Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to commonly asked questions by new parents starting their nursery journey.

There is no ‘set’ time for a child to start nursery, but generally children adapt well to the nursery environment and routines from around 6 months old.

Nursery is hugely important in helping support the emotional and social development of children, as well as giving them a safe space to have fun and express themselves, whether through messy play, garden activities or story telling.

Of course! We encourage children to join parents on their visit to Hopscotch so they can see the welcoming and stimulating environments themselves as well as the chance to take part in some activities.

Yes we do. Please see our Funding Section for more information.

At Hopscotch we understand that families have different needs and so we value flexibility. We don’t have any minimum session requirements, however, please note that our Hove Station and Seven Dials nurseries are full day only.

We offer a diverse and nutritious range of healthy snacks at allotted times throughout the day. Our catering provider Little Tums has provided nutritious meals for Hopscotch for over a decade - read more here.

We want to ensure we are flexible for all our families needs and so we are happy for parents and carers to provide packed lunches for their children. We have some guidelines here.

Yes, that's no problem. All of our snacks are vegetarian as standard and for those families choosing Little Tums there is a vegetarian option available.

Yes, that's no problem. We are happy to replace any dairy products in our snacks with healthy vegan alternatives. For those families choosing Little Tums there is a vegan option available.

We have over 35 years of experience in childcare and we understand how to support our children in the early stages of their development. Weaning is such an important part of helping children develop healthy eating habits for the rest of their lives. We work with our parents to ensure smooth transitions from milk or formula to solid foods. We have even run a webinar on the topic with a well-respected local nutritionist.

We take allergies very seriously and we have a robust Food Safety Management System in place across all of our nursery settings. All staff receive allergy awareness training before starting at Hopscotch and staff involved in serving snacks or lunches also undertake further training. We also have special allergy, dietary and medical information boards up in each nursery room to ensure all staff have all important information about our children to hand all the time.

All snacks, milk and even breakfast (for those at nursery before 8.30am) are included in our fees. Little Tums hot lunches and teas are additional extra costs - see here for more information.

Yes - standard Pampers nappies are included in our fees. If you prefer to use other nappies that’s fine but these will need to be provided to us.

Yes - all of our nurseries have gardens and outdoor space. We take our children out every day, whatever the weather. We also organise regular trips out to our local communities for our children and we have also recently launched the Hopscotch Explorers outdoor learning programme. In addition, all our nurseries also have soft play areas which mean our children can have fun with physical play even in the depths of winter!

See here. As a first step we recommend you organise a visit to your preferred setting and our Nursery Management team will advise of availability. You can then register your child here.

We are closed on bank holidays.

No, we are not open at all during the Christmas period. We close on Christmas Eve and we do not reopen until the first working day of the new year.

We aim to provide first-class childcare at family friendly prices and we believe our fees are competitive and fair. You can see them here.

As per our terms and conditions, fees must be paid if your child is absent from nursery for any reason. This includes absence from illness, holidays or other circumstances such as bad weather conditions or transport problems. This also includes time away from nursery due to self-isolation or quarantine, which will be treated like illness.

We have a handy pre-nursery checklist which you can see here. Generally though we suggest a bag which includes a couple of spare pairs of clothes, any comforter that your child might need and any medications too. We will provide bottles and formula for infants.

Your child will be assigned a Key Worker who will be theirs and your main point of contact at nursery. They will ensure you are given specific feedback every day your child comes to Hopscotch. We will also provide a daily update to you via Tapestry every day and a monthly observation which shows your child’s progress. You can also check in with your Nursery Manager throughout the day via Tapestry for an update if that’s helpful.

Hopscotch has a proven track record supporting children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and we have a specialist SENCo at each of our nursery settings. We encourage you to discuss your child’s needs on your visit and we can discuss how we can best support your child and you whilst at Hopscotch.

Hopscotch SEND Policy

Yes - as part of our Safer Recruitment process, all prospective staff are DBS checked before being allowed to commence employment at Hopscotch.

Yes - we aim to have all our permanent staff Paediatric First Aid trained within the first 3 months of them starting work at Hopscotch. Currently over 95% of our permanent staff team are paediatric first aid trained, well beyond Ofsted’s minimum requirements.

We are legally bound by the staff ratios required by Ofsted which are for under 2s - 1:3, 2-3yrs 1:4, and over 3s 1:8.

From September 2023 the legal ratios for 2-3yr olds changed from 1:4 to 1:5. However, at Hopscotch we have continued to implement the 1:4 ratio as we believe this will best support the learning outcomes for the children in our care. However, occasionally due to staff sickness or unexpected absence we might need to utilise these newer ratios.

We encourage you to speak directly to your preferred nursery site to discuss your needs and to see if we can accommodate your child at Hopscotch.

We use the online learning journal Tapestry to record magical moments at nursery, track development and record key milestones. We will provide you with a daily update with an accompanying picture, either of your child or an activity they have been involved in. And you will also receive a more in-depth monthly observation from the team on your child’s progress. You can access Tapestry online or download the app.

We will be switching to Famly in the near future, which is a much more intuitive and all-encompassing platform.

Yes we can give children their medication when it has been prescribed by a doctor or healthcare professional. The medication will need to be clearly labelled with the child’s name, date of birth and must be dated. Unfortunately if this information is not available then we cannot administer medicine to your child whilst they are at nursery.

In certain urgent circumstances, such as when a child has a high temperature or an allergic reaction and parents are not able to quickly come to collect them, we may consider administering over-the-counter medicines like calpol or piriton to reduce any risk of harm to the child. We will always seek further consent from the parents before doing so.

Over 35 years of providing childcare we have developed our own bespoke curriculum which focuses on supporting children to develop into curious, confident and sociable individuals. We offer structured and well-resourced learning environments as well as having a strong focus on physical development through indoor and outdoor play. 

Our nursery rooms tend to focus on creating warm, soft and cosy spaces for our children to be nurtured and developed. As they grow older and move into the preschool parts of our settings, we adopt a more structured approach to learning which emphasises independence and self-sufficiency. We also focus on strengthening social bonds, all with the aim of ensuring our children are school ready when the time comes for them to eventually leave us.

Want to find out more?