Moortown News & Events

Events at Moortown

NEWS AND UPCOMING EVENTS AT THE NURTURY

Babies have loved looking at and collecting Autumn leaves on our nature walks. Back in nursery, we have then decorated leaf shapes with tissue paper and autumnal colours and we’ve made a great start on our leaf printing. So whilst this has shown off our creativity, we’ve also been using some finer motor skills and developing finger control. Our hands have been busy!
OUR NEXT TOPIC – will pick up on Halloween and Bonfire Night for more colours, as well as celebrating Diwali. If you can provide any information or lend us any resources to help, we will take good care of everything and extend the babies’ learning even more. Thank you.
Toddlers have had so much fun exploring different ways we can make marks. We have used chalks, paints, crayons. We have had help in the paint from our baskets of animals to make footprints and our cars to make tracks. Our fingers have been mark-making in beds of flour too. So in our Montessori room, we have been using lots of clever ideas to strengthen our arms and fingers ready for writing for the younger toddlers and practising for the older ones. We have also loved our new Sticky Kids CD, when we practice lots of movement and dance moves every day! We are so physical, the staff can’t keep up with us!
OUR NEXT TOPIC: it will be all about the amazing season of Autumn! – the colours, exploring leaves, Halloween and Bonfire Night. Diwali is our exciting festival to celebrate and we are creating a wonderful new photo book. We will need photos from home please, with family members, and this will become a treasured book in our book corner to share and talk about with everyone.
Preschool We are busy working on numbers with the Montessori equipment and activities, including a weekly bake where lots of numbers get used in reading our recipes, weighing out the ingredients and working out how long to bake our produce. Thank you to Tomas from ‘Cross Eyes’ who came and told us all about how we can look after our eyes and let us try on some groovy glasses!
Thank you as well to Laura from Holly House Vets. It’s been great to learn so much during our Pet topic when she came to visit and we got to meet her special guinea pig too. Caring for animals is all our responsibility and we will look after our African Snails even better now! We are continuing to explore the Montessori Practical Life shelves and love our recent cultural additions, the set of fab. What else can we show the children about the world of work they will enter?
NEXT TOPIC: Harvest Festival is our next celebration to plan, alongside our seasonal topic of Autumn.
NEXT MONTH: Shauna has started her Montessori Teacher training; Charlotte took her next First Aid course; and we are all training in Makaton and Autism.

We will close on Friday 22nd December for the Christmas Holidays and reopen Tuesday 2nd January 2018.

30 HOURS EARLY YEARS FUNDING FOR WORKING PARENTS
After a 12 month trial in certain areas across the country, 30 hours’ early years funding will roll out in September 2017 for eligible working parents, doubling the present system of 15 hours. At the same time, a new scheme, Tax-Free Childcare, will also kick off. Both schemes could knock pounds off your monthly childcare bill!
The 30 hour free early years funding system adds to the current 15 hours available to all 3 & 4 year olds. From September, working parents can receive up to a further 15 hours, if you qualify. The checks are:-
– Each parent earning the equivalent of 16 hours on the national minimum wage per week (currently £107 per week). They may work less hours, but the earnings will be of this amount or more.
– Each parent earning less than £100,000 per year
– In a single parent family, these criteria will apply in the same way for that one parent

In a family where only one parent is earning, the proposed eligibility allows for:
• When one or both parent/s is away on leave such as parental, maternal, paternal or adoption leave i.e. their absence is temporary
• When one or both parent/s is on Statutory sick i.e. their absence is temporary
• When one parent is employed and the other parent has substantial caring responsibilities; is disabled or incapacitated based on receipt of specific benefits

You can register through the following link: https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/
You will have to reconfirm your eligibility every 3 months. This is really important as it triggers information to the Local Authority, notifying them of your right to continue with the extra funding. You will be prompted to reconfirm, we are told.
If your employment circumstances change during a 3 month period, there is a ‘grace period’ where your funding continues at the higher rate.
So if you think you are eligible, please get on with your registration as soon as possible. Do not leave it to the last few days, as there is already difficulty registering people and we want to make sure you do receive the extra funding if applicable.

TAX-FREE CHILDCARE
‘Tax-Free Childcare’ will be launched early 2017. There will be some definite changes for parents currently using childcare vouchers, such as the maximum age of a child. You’ll be able to use the scheme for your child up to the age of 12 years (currently 15 years), but up to the age of 17 years if your child has disabilities (currently 16 years).

In terms of money, you will receive 20p from the government towards your childcare, for every 80p you contribute. They say this is the equivalent of the tax most people pay (i.e. 20%), hence their catchy phrase, ‘tax-free childcare’. Their maximum contribution in a year is £2000 for your £8000. If your child has disabilities, the support rises to £4000.

That is more than the maximum of £243 that can be claimed each month by each parent under the present system. You should also consider that the present Childcare Voucher system can only be used by employees, and only if the Employer has joined the scheme. However, there are other things to weigh up with the changes, to make sure what you choose works for you:

The new system requires both parents in the household to be working, or one parent in a single-parent family, in much the same way that the new 30 hours funding system will work. To qualify, parents will have to be in work, and each earning just over an average of £100 a week and not more than £100,000 each per year. The scheme will also be available to parents on paid sick leave and paid and unpaid statutory maternity, paternity and adoption leave.

If you’re in a household where only one of two parents work, you can remain on the current childcare voucher scheme for as long as as your employer offers it. If you’re not on it at the moment, but you prefer it to the new system, you need to start using it. Once ‘tax-free childcare’ begins, the childcare voucher scheme will be frozen to new entrants.

You’ll have an account that you create from following the link at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/ In that account, you will input various details about income and employment which will be checked by the HMRC. You’ll then pay in your contribution, to be added to by the government contribution. Using a drop-down menu, you’ll allocate where your childcare payment goes. You will only be able to use the funds for childcare that is registered officially e.g. through Ofsted.

With your account, you as well as family members, employers, can also pay in, as and when you like. The government hopes this means you can build up your balance when it’s convenient to you, and use it when you may need childcare more than usual eg during school holidays. If you’ve built up a balance and no longer need it, you can withdraw the money… although the government will withdraw their contribution too.

Our Babies have been learning about Spring and baby animals. We made some flowers out of bun cases, used finger painting to decorate butterflies and cotton wool to decorate a picture of lambs. We have also used leaves and flowers we found on our nature walks to do some printing. We have also enjoyed singing number rhyme songs and talking about colours.

Our Toddlers have been talking about Spring and the different changes in nature. Spring colours were a big part of our learning. We have also been looking at our physical development, with lots of walks around the community, looking at the flowers and talking about sunshine, learning about growing plants and have planted some sunflowers ourselves, watering them every day and watching them grow.

Our Pre-schoolers are very excited about their new room. Whilst the large room focuses on all Montessori areas, the new room directs the children’s attention to developing finer skills in these areas. Here, we add more layers to the discovery of maths and language, reading and writing, as well as culture, geography, history and science.
We are fascinated with our cultural topic this month of Turkey. We’re looking at their language, food, families, and country. If you have anything you can add to our discussions, please let us know. We would really appreciate that.

For Our Forest School we now have a fenced off area and are having lots of fun building this up.

If you would like to come and visit us, to learn more about our Montessori ethos, please give us a ring and we will book you in at a time convenient to you. Our telephone number is 0113 268 6141. We look forward to meeting you!