Where did that summer go? We had great times at Bockets Farm, The Discovery Outlook Centre, on Horsell Common, at ten pin bowling, the cinema, having a Pirate Day (I loved dressing up much to Grace’s horror!) and doing loads of other exciting things.
Ellen and Daizy both started school in reception this year and Matthew moved up to the junior school. Charlie, Aoife and Hannah have left as they moved on to high school.
Our topic for this term is All About Me. A little while ago I asked you all to send in photographs of the children when they were babies and photographs of them with members of their families. I have had some photographs from a few families thank you. Could you please send in photos if you haven’t already done so. I’m happy to have originals to scan or to have photos via email. We will be making booklets all about the children so look out for these nearer the end of term.
During September and October 2016 I will be invited to join the Government’s new Tax Free Childcare Voucher Scheme. I will sign up so that if any parents would like to use this scheme I am prepared. It is a little more complex than the current childcare voucher scheme offered by employers and not everyone will be better off with the government scheme so it’s worth doing some research. The new scheme, to be rolled out gradually from early 2017, will allow some working parents (where both parents are working or are single parents) to claim up to £2000 per child towards the cost of childcare per year. The government will add 20p for every 80p parents/carers transfer to a dedicated online account and spend on Ofsted regulated childcare. The difference between this system and the old childcare vouchers scheme (which you can still use if you have already signed up) is that you can register if you are self employed and other people can add money to your dedicated online account. Edenred (who will regulate the new scheme) have published an online booklet which has lots of details and is worth a read. http://www.childcarevouchers.co.uk/Documents/CCV_whatshappening_2017.pdf
We are still supporting Wildlife Aid (www.wildlifeaid.org.uk). We get a quarterly magazine from them 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. Sadly one of the dogs that we used to sponsor with The Dogs Trust died earlier this year and so we are now sponsoring Billy and Honey. We had a new event at the beginning of September this year called The Great British Bark Off to raise money for Billy and Honey. The children got very involved in baking lots of lovely cakes and many of the amazing parents came along to buy. We raised £49.80 which I sent off to the Dogs Trust, thank you!
Some of you already know that I have begun to introduce Forest School sessions within my provision. One of my amazing mums, Jo, is a qualified working forest school teacher and she has been joining us during the holidays and half terms to facilitate forest school sessions either in my back garden or on Horsell Common. We are going to try and make it a regular thing and will begin with a Wednesday once a month until Christmas to see how this goes. If anyone has any suggestions or questions please come and speak to me about this.