Esklets Playgroup

About Us


We hope that your child will enjoy their time with our group and that you will feel confident and happy with our pre-school provision.


Our Vision

All children attending our setting have the right to learn and develop to their full potential, in a stimulating environment in which they feel safe, secure and happy. They develop best when they have free access to a stimulating environment both inside and outside where they can learn through play and real experiences. They have a right to expect all the adults in our setting to be knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and to provide an environment in which all their learning and development needs are met. We want all the children to be valued for who they are and for what they can achieve.

Our Core Values for high quality experiences for young children

Play is the most important activity for our young children. Play is the means by which children grow physically, intellectually and emotionally, by building upon their first-hand experiences.
The environment should be planned to provide children with experiences which have meaning to them and are led by the child. All areas of learning should be offered through a wide range of holistic experiences, both active and calm.

Children should be able to play freely both outside and inside. Both areas should work together to provide a well-designed, well-organised, integrated environment between which children can move freely. The design and planning of the environment should support developmentally appropriate practice and be driven by the children’s interests and needs.

The outdoor and indoor environments should both be dynamic, flexible and versatile places where children can choose, create, change and be in charge of their play environments. The spaces themselves as well as the resources, layout, planning and routines should all be versatile, open-ended and flexible to maximise their value to the children.

Both inside and outside environments should be full of interesting stimuli, contexts for play, exploration and talk, real experiences and contact with the natural world and with the community. In particular the outdoor area offers children many opportunities to experience the real world, do real tasks and have first-hand experiences.

The outdoor area and curriculum should harness the special nature of the outdoors and to offer children what the indoors cannot. Outdoors children can have the freedom to explore different ways of ‘being’, feeling, behaving and interacting. They have more space to be active, interactive, messy, noisy and to work on a larger scale than indoors. They also should have real contact with the natural world, with the elements and the seasons.

Young children need practitioners who will support them in all aspects of their learning and development. They must have a sound understanding of how children learn and develop to enable them to effectively support child-led learning. Practitioners must be able to recognise children’s learning, support this learning, build upon it and help children progress. Practitioners must support children in their development of the characteristics of effective learning.

Practitioners should be able to support children’s emotional development. The care practices of practitioners will ensure that children are helped to feel emotionally secure and to be physically, mentally and emotionally happy. This will be enacted by operating a key person system in which practitioners build relationships with children and their families. Practitioners will form close, loving and trusting relationships with the children to enable them to feel secure, allowing them to develop in confidence, self-esteem and a positive sense of well-being.

Practitioners should use skilful observation and assessment together with their knowledge of the child to plan an educational programme which helps them learn and develop effectively. Practitioners should do this by working in partnership with parents, engaging them in their children’s learning and development. Practitioners should help parents share what they know about their children and keep them informed about their child’s progress and achievements.

Practitioners will demonstrate high expectations of children and will have a positive and enthusiastic attitude helping to enthuse, engage and motivate children.

Esklets actively promotes the fundamental values of democracy, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths or beliefs.  We interpret this in regard to the age of our very young children as meaning that the children learn right from wrong, learn to take turns and share and that the adults will challenge negative views and stereotypes.

We are a community based, non-profit making organisation, registered with the Charities Commission. We are a member of the Pre-school Learning Alliance and the North Yorkshire Early Years Partnership (with the local Education Authority). We are also registered with OFSTED, (our OFSTED report is available to read – please ask the staff)

At our last inspection in July 2015 Esklets was judged to be

‘Good’ with some outstanding areas.


Monday: 9am till 12noon

Tuesday: 9am till 3.15pm

Wednesday: Closed

Thursday: 9am till 3.15pm

Friday:9am till 3.15pm

On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays the lunch slot in the middle is covered by staff and a charge of £2.50 will be made. Children bring their own packed lunches on these days and join staff to eat them.

Children cannot be left at playgroup before 9.00am and should be collected promptly at 12noon or 3.15pm as appropriate.


Esklets Playgroup is a member of the North Yorkshire Early Years Partnership. This means that the government funds 15hours per week, of free care and education for all children starting the term after their 3rd birthday. This can be split between no more than 2 settings. 2 year olds whose family receive one of the following are also eligible to receive a funded place:

Ÿ Income support

Ÿ Income based jobseekers allowance (JSA)

Ÿ Income related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Ÿ Support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act.

Ÿ The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit.

Working families tax credit.

Ÿ Child Tax credit (but not working tax credit) and have an annual income not over £16,190.

Ÿ The Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit.

Ÿ Some 2 year olds with a designated Special Educational Need and ‘Looked After’ children will also qualify.

To find out if you can apply for a funded place or request an application form contact: NYCC Families Information Service (FIS) 0845 6011 630. FIS will check the application and inform you by letter whether or not you are eligible alternatively you can apply online by visiting the NYCC website and clicking on the ‘resident’ tab the proceeding to early years education.


Children aged 2,3 and 4 who are not in receipt of free funding – Fee is £13 per session payable at the start of every half-term.

The playgroups income is made up from fees paid by parents, the government funding and any fundraising. From this we have to pay all expenses; rent, electricity, water, telephone, insurance, resources and wages. This means that we need occasionally to supplement our income by fundraising..


Esklets Playschool works in partnership with parents to provide care and education for their children. As part of this working partnership parents can be involved in a range of activities within the pre-school. These include:

Ÿ Opportunities to be involved in planning the next steps in the care and education of their child.

Ÿ To take part in outings with the group.

Ÿ To be involved in the general management of the setting.

The playschool belongs to you. Esklets Playgroup is run as a charity and is managed by a parent management committee.

The parent management committee.

All parents of children attending the group are eligible to be members of the committee. As the group is a charity it is required to run in accordance with a charitable constitution which requires the formation of a parent committee who are, in effect, the trustees of the group. The committee is responsible for the following:

Ÿ Providing accommodation

Ÿ Providing equipment

Ÿ Employment and appraisal of staff

Ÿ Reviewing policy and practice

Ÿ Finance management

Ÿ Health and safety

Ÿ Fundraising

A list of the current committee can be found posted on the notice board.

Regular committee meetings are held to which all parents are welcome.

Your support is both welcome and valued. It must be stressed that without parents attending committee meetings the group would not exist. We depend upon ALL parents to attend committee meetings wherever possible. Although we receive some funding from the government we are not a school nursery, we are a voluntary organisation which is dependant upon the support of parents and carers, so please try to become involved.


Recording Achievement – The ‘I Can’ corner.

Esklets is part of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) of education which plans a curriculum to help us meet the individual interests and development of each child. Each child is unique with their own interests, communication style and learning style. To be able to plan our curriculum successfully we need to assess and review your child’s progress regularly. We like to adopt an open approach to recording achievement and to work in partnership with parents and the children themselves. This allows us to work together to support and extend children’s learning and development.

We have set up an ‘I can’ corner at playgroup. Here each child has their own folder which contains their initial profile, work done by the child, and a scrap book which contains a profile of the child’s time with the group (learning journey). The profile contains photos, staff observations and examples of the child’s work to record their achievements, as well as any assessments of their progress. We encourage parents to add their own contributions to their child’s records, either by photographs, filling in the shared information sheet at the front of the book or by telling staff so that they can record the achievements in their profile. Parents are also invited to read and comment on each of their child’s learning stories. Each child’s folder is handed to their parents when they leave the group and can then be shown to the staff at their new school, as well as creating a nice keepsake for the parents. Parents are encouraged to take the folders home at any time to show to other family members. We hope that we can work together to provide the best for your child.



Many of our activities are messy and although aprons are worn clothes may get marked. Therefore please do not send children in ‘best clothes’ or clothes which may not be easily washed. Clothes marked by paint or glue should be soaked in cold water prior to washing.

Dropping off and collecting children

Children should always be dropped off and collected by a named adult. Children should be signed into the setting on the ‘arrival/departure sheet in the reception area at playgroup (worktop in front of the cooker). Parents must also write who is to collect the child that day even if they intend to do so themselves. Children should be signed out of the group in the same way. The sheet also contains a section for visiting adults to sign in and out of the setting. The playgroup registration form asks you to list all adults who may collect your child. We would ask you to always close all gates and doors on entering and leaving playgroup. This is very important to maintain a secure environment. Please also close the metal gate across the road.

Passwords: If you have an emergency and neither yourself, nor your named representative, can collect your child, then you can phone the setting and inform us that a given person will collect your child and that they will know a password (a word chosen by yourself) which you will then tell us. Only someone with your approval would know the password.

Notice board and newsletters

These contain information for parents and carers and we would appreciate it if you could find time to read them. If you have anything you would like to put in a newsletter or on the board, e.g. toys for sale, then please tell us.

The notice board has information about the term dates, trips out, the local schools, village activities etc.


Parents are usually invited to accompany their children. These are a social event for everyone and provide the children with valuable experiences. Please try and join us. Any ideas for outings will be gratefully received. Information about forthcoming outings will be given in the monthly newsletters and on the notice board as well as being posted on the web site.

Borrowing books

We operate a ‘library system’ by which children can take home a book from our book corner to share with an adult at home.

Stay and play/help

If you have any special talents, such as playing an instrument, dancing, baking, or sewing, please tell us. We welcome any parent who wishes to stay and help during a session. An extra pair of hands is always welcome as an interested adult is the children’s greatest resource.

Junk materialsf

We always welcome any empty packaging, cards, shoe boxes, large boxes, yoghurt pots, fabric, corks, ribbons, wool, and any other things you think may interest the children. (Kitchen roll tubes rather than toilet roll tubes please).

Safeguarding Children

Esklets has a detailed ‘Safeguarding Policies and procedures designed to protect your child (See policies). Whilst staff will do everything they can to safeguard your child we do work in partnership with parents. Esklets has a ‘Mobile Phone’ policy which covers use of mobile phones, cameras and social networking sites on the internet. During your time with our setting we ask that you leave your phone in the metal box provided at Esklets whenever you stay for a session as a volunteer We ask that you do not take photographs of either your own or any other child whilst they are within our setting.

Cameras/videos can be used on outings and social events provided other parents agree. This will be organized by staff. However we ask that you never post any pictures of children at the setting onto social networking sites such as ‘Facebook’. Parents should not post anything onto facebook, or other internet sites, that could be construed as damaging the reputation of any of our families or of Esklets itself.

Parents should not post anything onto social networking sites which could offend any member of staff or parent using Esklets.

Health and safety.

Ÿ Please could you let us know if your child contracts or is in contact with any infectious illness?

Ÿ We operate an accident book to record any accident which may occur. You will be notified if your child is involved and asked to sign the book. We would contact you immediately should there be any cause for concern following an accident. All our staff have valid emergency first aid certificates.

Ÿ We have fire and emergency procedures posted near the door inside the classroom.

Ÿ We would ask that you make yourself familiar with them. A fire drill will take place once every half term to familiarise both children and adults with the procedure. Our health and safety officer, together with the staff, undertake a regular risk assessment.

Ÿ Collection book – if anyone other than the people named on your child’s registration form is to collect them for some reason please write their name in our collection book and tell the staff. We cannot let children leave with anyone not named by their parents.

Ÿ Packed lunches – we provide nutritious snacks for the children and hope to promote healthy eating within our group. We would ask for your support in this by ensuring that the packed lunches you provide adhere to healthy eating principles. See food and drink policy.


Our aim is to make playgroup a happy place for your child. A place where both you, and your child feel welcome and amongst friends. Many of our children start at the age of 2 years. Our arrangements for settling children are flexible and vary according to the needs of the child. To help your child feel happy, safe and secure may take time, and initially you may have to stay with your child. Please do not feel rushed into leaving your child before they are ready. To help us to understand and care for your child we ask you to fill in a registration form, sign some permission slips, and fill in an initial profile for your child. We will be only too happy to answer any questions you may have. We would also like you to provide us with 2 photographs of your child, to put on their ‘I can’ folder and on our birthday board.


We employ a Manager, Kate Smith, who is responsible for the play and learning of the children.

Kate can be contacted at home (01287 669607)

Kate has a level 3 qualification, the Diploma in Pre-school Practice, which meets the national standards for sessional childcare. She has also attended a variety of training courses provided by the North Yorkshire Early Years Partnership, Staff attend such training courses regularly to ensure that they keep up to date with current ideas in early years education. We also employ 5 assistants;

Ÿ Alison Hodgson – Level 3 in childcare and education.

Ÿ Robbie Wilson – Level 2 in childcare and education

Ÿ Rachel Todd – Level 3 in childcare and education.

Lizzie Watson – is a qualified teacher who has worked in infant classrooms as well as a nursery.

Ÿ Kate,  Rachel, Robbie and Alison also have a certificate in emergency first aid. We regularly review our training needs and take full advantage of training offered by the Local Education Authority.

All staff are registered as ‘a fit person’ to care for young children with OFSTED, having undergone an enhanced police check through the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly known as CRBs).

Three staff are employed each session.  This exceeds the requirements of the National Standards.


If you need any further information please contact Kate, 01287 669607 or look on our web-site

01287 660173