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Summer 1 2019
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Happy Easter!
We hope you have had a restful break.  It has been another packed half term.  Highlights include a fantastic week of rhyme for World Book Day including two Debutots drama workshops and two rhyme time sessions at Westcroft Library; a lovely mother's day tea with over 20 mums and grandmothers; and a red mufti for Red Nose Day.  We also have experienced all types of weather, sometimes just in the one day.  
We said goodbye to Mrs Sotimehin and one of our little friends who is going off to school.  We said hello to some new grown ups and welcomed some more new families.  We are glad to say although the process of settling is different for each of our children, most of our new recruits are adjusting nicely to preschool life.  As always it has been lovely to see the older ones take them under their wings and show them the Play B C Way.  
We look forward to more learning adventures over the next half term including visits from some of the people who help us in the local community and our own trip out.

Healthy Early Years London 

We are told that by the time they start school, many children are already falling behind in terms of their health and development. One in five are overweight or obese, one in four have tooth decay and one in eight fail to meet expected social and emotional development goals.  Furthermore the distance that a child ventures from their home when at play has shrunk by 90% in a single generation.  This is having enormous impact on the health and well-being of the nation and is draining resources too as it is estimated that more is spent on the treatment of obesity and related illnesses like type two diabetes than on the police, fire services and judicial system put together.  In order to reverse this trend the government is focusing efforts on improving the diet and physical activity of children. Sadiq Kahn the Mayor of London has launched Healthy Early Years London (HEYL). It’s a new scheme to reward and recognise early years providers that do the best for their children’s health and wellbeing.  HEYL covers a number of important areas of health, wellbeing and education including: healthy eating; oral health; increasing physical activity; speech, language and communication; early cognitive development; social and emotional health and wellbeing; supporting children with chronic health conditions; special educational needs and disabilities.  You can find out more here.
As a setting we are committed to ensuring children have a healthy start to life.  We recently signed up to HEYL and achieved our First Steps award.  Mrs Batcheler attended the Sutton launch recently and will be heading up our application for the Bronze award which will focus upon the yoga and mindfulness opportunities that we offer.  

The no juice rule 

Studies suggest that 14% of a child’s sugar intake comes from fruit juice and 12% from squash.  To avoid tooth decay it is recommended sugary drinks are limited to mealtimes only.  Therefore we only give children water throughout the day and milk at snack times.  Remember that only plain water should be put in beakers.  Any squash or flavoured water will be discarded.  

Screen time 
Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets can certainly open up access to a wealth of fantastic resources and information.  However just how much is too much of a good thing? 
Guidelines on the health impacts of screen time have been produced for the first time in the UK by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.  They are at pains not to quantify how much screen time is appropriate for a child of a given age as there is so little empirical evidence on the matter and furthermore technology is developing so rapidly that it would be hard to keep any such advice current.  However they indicate children with higher amounts of screen time had poorer diets, higher indicators of obesity, and more depressive symptoms.  They also found that a lot of screen time might be linked to poor sleep and fitness.  They suggest it may be helpful to view any negative effects in light of what screen time might be replacing, such as sleep, exercise and face-to-face social interaction.  They site American guidelines which are below however stress that these are controversial and not fully evidence based.  
  • For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting. Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming, and watch it with their children to help them understand what they're seeing.
  • For children aged two to five years, limit screen use to one hour per day of high-quality programs. Parents should view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them.
  • For children aged six and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviours essential to health.
  • Designate media-free times together, such as dinner or driving, as well as media-free locations at home, such as bedrooms.
You can read the report in full here.

Safeguarding
We had a near miss recently when a child openly defied an adult and opened the small and large gate despite being told not too.  As the child was being closely supervised there was no misadventure but it gave us all quite a shock.  We have tried to mitigate this risk by putting a padlock on the gate but this is not really working because unless the hook is flipped beneath, the padlock is redundant.  Therefore can I ask you to ensure that wherever possible you push the gate bolt right in and tuck the hook down.  It is quite stiff when fully closed and therefore tricky for a child to open.  We should also appreciate it if you would reinforce the ‘grown-ups only rule’ and do not allow your child to open either of the gates.  Finally we intend to install a child lock on the small gate which will be locked when the children are in the garden.  This may mean that it takes you a little longer to get in if you collect in session, however I am sure that you will agree that the children’s safety comes first.


The next step
The borough has recently confirmed Reception class places (16th April). Primary schools manage their own nursery admissions and will be making offers over the next couple of months.  Please let us know what nursery or school you have been allocated, so that we can make arrangements to support this transition.
Remember that if you wish to move your child at the end of the academic year, you must tell us before 24th May 2019.  If you leave with short or no notice you will be liable for a full half term's fees regardless of whether or not your child's place is paid for privately or by free entitlement funding. 
Green fingered kids

Woodcote Green are proud to be running their voucher scheme again this year, which encourages children to step outside, get gardening and learn about the importance of the environment, healthy eating and the natural life cycle.  
Woodcote Green has everything you could need for your garden.  For every £10 spent they will donate a 25p voucher for you to give to us which we can then spend on anything in store.  There is no maximum limit of how many vouchers can be rewarded per transaction meaning every £10 you spend really does make a difference.  Of course we would welcome any vouchers that you may collect.  Thanks in advance.  

Reading books
Remember  to return reading books so that we can share them too and change them regularly.  Please look after the books as we will have to charge you if they are damaged.

Diary dates

16th April         Primary school offer day
23rd April         Preschool reopens 

6th May            Bank holiday Monday
tbc May            Preschool trip

24th May          Last day of half term
tbc June           Play B C 5th birthday celebration

Hello hello   

You will have seen some new faces in preschool lately.  We are delighted to welcome some new staff members and volunteers.  Miss Matić hails from Croatia, she has most recently been working in a nursery in Croydon.  She has a degree in childhood pedagogy (study of teaching).  Miss Perry has been working in early years for many years and has a Level 3 childcare qualification.  She is returning to work after having some time out to raise her young family.  Mrs Ghazi and Ms Bennett are working towards their Level 2 Early Years Educator qualifications and Mrs Thursfield is working towards her Level 3.  Mrs Moin has been working with a child 1:1 while Mrs Lozano is on maternity leave. 

Tapestry 
Hopefully all families are up and running on Tapestry.  If you can’t find or haven’t received an activation email please let us know.  We love to hear what you and your child have been up to so please feel free to upload your own observations.  Thanks to all those parents who have contributed to their child's learning journal on Tapestry.  Special mention goes to Nicole who is our top parent contributor.  She has posted 10 observations of her son this year.  Who will be top contributor next newsletter?
Around seven percent of observations are made by families so we are approaching our target of ten percent but have a way to go.  We should be very grateful if every family would take the time to upload one event or piece of news from the Easter break.  Please let us know if you have any difficulties logging in.  You can find the Tapestry login page here.  
 
Disability Confident 
As you will be aware we are committed to inclusion at Play B C Preschool and are delighted to have attained Disability Confident status for the work we are doing in supporting disabled persons to access the work market.
  
            
Expanding times  
We are thrilled to be in negotiations for a second site.  Watch this space for developments.
Buggies 
Wherever possible we should be grateful if you would take buggies home with you as we do not really have the space to store them.  If this is unavoidable because you are going straight to work or someone else is picking up, please collapse them so they are as unobtrusive as possible.  It is important to keep the ramp clear for disabled access and emergency exit.
Fair future funding
There has been little change to childcare funding rates  since 2015, which means they don’t take into account the subsequent increases to business hikes, minimum wage rises or any other cost increases since then. This has forced providers to put up parent fees and, in some cases, close.  
The government’s Comprehensive Spending Review, where spending priorities are agreed is taking place in the coming months. It’s an opportunity for providers and parents to warn MPs about what could happen to childcare provision in their constituencies unless the government takes action on underfunding.  The Early Years Alliance are launching a locally-focussed campaign to put pressure on government to fund early years properly. Their Action Week will start on 10th June.
Lend your support here.
 
A reminder...   
Children who are not yet toilet trained should have nappies and wipes sent in with them please.  All children should bring in a spare set of clothes with them.  Don't forget socks!

Making a difference
A fantastic effort from everyone resulted in us raising around £70 for Comic Relief contributing to a national total of nearly £64M.  In the run up to Friday the 15th March, we learnt about children like three year old refugee Lawand who had to flee his home in Syria but was enjoying a new life in Greece.  Well done everyone! 

Uniform
We have uniform in stock.  It is not compulsory but some parents find it helps spare their children's clothes and also put them in the right mindset for learning.  Polo shirts are £8.50 and sweaters are £9.50.  We also have book bags on sale for £3.00.

Keep in touch  
Do not forget that you can catch up on all our latest learning adventures on the website or on our Facebook page. 

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