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At Linden Tree we aim to provide inclusive, high-quality education and learning through excellent and committed   care. We follow the Froebelian approach to early education and respect children as individual learners in their own right. We believe that children are entitled to a broad and balanced curriculum which is accessible to them and includes them in all aspects of nursery life.

Our aim is to create an environment where all children can thrive, with appropriate regard to their rights and preferences as individuals. We ensure that prospective parents are fully aware of the ethos and principles of the nursery by keeping our website up-to-date, arranging tours of the settings led by the Manager, and direct correspondence with our dedicated Admissions Team at our Head Office on Northcote Road.

We value all children and strive to eliminate prejudice and discrimination, creating an environment where children can flourish and feel safe. To achieve educational inclusion, we provide equal opportunities for all learners, regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity, educational needs and background. We believe that inclusion is most successful when the diversity of all children is welcomed and valued. We recognise that individuals are unique in their interests, abilities, motivation and learning needs. All members of the nursery are entitled to be treated with respect and have their views taken into account.

We ensure that our setting is widely advertised in places accessible to all sections of the community. We make information about our setting accessible in written and spoken form. Where necessary, we will try to provide information in Braille, or through British Sign Language and translated written materials where language needs of families suggest this is required.

Our settings welcome fathers, mothers, other relations, and other carers, including childminders. We welcome all children and families irrespective of ethnic heritage, social and economic background, gender or ability. We make our Equal Opportunities Policy widely known.

Nursery admissions are carried out on an ongoing basis. We monitor the gender and ethnic background of children joining the group to ensure that our intake is representative of social diversity. We aim to admit 50% boys and 50% girls due to the co-educational nature of the nursery. Children are admitted in order of registration and a sibling priority policy is in operation. We offer priority to children looking for full-time places as these are the hardest to find for parents. Available places are allocated on a first come, first served basis, subject to availability and individual registration requirements.

The registration process begins when parents complete the registration form on our website. Upon receipt, the request is processed and added to the waiting list, which is assessed at the fortnightly admissions meetings. Parents are contacted via email with a provisional offer if a place becomes available and they have a week to review it. A formal offer letter is sent once parents confirm acceptance of the provisional offer. Parents secure the place for their child by paying a £250 deposit per booking pattern day and £300 enrolment fee. The deposit is returned when the child leaves nursery, provided that a minimum of 8 weeks’ notice is given via email.

Parents on the waiting list will be contacted via email after every Admissions Meeting, even when we are unable to offer a place. It is essential to the efficient running of the nursery and to other prospective parents or carers that you notify the Admissions Team immediately should you make alternative childcare arrangements and no longer require a place.

Once we are aware that a place is going to become available, we offer it to the parents or carers at the top of the list with a child of the correct age for the vacancy. This is usually done several weeks or months in advance of the place becoming available. On the rare occasion the place is not taken up, we offer it to the next parent or carer on the list with a child of the appropriate age.

Children in Nursery who wish to decrease their days must give 8 weeks’ notice after having started at the setting. Requests for additional booking pattern days will be added to a separate waiting list that is prioritised over the new registrations waiting list. Places will be offered via email as they become available. A £250 deposit is required in order to secure each additional booking pattern day and any applicable admin fees as described in the Parent Contract.

Places are offered on the following basis:


  1. That parents return a completed Registration form clearly stating their requirements.

  2. Priority is given to those intending to use the nursery on a full-time basis.

  3. Priority is given to parents or carers who already have one child registered at the Nursery. 

Once a child has been allocated a place on an agreed basis, we expect parents or carers to adhere to these arrangements. Failure to do so may result in termination of the contract.

It is our intention to make our setting accessible to children and families from all sections of the local community. We aim to ensure that all sections of our community have access to the setting through open, fair and clearly communicated procedures.

We adhere to both Lambeth and Wandsworth Local Authorities policies regarding funded place registrations and will not discriminate against any families who access government funding.




Our aim is for children to feel safe, stimulated and happy in the nursery, and for parents to have confidence in their child’s wellbeing and their role as active partners. We want the nursery to be a home from home for child and family.

We support a child’s settle process by considering their individual needs and circumstances. We operate a key person system where children are allocated to one member of staff who has responsibility of monitoring their development and general wellbeing. The key person will welcome the family to the nursery and lead the settle sessions.

The settling-in process consists of three consecutive sessions where the child will have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the environment, staff and other children. This is an important part of welcoming each child and getting them accustomed to coming to Nursery.

The first session lasts two hours, during which the parent spends an hour in the room with the child. They will be introduced to the manager, room leader and team, as well as discuss the child’s routine at home and any dietary requirements. The child will be left with the room leader during the second half of the session, while the parent goes through any accompanying paperwork with the manager in the office. The second session lasts two hours, including lunch, and the third sessions lasts four hours, finishing after the afternoon nap time.

We provide a full settling-in pack before each child is due to start and we ask parents to complete the information required and bring it with them to the first settle session. We make all our policies available for parents to read in the office and recommend that these are read during the first settling-in session. The parent will be free to stay or leave the nursery once all the information has been given.

The Manager and practitioners will work collaboratively with parents or carers to help each child settle into the nursery environment by:


  1. Providing parents or carers with relevant information about the nursery’s policies and procedures.

  2. Welcoming parents or carers to stay with their child during the settling-in sessions until the child feels settled and the parents or carers are confident about leaving them. Settling-in visits and introductory sessions are crucial for a smooth transition and to ensure good communication and information sharing.

  3. Encouraging parents or carers, where appropriate, to separate themselves from their child for brief periods at first, gradually building up to longer absences.

  4. Judging a child to be settled when they have developed a relationship with their key person; for example, the child looks for the key person when they arrive, seeks comfort from them, and seems happy to be with them. The child is also familiar with their surroundings and is pleased to see other children and participate in activities.

  5. Asking parents to say goodbye to their child and explain that they will be coming back, and when.

  6. Honouring the commitment to stay for at least the first session or possibly longer until the child can stay happily without them. We understand that some children will settle more readily than others, but also that some children who appear to settle rapidly are not ready to be left.

  7. Understanding that leaving a child to cry will help them to settle any quicker. We believe that a child's distress will prevent them from learning and gaining the best from the setting.

  8. Providing a key person who will welcome and look after the child and their parent during the settling-in period and throughout their time at the nursery to ensure the family has a familiar contact person.

  9. Respecting the circumstances of all families, including those who are unable to stay for long periods of time in the nursery, and reassuring them of their child’s progress towards settling-in.

  10. Regarding a child’s move from one of our Nursery Schools to another as a re-settle. During this period, the parent should stay with the child for at least the first hour on their first day at the new setting. The teams at both settings must work closely together to ensure a smooth transition. Depending on the child, we may work together to put a settling-in plan in place, which may include the parent supporting the child over the first few days.

  11. Ensuring that when a child moves from one room to another at a setting, we make it a positive time for the child. We give the child and family notice and discuss the transition. We then plan for the child to spend time in their new room over a three-day period, following the same settling-in format as for new children. The first session will involve the key person accompanying the child to the new room.

  12. Supporting a child and family’s return to the setting after an extended time away by discussing the return with parents and the child, completing a new ‘More about me form’, and providing the option to come in with a parent on the first day or to do a re-settle.


Key Person


Linden Tree Nursery Schools follow the key person approach to ensure children have a consistent person to turn to in times of need or struggle, which is similar to family life. The goal is for children to feel safe, stimulated, and happy in the setting and to feel secure and comfortable with practitioners. We believe that children settle best when they have a key person to relate to, who knows them and their family well, and who can meet their unique individual needs.

Research shows that a key person approach benefits the child, the parents and the staff, and the setting by providing secure relationships in which children thrive, parents have confidence, staff are committed, and the setting is a happy and dedicated place to attend or work in. We understand, as did Froebel, that by having at least one secure, loving relationship children develop the confidence and self-esteem to build on in other areas of their development. The Froebelian approach supports the key person approach as it ensures individual needs are met through forming positive relationships with specific people. This also allows bonds to be built with parents.

The key person role is set out in the Welfare Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage. Each nursery will offer a key person for each child.

The procedures set out a model for developing a key person approach that promotes effective and positive relationships for children who are in our nurseries.

Procedures for implementing the key person approach include:


  1. Allocating a key person during the settling-in process that develops a bond with both the child and parents. The key person is responsible for the induction of the family and for settling the child into the setting.

  2. Offering unconditional regard for the child and being non-judgmental.

  3. Working with the parent to plan and deliver a personalised plan for the child’s well-being, care and learning.

  4. Acting as the key contact for the parents and coordinating the sharing of appropriate information about the child’s development with other carers involved with the child (e.g. childminder).

  5. Being responsible for developmental records and sharing information regularly with the child’s parents. The key person must keep those records up-to-date, reflecting the full picture of the child in our setting and at home.

  6. Encouraging positive relationships between children in the key group and spending time with them as a group each day.

  7. Providing a buddy system key person so the child and the parents have a key contact in the absence of the child’s key person.

  8. Promoting the role of the key person as the child’s primary carer in the setting and as the basis for establishing relationships with other staff and children.



Parent partnership


At Linden Tree Nursery Schools, we believe that parental involvement is crucial to a child’s education and well-being. We strive to establish a strong partnership between parents and practitioners to support the child’s development. As Tina Bruce (2012:20) explained, ‘Family is at the heart of the Froebelian tradition’.

Our approach includes the following:

  1. We provide clear and concise written information about the nursery’s policies and practices, as well as regular informal communication to ensure parents understand how the nursery is run.

  2. We engage in ongoing dialogue with parents to gain insight into the needs of their children and how we can better support the family.

  3. We regularly inform parents about their child’s progress.

  4. We involve parents in shared record keeping about their child, either formally or informally, and ensure parents have access to their child’s written records.

  5. We provide opportunities for parents to contribute their skills, knowledge and interests to the activities of the group.

  6. We inform parents about relevant conferences, workshops and training opportunities.

  7. We consult with parents about meeting times to avoid exclusion and offer these both in person and via video conference such as Zoom.

  8. We provide information about opportunities for involvement in the nursery that are accessible to parents with basic skills needs or those for whom English is an additional language.

  9. We welcome and encourage the contributions of parents in whatever form they may take.

  10. We inform parents about the procedures for registering queries, complaints or suggestions and ensure that they understand them. All parents have access to our written complaints procedure.

  11. We provide opportunities for parents to learn about the nursery curriculum and young children's learning, both at the nursery and at home.

  12. We encourage parents to share ‘wow’ moments that happen at home so they may be incorporated in the child’s planning.

  13. We provide a welcoming environment where parents and families are invited to join in for stay and play sessions or help with outings, activities or festivals within the nursery.

Our aim is to support parents as their child’s primary educator and to work together in partnership to create the best possible experience for their child at our nursery.



Communication systems


At our nursery, we believe in developing strong relationships with parents as they are one of the most influential educators throughout their child’s life. The information that is received from parents as soon as they begin their journey with us allows us to create a holistic understanding of their individual families and lives outside of the setting.

We use two main platforms to facilitate communication between the nursery and families:

  1. Octopus: one-way communication system used to keep parents informed about their child’s daily activity at the nursery. The key person inputs nappy/toilet records, meals and sleep times, as well as a description of what the child has done at nursery. Parents receive a full report via email with all the information at the end of the day. This system is also used to communicate any incidents or accidents involving the child and medications being administered. Parents are required to sign these forms at pick-up.

  2. Tapestry: this is a two-way communication system we use to share learning stories and summative reports. Parents have access to their child’s profile, where they can read and see photos and videos of their child’s development and learning. They can also upload their own stories to share their experiences with their child in the evenings, weekends and holidays. We can then use this information/photos at circle time or to help link with the children’s development and planning of activities.

Communication between nursery and home is not limited to these platforms. Parents are encouraged to speak to their child’s key person frequently and are welcome to requests meetings with the managers or key person at any time.

During drop-off, parents are requested to provide any information the key person may need for the day. The handover should include, but is not limited to, how the child slept, if the child has had medicine before nursery or if another person will be collecting the child. The handover should be to the child’s key person or room leader. As our practitioners work on shift pattern it is possible parents will not always see their key person first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening, however, there should always be a member of the team who knows the child and will able to help the child in the nursery.


Feedback at the end of the day


At Linden Tree Nursery Schools, we realise the importance of clear and thorough communication at the end of the day about how each child’s day has been at nursery. Children’s behaviour changes throughout their time with us and we aim to be honest and open about this with parents so we can fully understand the needs of the children.

Feedback should be;


  • Personal

  • Positive

  • Honest

  • Reflective

  • Specific to each child

  • Each day you should hear something different

  • Examples of special relationships formed with either practitioners or fellow children

  • Include an element of characteristics effective learning

Examples of Characteristics of effective learning


  • playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’;

  • active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements; and

  • creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things

Feedback should not be;


  • Vague

  • Part of a group collective

  • Only descriptive about what they have eaten and when they have slept

  • Generic sentences like ‘they’ve been fine’



Shared Values


At Linden Tree Nursery Schools, we believe in the importance of shared values between teachers and parents. Our parent contract outlines a set of values that all parties agree to uphold. We expect parents to respect the hard work of our staff, who provide care for their children every day, by supporting our curriculum at home and following the behaviour boundaries we set for the children. Our teachers and staff are committed to providing respectful, insightful and child-centred communication with parents, and we hold them to high standards of professionalism.

We ask that parents show similar care and consideration for our staff, who are either experts in their field or in training to become experts. It is important to recognize and respect their role in providing quality education and care for the children. We ask that parents refrain from dictating how the curriculum should be delivered or how classrooms should be set up.

Zero Tolerance


At Linden Tree Nursery Schools, we take the safety and well-being of our team seriously. Our team aim to be polite, helpful, and sensitive to all parents, recognizing that they may face multiple tasks and challenging situations at the same time. We have zero tolerance for abusive or violent behaviour towards our team, and such behaviour may result in the termination of services and refusal to continue care.



Partnership with other agencies

We work closely with local and national agencies to ensure the well-being of all children. According to the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework 2021, providers must work in partnership with parents and carers, and other professionals or agencies as necessary, to meet the needs of children who have special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) and to ensure that they make progress. Providers must also work with local authorities and other agencies, including health visitors and social workers, to identify and support children who may be at risk of harm, abuse, or neglect, and to follow local safeguarding procedures. Providers must enable a regular two way flow of information with parents and or carers, and between providers, if a child is attending more than one setting.


With the parent’s consent, we establish contact with other settings and professionals involved in each child’s care, including Health Visitors, Speech and Language Therapists, Paediatricians and Social Worker.

During a child’s time at our Nursery Schools, a Health Visitor will invite them for a ‘Two-Year-Old Check’, which we share with our practitioners to ensure that all staff understand each child’s development and any areas in which they may require assistance. Our practitioners also perform their own ‘Two-Year-Old Check’, examining each child’s developmental milestones within the three Prime Areas of learning, and then share this assessment with the Health Visitor or other relevant professionals.





  1. We collaborate with local and national agencies to promote children’s wellbeing.

  2. We have established procedures in place for the sharing of information about children and families with other agencies, in accordance with GDPR regulations.

  3. Information provided to use by other agencies is considered third party information and is kept confidential unless consent from that agency is obtained.

  4. We welcome staff from other agencies into our setting and respect their professional roles when working in partnership with them.

  5. We adhere to the protocols for working with agencies, such as those related to child protection.

  6. Staff from other agencies do not have unsupervised access to the child they are visiting in the setting and do not have access to any other child(ren) during their visit.

  7. Our staff do not share information about any names child or family informally or seek informal advise.

  8. When necessary, we consult with local and national agencies that can provide support and information for parents and help us understand the challenges we face, such as ethnic or cultural organisation, drug or alcohol agencies, welfare rights advisors, or organisations promoting childcare and education, or adult education

Updated July 2023

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