Parents Information

We hope you'll find the following information about our nursery useful ...

Opening Hours

We’re open from 7.00am until 7.00pm Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays.

We offer full time and part time sessions to suit your needs. You can book full days or AM or PM sessions. An AM session runs from 7.00am until 1.00pm and includes lunch. A PM session starts at 1.00pm until 7.00pm and includes tea. .

Minimum Booking

The minimum number of sessions your child can be booked into the nursery for, is 2 sessions per week (one session equals either a morning or afternoon half day session). Please note the Minimum Booking rule is not applicable to grant funded sessions.

At Sycamore House we believe that children flourish best when their personal, social and emotional needs are met. This is why we offer FREE settling in sessions for your child before they start nursery life. We believe it’s extremely important for a child to feel safe and secure in the nursery environment before starting permanent sessions at the nursery.

What to expect from your child’s settling in sessions:

  • We’ll start to build relationships with you and your child
  • You’ll be able to meet our team and your child’s ‘key person’
  • We’ll be able to find out your child’s likes and dislikes
  • And what your child’s routine is at home, and any specific requirements you may have such as sleeps, meals and comforters

Our aim is that you and your child feel completely happy before you start permanent sessions with us.


Our Fees and Charges

Our nursery year runs from September 1st to August 31st. We close for one week at Christmas and for all other Bank Holidays.

Our fees are calculated from actual booked attendance, based on the nurseries fee structure. Fees payable are calculated by taking your child’s weekly attendance fee, multiplying this by 51 (the number of chargeable weeks per year), and dividing by 12 to give a monthly payment - which is payable monthly in advance, on the first day of each month by Direct Debit or voucher.


Early Years Free Entitlement For All 3 and 4 Year Olds

All 3 and 4 year old children (and many 2 year olds) are entitled to free childcare here at our nursery, up to a maximum of 30 hours per week.

15 Universal Hours

This free entitlement for eligible 2 year olds and all 3 and 4 year olds is at the heart of the Government’s (and our) vision - for all children to have access to high quality early years provision in order to help them reach their full potential. It offers free provision universally, from the term following a child’s third birthday up until they reach compulsory school age. This free entitlement equates to 15 hours per week, over a minimum 38 weeks of the year, with flexibility over the sessions available to help meet parents’ needs. 40% of children nationally are also entitled to this free care from the term following a child’s second birthday.

15 Extended Hours (total 30 hours of funding)

A further 15 hours is offered to working families for 3 and 4 year olds. You will need to check if you are eligible, but parents can usually get 30 hours childcare if you (and your partner, if you have one) are in work and each are earning at least the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage for 16 hours a week and earn less than £100,000 per annum. Eligibility can be checked at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk.

Tax Free Childcare

Parents can pay fees through a Tax Free Childcare account if they are eligible. For every £8 you pay in, the government will add an extra £2, up to £2,000 per child per year, which is up to £500 every three months. Parents can check online to see what help with childcare they are eligible for at https://www.gov.uk/help-with-childcare-costs/tax-free-childcare.

Please click here to refer to Hertfordshire County Council website for more information.


Tax Credits

Tax credits are available from HM Revenue and Customs, based on your household’s circumstances. You may be able to access help with the cost of childcare if you’re working for a minimum of 16 hours / week. For further information and eligibility, check online at www.hmrc.gov.uk/taxcredits.

Child Care Vouchers

We’re happy to accept child care vouchers from employers who offer this benefit to their employees. Vouchers are non-taxable and exempt from NI contributions for employees, whilst offering NI savings for employers. Both parents are eligible to claim as long as they’re both in employment.


Sibling Discount

If you already have a child at our nursery or if you’re registering a place for more than one child, we offer a 5% discount off your oldest child’s nursery fees when their younger sibling starts.

Please ask at the nursery for more information on any of the above.

OFSTED Report

Ofsted is the ‘Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills’. They regulate and inspect to achieve excellence in the care of children and young people, and in education and skills for learners of all ages.

Ofsted inspect all childcare settings to ensure that they deliver effective support for children through the EYFS. Following an inspection of a setting, the nursery receives a full report documenting the inspector’s findings.

You can view our latest Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills) report here.

If you’d like more information on our childcare philosophy and practice, our standards, and how we do things, then please call in and have a chat with the Sycamore House team, who’ll be delighted to show you round.