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Hempsted Playgroup Prospectus

Welcome to Hempsted Playgroup and Toddlers


Opening Times


Pre-School:     Monday and Thursday                  09.00 – 3.00

Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday                          09.00 – 3.00


Our Setting

Hempsted Playgroup and Toddlers is located within the grounds of Hempsted Primary School.

The playgroup consists of a single storey building with one large airy room, separate adult and child toilets, and a kitchen. Playgroup also has a safe, enclosed outdoor play area. Hempsted Playgroup is registered for 24 children in each session and is open for 38 weeks of the year to coincide with Hempsted Primary School term dates.


Our Aim is to provide a safe and happy environment where children can experience stimulating play. It is through play that children learn and develop social skills such as sharing, negotiating, taking turns and communicating with others. We do our best to fulfil these objectives through a broad range of activities.


We are a community playgroup, which is run by an annually elected committee of parents who employ the playgroup staff and are responsible for all aspects of managing the Playgroup. The committee is elected by its members, who are parents of the children attending playgroup – if you are interested in joining the committee please speak to any member. We hold regular committee meetings where all the decisions pertaining to the playgroup are made. All committee meetings and the AGM are open to all and we welcome any input to help with the running and enhancement of the Playgroup experience. All committee members have undergone DBS checks at the enhanced level (DBS Criminal Records Bureau)


Safeguarding statement

Hempsted Playgroup and Toddlers is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people, and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.


Committee Members are:

Chair Person                           Paula Overthrow

Secretary                                 Laura Knight

Treasurer                                 Gemma Bate

Committee Member              Charlotte Hammerson, Laura Joule, Ella Johnson-Manley


Playgroup is a member of the Gloucestershire Playgroup and Toddler Association (PATA) and is a registered charity. Hempsted Playgroup is regulated and inspected by OFSTED to ensure that we operate in accordance with the National Day Care standards.

Playgroup Staff


Playgroup employs a team of experienced and friendly staff with a range of relevant childcare qualifications. All staff members hold or are training for recognised qualifications in Early Years and have up to date first aid, child protection and food hygiene training.


Sharon Johnson

Sharon is our playgroup leader.She qualified in November 2005 after completing her level 3 Diploma in Pre-School Practice. She holds a level 4 Higher Diploma in Early Years which was completed in 2013. She is the DSL (Designated Safeguarding Lead) and the lead Behaviour  person. Sharon is also a SENDCo (Special Education Needs & Disabilities Co-ordinator)

Jane Knight

Jane is a level 3 practitioner.  Qualifying in her level 3 Children and Young People Work Force. Jane is deputy play-leader. Jane is our communication and language lead.

Amy Bullock is a level 3 practitioner. Amy is also our SENDCo, Health and Safety Officer, Fire Marshal.


Holley Johnson-Manley joined us in September 2019. 

Holley has completed her Level 2 Diploma for the Early Years Practitioner and will be starting her level 3 in 2022.



All Staff members have been DBS checked and the leader’s/ deputy’s suitability have been checked by OFSTED. In addition, all staff members are encouraged to pursue their continuous professional development by attending regular training courses and they also receive annual performance appraisals and supervision meetings.


Playgroup operates a staffing ratio of 1:4 for children aged up to 3 years and 1:8 for children aged 3-5 years, in accordance with OFSTED requirements.




Hempsted Playgroup and Toddlers operates an equal opportunities policy and we aim to provide an environment that promotes and reflects cultural and social diversity and is equally accessible to all. Children are admitted to playgroup at the age of 2 years and 9 months, providing that the space is available to them, and at the discretion of the Committee. We have an admissions policy.


Waiting List

We will endeavour to give every child a space at Playgroup whenever possible. If Playgroup is at capacity then children are allocated places from the waiting list, the criteria for which are as follows:


Pre-schoolers will get priority

Dependant on the length of time they have been on the waiting list.


Please note that attendance at Playgroup does NOT give any preference to admissions into Hempsted Primary School.


Preliminary Visit

Parents and children are invited to visit the Playgroup at any time during opening hours. You will have the opportunity to look around, see the children play, speak with staff, and raise any questions which will be answered. During the visit you may register your child with the Playgroup or contact us at a later date if you wish. We cannot offer your child a space until the admission form has been completed and returned to us.


Links with Hempsted Primary School

Playgroup has strong links with Hempsted Primary School who we join for various activities throughout the year, such as attending reception assemblies in the school hall and joining in with Sports Day. The school also allows us to participate in various fund raising activities, such as allowing us to have a stall or bouncy castle at their barbecue, or letting us hold cake sales for the school community after school, on the school drive.


Playgroup staff work closely together with the Reception teachers in making the transition for school as stress free as possible for you and your child. If your child is going to attend Hempsted Primary School then they will benefit from getting to know their fellow classmates throughout their time in Playgroup. In addition to this, during the Summer term before they start school the pre-school children also enjoy trips to visit the reception classroom, meet their teacher and familiarise themselves with the classroom layout and find where the toilets are located etc. They also practice the routine of bringing their lunch bag to Playgroup and changing their clothes for PE. We hope that by the time the children leave us these experiences will allow them to be independent, happy and confident in their transition to school.


Arrival and Departure during the Playgroup day


We ask that the children are dropped off on time in the morning so that we can be sure that the correct ratios of staff to children are maintained.


We also ask that you please collect your children promptly at the end of the session. If you are going to be late please telephone us as soon as possible in order that we may reassure your child. If you need someone else to collect your child at home time you must tell us when you drop your child off in the morning. If there is an emergency and your child needs to be collected at short notice, by somebody else, we ask that you telephone us first and we will only release the children to adults designated on their admission form.


All children must be signed in and out at the exact time of entering and leaving Playgroup.


Pegs and Drawers

Your child has a picture on their coat peg on which to hang their coats, lunchboxes and other belongings. They also have a named drawer in which they will put their paintings, drawings and other creations. Please ensure you empty their drawers regularly.


Settling In

Parents of children new to Playgroup MUST be willing to stay with their child during their first session and any subsequent sessions that may be necessary until your child has settled into playgroup – we do have a Settling in Policy.


The Penny Pot Fund

Playgroup operates a “Penny Pot” fund for voluntary contributions. Children decorate and name an old photo film case for you to put in any loose change which you may have at home. The children then bring this ‘Penny Pot’ to Playgroup with them each time they attend. The money you donate in this way helps us to buy extra items for playgroup activities such as cake ingredients, paint, sticking resources and toys.



Playgroup provides a healthy snack during each of the sessions, which consists of a selection of fresh fruit and a carbohydrate based food such as a plain biscuit, cracker or slice of toast and milk or water. We do also offer other snacks during cultural festivals to reflect diversity. All children’s special dietary needs and allergies will be catered for. Please ensure you note such requirements on your child’s admission form.

There is a voluntary contribution of £5.00 every half term.


Please ensure you bring a drink for your child (preferably water) in a named drinks bottle which your child will recognise, as children need to be able to help themselves to water throughout the session.


Lunch boxes

If your child is staying for lunch, please provide a nutritious lunchbox. Our policy is that lunchboxes should contain NO NUTS, SWEETS or CHOCOLATE BARS. If your child has a food allergy, please ensure this is recorded on your child’s admission form.


Playgroup routine


Children are encouraged to choose their own activities to develop their independence and self esteem. The children choose whether to play indoors or outdoors and have free access to all areas throughout the session.


Various activities are available:


Play dough and other malleable materials

Painting and Gluing

Sand and Water Play

Small World Models such as Farm / Dolls House / Garage and Train track

Construction Activities such as Marble Run, Lego and Linking Elephants

Mathematical Activities

Role Play – either in the home corner or other themes set up such as Doctors / Travel Agents / Post Office etc.


09.00 -                     Arrival and circle-time registration

09.20 –                    Structured/Free play activities

10.20 –                    Tidy up time

10.30 -                     Circle time

10.45 -                     Snack time

11.00 –                    Free play/outdoor play

11.50 -                     Tidy up time

12.00 –                    Home time for morning children

12.30 –                    Lunchtime

01.15 -                     Reading Books in groups or looking at books individually

01.30 –                    Structured activities

02.30 -                     Tidy up time – Story time

03.00 -                     Home time.


Afternoons are structured for pre-reception children, with activities suggested by the children as well as adult initiated activities.


Outside Play

Children are encouraged to play outdoors in ALL weathers, so please ensure your child wears clothing that is suitable for all weathers. They have free access to the outdoor area during every session with staff supervision.


The Early Years Foundation Stage 2021


The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) principles set the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five. They are grouped into 4 themes:


A Unique Child – every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self assured.

Positive Relationships – children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a key person.

Enabling Environments – the environments play a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.

Learning and Development – children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates, all areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected.


These four guiding themes work together to underpin effective practice in the delivery of the EYFS. They describe how we will meet the individual needs of all children from birth to five and support their development, learning and care, which will help them to get the best possible start in life.  The EYFS framework is put in place to support all professionals who work in the EYFS to help your child.


In September 2021 the framework was revised and changes were brought about to make it clearer and easier to use. The new framework also highlights the importance of the role that parents play when helping their child to develop.

There are 7 areas of learning. 3 prime areas, Communication and language, Physical development and Personal, social and emotional development. The prime areas are the principal subjects for development and future learning. As children mature and grow, the prime areas will help them to improve their skills in the 4 specific areas, which are: – Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the world and Expressive arts and design. The Characteristics of Effective Learning are used to describe how children learn rather than what they learn, playing and exploring, active learning, creating and thinking critically.

These areas will help to provide the knowledge and information that will be used to support your child in their learning and activities, ensuring that each child’s unique needs are met.


On-going formative assessments will be carried out in all aspects of our early years practice. Observations, assessment and planning are at the heart of what we do, in order to support the children with their learning and development.  Progress checks are carried out between 24 – 36 months, they provide information to share with parents, colleagues and other settings. Development Matters overviews are used to help make best-fit judgements, these show whether a child’s development is normal, at risk of some delay or ahead for their age.


We will promote positive attitudes to diversity and difference within all children. By doing this we will help them to learn to value different aspects if their own and other peoples lives. This includes making sure that all children and families feel included, safe and valued; that all children and adults are treated as individuals and are not discriminated against and that all children are listened to and respected.

Key Person System

The Key Person System means that a member of staff will be assigned to each child and their family. Planning their individual care, development and requirements based on the areas of learning, using ongoing observations and summative assessments through play-based activities. This system helps the child to settle into playgroup and also gives parents a first point of contact with the staff. There is a large board that has all members of staff on it and their key children, thus enabling parents to see which member of staff their child is with.

Every child will also have a learning journey folder which is a shared document. This details individual activities your child has taken part in and what learning has taken place within the activity. The children also have various pictures in their learning journeys.

We welcome parents comments and would ask that you feel free to write in the learning journeys about what you have read. It is also a chance for you to talk about the activities that your child is engaged in, with your child, and to ask them what they were doing.

We value all input from parents and children which is put into this folder of any observations or achievements made at home. These observations help staff plan for next steps in your child’s learning.

Your child’s summative assessments and Learning Journey folders are confidential, but you are very welcome to read or add to your child’s documents. Please ask your Key Person for them at any time

Please inform staff of any changes or events which may affect your child, so that the staff are able to respond appropriately.


Working together with parents


Parents are children’s first, and most important endearing educators, therefore we feel that your input is vital for your child’s learning. You are more that welcome to look through your child’s file and give your own input into their file of any achievements your child may have made at home. If you have any ideas of activities that you could bring into our setting then please let us know. We plan on a daily basis for each child’s individual needs and interests, and this is recorded in the planning book for you to see.


You are welcome to look at the plans we have for each term – these are always presented on the Parents Notice Board.


Stay and Play

You are very welcome to see how your child interacts at playgroup at any time. This stay and play session is a good opportunity to see how playgroup runs, and discuss your child’s learning and development. Please let a member of staff know when you would like to stay. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and other family members are also very welcome to stay.


Parents/ Committee Notice Board

We have a notice board that contains various points of interest and reference for parents and carers. It contains such information as the names of staff members and Committee members along with their photos. We always have minutes of the last Committee meeting posted here, as well as copies of the parent rota. The latest Playgroup newsletter and School Newsletter, a list of contagious diseases and each child’s appointed key person can be found on this notice board. 

General Points to Remember

It is important that children wear comfortable clothes suitable for play activities. Aprons will be worn for messy activities, but we advise old clothes to be worn.


We believe it is important for children to have access to the outdoor play area throughout the year. During the summer months we ask parents/carers to provide sun hats and apply high factor sun cream to their child before attending. During the winter months, a warm coat, gloves, hat and Wellington boots will be required.


Please encourage your child to be independent with clothes, i.e. shoes, coat, gloves. It is also helpful if you send your child in clothes that can be easily removed for using the toilet as this will encourage independence and confidence; belts and buckles can be difficult. We have a supply of spare clothes that are used in cases of accidents, we ask that you wash and return them as soon as possible in this event.


Please label all bags, coats, drinks bottles, sun-hats, gloves, scarves etc as no responsibility can be accepted for the loss of personal property brought onto the premises by children or their parents /carers.



For Safety reasons, in order to comply with Hempsted Primary School rules, parents are requested to NOT park on the school driveway, but to park safely outside the school gates i.e. NOT on the yellow zigzags or double yellow lines.


Please show respect for our neighbours by not parking in front of their driveways.



We are committed to maintaining the health and wellbeing of all children, staff, volunteers and visitors. If your child becomes unwell during a playgroup session, you will be informed immediately and asked to collect your child. Please refer to our Sickness Policy.


A list of common illnesses and their associated contagious periods is posted on the parents’ notice board. We follow local authority guidelines concerning the exclusion of children suffering diseases. If any infectious disease is detected on playgroup premises, we will inform parents/carers as well as Ofsted, whilst maintaining the infected child’s anonymity.

If your child is unwell – please DO NOT bring them to playgroup and inform us as soon as possible.



All Children’s records are confidential and whilst on rota duty, any and all observations of the children made by the parent helper must remain confidential .Please refer to our Confidentiality Policy.



Fees are £15.00 per 3hr session until your child becomes eligible for the Nursery Grant, which occurs from the beginning of the term following their 3rd birthday.


Fees will be subject to review each July and will come into effect from the beginning of the following academic year, which starts in September.

Achieving 2 year old Funding – This funding is available for children from the age of 2. Parents will need to contact the Family Information Service to find out eligibility.

Nursery Grant – Free for 3and 4 year olds

Nursery Grant is received for those children who are eligible, at which point the child is entitled to a free placement for the 15 and 30hrs per week at one or more setting, then top up fees are structured in accordance with the shared funding policy as detailed in a separated document, which is available upon request.



Invoices will be issued at the beginning of each term and are payable within 7 days of the invoice date. If you have any difficulties with paying, please speak to our Playleader {Sharon) or treasurer (Gemma).

We accept childcare vouchers.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Gloucestershire PATA (Playgroup and Toddler Association) operate a Playgroup Access Fund for families on low income – please speak to the Treasurer for further details.

Four weeks written notice is required to end your contract with Playgroup or to make a reduction in sessions. If the correct notice is not given, then four weeks fees will be payable in lieu of notice.

Absences and Holidays

Full fees need to be paid even if your child does not attend through sickness or occasional days off. Absences are non refundable.

Please refer to our Fees Policy for any further details.



A full, up to date copy of all our policies and procedures is available on our web site. Paper copies are available on request, and can be translated into your home language. You are requested to read the policies and sign to say that you have read and understood them.


Please adhere to our policies at all times


How to contact us


In writing:  

                                                                                                                                                                          Hempsted Playgroup and Toddlers                                                                                                         c/o  Hempsted C of E Primary School                                                                                                       St. Swithun’s Road                                                                                                                                         Hempsted                                                                                                                                                       Gloucester                                                                                                                                                     GL2 5LH


By telephone:           01452 500040


By e-mail:       




Find us on Facebook. Hempsted Playgroup

We hope this prospectus answers any questions you may have, but if you are in any doubt please do not hesitate to contact us.

We look forward to you joining our Playgroup, and we will do all we can to make your experience of Hempsted Playgroup and Toddlers one to remember with good memories.

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