Welcome back to another school year. We’ve had a great summer with mixed weather and lots of awesome days out at Bockets Farm, the Discovery Lookout Centre, Strawberry Picking, picnics in the park, Soft Play, gallivanting on the common and lots more.
There are lots of changes happening this term with children starting nursery, reception, three new children joining us and others moving up a year at school. As usual it’s going to be busy!!
Our Facebook page Ilana Hill Childcare is still very popular; I try to put pictures of things that we’ve done on there as often as possible and am always open to suggestions. I never put pictures of your children on this page unless you have given me permission.
Our topic for this term is FABULOUS FOOD. If you have any photographs or interesting and unusual foods that you would like to send in I would be very happy to receive them to display.
I have finally completed my Quality Improvement Award. Thank you to those families who completed questionnaires, let me use pictures of their children and gave feedback. I could never have done it without you.
Thank you to everyone who came to our FUN DAY at my house on 16 August. What a great day it was and so lovely to see so many of you.
In March last year the Government announced the introduction of their Tax Free Childcare scheme which was supposed to go live in Autumn 2015. Any parent (whether employed or self employed) would be eligible to become part of this initiative. For every 80p you deposit into your childcare fund the government will top this up by another 20p. Other family members can also contribute towards this childcare fund. For more information please go to www.gov.uk/government/news/tax-free-childcare-10-things-parents-should-know
Some of the current Childcare Voucher companies lobbied the government to put a stop to this new scheme as it would eventually put them out of business. This legal action has put the Government tax free scheme back and it is now expected to launch in early 2017. If you currently use other childcare vouchers schemes they will remain in force.
And thank you to everyone who collected Sainsbury’s vouchers for us again this year. The children decided to get various kitchen gadgets including a burger maker, garlic press, funnels, sieves as well as an electronic skipping rope (which I’ve had great fun using) and a “teach me how to throw a cricket ball” ball.
We are still supporting Wildlife Aid (www.wildlifeaid.org.uk). We get a quarterly magazine from them which is usually on the little table if you would like to borrow it or have a flick through to see the good work that they do in helping our local wild animals. And we sponsor Billy and Apples through The Dogs Trust. We also get a newsletter from them every quarter together with letters from Billy and Apples which the children love to read and this year two of the children wrote to Billy and Apples telling their news.
Every child is entitled to 15 hours free childcare from the term after their 3rd birthday. This can be split between different childcare providers such as nurseries and myself. I will advise when you are eligible to receive this funding but in the meantime if you’d like to find out more go to www.gov.uk/free-early-education. I am also handing out, to some families, an application form for Early Years Pupil Premium Funding. This is extra funding that I can get for my setting from the Government to buy extra resources and get extra training. This only applies to children who are 3 and 4 years old. I will hand out individual letters to every 3 and 4 year old child's family in the last week of August. If I have forgotten anyone please will you come to see me.
And finally Zoe and I will be taking two weeks holiday from Thursday 17 December 2015, so my last working day will be Wednesday 16 December 2015. We are going to visit my family in Cape Town and I will be back to work on Monday 4 January 2016.
As always, thank you for being awesome parents. Here’s to another year of happy childminding xx