About Us

Founded in 1983 Hexton playgroup has always been a special place to be. Set in St Faiths Community Centre inside the historic church, it nestles in the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside.
The Community Centre among many other benefits, offers a vast amount of floor space for the children to move about freely. Some call it ‘the playgroup in the fairy castle’. It is indeed a very magical place for the children to be.
Our playgroup is small with a maximum of twelve children per session. Each child has their own key worker.
We believe that children beginning their journey of learning and experience away from home flourish in a small group. This allows the children to discover who they are and develop gently, in their own way, at their own pace.
We adhere to the early years foundation stages of development, and help the children to learn life skills such as respect for each others differences and awareness of the feelings of others. We achieve this by giving the children support from all staff , by having discussions and by utilizing resources such as display boards and books.
The children learn the skill of making good decisions and the importance of rules. We help them understand the impact their actions have on others and subsequently how to modify their behaviour when needed.
We believe that children in small groups flourish by not having to be an extrovert to be seen and heard. We believe that they should be able to develop in all areas, in their own unique way, as the special beings they are.
This enables them to tackle groups of any size by the time they leave us, with confidence and ease, feeling comfortable with who they are.
We include these values daily in all our interactions with the children. Children need to be children.
We work closely with all our parents and ask that these values be reinforced at home. If any parent is unsure we encourage them to speak to us and ask for any help we can give.
WALKS IN OUR COMMUNITY
At Hexton playgroup we are in a privileged place that enables us to embrace the countryside and community around us. We use the local wooded area for walks, activities (including giraffe spotting), stories and adventures. We are able to enjoy and discover the natural world as the seasons change.
We sometimes walk to the local tea room where a table is reserved for us. The children are greeted by Gail (the proprietor of the Lavender tea room) and we all enjoy a homemade snack on bone china plates. All the children are given money to pay for their ‘meal’ before we leave and wave goodbye to Gail.
Occasionally we visit the local shop ‘Country Matters’ where we are greeted by Helen. Helen will show us any new additions ‘babies’ in her small holding (bunnies, puppies, kittens, lambs etc). Sometimes we will stay for a story before it’s time to walk back to playgroup. Such a happy and contented group, the children love it and so do we.
STARTING HEXTON PLAYGROUP
We know how vitally important the first step away from home is for both parent and child, and how emotionally difficult it can be.
A successful first transition is so important as it will have an impact on all new beginnings in the child’s life. Keeping this in mind we recommend a flexible settling in period and work with parents to make the transition as gentle and as positive as we can.
We feel privileged to welcome your children into our playgroup. We know we have such an important influence on their young lives, which will also impact on their future journey’s in life. They are indeed each and everyone a unique little miracle. Out of little acorns, great oaks do grow.
CHOOSING YOUR PLAYGROUP/PRE-SCHOOL
We advise when choosing the right place for your child you visit more than one setting. Do not just opt for the one closest to you. Arrange a visit and make an informed choice.
You will get a good idea by looking around and talking to staff. Listen and watch how staff interact with the children and each other.
A playgroup may look brilliant in terms of decor, have a brilliant website, however it’s what goes on within those walls that matter! Read testimonials, talk to parents, talk to staff and ask questions. Your child is unique and special and deserves the best!
STAFF
We have highly experienced and professionally qualified staff including NVQ Level 3 in childcare learning and development, NNEB certificate in nursery nursing, course of practical and theoretical training, Pediatric first aid, Epipen training, SENCO training, Safeguarding and designated safeguarding certificates.
As early years educators, the staff constantly update their training to ensure they are always following current legislation and use any new ideas to provide an excellent early years education for the children.
We also have ‘Lola’ our playgroup dog who holds certified qualifications and ID badge from Pets as therapy (PAT). Her special qualities are being kind, gentle, patient and tolerant. Lola also ‘knows’ who needs her ‘help’. She has helped many children including one with dog phobias. Lola is a very regular visitor and is used in our teaching. We all adore her!
PLAYGROUP COMMITTEE
We are committee run and a registered charity no 1070254. Our dedicated team includes a chairperson, treasurer and secretary. We hold regular fundraising events and actively encourage parents who wish to join the group. Without which we would not exist.
SESSIONS
Sessions run Monday-Friday term time only.
Drop off between 9-9.15am (to allow an unhurried greeting to all children)
Pick up normally 12.15 (1.15 if staying for lunch club)
Every 3rd Friday of the month pickup is at earlier time of 12pm due to the Hexton Farmers Market.
If the usual parent or carer is not collecting at the end of the session, each child has a unique password. We will not allow a child to leave unless this is given. The parent or carer needs to verbally tell us in advance if somebody else is due to collect the child.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
We have a robust health and safety policy in place. This is adhered to so that each session runs safely. All staff ratios are adhered to and staff have first aid pediatric training. The first aid box is well stocked and checked. We have a fire drill procedure which is practiced at least once a term. Accidents are logged and each parent/carer given a copy, which they sign.
POLICIES
Hexton playgroup has a very comprehensive set of policies which govern how we run. The folder holding these policies is located on the parents table, on the right as you enter the church and is available for you to look at.
FEES
Children attending the playgroup the term after their third birthday are eligible for funding from the local authority. This entitles them to 15 hours per week, anything outside of this is paid for.
Any children attending playgroup before this are subject to fees. The price is £4 per hour.
Sessions run for 3hrs 15mins each day or 4hrs 15mins with lunch club.
TERM DATES
Spring Term 2017

Thursday 5th January-Friday 31st March

Half Term: Monday 13th February-Friday 17th February

Summer Term 2017

Tuesday 18th April-Friday 21st July
Half term: Monday 29th May to 2nd June
Bank holiday Monday 1st May
Inset days: Friday 26th May, Monday 5th June & Monday 24th July
LINKS

Oughton Childrens Centre

https://www.pre-school.org.uk/hitchin-rural-group-childrens-centre

Fundraiser links

Website for ordering name labels and stickers for shoes, clothing etc. Playgroup receive 20% of sales if ID 70289 is used 🙂

www.MyNametags.com (playgroup ID 70289)