Ealing Hospital's children’s centre is registered by Ofsted and provides care and education for up to 65 children aged three months to five years.
The children’s centre aims to provide child-centred, integrated services to improve the outcomes for young children and their families within a caring, educational and stimulating environment.
Safe and secure environment
The children’s centre is within a safe and secure environment located on level 1 of the hospital grounds with onsite security.
In the event of an emergency there are two silent security alarms within the centre linked to the onsite security office.
The playrooms, garden and bathroom areas have recording CCTV in operation linked to a monitor in the manager’s office. There is a secure camera-entry system on the main door with handles at adult height.
Each child has a confidential password to be used if someone other than their parent/carer comes to collect them from the children's centre. Picture identity is required as proof of identity of the person(s) who may collect your child/ren from the children's centre.
The children's centre is open from 7.00am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday except bank holidays. A standard day is 8 ½ hours. Days and times are negotiated with the centre manager.
Settling your child into the centre
Each child is settled into the children's centre gradually. Staff will discuss your child’s needs with you prior to your child starting at the centre.
The children's centre setting
The children will spend most of their day in small groups where they develop a relationship with one or two staff that has special responsibility for them, these are known as key persons. Part of the day will also be spent within a large group where they are encouraged to mix and interact with other children and staff. As children are unique we aim to cater for their individual needs. There is space for the children to have a rest or sleep depending on their needs. Cots, beds and linen are provided to make the children comfortable.
The children's centre follows the Early Years Foundation Stages Framework.
The centre has four playrooms:
Children are allocated a place in a playroom appropriate to their age.
Twinkles baby unit cares for babies aged three months to one year and the Snowflakes baby unit cares for babies aged one year to two years old.
The baby units have a ‘home-like’ comforting environment. The units have staff that understand and can support the babies through the transition from baby to child, and provide a variety of stimulating activities.
The Rainbow room caters for children aged two years to three years. The aim of this age group is to provide a continuation of care with the emphasis on developing their self-confidence and guiding them through to the next stages of their development. It also provides an environment where the children can learn independence and begin to express their own opinions and needs.
The Sunshine room is for pre-school children aged three to five years and they enjoy many activities and experiences throughout the day to stimulate their developing minds and challenge their learning. We use multi-sensory experiences and activities to enhance the children’s learning.
Physical skills are encouraged daily through outdoor activities in our well-equipped outdoor area which is covered so that the children can play out in all weathers.
The children are encouraged to take an increasing responsibility for their belongings and to develop a helpful and caring attitude towards each other. The aim of the Sunshine room is to increase each child’s independence and confidence so as to create a happy move to school and meet all the challenges that this will present. By building on the skills and experiences encountered in all areas of the centre we are confident that this can be sensitively achieved.
We do not use formal methods of teaching. The centre aims to develop each child to their full potential through play and everyday experiences. The centre also aims to promote each child’s physical, intellectual, language, emotional and social and cultural development as well their knowledge and understanding of the world around them.
Our approved Ofsted reports confirm our ability to teach the foundation stages of learning. The centre is in receipt of the early years grant, which is government funded. The funding is given to parents of children aged three and four years and who are not attending nursery school to aid payment of their nursery fees.
The centre provides a healthy and culturally-diverse menu for the children. All dietary requirements are arranged with the parent/carer
7:00 am - 8:00 am
9:30 am - 10.00 am
11:30 am - 12.15 pm
3:30 pm - 4.30pm
Water/milk is provided with meals. Drinking water is available throughout the day and is accessible to all the children.
One month’s notice is required in writing when leaving the centre or wishing to change agreed hours or days.
Although aprons are provided please dress your child appropriately for creative activities such as painting.Please provide plenty of spare clothes (and nappies and nappy wipes if not toilet trained).
Sickness and diarrhoea
Please keep your child at home if they are unwell. The centre does not have the facilities to care for sick children.
If your child becomes ill throughout the day the parent/carer shall be notified by a member of staff to collect their child.
Staff are fully trained in first-aid and would be able to care for your child until you arrive.
Children with mild common colds may still attend the centre providing they have a normal temperature. The centre staff only administers medicine prescribed by a doctor. Calpol will be administered if a child has a temperature of 38 or above, provided consent is given by the parents and Calpol sachets are provided to the children's centre. If a child develops a temperature whilst at the children's centre the parent/carer will be telephoned and asked to take their child home even after Calpol is administered. This is because although staff have first-aid certification they are not trained nurses. In addition the children's centre may have to compromise staff-child ratio as required by Early Years Foundation Stage regulations in order to meet the needs of a child who is unwell.
If your child contracts a communicable disease such as chicken pox or measles your child will be unable to attend the children's centre until they are no longer infectious.
The centre has an exclusion policy for illnesses such as diarrhoea, high temperature etc . If unsure please do not hesitate to contact a member of staff to clarify.
The centre is happy to work with parents through a child’s stage of potty training. Potty training is a personal stage of a child’s development and should begin at home.
Inclusion and special needs
The centre provides an inclusive setting whereby all the children are given an equal chance to participate in all the activities. The children's centre is committed to working with children with special needs. A special needs co-ordinator is assigned to aid the child, parents and carers in ensuring the child is integrated within the centre’s setting.
The centre operates a behaviour policy, which is a firm but kind approach to the children. The aim is to explain to the child why his/her behaviour is unacceptable. The children's centre has a behaviour co-ordinator who can aid parents and staff in working positively with the child.
Staff receive training in child protection. All relevant checks on staff suitability to work with children are carried out prior to them working with the children.
If in the process of caring for your child the centre staff observe or have reason to believe that your child has or is likely to be suffering harm, staff will discuss this with the parent/carer. The centre has a duty under the 'safeguarding children child protection guidelines' to inform Social Services.
The centre works closely with parents and aims to form a partnership to enable the best care for your child. To facilitate this we operate an 'open door' policy and are available to talk with parents at any time. The children's centre staff welcome suggestions or involvement from parent/carers to enhance the current service. Please feel free to add your suggestions to our suggestion box.
Parent advisory group
Parent representatives can discuss the children’s centre’s issues with the centre manager on a regular basis. If you would like to become involved in the Parent Advisory Group please contact the centre manager. These meetings are held twice a year.
The staff are qualified and experienced in caring for young children. The team are first-aid trained and attend relevant training in childcare. All staff have full Criminal Records Bureau police checks before being able to work unsupervised with the children.
The team is made up of 15 staff that work a shift pattern. There is a member of management on the premises at all times, who are available to deal with any queries you may have.
Key person system
The children's centre operates a key person system. Your child will be allocated to a member of staff who will settle them into nursery life, monitor their development and liaise with you to ensure your child receives the appropriate care. Your child’s key person will be available to discuss your child’s needs daily or as and when required.
Daily information about your child
Your child’s key person will give you a brief written report daily to inform you of routine information such as whether your child slept or ate their lunch. We have found this service helps parents who have other carers collect their child from the centre. This does not happen for the pre-school room where the emphasis is toward school settings whereby verbal day-to-day communication with the nursery nurses is encouraged.
Each room has a designated phone line so parents may ask how their child is at any time.
The key persons may ask information regarding your child that may have occurred the day/night before in order to give the best possible care to your child.
Your child’s key person will monitor their development throughout the year and meet with you twice a year to discuss your child’s progress in the children’s centre.
Reviews are a general guide to inform you of your child’s progression through the different development stages.
Allocation of places
The children’s centre cares primarily for Ealing Hospital Trust staff and all NHS employees. The children's centre also cares for children of families from the local community. Places are allocated based on criteria of Ealing and other NHS staff followed by children and families in need in the local community.
The fee structure will depend on the Trust or place in which you work. Parents/carers may be eligible for financial help via the Inland Revenue tax credits helpline. Please ask the manager for more information.
NB: Only the parent or legal guardian of the child shall be eligible for a place. Places are generally in great demand. We cannot guarantee that a place shall become available when required.
The centre caters for full and part-time places. Part-time places shall be matched to equal a full time place.
The centre offers a minimum of two-day places that must be consecutive ie Monday and Tuesday. We are unable to offer mid week places such as Wednesday, Thursday. If you require four days we may be able to offer Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
Once you have completed the application form please return it as soon as possible. On receipt of your form we will date and sign it as a record of receiving your application and place it on the appropriate waiting list for your Trust. A place will be allocated either full or part-time depending on your requirements.
At this stage you should also investigate alternative childcare in the eventuality that we may not be able to offer you a place when you require it. Please ensure that you complete every section of the application form. Parents may register with the children's centre at any time eg during pregnancy. Once a place becomes available you will be contacted and given full details of the place available to you.
Parents who no longer require a place or who wish to alter the days they require for their child are asked to put it in writing to the centre manager.