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You Ask, We Answer

IF YOU HAVE ANY FURTHER QUESTIONS DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT US:

HELLO@MEPLACE.CO

FEES & ATTENDANCE
No. 1

FEES & ATTENDANCE

What does the deposit cover? Is it refundable?

A deposit is required to secure your child’s place at the MEplace nursery. If you change your mind, this is fully refundable within 30 days after your chosen start date. Otherwise, your deposit will be returned within 30 days after the termination of your contract.
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What attendance patterns do you offer?

At MEplace we offer full-time or part-time attendance. We want your child to get the most out of our programme and that is why we established a minimum attendance requirement of 2 days per week. For the nursery service we offer four different attendance patterns, each with a different monthly rate. For more information, click here.

Can I change my child from part-time to full-time or vice-versa?

We understand that family circumstances can change fast. Although we are happy to accommodate for any changes, these will be subject to availability and will usually require a 2 month notice period.

Why do you have a 12 month minimum contract?

We ask parents to sign a 12 month contract as we are not a seasonal childcare facility. This also prevents disruptions in the group dynamics developed.

Why are you more expensive than other local nurseries?

Research has suggested that teachers with higher qualifications are better at establishing quality interactions with children. This is particularly important as the quality of interactions is positively connected with the quality of care provided. At MEplace we ensure that all our teachers have completed an undergraduate degree in a field related to Education, Psychology or the Early Years. On top of this, many of our teachers have pursued postgraduate education in these fields. To attract great staff, we need to pay them accordingly.

 

Additionally, our fees are all-inclusive. Unlike most nurseries, we have included meals, early drop-offs and late pick-ups in our prices.

ADMISSIONS
No. 2

ADMISSIONS

When can my child join?

We are currently accepting applications for 2020 and 2021. Please fill in the form here to let us know when you would like your child to start, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.



We accept children between the ages of 1 and 5.

What is your waiting list policy?

We currently have waiting lists open for October 2020 and September 2021 starts. We review availability monthly and if there is a spot open we will let you know. If you are at the top of the list, we will contact you as soon as a spot opens up, even if it is not for your preferred days. You will then have five days to let us know whether or not you would like to take up the place. If you would rather wait for your preferred days, you will go back to the same place on the waiting list.

Why don't you accept children younger than 1?

Very young babies do not only need a lot of attention and support, they also require specific resources, such as cribs. Providing for this would take up a large portion of our nursery space, as well as running the risk of distracting us from giving the excellent level of care we strive for with older children.

Will my child's sibling have priority?

We do our best to accommodate for siblings, and will give them priority on the waiting list. However, we are unable to guarantee them a space. We advise that you let us know as early as possible if you would like another of your little ones to attend MEplace.

My child is not potty trained - can they attend the nursery?

Absolutely - we do not expect younger children to be potty trained by the time they get to MEplace. We simply ask that you provide two extra changes of clothes, just in case! We will maintain regular communication with parents in order to support them through the potty training process. We know that every child is different, and some will take longer than others to move on from nappies.

What is the "Welcome Process"?

A month before your child is due to start at MEplace, we will begin the Welcome Process. During this process, we will want to learn more about your child, such as their habits, interests and abilities, as well as their health and medical history. Around this time, we will also invite you and your little one to visit the nursery (COVID-19 permitting). This way, they will have the chance to explore the new environment in the calming presence of an adult they trust. Additionally, we will invite you to create an account in the ‘Home’ app from Xplor, which we will use to communicate with you over the coming year.

How does the settling in process work?

We advise that children are introduced to the nursery gradually, over what we call the ‘settling in period’. The main purpose of the settling in period is for the child to get to know the setting, teachers and other children without becoming overwhelmed, thus helping them to feel safer in their new environment. This period is also important for the teachers, as they will use it to get to know your child, their interests and abilities.

 

We plan for a 2-week settling in period, full of activities specially designed to aid the process. For younger children, we recommend starting with one hour a day at the nursery, and gradually increasing this over the course of the two weeks. For older children, we recommend starting with two to three hours. We do, however, understand that this may not be possible for all parents. If your child needs to begin with full days, we will do everything we can to ensure their transition into nursery life is as happy, smooth and stress-free as possible.

 

For more tips on how to help your child adjust to nursery, check the welcome pack!

 

Full fees still apply during the settling in period.

How many year groups does MEplace have?

MEplace has 3 year groups: an under 2's group, a 2-3 group and a 3-5 group. Each age group respects the staff:children ratio mandated by Ofsted: 1:3 for under 2s, 1:4 for 2-3s and 1:8 for over 3s.

SPACE
No. 3

SPACE

Where is MEplace located?

The MEplace nursery is a beautifully designed space in Hackney Wick’s Bagel Factory. For more information, check out our Location.

Can I visit the nursery?

We cannot wait to show you our finished space!

 

If your child is starting at MEplace, you will be invited to visit with them over the preceding weekend in order to familiarise them with the space.

 

In the future, you will be able to visit prior to paying a deposit. However, due to the coronavirus outbreak, we are limiting the number of people who enter the nursery, and are unable to accommodate for this at the present time.

How will the space look?

Our nursery is being designed by 2LG Studio in the style of joyful minimalism.

The space, which has plenty of natural light, will be divided into different zones: a kitchen, sleep area, and 2 learning/play areas. There are also 2 entrances to the space.

Where will children sleep?

Children will sleep in the dedicated sleeping area. This section of the nursery has sound proof walls and no windows, guaranteeing a quiet space for a restful nap. Like the majority of other nurseries, we will be using a specially designed sleep mat and personal pillow, all covered with personal bedding.

What outdoor space will you be using?

At MEplace, we want children to spend time connecting with nature, and will encourage them to spend at least 60 minutes a day out in the fresh air. Our nursery benefits from a safe, private, outdoor space, complete with sensory play structures.

This area has been fully risk assessed and, as our safeguarding policy suggests, children will be accompanied by the Ofsted-recommended number of teachers at all times.

Will you be using CCTV?

Yes, we will be operating CCTV. However, for data protection purposes, this will not be available online, and can only be viewed on a strict need-to-know basis.

How are you sustainable?

Every decision we make, from the paint on our walls, to the playdough we order and the food we eat is made with the planet in mind. We are not perfect, but we try.

FOOD
No. 4

FOOD

What food will you serve the children?

Food is fuel that helps us feel well, think better, look our best and enjoy life to the fullest - it is the fundamental ingredient of a life lived well. We want to provide children at MEplace with healthy food, which is nutritious, organic and fully plant-based. Our menu has been created by a nutritionist at Spring Green, which makes sure our meals meet the needs of growing bodies.

Do you have a sample menu?

You can check our sample menu here.

We will be providing four meals: breakfast, lunch, one snack and a light dinner. There will be a 3 to 3.5 hour break in between meals.

Additionally, children will be given filtered water throughout the day.

Where will meals be served?

There is a dedicated kitchen and dining area for children and adults to have their meals.

How will mealtimes run?

Before a child starts at MEplace, we will have a conversation with you about their eating habits, and try to accommodate them as best we can.

 

Adults and children will sit together at all mealtimes. This will allow conversation to flow, as well as providing an opportunity to share knowledge about the importance of healthy eating.

 

Older children will be encouraged to be independent in feeding themselves, although help will always be offered if deemed necessary. Younger children will, of course, be given help.

 

Each child will have their own dining set, complete with a cup, plates and cutlery.

My child is still on formula - will meals be adjusted to this?

We will be happy to adjust our meals and meal times to your child while the little one transitions from formula to solid food. 

Can my child bring their own food?

Unfortunately, this is not possible. We can only vouch for the health and safety of all the children under our care if we are fully in control of the food provided at MEplace. We take note of every child’s dietary requirements and ensure they are provided with food which meets their needs.

Who provides the food?

We’ve partnered with Spring Green London to provide delicious, organic, plant-based meals. The food is specifically designed to fuel growing bodies and is delivered to our doorstep in vegan packaging every day! Additionally, you can purchase a smoothie from our Smoothie Corner.

My child has a food allergy/intolerance. Will you be able to cater for them?

In the month prior to your little one starting at MEplace, we will have a conversation with you about any allergies or intolerances your child has. This information will then be passed on to Spring Green, who will do their best to accommodate for their dietary needs.

 

Unfortunately, however, we are not able to guarantee against cross-contamination. For example, we will be able to provide nut-free food, but it will have been made in a kitchen that uses nuts.

TEACHING PHILOSOPHY
No. 5

TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

How do you keep children stimulated?

We understand that early childhood is key for future development. It is a time full of opportunities to grow, discover and be inspired. We believe that children are naturally keen to learn and explore; what they need is support and a stimulating environment to help them reach their full potential.

 

At MEplace, children will follow a programme designed by our very own psychologist and centred around 6 pillars: Mind, Body, People, Life, Planet and Fun. Our schedule is carefully designed around the developmental, cognitive and psychological needs of children, and we move between active and peaceful activities, free and guided play, creation and exploration. By doing so, we allow children the freedom to express themselves and embrace their own individuality.

 

Here, we aim to prepare children for the modern world by nurturing their curiosity for life and embracing creativity, all while providing children with the love, care and support they need.

How can I track my child's progress?

We have a very easy feedback process, where teachers share daily observations. Daily feedback will be given and received through Xplor’s ‘Home’ app. This app allows the creation of a secure child profile, where information can be shared between parents and teachers, including medical information, daily observations and photos. Xplor will also be used to book early drop-offs and late pick-ups.

 

For more thorough feedback, you can chat to your child’s teacher at a quarterly one-to-one session.

What can I expect my child to know by the time they leave the nursery?

We hope that by the time children leave us they will have learnt that it is wonderful to be “me”. They’ll know how to respect their bodies and have some healthy habits to sustain them. They’ll be able to express and recognise basic emotions in themselves and others. They’ll be able to listen to others, express gratitude, take initiative and play in a group. They’ll be able to see the beauty in our planet, recognise the care it needs, and keep up with little eco-habits. They’ll know that learning is exciting, joyful and fun, and that they can achieve anything they set their mind to.

How will you deal with the different levels of development present within an age group?

We recognise that all children are unique, and, thus, have made sure there is plenty of flexibility in our activities. Our teachers will get to know the various abilities of every child they work with and adjust their teaching accordingly.

 

Additionally, children learn through interacting with one another. We have planned for a number of mixed group activities, allowing older children to learn to help younger children, and younger children to learn from the behaviours of older children.

 

Deciding to move a child to a different age group will be done on a case by case basis, where we will assess the possible benefit to the child.

How will your curriculum be adapted for children under 2?

Children learn through every relationship and experience they encounter. For younger children, we will focus on providing them with a strong foundation for the future and sharing our values.

 

The activities planned for this age group will still be based around our 6 pillars, but the learning goals and level of guidance will be different. At this age, we will also have a strong focus on sensory exploration and communication, as these are of particular importance for young children.

How will babies be cared for?

Our teachers will pay great care and attention to each child’s unique emotional and physical needs. Teachers will also spend time getting to know both children and parents, establishing strong communication between all parties.

 

Furthermore, the teaching team has worked diligently to adapt our curriculum to the needs of small babies, focusing more upon sensory play and cognitive development.

How will children be supported during sleep time?

At MEplace, sleep time is between 1:15pm to 3:30pm and includes a bedtime story.

 

Each child is unique and requires different support: some children just need someone next to them, others require a special toy, while others need cuddling. Teachers will work with parents to understand each child's habits so their needs are fulfilled.

 

Additionally, from our experience, children go to sleep much faster at the nursery than parents expect.

Why do you focus on social and emotional development over academic advancement?

We do believe that cognitive skills such as literacy and numeracy are extremely important and, thus, are included in our curriculum.

 

However, at MEplace we do have a particular focus on social and emotional development. This is because psychological research strongly suggests that working on emotions and behaviour in the early years is fundamental to adult wellbeing. During the early years, children start to develop their identity: they establish their position in the world, their patterns of behaviour and communication; the connections they create with others will inform their future relationships. By focusing on emotional wellbeing at a young age, we can help children to grow into adults fully prepared to face the challenges of the modern world.

What research is your programme based on?

When developing our programme, we did not limit ourselves to one approach: we take inspiration from many fields and resources. The programme and its 6 key pillars mainly evolved from a combination of the following:

 

1. Scientific research on child brain development (Mind and Body pillars)

 

Developmental and neuroscientific research suggests that relationships play a critical role in a child’s development, including how they construct mental reality and refine emotional regulation. For this reason, we pay great emphasis on building a trustful and secure connection between child and teacher, and upon developing the teacher’s ability to attune with the child’s mental states. This is mostly conveyed in our teacher training and plays a role in forming our Mind and Body pillars. More on this topic can be found in the books of Daniel Siegel, in particular “The Developing Mind”.

 

2. Psychological principles on the development of self and communication with children (Mind and Fun pillars)

 

The way we communicate with a child shapes their development and understanding of themselves. We aim to help children build a strong sense of self, fostering individual growth and understanding. Our approach to this has been inspired by therapeutic psychology. For more information on this, look to the works of Violet Oaklander, particularly “Hidden Treasures” and “Windows to our children”. 

 

At the same time, we prepare the foundation for the child’s emotional intelligence. To do this, we dedicate a lot of time to exploring the world of our emotions, learning how to recognise and communicate feelings through the necessary vocabulary. These ideas, although present in the whole curriculum, are directly addressed in our Mind pillar, as well as heavily influencing our understanding of childhood fun!

 

3. The Finnish approach to early years education (Life, Fun and Planet pillars)

 

In Finland, Early Years education is built upon the theory that children learn through play. This held true to us at MEplace, and we believe it is our role to design and prompt the play that will drive learning.

 

More information on Finland’s Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) can be found online.

 

4. Montessori principles (Life pillar)

 

The fundamental principles of the Montessori Method of Education are also applied in our curriculum. This includes an enriched environment which drives curiosity and exploration, hands-on learning, freedom of expression and choice, respecting the individuality of every child and attentive observation of children's behaviour. 

 

However, unlike in the Montessori Method, we do not leave it up to the child to lead the entire learning process. While we do have time for free play, our activities are developed by our psychologist and led by teachers. This way, while these activities do have space for each child’s individual expression, we can ensure that they get the most out of their time at MEplace.

 

5. The needs of living in the modern world (Life, Body, Mind and Planet pillars)

 

In our programme we address the needs of modern life. We teach focus and concentration through mindfulness, breathing, and yoga activities. We teach healthy living by serving nutritious food and engaging in daily exercise. We help children to connect with nature and engage in eco-friendly behaviours. We do science experiments, and encourage older children to engage with technology. 

 

The modern world underpins our Life, Body, Mind and Planet pillars.

Will children be able to learn any other language apart from English?

We are currently considering providing Spanish lessons, but this is subject to a conversation with parents.

Will children go on any day trips?

At the moment, we do not have any planned trips. Children need time to settle into their new environment and, given the current health crisis, we believe it is better to refrain from taking the children to crowded public places.

 

In the future, we do hope to be able to take the children to Victoria Park. Parents will be notified of this closer to the time.

What kind of artistic activities will children do?

Children will get the opportunity to take part in a wide range of artistic activities. These will have three main purposes:

 

:) Emotional- and self- expression, where children will express the things they feel through a variety of media.

 

:) Development of fine motor skills through activities which incorporate the use of small and accurate movement (such as collages).

 

:) Development of an aesthetic taste through the exploration of different styles, textures, materials and mediums.

 

There will also be dedicated time for musical activities, where children will sing, play simple musical instruments and learn about rhythm.

How will physical activity be incorporated in your curriculum?

As our Body pillar suggests, we pay great care to children's physical health. In addition to the 60 minutes of outdoor activity, we will have time dedicated to physical exercise in our daily Body sessions.

How do you deal with discipline?

We treat all children as individuals and respect their needs and feelings. That is why we always try our best to understand the child and the underlying reason for their behaviour. Children need to feel heard, and communication is key: we express our understanding, let the child live through their emotions, and are always there to reassure, support, and care. When there is conflict between children, we will always step in and facilitate the conversation in order to resolve the conflict and foster exemplary communication. We also understand that boundaries are important for children, so we keep them clear, consistent and age appropriate.

Will you encourage reading?

Yes, there will be plenty of carefully curated books available at the nursery. Children - especially older ones - will be encouraged to spend time reading them.

 

Additionally, sleep time for all ages will start with a bedtime story. This will be longer for older children.

How will older children be prepared for starting school?

Although we will not be holding formal classes on literacy and arithmetic, older children will engage in daily activities which require the extensive use of numerical and literacy skills. Additionally, older children will have more dedicated time for reading and literacy-related activities.

How will you encourage diversity?

One of MEplace's key values is the promotion of diversity and inclusion. We are lucky to be located in London, a city bubbling with people from different backgrounds and cultures which is visible in the composition of not only our student body, but our teaching and HQ teams too.

 

We want to understand the cultural background of each child. Prior to their start date, we will ask parents a set of questions to ensure any and all cultural traditions are respected. Our plant based menu easily fits with all cultural dietary requirements.

 

Additionally, we want to celebrate each child's culture and will be introducing activities where children will hear more about and explore aspects of their friends' cultural background.

TEACHERS & OFSTED
No. 6

TEACHERS & OFSTED

How do you select the teachers?

We recognise the importance of quality relationships between teachers and children. For this reason, we take great care to hire individuals who are not only extremely qualified and have experience caring for children, but who also fit with our ethos and values.

We take great care in selecting our teaching team, and stick to strict criteria. The hiring process is guided by the following three rules:

 

:) Firstly, every teacher and teaching assistant must genuinely love working with children and enjoy their profession.

 

:) Secondly, a teacher or teaching assistant must understand the physiological, emotional, and psychological development of children, and thus be capable of navigating a child’s behaviour according to this knowledge.

Although we provide thorough training to ensure that all our teachers possess and are able to utilise this knowledge, they must have a relevant bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in Education or Psychology, and have undergone these studies for at least 3 years. Teachers must also have relevant work experience and have demonstrated extensive interest in their profession, for example through further training.

 

:) Thirdly, children learn through example. Thus, the personality and behaviour of every teacher is important to us. Our teachers' and teaching assistants' values must resonate with the values of our company.

 

Additionally, we carry out rigorous pre-employment checks on all our staff to ensure their suitability to work with children. We verify their identity, carry out an enhanced DBS check and confirm that they are fit to work.

We also provide training to all teachers in first aid, safeguarding and food safety. Staff will have to complete this training even if they have done so in previous employment.

Are you Ofsted registered?

Our nurseries are registered with Ofsted and strictly follow EYFS guidelines. You can find more information about our Ofsted registration here.

 

If you have any questions about Ofsted, please do not hesitate to email hello@meplace.co

CORONAVIRUS
No. 7

CORONAVIRUS

What daily precautions will you take to limit the spread of coronavirus?

* Please do not visit the nursery if you or anyone in your household has been experiencing coronavirus symptoms, tested positive, or has been told to self-isolate by NHS Track and Trace*

Our daily operations will be altered to deal with the threat posed by coronavirus. The following measures will apply:

 

:) We will be operating staggered drop-offs and pick-ups.

 

:) No parents or guardians are allowed inside the nursery. Contractors will only be permitted entry outside of opening hours. 

 

:) Daily temperature checks will be conducted when children, parents and teachers arrive at the nursery.

 

:) Children will change shoes inside the nursery.

 

:) Staff will supervise children while they wash their hands and help younger children and those with special needs to do so. Children and staff must wash their hands regularly, particularly: 

:) when they arrive at the nursery.

:) when returning from breaks.

:) when changing rooms.

:) before and after eating or handling food.

:) after touching their face, blowing their nose, sneezing or coughing.

 

:) Children will play outside in groups of no more than 6.

 

:) Children will be taught how to cough safely.

 

:) We will be rotating books and toys.

What will you do if a child displays symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste)?

* Please do not visit the nursery if you or anyone in your household has been experiencing coronavirus symptoms, tested positive, or has been told to self-isolate by NHS Track and Trace*

:) We will contact the parents/ guardians to collect the child and take them home. The household should follow the guidance for households with a possible or confirmed coronavirus infection. Parents should book a test and inform the nursery HQ of the results as soon as possible.

 

:) While awaiting collection, the child will be isolated from others. A teacher, wearing appropriate PPE, will remain with the child.

 

:) After the child leaves, the area will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before being used by anyone else.

 

:) The child should be taken, by their parent or guardian, for a COVID-19 test. The result of this must be shared with MEplace as soon as possible.

:) If the child’s test results come back negative, they will be able to return to the nursery after being symptom-free for a minimum of 48 hours.

 

:) If the results come back positive, MEplace will work with the relevant government bodies and authorities to provide a swift response and identify close contacts.

 

:) After a positive result, the child will be able to return to the nursery 14 days after the onset of symptoms, and only if fully recovered.

What should I do if a member of the child's household is displaying symptoms of coronavirus?

* Please do not visit the nursery if you or anyone in your household has been experiencing coronavirus symptoms, tested positive, or has been told to self-isolate by NHS Track and Trace*

:) The household should follow the guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus infection.

 

:) The child must not attend the nursery until the household member receives their coronavirus test results.

 

:) If the test comes back negative, the child is allowed to return to the nursery provided they have no symptoms.

 

:) If the household member’s test comes back positive, the family must inform the nursery as soon as possible. The child must not return to the nursery for at least 14 days from the onset of the household’s member symptoms, even if the child has no symptoms themself.

 

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