Dovedale Nursery

Parents & Guardians

Dovedale Nursery

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Settling your child into nursery

We want your child to feel safe and happy in the absence of their parents, to recognise other adults as a source of authority, help and friendship and to be able to share with you their new learning experiences enjoyed in the Nursery. We also want you to feel welcome and involved from the very beginning.

Your child can't play or learn successfully if they are anxious or unhappy. Our settling procedures aim to help you both feel comfortable in the Nursery, so your child can make the most of what the Nursery has to offer.

In order to accomplish this, we aim to create a partnership with you:

  • By encouraging you and your child to visit the Nursery during the weeks before you plan to join us
  • By introducing flexible admission procedures, if appropriate, so we can meet the needs of individual families and children
  • By ensuring from the outset that you know you will be welcome and supported in our Nursery for as long as it takes to settle your child with us
  • By creating opportunities to exchange information verbally, by using our "Getting To Know You" form, our one page profiles and our "I can do" sheets
  • Continuing to talk with us about your child's current achievements, interests, concerns and joys
  • By reassuring you if your child takes longer to settle than expected
  • By encouraging you, where appropriate to separate from your child for brief periods at first, gradually building up to longer absences
  • We also strongly recommend that you let your child know when you are leaving the Nursery and that you will return. This may seem difficult at first, but for your child to suddenly become aware that you've gone can feel very traumatic for them. The hardest part is for them to learn you will be back!
  • We also suggest that your child brings one of their favourite toys with them to Nursery.

Meeting Your Child's Needs

We endeavour to ensure your child's needs are met by providing a structured environment with creative and caring staff and good quality facilities, equipment and materials.

We'll observe your child at play and during social times, so we can build a picture of their needs and interests. This information, together with knowledge you share from home will help inform our activity planning so we can meet the needs of all children.

Your key person will also use this information to create an individual interactive learning journey with your child which you will be able to log on to see online.

We offer your child:

  • The support of a personal key person
  • Individual care and attention made possible by a high ratio of staff to children
  • A specially tailored curriculum leading to the early learning goals.

How the Key Person System Works

We have a "Key Person" at Dovedale Nursery, assigned when you enrol, so your child feels looked after and you have an individual, named contact to liaise with.

  • Your child's key person will discuss with you your child's likes, dislikes, dietary needs, special words or phrases your child uses and any concerns you may have
  • You'll work together to agree the best way to settle your child into the Nursery
  • Your key person will normally be there to welcome your child to the Nursery, introducing them to staff and playmates and will stay close by for security whilst your child finds their feet
  • Your key person will encourage your child to be independent
  • They'll provide comfort and reassurance if your child is upset
  • Your key person will monitor your child's progress in the Nursery by observation during play, providing activities to help your child develop across all curriculum areas whilst having fun
  • We'll keep online records of your child's achievements so you can see these by logging into your child's secure online development records or meeting with your key person
  • Most importantly, your key person will work with you to ensure your child can fully benefit from their time with us and reach their full potential.

Please Help Us

Please send your child to us in clothes which are comfortable and which they're not worried about getting dirty because although we provide aprons for messy play, accidents do happen!

Please make sure your child's clothing and belongings are named, especially lunch boxes and drinking bottles.

Parent Forum

We really value your views and the views of your children. We hold regular parent forum meetings each term, where all parents are invited to attend. You can also join our parent forum email if you can't make the meetings so you can receive meeting notes and updates and still be actively involved.

We aim to be honest with you and we listen to constructive criticism in order to improve the services we offer. Meeting actions and notes are shared with parents through emails, printed if required and displayed on our noticeboards.

Diet - Policy and Practice

We believe sharing refreshments plays an important part in the social life of our Nursery as well as reinforcing the children's understanding of healthy eating. For this reason:

  • We provide a snack mid-morning and mid-afternoon
  • We ensure all snacks and meals provided are fresh, wholesome and nutritious
  • We'll discuss your child's dietary needs before your child joins us and will make arrangements to meet those needs wherever possible
  • We'll offer a wide range of foods from different cultures
  • We respect religious requirements and vegetarian and vegan preferences
  • Water is constantly available
  • Any milk provided is whole and pasteurised.

We would like to remind parents we are a nut free Nursery.


A hot lunch is including in the fees, although parents may provide their own food after a discussion with staff. Please see our six-weekly rolling Lunch and Tea menu below. Our Snack menus are available weekly. These can be subject to change, however we will notify you in advance if things change. Staff are also happy to discuss our health eating policy with you and offer guidance on what can be included in the contents of a lunch box.

Food Hygiene Rating | Very Good

Lunch Main: Katsu chicken curry with rice | Pudding: Sliced Peaches with Natural Yoghurt
Tea Main: Cheese or ham wraps with carrots and cucumber | Pudding: Mini flapjack

Lunch Main: Chipolatas, jacket potato & baked beans | Pudding: Vanilia sponge cake
Tea Main: Toasted muffins with cheese or marmite and vegetable sticks | Pudding: Fromage Frais

Lunch Main: Roast chicken breast with roast potatoes & vegetables | Pudding: Fromage Frais
Tea Main: Cheese and tomato pizza with salad | Pudding: Strawberry jelly

Lunch Main: Meat-free meatball pasta bake with garlic slice | Pudding: Rice pudding
Tea Main: Chicken or cheese bread roll with sweet pepper and tomato | Pudding: Grapes

Lunch Main: Fish gougons new potatoes & garden peas | Pudding: Angel Delight
Tea Main: Mild chili con carne with seasoned wedges | Pudding: Fruit salad

Oat biscuits with apple or pear

Choice of wholemeal toast, Rice Krispies, Weetabix or Shreddies.

Date: 08/07/2024 to 12/07/2024

Lunch Main: Macaroni cheese with garlic bread | Pudding: Banana and custard
Tea Main: Baked beans on wholemeal toast | Pudding: Melon

Lunch Main: Meat free chilli con carne with rice | Pudding: Scotch pancakes
Tea Main: Chicken or cheese sandwiches with carrots and cucumber | Pudding: Grapes

Lunch Main: Roast chicken breast with roast potato and vegetable | Pudding: Greek yoghurt with blueberries
Tea Main: Toasted bagels with ham or cream cheese and avocado | Pudding: Pear slices

Lunch Main: Creamy paprika chicken with new potatoes | Pudding: Watermelon and pineapple
Tea Main: Mini sausage or cheese rolls with cocktail sausages and vegetable sticks | Pudding: Fromage Frais

Lunch Main: Tuna and sweetcorn pasta bake with garlic bread | Pudding: Vegetarian fruit jelly
Tea Main: Chicken and vegetable curry with rice | Pudding: Jaffa cake

Crackers with orange segments

Choice of wholemeal toast, Rice Krispies, Weetabix or Shreddies.

Lunch Main: Vegetable balti with chick peas & spinach | Pudding: Melon & grapes
Tea Main: Toasted crumpets with cream cheese and ham | Pudding: Blueberry muffin

Lunch Main: Spanish chicken, pepperoni & tomato with steamed mixed pepper cous cous | Pudding: Spiced cinnamon apples with crème fraiche
Tea Main: Chicken or ham pitta bread with carrot and cucumber | Pudding: Mini roll

Lunch Main: Roast chicken breast with roast potatoes & vegetables | Pudding: Toasted waffles
Tea Main: Tomato and basil soup with bread and butter | Pudding: Melon

Lunch Main: Savoury meat free mince with creamy mash potato & carrots | Pudding: Fruit salad with dairy free cream
Tea Main: Chicken, tuna or cheese wraps with salad | Pudding: Pineapple chunks

Lunch Main: Fish fingers chips & peas with sweet corn | Pudding: Natural yogurt with granola
Tea Main: Stir fry vegetable with noodles and prawn crackers | Pudding: Jaffa Cake

Rice cake with dry fruit

Choice of wholemeal toast, Rice Krispies, Weetabix or Shreddies

PLEASE NOTE: In circumstances where availability and delivery issues occur it may be necessary to provide and alternative menu.

Safety and Security

Your child's safety is of paramount importance to us and we'd like to highlight our Nursery's procedure so you can feel confident your child is safe when left in our care:

  • It's essential you sign your child in and out of each session. If there are any changes in pick up/drop off arrangements please inform staff and log the new arrangement in the book by the register. Please pass on the current password (please ask a member of staff for this) to whomever is picking your child up and ask them to sign your child in and out
  • At the beginning and end of each session one member of our Team is responsible for monitoring the exit door and they cannot leave the area until the doors are closed and secure. If you need to speak with them, please wait in the playroom until they are free
  • Please tell a member of staff if you are leaving the Nursery during a session so we can ensure the door is closed properly and the security buzzer is activated
  • Please do not park across the white gates at the main access to the Nursery
  • Please do not bring dogs onto the Nursery area
  • Smoking is strictly forbidden on the College and Nursery site
  • We have a no 'phone policy and ask when visiting for settling in sessions or helping in the rooms that all 'phones are to be left in the Nursery office
  • When dropping your child off or collecting please do not take your 'phone out whilst on Nursery premises.

We hope that by working together we can maintain our excellent safety record.


"Friendly staff who know the children well and are pleased to see your child"

"We like the location of the nursery and it's excellent relationship with feeder schools"

"Children are well cared for in a stable happy environment"

"It feels like part of a family"

"Warm approachable staff who interact wonderfully with the children"

"A good variety of activities and respect given to different cultures"

"Low turnover of staff, a stable team"

"Our children love being at nursery"

"Couldn't have asked for a nicer nursery for my son. So fun and nurturing and exactly what he needed, especially when a little nervous to start with. The staff are all amazing and I feel really sad we're off to school now. He's enjoyed his time here so much, really grown in confidence and I couldn't recommend the place enough!"

"Fantastic caring and friendly staff! Made our son feel so comfortable and safe. Room sizes are perfect and staff really promote independence. Can't recommend them highly enough!"

"Amazing staff so friendly and welcoming my little girls has learnt so much in the time she has been there xx"

"This is a wonderful nursery with amazing caring staff. Our little girl has been nurtured there for 2.5 years and has thoroughly enjoyed every minute."

"My son loved this nursery and the after school club they provide. The staff and facilities are great couldn't have asked for a better setting."

"Terrific nursery. Removed my son from another nursery due to an awful experience and I was reluctant to try a day care again. However, joining Dovedale Nursery has been the best move for our son. He is cared for exceptionally well. Management are kind and professional. Carers and management work with parents to ensure nurturing of children's development and happiness. Bond between each caregiver and child is apparent. My son thoroughly enjoys his days at Dovedale Nursery and I love hearing his stories on our drive home."

"I could not recommend the staff of Dovedale Nursery more highly. It is very difficult leaving a young child with anyone for the first time. I am now leaving my second child with Dovedale and know that the care and attention that he will receive is next to none. My daughter who was always extremely shy is now thriving in reception year and was brought on and with the care and encouragement from Dovedale. To leave your child in their care and know that they are benefiting from their days means the world to me and I'm sure to any parent. "

"I only wish we had known about Dovedale Nursery sooner. Wonderful management team, which means wonderful carers. After his almost 6 moths ordeal and awful experience at another day care, both management and carers at Dovedale Nursery have accommodated my son, above and beyond. Staff at Dovedale Nursery are warm, caring and highly experienced. To date, upon drop off and pick up, I've only encountered happy children and staff. Children between 2-3 speak exceptionally well. Staff are attentive to children's needs. The trusting and happy relationship between carers and children are all perfectly evident at first sight. Management encourage, guide and help staff members and this shows in the positive attitudes of each carer. My son has clearly stated he "loves" his carers and they are his "friends". A nurturing and progressive environment. Thank you, Sarah Boultwood and your kind staff, for helping my son settle and helping my husband and I regain trust in a day care setting."

Dovedale Nursery