tested and are available to all working parents whose companies operate childcare voucher schemes.

11. what are your policies and procedures

Play & Learn Day Nursery aim to provide the highest care and education.

Policies and procedures are essential to help our nursery to provide a good quality provision that is compliant with the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).   The polices do this by explaining to staff and parents about the type of childcare we offer and what actions we take in practice to achieve this.

Play & Learn Day Nursery takes pride in striving to meet all the statutory requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and takes all necessary steps to keep children safe and well. Each of the policies and procedures we have written are designed to support us with this journey.  

Please click here to download our policies and procedures.

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