General Information,
Terms & Conditions

Terms & Conditions

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Opening Times

Learning Stars opening hours are 7.30am to 6.30pm, Monday - Friday, 51 weeks of the year. Learning Stars is closed from 24th December through to January 1st inclusive.

Drop-off and Collection

Normal opening hours are 8.30 – 5.30pm. There is an option of Early Drop-off, which can be arranged from 7.30am for morning sessions. There is an option for Late Pick Up, which can be arranged, the latest pick up being 6.30pm.

Late Collection

Learning Stars will close promptly at 6.30pm and parents requiring handover information should arrive by or before 6.15pm. Any parent who is unable to meet this deadline need to contact the nursery urgently in order for us to arrange staffing accordingly. A late collection fee of £15 will be incurred on late arrival, after an initial polite reminder. The late collection fee is necessary to cover staffing costs incurred, to keep 2 senior members of staff on the premises beyond their normal working hours, until all children are collected.

Collection Security Policy

For security reasons, your child can only be collected by individuals who are listed on the registration form. Any changes to this list of registered persons must be made in writing, and addressed to senior management. Any named person on the list must be introduced in person to the nursery and key person. We will not allow any child to leave the premises unaccompanied or with an unauthorized person, except in an emergency. In an emergency, the parent or responsible guardian must inform the nursery in advance, provide a photo of the person to collect the child and agree on a password the person must give to the nursery in order to confirm their link with the parents. The emergency contact must bring a valid form of identification for collection. We reserve the right to prevent a child from being collected by anauthorised named contact if the contact appears to be unfit to provide for the child’s safety, or appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Our security includes internal and external CCTV, which records high quality images for approximately 2 months at any one time.

Meals at Learning Stars Organic Kitchen

The cost of all meals/snacks is included in the nursery fees. We are intentional and health-conscious about the food we provide for Learning Stars children, and use only fresh, wholesome ingredients, and organic ingredients whenever possible, in all meals and snacks.

Dress

Children should arrive at Learning Stars in normal day clothes. We require the following clothing to be kept in the nursery for your child’s use.

3 additional changes of clothes
1 pair of boots / wellies for outdoors
1 waterproof smock for outdoors
1 pair of indoor shoes for use in the classrooms

All clothes must be labeled with your child’s full name. Kindly note that Learning Stars cannot accept responsibility for any lost or damaged property.

Settling-In

“The child's development follows a path of successive stages of independence, and our knowledge of this must guide us in our behaviour towards him. We have to help the child to act, will and think for himself. This is the art of serving the spirit, an art which can be practised to perfection only when working among children.” (The Absorbent Mind, p. 257)

At Learning Stars Montessori, it is our aim to assist in the development of independence and the love of learning guided by the stages of development of each individual child. For this purpose we believe that it is of paramount importance that all children in the nursery be treated with great care, consideration and understanding. A new child must always feel comfortable, cared for and integrated into the life of the setting as quickly as possible. We want children to feel safe and happy within our setting as well as feel secure and comfortable with staff. We also want the parents to have confidence in both their child’s wellbeing and their role as an active partner within our setting. At Learning Stars, we aim to be flexible with our daily routine and as far as possible cater to individual eating and sleeping patterns (particularly for younger children). Our Aims are to make the setting a welcoming space for your child, to create a secure relationship for your child within our setting, and to make the setting a place where your child can settle in quickly and comfortably. Our Methods: Settling-In Procedure Before registering your child, parents will be provided the opportunity: to visit the nursery with the child see the facilities and meet the staff team. Meet the allocated Key-Person, who will welcome and look after them during their first sessions and continue providing them with support throughout the settling-in process.

Prior to a child attending the setting we will endeavour to explain the settling in procedure with the parent and work in partnership with the parent on deciding a mutually productive way to settle the child.

During to first week the parent/carer will have the option of Staying with the child for the full session if they wish Staying with the child for part of the session Leaving the child with the staff We welcome parents, carers or close relatives, to stay for some of the settling in sessions particularly for very young children and babies. Younger children will often take longer to settle, as will children who have not previously spent time away from home. Children who have had a period of absence for whatever reason may also need to be re-settled. Parents who are able to help with the settling in process of babies (0-2 years) for their first week, will be offered the first 3 days of settling-in free of charge, i.e. their monthly booking will begin after those 3 days. Learning Stars will advise the parent/carer of the best action to take once the child enters the nursery.

It is our policy that school sessions will, so far as possible, run in the normal way when a be

able to see the regular pattern of the day. parent/carer is present. The parent/carer should When a child starts at school we are happy to receive telephone calls from parents/carers at all times. We fully understand that parents/carers are concerned about the child’s welfare and are likely to feel upset at leaving him/her in our care. We will aim to alleviate these fears but if a child is very upset it is our policy to tell the parent/carer, thus giving the parent/carer the option of calling again to see if there is still a problem.

If a child remains upset it is our policy to call the parent/carer and discuss the concern. We consider a child to be settled when they have formed a relationship with their Key-Person. When you leave your child, we ask that you say goodbye, fully explain to them that you will be coming back later, and let them know when you’ll be back, using words such as, “Mummy will be back after you eat lunch”. We will discuss with you our initial observations of your child within the first four weeks of starting. An Initial Observation form will be filled out by your child’s key person, and be given to you to read at home, and a copy will be placed in your child’s Learning Journey, thus acts as a means to help us adequately plan for the needs of your child.

Learning Stars Montessori
operates a Key Person System.

The key person is responsible for working with a small group of children, forming a relationship with those children, providing the reassurance needed for each child to feel safe and cared for, as well as building a relationship with parents/carers, mainly at Parents' Evenings.

The key person will help the baby or child to become familiar with the setting and feel safe within it. They will also talk to parents/carers to make sure the needs of the child are being met appropriately, and the records of development and progress are shared with parent/carers and other professionals as necessary. Though each child will have their main keyworker, every adult part of the core team is responsible to bond with each child, and some of their roles of communicating with Parents, bonding with children, helping with settling-in will overlap. Learning Stars promotes a non-exclusive key worker system so that any child would not be too dependent on the presence of any single adult, and would be at ease with the in-house community as a whole.

How the Key Person System Works

Once your child begins nursery, a key person will be allocated to him/her, this person will be the named carer throughout the nursery day and another point of contact for parents alongside management.

The key person will record information regarding your child’s home routine, as well as specific information such as medication instructions.

The key person will be responsible for monitoring their child's progress, writing relevant reports and meeting parents at Parents' Evenings.

Outings

As part of Learning Stars holistic approach to education, we also arrange outings for the children to museums, local nature parks, and other similar places of interest. On these occasions, there will be a small charge to cover expenses needed for transportation. Parents have the choice to decide if their children participate in such activities. Parents are welcomed to assist and enjoy these outings with the children.

Illness, Health & Safety

Children may not attend the nursery if they have the following:

Nausea and/or diarrhea
Any infectious illness
Any unknown rashes

If they are unwell and need one to one care
If they are dependent on liquid paracetamol to control pain/temperature

And may not attend until the condition is certified by a doctor that they are able to resume in the nursery. Children who become unwell whilst in our care will be cared for with due attention until their parents are able to collect them and take them home. Parents will be notified immediately of any signs of illness. If a parent cannot be contacted, the child’s named GP will be contacted. In the event of an emergency, the child will be taken to hospital accompanied by a senior member of staff, until a parent arrives, as the emergency consent form needs to be signed by the parent on the registration form. We will not administer medication without permission. If a child’s temperature is dangerously high, or in the event of an allergic reaction, we will call for an ambulance. Parents are responsible to keep us updated regarding any changes to their child’s GP or medical conditions. Should a child require regular medication whilst in our care, you will need to complete all related and required paperwork according to our policies. The medication must be prescribed by a doctor and clearly labeled with your child’s name and photo, and dosage on the box. Learning Stars maintains the highest standards of hygiene and cleanliness. The premises are kept consistently clean. The highest standards of cleanliness are maintained when changing nappies, providing first aid and dealing with any other bodily fluids to reduce any risks of infections. There will always be a number of staff trained in first aid, health and safety. We have a strict ‘no outdoor shoes’ policy for indoors to maintain the highest level of hygiene indoors. All staff and children will use indoor shoes they will keep on-site, all visitors must cover their shoes with blue covers at the entrance before entering the children’s spaces.

Child Protection & Safeguarding

Learning Stars is registered under the Children Act of 1989, as revised in Children Act of 2004 and Childcare Act of 2006. We follow the guidelines set by the local authority on safeguarding and protecting children at all times. Our priority is the safety and well-being of the children in our care. In the instance of suspected child abuse or neglect, we will deal with the matter internally and with the Local Authority of Brent where necessary.

This is a legal requirement for the nursery, and you will be required to read our related policy documents during the settling in period.

Fees & Basis of Calculation

Fees are provided in a separate fees sheet. Fees are reviewed annually in April each year. Parents will be informed in advance of any changes that may be made. However, how fees are paid may need to change within the year, e.g. if the government Early Years Free Entitlement is changed. Fees are calculated on an annual basis and divided by 12, allowing for a consistent amount payable per month regardless of holidays or variations in the number of days in each month. Refunds or deductions are not made if a child is off due to illness, on holiday or does not attend for any other reason, as the days that are reserved cannot be re-allocated.

Registration Fee

There is a non-refundable one-off fee of £50, due at registration to cover the administrative costs of enrolling your child at the Learning Stars Montessori Children’s House.

Deposit

To secure a place at Learning Stars, there is a deposit payable immediately with the first month’s fee. The deposit may be enclosed with the registration form and registration fee. Once you have paid the deposit and we have received your completed acceptance form, your child’s place is guaranteed. Deposits are refunded by being discounted from the last month’s fees, before your child leaves the nursery, subject to one calendar month’s notice, and all fees and liabilities having been paid in full to the nursery. If a child leaves without full notice, we will offset the deposit paid against any outstanding fees, and invoice you for the balance. If a child does not attend the nursery for any reason once the place has been accepted, then the deposit is non-refundable. Before your child starts at the nursery, the registration fee, the deposit and the first month’s fees should be paid in full.

Payment Terms

Fees are to be made in advance of each month booked, preferably through bank transfer to Learning Stars account, the details of which will be provided. Invoices will be issued at the middle of each month for the following month.

Childcare Vouchers

Learning Stars will make all reasonable efforts to accept all forms of childcare vouchers, to support parents in their flexible payment options. However, as each childcare voucher company pays at different times, with different methods of payment, it is difficult for us to know whether the correct fee for each month will be paid on time. To make this process as easy as possible, we will create an invoice system that allows us to accurately bill you each month. For your child’s fees for the first month, they are required to be paid in full; and any childcare vouchers processed will then be reduced from your following month’s invoice.

Early Years Free Entitlement

Learning Stars is in the process of registering for the Nursery Education Grant, we will update you as soon as this happens and provide any reduction in prices for parents who can benefit from it.

Late Payment

In the event of a delayed tuition fee payment, a late payment charge will be incurred.

Additional Charges

Any additional charges, e.g. extra hours, late pick-ups, outings, will be added to the following month’s invoice.

Sibling Discounts

Learning Stars offers a 10% sibling discount deducted from the fees of the older child. For families with 2 or more children, we offer 10% discount on the older children’s fees, e.g. for 3 siblings, the 2 older children’s fees will have a 10% discount.

Termination / Loss of Placement at Learning Stars Learning Stars Montessori reserves the right to terminate a child’s place immediately in the event of non-payment of fees, or any other breach of the listed terms and conditions, or if termination is considered to be in the best interests of the nursery.

Bank Holidays

Learning Stars are closed for all public and bank holidays, in addition to the week between Christmas and New Year. Due to all of our fees being based on a flat annual charge that takes such holidays into account, refunds are not available for Bank Holidays.

Emergency Closure of the Facility

Learning Stars will endeavor to remain open at all times, except on the mentioned public and bank holidays, and Christmas week. In the event of a breakdown of essential services e.g. heating, electrical failure, severe weather conditions, or an illness epidemic, parents will be contacted as quickly as possible by the nursery, and will be required to collect their child from the nursery as soon as possible. In the case of such events, please confirm with the nursery that it will be open before bringing your child the following day. In the event of severe weather conditions, the nursery will open if all required staff are able to get to work. In such instances where some members of staff are unable to get to the nursery, we may only be able to offer limited spaces on a first come first served basis. We may ask parents to wait with their child until staff are able to arrive, and we may ask parents to collect children early in such cases. Learning Stars cannot provide refunds to parents for such emergency closures as we are still bound to pay staff who are unable to get to the nursery, and such events are deemed to be force majeure. We understand that this is very inconvenient and potentially costly. If you are concerned about the impact of such eventualities, we recommend researching into an insurance policy that covers such eventualities.

Review of Terms & Conditions

Learning Stars Montessori Children’s House reserves the right to amend our terms and conditions at any time. In the event of any changes being made, all parents and guardians will receive written notification of any changes.