Aims of the nursery:

A commitment to inclusive high quality education and learning through excellent and committed care. A commitment to allowing individual children and staff to develop their own talents and abilities and to provide the flexibility for them to be able to do so. The nursery is committed to providing parents with the choice of an appropriate and high quality education to children living in our local area.  We believe that children have an entitlement to a broad and balanced academic and social curriculum, which is accessible to them, and to be fully included in all aspects of nursery life.  Information about various support groups available to parents is displayed on the entrance notice board.

We believe that educational inclusion is about equal opportunities for all learners, whatever their age, gender, ethnicity, impairment, attainment and background.  We ensure that prospective parents are fully aware of the ethos and principles of the nursery.  We do this through our website, which is regularly reviewed, and by regular viewings by the Manager. We are also available to answer questions on the phone about the running of the nursery, or you are able to visit us at our Head Office on Northcote Road.

We aim for the nursery environment to be one in which all children can thrive with appropriate regard to their rights and preferences as individuals.  All children are valued. We will strive to eliminate prejudice and discrimination, and to develop an environment where children can flourish and feel safe.  Inclusion is most likely to be successful if the diversity of all children is welcomed and valued.  The nursery recognises 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 the existence of our setting is widely advertised in places accessible to all sections of the community. We ensure that information about our setting is accessible, in written and spoken form and, where appropriate, in more than one language. Where necessary, we will try to provide information in Braille, or through British Sign Language. We will provide translated written materials where language needs of families suggest this is required as well as access to an interpreter.

We describe our setting and its practices in terms that make it clear that it welcomes fathers and mothers, other relations and other carers, including childminders.

We monitor the gender and ethnic background of children joining the group to ensure that our intake is representative of social diversity. 

We welcome all children and families irrespective of ethnic heritage, social and economic background, gender ability or disability. We make our Equal Opportunities Policy widely known.

Entry to the nursery is open throughout the year.

Due to the co-educational nature of the nursery, we attempt to admit 50% boys and 50% girls. 

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.

Nursery children are allocated places on a first come first served basis, subject to availability and individual registration requirements. 

Prior to the child starting with us, parents are sent a letter offering their child a place at the nursery or informing them that their child is on a waiting list due to pressure of numbers and that they will be contacted by phone if a place becomes available. Children entering the Nursery will be placed on a waiting list in order of their requirements.

If the parents accept a place they must pay a deposit and their child's entry is assured. Children in our Nursery pay a deposit made up of £250 per booking pattern day. The deposit is returnable when the child leaves the nursery, providing a full notice in writing is given to the Nursery, 8 weeks’ notice is required. Children in Nursery who wish to decrease or change their days must give 1 month notice, these changes will commence the following month.

If requests for admission exceed the number of places available you will be placed on a waiting list if a suitable place is not immediately available. During your time on the waiting list you will be contacted from time to time to determine whether you are still interested in a place and also to give you some indication of when a place is likely to become available. However, you are also encouraged to contact the Admissions Officer to ascertain the latest position. It is essential to the efficient running of the nursery and to other prospective parents or carers that you notify the nursery 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, the parents or carers at the top of the list with a child of the correct age for the vacancy will be offered that place. Usually this will be some weeks or months in advance of the place becoming available. On most occasions the place is accepted, but in instances where the place is not taken up, it is offered to the next parent or carer on the list with a child of the appropriate age for the vacancy.

Places are offered on the following basis:

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

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

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

Full-time places may be offered temporarily on a part-time basis to new part-time applicants should there be no suitable parent or carer on the waiting list to take the place on a full-time basis.

Similarly, part-time places may be offered temporarily to new parents or carers wishing full-time care should there be no parents or carers on the waiting list for a part-time place.

In cases such offers are dependent on no parents or carers applying to the nursery who are more suitable for that place. Should this happen, then the parents or carers of the child occupying a full-time place on a part-time basis will be given the option of taking the place on a full-time basis or, should they not wish to do so, will be given a minimum of four weeks’ notice. The parents or carers of a child occupying a part-time place on a full-time basis will be given a minimum of four weeks’ notice.

Should the parent or carer of a child occupying a full-time place wish to move to part-time, this will only be permitted at the end of any calendar month.

Once a child has been allocated a place on an agreed basis, it is expected that parents or carers will 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.


Key Person


At Linden Tree Nursery Schools we follow the key person approach which ensures that children have a consistent person to turn to in times of need or struggle. This is a mirror of family life. 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.

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, 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. 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.

At Linden Tree Nursery Schools our key aim is to want children to feel safe, stimulated and happy in the setting and to feel secure and comfortable with practitioners. We also want parents/carers to have confidence in both their children's well-being and their role as active partners with the setting.

We aim to make the setting a welcoming place where children settle confidently and easily because consideration has been given to the individual needs and circumstances of children and their families. Our aim will be to make the nursery a home from home for child and family.

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.



  1. We allocate a key person during the settling process that both the child and parents have bonded with.

  2. The key person is responsible for the induction of the family and for settling the child into our setting.

  3. The key person offers unconditional regard for the child and is non-judgemental.

  4. The key person works with the parent to plan and deliver a personalised plan for the child’s well-being, care and leaning.

  5. The key person acts as the key contact for the parents and has links with other carers involved with the child, such as a childminder, and co-ordinates the sharing of appropriate information about the child’s development with those carers.

  6. A key person is responsible for developmental records and for sharing information on a regular basis with the child’s parents to keep those records up-to-date, reflecting the full picture of the child in our setting and at home.

  7. The key person encourages positive relationships between children in her or his key group, spending time with them as a group each day.

  8. We provide a buddy system key person so the child and the parents have a key contact in the absence of the child’s key person.

  9. We promote the role of the key person as the child’s primary carer in our setting, and as the basis for establishing relationships with other staff and children.




We aim for children to feel safe, stimulated and happy in the nursery and to feel secure and comfortable with staff.  We also want parents to have confidence in both their children’s well-being and their role as active partners, with the child being able to benefit from what the nursery has to offer.

We aim to help parents and other carers to help their children settle quickly and easily by giving consideration to the individual needs and circumstances of children and their families.

We  operate a key person system where children are allocated to one member of staff who has the responsibility of monitoring the child’s development and general wellbeing.  This does not mean that this is the only member of staff who the child will interact with.

We offer three sessions, up to eight hours in total,  to help each child settle into Nursery. This is an important part of welcoming each child and getting them accustomed to coming to Nursery. As a result we require the parents or carers to attend at least the first session. The other two are  optional. We provide a full settling in pack before each child is due to start and ask that parents complete the information required and bring it with them to the first session.


We make all our policies available for parents to read in the  office and recommend that these are read during one of the settling-in sessions. The parent will be free to stay or leave the nursery once all the information has been given.

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

  1. Providing parents or carers with relevant information regarding the policies and procedures of the nursery.

  2. Welcoming parents or carers to stay with their child during the first few days or weeks until the child feels settled and the parents or carers feel comfortable about leaving him or her.  Settling in visits and introductory sessions are key to a smooth transition and to ensure good communication and information sharing.

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

  4. We judge a child to be settled when they have formed a relationship with their key person; for example the child looks for the key person when he or she arrives, goes to them for comfort, and seems pleased to be with them. The child is also familiar with where things are and is pleased to see other children and participate in activities.

  5. When parents leave, we ask them to say goodbye to their child and explain that they will be coming back, and when.

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

  7. We do not believe 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. The key person welcomes and looks after the child and their parents during the settling in period, and throughout his or her time at the nursery to ensure the family has a familiar contact person to assist with the settling in process.

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

  10. When a child moves from one of our Nursery Schools to another we call this a re-settle. During this re-settle 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 as smooth a transition as possible. Depending on the child we may work together to put a settling plan in place which may include the parent supporting the child over the first few days.

  11. When a child moves from one room to another at a setting, we strive to ensure this is a positive time for the child, in which the child and family is given warning and the transition is discussed. We then plan for the child to spend time in their new room over the period of three days, following the same format as our ‘new child’ settles. The first session will involve the key person going with the child to the new room.

  12. When a child has spent an extended time away from the setting we aim to support the child and family back into the setting by discussing the return with parents and child, completing a new ‘More about me form’, providing the option to come in with a parent on the first day or a re-settle.


Parent partnership


Tina Bruce (2012:20) says that ‘Family is at the heart of the Froebelian tradition’ At Linden Tree we know that children benefit most from education and care when parents and practitioners work together in partnership.

Our aim

  1. To support parents as their children's first and most important educators.

  2. To involve parents in the life of the nursery and their children's education.

  3. To support parents in their own continuing education and personal development.


In order to fulfil these aims:

  1. We provide access to written information and through regular informal communication, we inform all parents about how the nursery is run and its policies. We check to ensure parents understand the information which is given to them.

  2. We are committed to ongoing dialogue with parents to improve our knowledge of the needs of their children and to support their families.

  3. We encourage and support parents to play an active part in the governance and management of the nursery.

  4. We inform all parents on a regular basis about their children's progress.

  5. We involve parents in the shared record keeping about their children - either formally or informally - and ensure parents have access to their children's written records.

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

  7. We inform parents about relevant conferences, workshops and training.

  8. We consult with parents about the times of meetings to avoid excluding anyone.

  9. We provide information about opportunities for being involved in the nurseries in ways which are accessible to parents with basic skills needs, or those for whom English is an additional language.

  10. We welcome the contributions of parents, in whatever form these may take.

  11. We inform all parents of the systems for registering queries, complaints or suggestions and check to ensure these are understood.  All parents have access to our written complaints procedure.

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

  13. We hold  quarterly parents evenings

  14. We ensure inclusion in weekend ‘wow’ moments which are incorporated in the children’s planning

  15. We provide a ‘home from home’ setting in where  parents and family are welcomed to the nursery at all times for stay and play sessions or helping towards outings, activities or festivals within the nursery.


Communication diaries


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.


Each child who attends our nursery schools has a communication folder. The communication folders should be completed accurately by the child’s key person throughout the day and given to the parent carer who is collecting at the end of the day. The parents are also encouraged to complete the diary throughout the night/over the weekend and detail any specific requirements the child may need for the following day, including whether the child has had medicine before nursery or if another person will be collecting the child.


The communication diaries also provide a great opportunity for parents to share their experiences with their children in the evening and at the weekend. We are then able to use this information/photos at circle time or to help link with the children’s development and planning of activities.


The communication diaries will daily record the meals, sleep, milk and nappies of the child each day. It will also include the special learning moments or ‘wow’ moments and elements of characteristics of effective learning.


The children should be dropped off in the morning to their room. 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 into nursery.


Feedback at the end of the day


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 will have good days and bad days, and we aim  to be honest and open about this with parents.


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’

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

  • 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


Shared Values


In our contract it refers to all teachers and parents agreeing to a set of shared values; they agree to respect staff for the demanding and ever changing job that they do every day in looking after their children. Our parents also agree to support our curriculum with their children at home and with the behaviour boundaries that we set for our children by working in partnership with our teachers/staff to achieve positive outcomes for all our children.


We always endeavour that our team provide a level of service and communication to parents that is respectful, insightful and in the best interest of the child. We have high expectations from our staff and expect them to be courteous and professional with parents at all times.


In return we require parents to display a similar approach of a level of care and consideration of our staff, who are either experts in their field or training to be experts in their field. Their role is to be respected as such and for parents to be mindful to not dictate to teachers how they think the curriculum should be delivered or how the classrooms should be set up.


Zero Tolerance


Linden Tree Nursery Schools takes it very seriously if a member of our team is treated in an abusive or violent way. All our team aim to be polite, helpful, and sensitive to all parents individual needs and circumstances. They would respectfully remind parents that often the team could be confronted with a multitude or varying and sometimes difficult tasks and situations all at the same time.


Unacceptable behaviour will not be tolerated and may result in you being given notice to leave the nursery or your deposit returned and being asked not to return.



Partnership with other agencies


We work in partnership with local and national agencies to promote the well-being of all children.

Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework 2017 states, ‘Providers must maintain records and obtain and share information (with parents and carers, other professionals working with the child, and the police, social services and Ofsted as appropriate) to ensure the safe and efficient management of the setting, and to help ensure the needs of all children are met. 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. If requested, providers should incorporate parents’ and or carers’ comments into children’s records.


Our Nursery Schools will make contact with other settings and or professionals involved in each child’s care with Parental Consent, when needed. This includes; Health Visitors, Speech and Language Therapists, Paediatricians and Social Worker.

During a child’s time at our Nursery Schools, a child will be invited by a Health visitor for a ‘Two Year Old Check’, which is usually shared with the setting to enable all practitioners to understand each child’s development and any area in which they may need support.  Nursery Schools  practitioners will also complete their own ‘Two Year Old Check’ looking at each child’s developmental milestones within the three Prime Areas of learning, this form will then be shared with their Health Visitor or other professional.



  1. We work in partnership or in tandem with, local and national agencies to promote the well-being of children.

  2. Procedures are in place for sharing of information about children and families with other agencies in line with GDPR.

  3. Information shared by other agencies with us is regarded as third party information. This is also kept in confidence and not shared without consent from that agency.

  4. When working in partnership with staff from other agencies, we make those individuals welcome in the setting and their professional roles are respected.

  5. We follow the protocols for working with agencies, for example on 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 casually share information or seek informal advice about any named child or family.

  8. When necessary we consult with local and national agencies who offer a wealth of advice and information that help us develop understanding of issues facing us and who can provide support and information for parents. For example, ethnic or cultural organisations, drug or alcohol agencies, welfare rights advisors or organisations promoting childcare and education, or adult education.

This policy was updated July 2020