Frequently Asked Questions

A child starting nursery is an exciting time for families but we are sure that you have lots of questions.  We aim to answer many of our parents’ commonly asked questions here, however if you can’t find the answer to your questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Can I visit Playbox Nursery and should I bring my child with me?

We welcome parents coming to visit the setting and would encourage you to bring your child with you.  To book an appointment please click here or please feel free to pop in at any time.

Choosing the right nursery for your child can be a difficult choice.  For tips on what to look for whilst visiting Playbox Nursery click here.

Do you have places available?

For up to date information on availability please contact us or call 01303 273298.

When can my child attend nursery?

Children are able to attend Playbox Nursery as soon as they are 2 years old up until the July before they are due to start Primary School.  We welcome the majority of our children into the nursery in September or January of each year, with limited places available each April.


What are your opening hours?

Playbox Nursery is open 08.30-15.30 Monday-Friday for 38 weeks per year.  The nursery is closed for bank holidays.


How are places allocated?

Places are allocated on a first come first served basis.  Places are limited due to strict child: adult ratios.  We advise that applications for a childcare place should be made 6-12 months in advance of your preferred start date.  If we are unable to offer your child a place on your requested start date we will place your child on the waiting list.  Places on the waiting list are allocated on a first come first served basis.  We will be in touch with a child on the waiting list as and when a suitable place becomes available.

How can I enrol my child at Playbox Nursery?

We invite parents who would like to enrol their child at Playbox Nursery to visit us to receive a tour or the nursery and collect an application form.  Once you have completed an application and returned it to the nursery you will receive written confirmation if we are able to allocate a place or a waiting list place.

Please click here to start the application process.

How will my child settle into nursery?

A few weeks before your child is due to start Playbox Nursery you will attend an induction session.  This session lasts around 1 hour and gives your child a chance to meet their key person and become more familiar with the nursery environment whilst you complete an induction booklet with Sarah (Nursery Manager) or Claire (Deputy Manager).  At the induction you will receive a welcome bag with pictures of the nursery staff and the setting.  This bag provides an important link between home and nursery and children are encouraged to fill the bag with their favourite things and bring it to their first session.

On your child’s first day they will attend nursery for one hour on their own.  Your child’s subsequent sessions will increase in time until they are attending for their full session.  For some children this process happens quickly, for others it may take a couple of weeks.  We work with you and your child at a pace that is comfortable for you.

How do I know what my child has been doing at nursery?

At Playbox Nursery we use the Babysdays online portal to record your child’s progress and keep you informed of their progress.  The portal allows both the nursery and parents to upload and view observations, photos and videos.  You will receive your secure log in details and a guide on how to use the system at your child’s induction.

What will my child be learning at nursery?

At Playbox Nursery we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage.  This compromises several areas of learning:

  • Communication & Language
  • Maths
  • Physical Development
  • Literacy
  • Expressive Arts & Design
  • Understanding The World
  • Personal, Social & Emotional Development

Further details about the EYFS can be found here.

In additional to activities specific to the EYFS children also have the opportunity to learn French and Spanish.

Does my child move from one room to the other?

No.  When your child starts at Playbox Nursery they will be allocated to one of our two rooms.  This room will be their home throughout their time at nursery, they do not move from one room to another when they reach a certain age as all of our rooms have a mixture of 2-4 year olds.  This allows your child to have the same key person throughout their time at nursery.

What are your child:adult ratios?

The Department of Education stipulates that there must be at least one adult for every four two year olds and one adult for every eight three and four year olds. 

At Playbox Nursery we pride ourselves on having a high child to adult ratio as this allows us to provide outstanding care and education to all children.  Our ratios for all children exceed the statutory minimum ratios.

Further details regarding our staff and their qualifications can be found here.

How long have staff been working at Playbox Nursery?

All of our staff have worked at Playbox Nursery for 2 years or more, with our longest serving member of staff having worked for Playbox Pre-School & Nursery LTD for over 15 years.  The average length of service is 6 years.

At Playbox Nursery we pride ourselves on having a low staff turnover as this helps to create a consistent and reliable service for the children.

Further details regarding our staff and their qualifications can be found here.

How do you keep the nursery secure?

At Playbox Nursery we take the safety and security of the children very seriously.  The nursery grounds are accessed via a secure gate and intercom system.  The main door of the nursery remains locked at all times and each nursery room is accessed via a key code.  CCTV is also in operation throughout the nursery and is monitored by the Nursery Manager.  Children are supervised in all areas of the nursery at all times.  Children are only released to an adult who is on their authorised persons list.

How often do children play outside?

The children spend time in the garden every day, the length of time they spend in the garden will vary depending on the weather conditions.  We have over 2000 square meters of secure outdoor space for our exclusive use and we like to make the most of it!  With this in mind please ensure you send your child suitably clothed eg sun hat and sun cream in the summer or hat, gloves and scarf in the winter.

Does my child have a snack and what should they have in their lunch box?

The children are offered a snack during the morning and afternoon sessions and are able to request a drink at any time.  Snack time consists of the children sitting with an adult and a small group of peers to have a healthy snack, usually a piece of fruit or bread sticks, and a drink of milk or water.  If your child is not able to drink milk for a medical reason or due to personal preference they will be offered water only.  All dietary requirements or allergies will be catered for.

At 12pm the children that attend nursery for a day or full day session sit down to have lunch.  Children who attend a morning or afternoon session do not have lunch at nursery.  The children eat their packed lunch with their peers and members of staff from their room.  We do not use cover staff to supervise lunch times.  We encourage children to have a healthy packed lunch and request that items such as grapes or sausages are cut and small items such as seeds are not included in their packed lunch to reduce the risk of choking.


My child isn't toilet trained yet, can they start nursery?

Children who are not yet toilet trained are changed at routine nappy changing times as well as being changed whenever necessary.  Children are changed in the bathroom area by a member of staff from their room.  Parents are notified via Babysdays when their child has had their nappy changed.  When your child is ready to start toilet training we are able to support what you are doing at home.

How will my child access the toilet?

Children have access to the toilet at all times.  The toilet facilities are designed to encourage the children’s independence with the toilets and sinks at the right height for them.  Children are supervised by a member of staff whilst in the bathroom area, where the staff member is readily available to help children with their self care routines where necessary.

Do children have to wear a uniform?

We offer a uniform, consisting of a polo shirt and sweatshirt however it is not compulsory for children to wear it.  Uniform items are available for purchase at any time, please speak to a member of staff for further details.  Where uniform items are not worn we suggest children wear old clothes what your child can pull up/down independently eg leggings/joggers and a t-shirt.  All items of clothing should be clearly named to avoid them getting lost.

My child needs to take medication regularly, can they bring it into nursery?

Playbox Nursery staff are able to administer prescription medication only and the medication will be administered to your child as per the instructions on the doctor’s label.  You will be asked to sign to consent to medication being administered and will sign each time it is administered.  You will also receive a notification via the Babysdays app to let you know medication has been administered.  All staff are first aid trained and are able to administer routine medications. Medication should be handed to a member of staff and not placed in your child’s bag.

How much does it cost to send my child to Playbox Nursery?

For fee paying children prices start at £16.35 per session.  Our fees are all inclusive, there is no additional charge for fee paying children for items such as nappies, craft activities, snacks or local outings.  Registering your child is free of charge.

Full details of our fees and details of free childcare schemes (15 & 30 hours) can be found here

What is the Consumables & Sundry Charge and do I have to pay it?

The Consumables & Sundry Charge is applicable to children who are accessing their Free Early Education Entitlement (15 or 30 hours) only.  Whilst the ‘free’ hours are designed to cover the cost of early years education they are not intended to cover the cost of additional services.

 The charge is designed to cover the cost of additional services that Playbox Nursery provides eg:

                Snacks & Drinks

                Access to Babysdays

                Monthly newsletters

                Local trips and outings

                Special events (sports day, Easter Egg Hunt, Nativity performance)

                Parent Meetings

                Language lessons

Fee paying children are not invoiced for the Consumables & Sundry Charges.  There will be a limited number of places available for children accessing 15 or 30 hours that do not attract the Consumables & Sundry Charge.  Please indicate on the registration form if you wish to apply for one of these places.

Full details of our fees and details of free childcare schemes (15 & 30 hours) can be found here

If my child is unwell or on holiday do I still have to pay?

Yes.  Our fees are still applicable if your child is unable to attend nursery due to illness, holiday or they do not attend their full session during the settling in period.  You will pay for your child’s place rather than their attendance.  This policy is standard in the childcare industry and allows us to provide a consistently high quality service.

I would like additional sessions, is it possible?

Whilst we aim to accommodate all parental requests for a change or increase in sessions due to high demand it is not always possible part way through the academic year.  We recommend informing us of your intentions to increase sessions as soon as possible. If we are unable to accommodate your request you will placed on the waiting list and informed as and when you desired sessions become available.

My child attends nursery for less than 15 hours and will start primary school in September. Is that enough to get them ready for school?

The amount of time your child attends nursery is your decision and will depend on your individual circumstances, if you feel that your child is attending enough sessions, they probably are.  Whilst all 3 and 4 year olds are able to claim 15 free hours, with eligible children able to attend for 30 hours per week for free, you are not obligated to send your child to nursery for all of those hours.

You can support your child in being school ready by ensuring they are able to dress themselves, go to the toilet independently, separate well from their main carer and recognise their own belongings.  For more ideas on getting your child school ready click here.

Do all of the children that attend Playbox Nursery move onto Harcourt Primary School?

Whilst the largest number of children move from Playbox Nursery to Harcourt Primary School, not all of them do.  We regularly send children to six or more local primary schools and most of the children will start school with at least one peer from Playbox. 

Book Your Place Now

We are now accepting applications for children wishing to start Playbox Nursery in September 2021.

Come and see us at Playbox

Want to book in a visit to Playbox?  Have a question for our Staff?  

Get in touch, via our contact form below, or contact us via telephone or email, using the details below:

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    Day Nursery

    Monday to Friday 8.30am and ends at 12pm.

    Monday to Friday 8.30am and ends at 3.00pm.

    Monday to Friday 12.30pm and ends at 3.30pm.

    Term Time Only.

    Playbox Day Nursery
    Biggins Wood Road
    CT19 4NE
    +44 (0) 1303 273298