December 2017 – Newsletter
As you now all now we are unfortunately losing Ashleigh at the end of next week, her last day at Acorns will be Friday 8th December. Whilst we are very sad to lose such a valued member of staff, I am pleased to announce that following recent recruitment and interviews, Sarah will be taking over the post of Deputy. We wish her well in her new challenge. This means that we will be able to have a smooth transition of staff. Sharon will once again be taking up the position as 3rd Key Holder. We wish Ashleigh all the very best and know that she will keep in touch with Acorns.
We have successfully been awarded ‘Millie’s Mark’, a quality mark for nurseries. This has been awarded by the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) in association with the Department for Education and Millie’s Trust. The award is an indicator that we go above and beyond the minimum requirements to keep children safe and minimise risks and accidents. We are delighted that our efforts have been rewarded and that we have achieved this very special award.
30 Hours Extended Funding
The Government is advising ALL parents to apply for your child’s 30 hours eligibility code for Spring Term 2018 as soon as possible. Despite my request in last month’s newsletter to pass all codes onto Setting before 14th December, I have only received 1 so far. This is for ALL parents wishing to claim 30hours extended entitlement – existing claims and any new claims eligible from January. Apply online at www.childcarechoices.gov.uk., if you have any problems please contact the call centre on 0300 123 4097.
Xmas Jumper Day
On 15th Dec ‘Save the Children’ are holding a ‘Christmas Jumper Day’ to raise much needed funds. We would like to support this event by holding a Christmas Jumper week, Monday 18th – Thursday 21st December. We asking that ALL children come to Acorns wearing a Xmas jumper that week, and suggest bringing a donation of £1 each, which we will send to Save the Children.
At our latest committee meeting it was discussed whether parents would like a copy of the monthly minutes. If you are interested we can make them available to individuals upon request.
For a number of years Acorns has run a Mother and Toddler group in the Town Hall every Wednesday morning, between 9.30-11.00am. Over the last few weeks numbers have dropped slightly and a question has been raised as to whether all our new families are aware of this provision. If you would like further details please speak to Sharon or myself.
I have had a parent finding difficulty with the school application process. If anyone else comes across similar problems with the website address www.northyorks.uk/admissions, please ring County Hall on the following number 01609 533679. Remember all applications need to be made by 15th January.
Unfortunately we had no choice but to cancel our Christmas Quiz, due to lack of interest with ticket sales. We intend to go ahead with the Hamper raffle, but are extending the draw date to 22nd December at the Children’s Christmas Party. This is in order to allow ALL families to bring in their donations and for the committee to sell more tickets.
Co-op – last Saturday I was invited to the Co-op as part of their Community Fund project. They raised a fantastic £1753.12 for Acorns, thanks to all who signed up to take part. This is an increase on the donation we were granted in May. We are very grateful to the Co-op for allowing us a second chance at the funding pot. Obviously we are not able to apply for the next round, but will let you know if we are eligible in future. I have spent a small part of this already, with the purchase of a ‘cement mixture’ and ‘tool box’, which has gone down very well with all the children.
Reverse Advent Calendar - With the beginning of Advent we are introducing ‘Christmas’ to the children. This will include traditions and celebrations, and particularly the values associated with this time of year. In order to instil the importance of giving we would like to instigate a reverse ‘Advent Calendar’. We would like you to involve your children by discussing the importance of giving to those less fortunate and allow them to choose one item from your food cupboard to bring into Acorns. All food collected will then be delivered to Maple Creek by the children before the end of term. Thankyou.
The children’s Christmas cards have now been returned to setting. I hope those who placed orders are pleased with their cards and paper. As a result of your orders Acorns has received £42.35 towards our fundraising. The artwork is now on display in Setting – if you haven’t already done so please return your child’s work to display with the others.
Easy Fundraising – Don’t forget Easyfundraising.org.uk is a great way to raise money for Acorns while doing your Christmas shopping. Simply visit Easyfundraising.org.uk to sign up and choose Acorns Pre-school (Masham) as your charity. Every time you make an online purchase, first go to the Easyfundraising website and access your choice of retailers through this site. Simply make your purchase and the retailer will make a donation on your behalf. It is so simple to do and has the potential to be a very effective fundraising tool for Acorns.
Following our recent refurbishment we temporarily took away the children’s drawers. We have now reinstated these near the cloakroom area. Please check your child’s drawer at regular intervals for any artwork etc they would like to take home. This is also a good place to store gloves.
Thank you to those parents who are sending their child with extra layers, hat, gloves and scarves. If you have not done so, so far, please do so now. We have certainly noticed a change of weather over the last week.
Thank you for your continuing support. As always if there is anything you wish to discuss please give us a call or speak to your child’s key person.
Val & Team