Strensall News & Events

Events at Strensall

Strensall’s upcoming events are:

Hopscotch Photography will be at the nursery on September 25th and 26th.
They have created a new and vibrant approach to Nursery photography.

Babies topic this month will be The Jungle and Jungle animals.
Toddlers topic this month will be Farms.

Babies have this month have been focusing on happy days and holidays. Looking at different types of holidays, linking sensory activities, such as sand, water, ball, bubbles, making kites and postcards .
Toddlers have been very creative with their baking this month with fruit pizzas, homemade ice cream and hedgehog bread, yummy!We would like to Welcome David our new goldfish in the Toddler room too, he is becoming very popular indeed!
Preschool have been focusing on outside adventures, science and sport.
One of our favourite songs at the moment is ‘Spider on the floor’. We made a spider’s web with string and chairs.

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:
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’ 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 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.

Babies have been discovering different vehicles through songs with movement and sound in play through songs, through mark making and walks into Strensall village. They are discovering movement through messy and sensory play, using their hands and feet to explore. They will be continuing this topic into June. We are enjoying the sunshine in the garden and all the outside activities.

Toddlers have been busy exploring fruit and vegetables, looking at their different colours, shapes, sizes and using a variety of produce in their baking and activities. The lovely weather has given us lots of time in the garden, including splashing and having lots of fun in the paddling pool. Toddlers are enjoying the new separate Montessori area, where different activities and resources can now be kept. They will also be
starting a dinosaur topic, following the children’s interests.

Pre school  have enjoyed activities about farms this month, chosen by the children at a children’s council session. Learning that different animals give us different types of cheese such as goats, cows and sheep. We tried the different types of cheese and enjoyed baking some cheese scones with them, which where delicious! We have been shown how cows are milked and thoroughly enjoyed our visit of the farm tractor and speaking with the farmer. They have been exploring the topic of life cycles. We have been watching our caterpillars build a cocoon and we are waiting for the butterflies to appear!

The School Council have decided that our next topic will focus on explorers of the world.
We will be able to look at animals, food and weather from around the world.