Resources & Policy

The greatest resource on which a child can draw is the adults who care for them. The quality of care and respect for each child’s personality are crucial factors in their well being.

Free pre-school places

All of our nurseries are registered to provide funded places under Nursery Free Education Grant Scheme, for all 3and 4  year olds who are entitled to up to 15 hours per week free education during term time. Therefore, children may remain at Sunhill nurseries until the age of 5. All children are taught the same foundation stage curriculum and funding is identical to that received for a child attending a state school nursery class. This enables a reduction in nursery fees, and avoidance of pre & after-school-care and collection difficulties. All of our nurseries also offer school day sessions, and most offer before and after school club.

Children attending school and nursery

This presents no difficulty, and complementary or less taxing activities can be provided. Early school days can be stressful for young children and our staff appreciate the need for children to tell someone what they did at school, or that they may be hungry, thirsty, or need comforting. We cannot replace parents, but we can feed children, listen sympathetically, and ensure parents are aware of any anxiety a child may have. Generally parents must arrange their own transport between school and nursery.

Healthy Living

At Sunhill Daycare, we strongly believe that in order for children to have the best start in life they need healthy routines. We support and seek guidance from NHS, Change 4 life, and follow the recommended guidance for nutritional standards for children under five, providing all children with healthy, nutritious and well-balanced food and drink.

We believe that encouraging children to eat well and learn about food in their early years not only protects their health when they are young, but also sets the foundations for their future health and wellbeing. A healthy, balanced diet and regular physical activity are essential for children’s health and well-being. Research confirms that healthy eating habits in the years before school are very important because they influence growth, development and academic achievement in later life.

We provide seasonal menu’s, prepared daily by our nursery cooks, using fresh, where possible locally sourced ingredients, allowing for individual dietary requirements. Our menu’s work on a four week rolling cycle, and offer a wide variety of meals that offers seasonal choices and diversity. See link below for our menu’s. Recipes can also be provided upon request.

We provide a social, family feel at mealtimes with practitioners enjoying the same meals alongside the children and chatting together whilst eating. We involve children with the preparation of meals to help them understand their diet and discuss 5 a day and the ‘eatwell’ plate. We promote independence from an early age, and children are encouraged to serve themselves and take part in the setting up and clearing away, with support on hand to assist if needed.

Click link for example menus: Healthy Menus

Physical activity

We follow the NHS guidance that encourage mobile children to be physically active every day for at least 180 minutes and provide physical activity daily within our curriculum. We provide safe and fully enclosed outdoor areas for children to explore and learn in. We ensure that every child has fresh air daily, in almost all weathers, and we ask parents to bring suitable clothing for this. Outdoor play gives a different type of freedom compared to indoor activities. Children will spend much of their time with us outside – planting, growing, creating, investigating and exploring, helping them to gain awareness and respect for their environment. This experience is not a duplication of what is learnt inside, but an extension of it.

Hygiene and safety

We provide a safe environment for children and complete regular risk assessments, adhering to all aspects of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. We welcome and work with outside regulatory bodies where necessary and work with outside companies to provide support and monitor our compliance.

Environmental Health Officers inspect our settings between every six months to two years, and award a star rating from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest rating possible. Most of our nurseries achieve at least a 4 star rating (very good) and nearly half have been awarded 5 stars (excellent).

At Sunhill Daycare, we strive to teach children about their own safety, and use a staying safe project with our older children to help them develop an understanding of how to keep safe. We also encourage children to take age appropriate risks and learn how to manage their own safety, whilst being closely supervised. This is done in many ways, for example:

  • encouraging independent learning, such as how to use a knife to cut up fruit
  • encouraging children to keep areas tidy – developing respect for their environment
  • completing their own risk assessments before using areas to play
  • developing children’s awareness of keeping themselves safe in the world, such road and sun safety.


We believe that this provides children with the confidence that helps them to become keen to learn and protect themselves and understand risk, whilst developing a strong sense of self-esteem, preparing them for the next stage in their learning.

Insurance

However well cared for, minor bumps and scratches are an everyday occurrence among young children in nursery. All Sunhill nurseries are comprehensively insured; in addition to mandatory public liability insurance, every child is individually insured against personal accident and injury.

Registration information

All children’s daycare must be registered and comply with the Early Years Founadtion Stage (EYFS), regulated by Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education). Our premises are all inspected regularly and approved by the local authority Fire, and Environmental Health Departments.

Quality of Care

Sunhill welcomes and supports the development of quality childcare, and inspection, we are however not content to leave this to Ofsted and other regulators.

About Ofsted Inspection Reports

The Ofsted inspection and report is aimed at improving care standards which we fully support, however their reports can contain terminology not fully accessible to parents, and aimed more for nursery provider consumption. We acknowledge Ofsted are faced with a difficult task of inspecting a day nursery without prior notice over a short period or hours, and are then expected to produce a report as to what it is like for a child at that nursery. Ofsted concede this can only provide a ‘snap-shot’ of what they witness on the day, which may be affected by variables such as, children attending (with flexible working hours this can change considerably across the week by as much at 50% in child numbers), staff attendance who generally work shifts, and other factors, even weather conditions. Therefore, Ofsted reports need to be read in conjunction with other information supplied by the provider, parents, and most importantly obtained by viewing, and speaking with staff and children.

Notwithstanding the forgoing, Ofsted has recently changed its inspection criteria to be more evidence and self assessment based on their adjudged ability of a setting to improve care standards and practice.  We consider both lighter touch approaches in working with providers to improve standards a positive move in the right direction.

However, it remains essential to visit and form your own opinion, by speaking to the management, staff and most importantly children and if possible other parents. The children are probably the best point of reference, you will soon discover if they are happy and enjoy being there. It is also necessary to look at the resources available, i.e. are they a sole operator of part or of a group or chain, and what Quality Assurance is in place to ensure your child is safe and getting the necessary support.

Sunhill’s approach to Quality

Quality childcare is not just about the individual care, it is all encompassing, and includes parent support and the environment in which your child’s care is delivered. Sunhill has invested heavily in these areas, and all of our nurseries have the additional support of individual managers solely responsible for operations development, quality, customer services and nursery facilities.

For the reasons stated above, Sunhill does not rely only on Ofsted inspections, including those of other regulatory bodies, e.g. Environmental Health, and imposes its own quality assurance headed by an experienced Ofsted trained QA manager who carries out continuous monitoring of our nurseries by random unannounced inspections covering a detailed check-list; thus ensuring compliance with statutory standards, and more importantly with own more rigorous requirements.

24/7 Facilities Management keep our nurseries safe.

Our inspection routine enables us to ensure uniform standards of care across all Sunhill nurseries and to compare our inspection data with Ofsted’s inspection outcomes. We are as determined as Ofsted to uphold standards of care, and act quickly on any item of concern found our QA visits. Follow-up checks are made to ensure they have been remedied, and if necessary further staff training may be implemented. Unannounced spot checks ensure continuity of care

Policy Statement

Sunhill Daycare ’s primary mission is to provide a protective, happy, caring and stimulating environment for young children to develop and gain essential early skills, thereby affording peace of mind to parents when entrusting us with their child’s care. Sunhill’s principal policy objectives are to:

  • ensure all children have equal opportunities, regardless of their race, religion, culture or gender
  • help all children to be healthy
  • protect children from harm or neglect and help them stay safe
  • help children make a positive contribution to the provision and wider community
  • work in partnership with parents and carers in promoting children’s learning
  • organise activities that enable all children to value and respect difference in ability, culture and gender
  • encourage socially correct behaviour towards other children and adults
  • apply discipline which is neither aggressive nor confrontational, but tactful
  • recognise that certain misbehaviour is caused by tiredness, attention seeking or simply frustration
  • reassure a misbehaving child by ensuring they understand that it is their actions which are unacceptable, and not them
  • remove children from any stressful situation and comfort them if distressed for any reason
  • provide a formal complaints procedure for parents
  • ensure that all staff are familiar with all aspects of the child protection act

Complaints

Sunhill Daycare welcomes all comment which assists in improving the quality of care of children attending our nurseries, including the service provided to their parents – our customers.

Our nursery managers are generally capable of resolving quickly most parent concerns, however if parents feel they need to take the matter to a higher level, an experienced Customer Support Manager is on hand to deal with more intricate issues. All registered daycare providers are required to maintain a register of complaints received, regardless of whether they are merited, anonymous or upheld. We are pleased that Ofsted has listened to recent representation, and will now only investigate anonymous complaints, including ‘whistle blowing by staff’ if they believe children may be at risk, which we totally support. Otherwise they will refer anonymous complaints relating to national standards to the provider to investigate, and only take it further if dissatisfied with the response. Furthermore, Ofsted now only list complaints in inspection reports if their investigation results in requiring the provider to take action.

It should also be noted that Ofsted do not deal with fee, Free Education  Funding or Nursery Voucher queries, unless relating to compliance with Early Years Foundation Stage.  Fee enquiries should be addressed to your nursery manager, Free Early Education to the Funding Department of your Local Authority, the Nursery Vouchers to the provider used by your company or organisation.

When considering the care of your child, always look at the bigger picture

  • About Us

    Sunhill’s nurseries provide a happy, caring and secure environment for children aged from 3 months, where assisted by professional carers, teachers and peer presence, children rapidly gain confidence, knowledge and ability.

  • Contact Us

    Support Services
    Sunhill Daycare (Europe) Limited
    PO Box 157
    Royston Hertfordshire
    SG8 9WY

    Tel: 01763 247474
    Fax: 01763 243033

    Email: enquiries@sunhilldaycare.com