Frequently Asked Questions
WHY CHOOSE LITTLE LAND?
Our mission at Little Land is to provide a safe, caring and stimulating environment where the highest quality education can be given to pre-school children. All of our teachers have either Early Years minimum Cache Level 3 or Montessori teaching qualifications and we also encourage our assistant teachers to study nursery teaching methods. We are pro-active in providing continuing education for all our staff; either by hosting courses at the nursery or by facilitating staff to attend recognised study days. Our vision is to provide an environment that fosters a child’s self-confidence, independence and full potential; creating and developing the leaders of tomorrow.
WHAT DOES NURSERY AND MONTESSORI CENTRE MEAN?
Our nursery section is for children under 2½ years and is staffed by N.N.E.B./EYFS qualified teachers. The children are taught in a traditional nursery environment, with a schedule that includes play with traditional toys such as construction Duplo, stickle bricks, puzzles, cars and trains as well as introducing crafts such as play dough, painting and colouring (freestyle). More physical activities include water play, music and movement, brain gym, role play and exploration of the environment.
The Montessori section is for children who are over 2½ years old in September of the academic year. Montessori is a holistic system of Nursery, Primary and Secondary education devised by Dr Maria Montessori in the early 1900s. She developed a series of equipment and a method of teaching to maximise each child's physical and psychological potential at any stage of their development. She advocated the importance of freedom, preparing an age appropriate environment and following the needs of each child. It is a method of education based on hands-on learning, self-directed activity and collaborative play.
In the class the children are encouraged to complete activities once started and to take responsibility for their classroom. This is done in a child-friendly way. The Montessori classroom is divided into six areas: art, practical life, sensorial, language, mathematics and culture, which includes geography, nature and science.
WHEN CAN WE VISIT THE NURSERY?
We have always operated an open-door policy at Little Land, however due to Covid-19 restrictions, we may now only admit visitors outside of nursery operating hours. You are still welcome to visit us and we ask that you contact our office to make an appointment for a tour.
HOW ARE THE CLASSROOMS DIVIDED?
Early Years Classes Montessori Classes
1. Winnie the Pooh for 1 year plus 4. Daisies for 2¼ – 3½ year olds
2. Little Raindrops for 1-2 year olds 5. Sunflowers for 2½ – 4 year olds
3. Twinkle toes for 2 year olds plus 6. Bluebells for 2½ – 4 year olds
WHAT ARE THE NURSERY'S OPENING DAYS AND HOURS?
We are open from Monday to Friday. Children are always welcome to attend 2, 3, or 5 days per week, and we can occasionally facilitate children with a 4 day place. Those children attending two and three days must attend only on the agreed registered days. Requests for changes should be made to the office for consideration. Should an extra day become available in addition to the agreed registered days taken up, either a daily rate applies or for the remainder of the term the increase in fee will be calculated according to the number of remaining weeks. To maintain our child/staff ratios we are NOT able to offer ‘make up’ days for absence.
Our normal hours of opening are from 8.00 am to 12.30 pm. Whilst Covid-19 restrictions are in place we operate staggered arrival and drop off and pick-up times. Details of these times are available from the office. Please check with the office availability for our early class (starting at 7.30 am) and late class (from 12:45-2:00 pm).
The school holidays coincide with the British schools’ academic calendar. You may find variations as all schools are not the same.
WHAT ARE THE SECURITY AND SAFETY ARRANGEMENTS IN THE NURSERY?
The main gate is opened by a remote locking system and the nursery is monitored by CCTV. We also operate a temperature screening station for all visitors at the entrance to the nursery. We ask you to hand over your children directly to the class teacher or assistant on arrival and to inform the nursery in writing if anybody else is picking up your child. In these cases, the person doing so must be properly identified.
Our playground is spacious and divided into five large shaded areas all of which are carefully supervised during playtimes.
All adults who enter or exit the nursery are asked to close the gates behind them immediately. We ask parents not to allow their children to open or close the gates for security and safety reasons.
During the summer we have fans to cool the outdoor play areas and we ensure that the children have plenty of water to drink.
As part of their induction, all staff must read and demonstrate understanding of our fire policy. We hold regular fire drills and review the fire policy after every drill to see if it can be improved. We will inform you if a fire drill has been conducted. Our Fire Marshalls are trained at the Civil Defence Training Centre.
Staff meetings are held weekly to ensure that all staff are aware of any changes in the classes or policies. In these meetings I will inform our staff of any new children joining us or leaving the nursery. Our meetings are also a forum for open discussion to share ideas and further improve the nursery.
WILL MY CHILD GO ON SCHOOL OUTINGS?
No, we feel that the security risk is too high. Previously we invited visitors to the nursery such as dentists, police, fire department, vets and pets, however due to the current Covid-19 restrictions we are unable to have visitors but we hope to be able to reintroduce this practice when the restrictions are eased.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE IS AN ACCIDENT?
In the event of an accident in the classroom or playground we will assess the situation and take the appropriate action. If your child needs further medical attention, we will endeavour to contact you and, if unable, we will take your child to the Dubai London Clinic Emergency Department on the Jumeirah Road. As part of our commitment to the Continuing Education of our staff, we provide First Aid training. Little Land Nursery currently employs two registered nurses, one nurse holds a certificate in Paediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) and all staff are Paediatric First Aid trained.
WHAT IS THE NURSERY’S SICKNESS POLICY?
We ask that you conduct a wellness check on your child every morning before departing for nursery to ensure they are well. Pre-school children have a low resistance to infection. If your child has a cold, runny nose, diarrhoea, vomiting or conjunctivitis (red eye) we ask you not to bring them to nursery until they are better. If your child becomes sick during the morning we will contact you to request that you take your child home. This will avoid a complete circle of infection within the classroom and lead to a quicker recovery. We recommend a minimum of 24 hours between sickness and return to nursery.
Please inform us if your child has asthma, diabetes, epilepsy or allergies, special arrangements will be made for storing their medications. We request that a letter of consent for emergency treatment is signed (consent forms are available in the office). We have Action Plans for all serious allergies/medical conditions which must be approved by the parent and the child’s doctor.
Proper hand washing with soap and running water is the SINGULARLY most effective way to prevent infection and maintain health and regular handwashing is part of your child’s classroom routine.
WHAT IS THE NURSERY’S ALLERGY POLICY?
If your child has any allergies (e.g. food, insect bites/stings, medication or latex etc), anaphylactic reactions, intolerances or dietary requirements, please inform the office, and fill out the Medical Form in the ‘Registration Pack’. For serious allergies we require an up-to-date Doctor’s Allergy Report so that appropriate guidelines and care plans can be put in place. If your child has been prescribed an EpiPen you will need to provide the nursery with one.
Little Land is a NUT FREE nursery. Nuts in any form are NOT ALLOWED. This includes peanut butter and nut products e.g. cereal bars, sweets/cakes containing nuts, Nutella (WOW butter is permitted).
If there is a serious allergy in your child’s class an email will be sent out to inform parents. Subsequently, any food brought in to a classroom with a relevant allergy will be removed.
Our staff are vigilant on checking children’s lunchboxes and we ask parents to carefully check all the ingredients of everything in their child’s lunchbox. Little Land staff are also committed to ensure no food and drink sharing between the children. During compulsory training sessions, our staff are also made aware of signs and symptoms of a possible allergic reaction. These may include a rash or hives, nausea, stomach pain, diarrhoea, itchy skin, runny eyes, shortness of breath, chest pain, wheezing, sneezing and any irregular swelling. Staff are also trained to remain calm at all times.
For birthday celebrations, we ask parents to check with the class teacher for the specific rules.
WHAT IF MY CHILD DOESN'T SETTLE?
We understand that the settling period can be a difficult time for both parents and children. Our settling-in policy is based on the fact that familiarity encourages trust and confidence in children. The better they know us the more comfortable they feel with us. Once registered we will advise you on the specific days and times to bring your child during the settling-in period.
We feel it is important that you have some time to get to know your child’s teacher and while we are unable to invite parents into the classrooms, we can make arrangements for you to meet your child’s teacher at the nursery outside of nursery operating hours. Sometimes your child may cry for a short time after you leave. After three or four days we normally find that children can be left for three or four hours quite happily. If your child cries incessantly for twenty minutes we will call you and ask you to take your child home and to try again the next day. If your child is registered for 2 or 3 days per week, we may ask you to bring them every day for two hours for the first week, to allow them to become more familiar with us without getting overtired.
Most children settle very well into nursery life and thrive on the care and love bestowed on them by their teachers.
OUR CHILD IS STILL IN NAPPIES - WILL THE NURSERY ACCEPT THEM?
Yes, when your child is ready to toilet train we will work with you and help you with the training – our floors are all vinyl, so there is no problem about hygiene.
WHAT IS THE NURSERY’S DISCIPLINE POLICY - DO YOU HAVE A NAUGHTY CHAIR?
No, we do not have a naughty chair. We don’t use the word ‘naughty’ in the nursery. For very young children we use positive reinforcement of good behaviour and positive redirection. As the children get older we give them 'time to feel better’ for repeated disruptive or unacceptable behaviour e.g. pushing, biting, hitting or hair pulling. This is a brief time spent away from fun activities, usually a minute or two until they feel better, after which they can re-join the group. The children are prompted to think about how they play nicely with their friends when they return to the group. We find that the children respond very well to this gentle and compassionate approach and it creates simple boundaries to help guide the children.
WHEN CAN WE TALK WITH OUR CHILD'S TEACHER?
If you have any concerns or would just like to discuss your child's progress you can contact the office and we will arrange an appointment as soon as possible with the class teacher. All classes hold official parent/teacher meetings twice a year during November and May to discuss your child’s progress. Whilst Covid-19 restrictions are in place, appointments and meetings will be held via MS Teams.
WHAT IS THE NURSERY’S PHOTOGRAPH POLICY?
During the year we take photographs of the children in their classes; these photos are sometimes used on display boards, scrapbooks, topic folders, newsletters and a few will go on our website, Facebook page and Instagram.
Occasionally visiting students take photographs for their project books. Please be aware that this is our general policy.
We formally request that when parents take photos or record video in the nursery, that you do not post any picture of a child other than your own on the internet. This is for security and privacy reasons.
If you would rather that your child was not photographed please inform us by email or in writing (refer to our consent form available in the office). We use Social Media, Facebook and Instagram to share ideas, knowledge and create awareness of good practice for teachers and parents of Early Years children.
WHAT IS THE NURSERY’S FEE POLICY?
Our fee structure is included in the information pack, on our website and is on display in the office and noticeboards outside.
There is an Application Fee of AED 525 which is non-refundable if a place is offered to your child. A Registration Deposit/Re-registration Deposit is also payable, and both the Application Fee and the Registration/Re-registration Deposit are due in full before the agreed joining date to secure your child’s place in Little Land. The place is for the full academic year; fees will be adjusted for children joining mid-year when the place is taken for the remainder of the year. If your child joins Little Land during a term and his/her place has been held from the beginning of the term, then the full amount of the term fees must be paid.
Tuition fees are based on the number of days taken per week and the payment for each term must be made by the end of the first week of the relevant term (e.g. the payment for Term 1 must be made by the end of the first week of Term 1) and is non-refundable. All fees can be paid by online bank transfer. Little Land does not accept credit or debit cards. We follow the KHDA registration and refund policy.
WHAT IS THE MAIN SPOKEN LANGUAGE AT THE NURSERY?
We teach through English and follow the British curriculum and we also incorporate other languages such as Arabic, French and Spanish through song and rhyme.
DOES LITTLE LAND CELEBRATE RELIGIOUS FESTIVALS?
Little Land's policy is secular and non-denominational. We celebrate Ramadan, Eid’s, Diwali, Christmas and Thanksgiving in a non-religious way, informing the children of the occasion, making cards and singing non-religious songs.
WHAT ARE THE NURSERY’S ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES?
Little Land is proud to recycle as much as possible. We work with other environmentally responsible organisations to facilitate our progress towards this goal and create new supporting initiatives. We ensure that the aims, methodology and results of each initiative are shared with the children who document our progress using artwork, stories and role-play as part of our quality improvement programme. We also conserve energy by turning off lights and air conditioning units when we leave the room.
Little Land Parent Community and Extra-Curricular Activities
The partnership we have with our parents is based on mutual respect and trust. Sharing of information and skills ensures we are working together to understand and meet your child’s individual needs.
The Covid-19 pandemic has meant that we are currently unable to offer in person extra-curricular activities at Little Land and we have moved our supports online, providing virtual information sessions and links to relevant information for our parents.
WHAT ARE YOUR COMMUNITY RESPONSIBILITIES?
The nature of what we do means that we have many and varied commitments within the Community. These include themes that we educate our children about and that send a message to the broader community. A good example is that we advocate that car seats are used and support the RTA’s Child Safety Program. The collateral that goes with these campaigns helps to support this message to parents of children outside Little Land.
We provide advice and information online and in our classrooms regarding; health, sickness and hygiene; nutrition and healthy lunchboxes; self-care and wellbeing.
At Little Land, we see ourselves as a family and having over 50 nationalities at any given time provides us with ample opportunities to get involved with the greater community. In the past we have raised funds to support the victims of Tsunamis and others in need.
Currently, we are proud supporters of “Children of the Mountain”, the charity which builds schools, trains teachers and provides classroom resources for the children of Tandrang, Nepal. Please visit their website www.cotm.org.
We aim to show our children that there is another world where children are not so privileged, and that education is where we can make a difference.
In the past we have sponsored work experience students from all nationalities and cultures and hope to do so again once allowed.