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									                ACORN UNDER - FIVES
Oaklands Infant School · Butler Road · Crowthorne · Berkshire · RG45 6QZ
       Tel. No. 01344 752752

                  REGISTERED CHARITY NUMBER 295296

                    INFORMATION FOR PARENTS
Acorn Under-Fives was founded in 1986 by a group of parents in response to the
lack of pre-school provision at that time. Today it remains a community pre-
school run by a committee of volunteers under the umbrella of the Pre-school
Learning Alliance.

The Pre-school Learning Alliance is an educational charity which represents and
supports 16000 community pre-schools in England. The aim of the Pre-school
Learning Alliance is to help children to succeed, create the childcare which
families need and build learning communities. Its 400 branches are made up of
representatives from member pre-schools.

This prospectus was last reviewed September 2008.

Our Aims are:

     To provide a flexible approach that responds quickly to children’s learning
      and developing needs.

     To create an effective partnership with parents to support and enhance
      the development of the children.

     To serve an educational programme that helps children to make progress
      towards the Early Learning Goals.

     To deliver a curriculum which supports the development, learning and
      care of young children.

     To create opportunities for parents to become directly involved in the day-
      to-day running of the pre-school.

Our Objectives are:

     To provide individual care and attention made possible by a high ratio of
      adults to children.

     To use observations and assessments to identify priorities and plan
      relevant and motivating learning experiences for each child.

      To provide children with the support of a key person thus giving parents
      the opportunity to discuss their child's individual progress.

   To employ a high percentage of staff with appropriate child care
    qualifications, with all staff keeping up to date with current issues and

     To provide parents with an opportunity to serve on the committee and help
      out on the parents’ rota.

     To provide a safe, secure and stimulating environment for all the children.


A parent management committee – whose members are elected by the parents
of the children who attend the pre-school – manages the pre-school. The
elections take place at the pre-school’s Annual General Meeting which is held in
March each year. The committee is responsible for:

      Managing the pre-school’s finances;
      Employing and managing the staff;
      Making sure that the pre-school has – and works to – policies which help it
       to provide a high quality service
      Making sure that the pre-school works in partnership with the children’s

Session Times

Our pre-school meets at the following times:

                 AM                                PM
                 From             To               From             To
Monday           9.00             12.00            1.00             3.30
Tuesday          9.00             12.00            1.00             3.30
Wednesday        9.00             12.00            1.00             3.30
Thursday         9.00             12.00            1.00             3.30
Friday           9.00             12.00            1.00             3.30

We offer a 45 minute lunch club on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays


Session allocation will be discussed with you during the term before your child is
due to start. You will be offered a maximum of five sessions a week, although
you may choose to take less initially (minimum of 2 sessions).

Every term you will receive a form asking if you require further sessions, or a
change of sessions. A waiting list is kept of people who have not been given the
sessions requested due to numbers. This applies especially to mornings, which
are particularly popular. The Registration Officers then allocate the sessions for
the following term, giving priority to the age of the child and with reference to the
waiting list.

If you have any questions about any aspect of the registration procedures,
please contact the Registration Officer.

Children can start at Acorn Under Fives at the beginning of the term in which
they have their third birthday. A registration form will be accepted any time from
the child’s second birthday. They may be handed to a member of staff, placed in
the Registration drawer at Acorn Under-Fives or returned in the post.

You will receive a letter acknowledging receipt of your registration form and
confirming your child has been placed on the waiting list. You will be advised
whether your child has been allocated a place 1½ terms before your requested
start date.

All children are welcome irrespective of gender, race, language, culture,
disability, learning disability, or HIV/AIDS status.


With effect from January 2009 fees will be charged as follows:

Fee                         Session                     Hours
£10.56                      Morning                     3 hours
£8.80                       Afternoon                   2½ hours
£3.00                       Lunch Club                  45 minutes

All three and four year olds are currently entitled to 12 ½ hours (5 x 2 ½ hr
sessions) free early education per week for 38 weeks per year. Under
Wokingham District Council rules, three years olds are entitled to Funding from
the term following their third birthday.

For children who are eligible for funding, they will receive up to a maximum of
five 2½ hour sessions free of charge, whether they attend morning or afternoon
sessions. As our morning sessions run for 3 hours the last half hour is invoiced
separately at £1.76 (or you can opt to collect your child at 11.30am to remain
within your free daily funded allowance).

For Children who attend two providers, Wokingham District Council will allow the
funding to be split between the two providers. It is up to the parent to decide how
they would like the funding to be split between the two settings. If there is
insufficient funding to cover the session at Acorns any unfunded session will be

There is an administration fee of £10.00 when a place has been allocated. This
amount includes the cost of an Acorn Under-Fives bag.

Oaklands Infant School
Although the pre-school is based in the school grounds, it is a separate
establishment. If you would like your child to attend Oaklands Infant School,
please visit the Infant School Secretary, who will be pleased to advise you on
how to proceed with your application.

All our policies are designed to offer the best possible experience for the children
and families in the group. Our policies are reviewed on a regular basis and
comments and suggestions from parent are always welcome.

Our policy statements are displayed on the notice board, and copies are
available on request, at no charge. Parents/Guardians are asked to sign that
they have read and understood the policies and that whilst their child attends
Acorns they adhere to them.

You will be given a medical form to complete before your child starts pre-school.
This gives you the opportunity to inform the Supervisor of any additional needs
your child may have.

Please ensure that this information is kept up to date. We cannot be held
responsible if we have not been informed of any relevant changes of

A qualified Paediatric First Aider is always in attendance. You will be asked for
your consent for First Aid to be administered if necessary.

Parents Participation
Pre-schools are for families - you are always welcome here, and there are times
during the term when you will be invited to presentations, fundraising events,
social evenings and more. We are particularly interested in help from parents
and other people in your child’s life, with a skill they could share with us, such as
carpentry, cooking, sewing, playing an instrument, or perhaps demonstrating a

Parents are invited to help on the “Parents’ Rota” (which is not restricted to the
Mums!) It’s interesting, lots of fun, and gives the children a chance for more
individual attention. There is more information on this on request.

The pre-school needs your help in other ways too. Opportunities arise from time
to time for parents to become members of the Committee. Acorn Under-Fives is
run by a committee of volunteers none of whom receive remuneration for giving
their time and services. There are many different tasks for committee members,
requiring all kinds of talents and personalities. New faces and new ideas are
always welcome.

Our Session

Free Play
Small Group
Outside Play

The session consists of up to 22 children, 4 practitioners and a parent helper.
The session begins with children placing their belongings on their pegs and
putting their acorn on the tree.

During free play we have a wide range of activities and resources that are
available for the children to select. They are offered a choice to play outside
during free play and a snack table is available for the children to have a drink and
a snack. Water is available for the children to drink at all times.

Acorn offer a range of adult led activities including craft, games, singing and
stories and many activities that are child initiated.

Small group work covers all the areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage
throughout the week for the children to enjoy with their key person.

The children go outside to play in our enclosed play area. We offer a good range
of large physical toys along with the house, sand, musical instruments, books
and chalkboard. We have a garden area were children can experience digging,
planting, growing and nature in a safe environment.

We finish the session with a story before going home.

On Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday we have a lunch club available for the
morning children. Children bring their pack lunches in and have the opportunity to
experience lunch with their friends. Places are limited and allocated according to
age and availability.


Children aged from birth to 5 years plus are in the Early Years Foundation Stage
(EYFS), the EYFS principles are grouped into four distinct but complementary
Themes, each with a Principle statement and a set of commitments. The four
Themes are:

           A Unique Child
           Positive Relationships
           Enabling Environments
           Learning and Development

We look carefully at the children in our care, consider their needs, their interests,
and their stages of development and use all of this information to help plan a
challenging and enjoyable experience across all the areas of learning and

There are six areas of learning and development in the Early Years Foundation

       Personal, Social and Emotional Development
       Communication, Language and Literacy
       Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
       Knowledge and Understanding of the World
       Physical Development
       Creative Development

Within the group, all children are supported in developing their potential at their
own pace. Our key person system enables us to ensure a planned curriculum
tailored to the unique learning needs of each individual child. Each child is
allocated a key person, in addition, the key person has a buddy to support the
child in their absence. The key person and buddy will maintain links with the
child’s home setting, childminder and other settings if their attend any. The key
person will work with parents, childminders and other settings through shared
record keeping to ensure that all children are supported in reaching their full

Please speak to a member of staff if you wish to know more about the EYFS

Jo Sim – Supervisor
NVQ 3 E.Y.C.E. 2006
First Aid

Zerin Karbhari – Deputy Supervisor / Health and Safety Officer
Foundation Course 1991
First Aid

Ruth Wise – Assistant / Child Protection Liaison Person
D.P.P 2001

Sue Challender – Assistant/ Special Educational Needs Coordinator
D.P.P 2005
First Aid

Becky Atayan – Assistant / Behaviour Manager
NVQ 3 E.Y.C.E 2000
First Aid

Lisa Osman – Assistant
D.P.P. 2008

Sandra Birkitt – Assistant

The Acorn Committee members

        Chair                       Laura Mellor
        Secretary                   Christina Peyton

        Events Coordinator

        Registration Officers       Reaoot Philpot
                                    Jane Down
        Newsletter Editor           Gemma Frewin

        Purchasing Officer          Angela Perry

        Health & Safety Officer     Jo Harper

        Central Records and         Claire Varischetti
        Recruitment/Publicity       Kate Farragher

        Parents’ Rota Coordinator Reaoot Philpot


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