As an Ofsted registered childcare setting we are restricted to the number and ages of children that we can care for at any one time. We are happy to take on any child within our registered numbers and will not discriminate against children or their families for reasons such as race, religion, gender or ability.
All children will be welcomed into our setting and we will encourage the other children in our care to support us with this.
Normally we will request a four-week settling in period, so that if you or your child or we are not happy with the arrangement it can be terminated easily. When taking on additional children we must take into consideration the children already in our care who are happy and settled.
Parents wishing to join Robin’s Nest are invited to take the following steps:
Attend an Open Day or Monthly Tour (held on the first Friday or every month, term time only)
Fill in Initial Child’s Profile and return it to us with the interview and admin fee of £40.00
If you are new to Waldorf education, we will ask you to read a book about Waldorf education from our library before attending the interview
Attend an interview with our early years teacher
We will contact you to let you know whether we are able to offer your child a space in the kindergarten and to suggest a start date
Meet with our bursar to agree fee
We will arrange a home visit to discuss any remaining questions, to sign the contract, permission forms and check you have read and understood our policies and procedures
Sometimes we come to the child’s home a couple of times, so that the child can get used to us in the familiar environment
If you have any concerns regarding our admissions policy please do not hesitate to contact us.
To book a tour of Robin's Nest:
Monthly tours are held on the first Friday of every month, term times only. The Early Years Teacher will show you around the yurt and answer any questions you might have about the setting.
To attend, please contact us.
We do not have a fixed fee structure. Instead we start by looking at what childcare is right for your child and family and what the setting can offer you. This is explored through the initial part of our application process with our early years teacher. Once we have a recommendation from our teacher for your child to join the setting, we work out a way to achieve that financially within your and our means.
As a guide, it costs Robin’s Nest setting around £1900 per term (or worked out on a monthly basis: £520 per month over 11 months of the year) for each child, based on a constellation of 14 children. This is our starting point for fee contribution but we will work with each family to agree a fee that is achievable and sustainable for both you and Robin’s Nest. The discussion will be carried out with our bursar as part of the application process and will be reviewed regularly. To prepare for this discussion we ask you to research government support available and to come with an idea of how much you can contribute. We do not require you to provide evidence of your income or financial means.
Our aim is to build a mutually trusting and supportive relationship with you that enables us to fulfil our task of providing the best possible care for the children, families and community.
We are NOT registered to offer the 30 hours free childcare entitlement. We feel strongly about not subscribing to this scheme for the following reasons:
We do not support the underlying premise of encouraging young families out to work and early childcare out of the home. We observe the way it undermines the role of caring for our young children within the home and family, and the resultant effect this has on our children’s development and evolving society.
Dr Richard House (chartered psychologist, Steiner Waldorf kindergarten & class teacher, senior academic lecturer) gives an interesting perspective on this subject – click here for the article.
It compromises our independent curriculum - our previous experience of this scheme included having to submit details about how we were meeting various targets for numeracy and literacy, targets that do not fit within our Waldorf curriculum and that we believe are inappropriate for the age of the children.
The scheme generates a large amount of extra administration and financial management due to the way the scheme is set up. In our small setting, we have limited resources available for this that we would rather prioritise on our pedagogy.
The cut off of support when a child turns 5 is difficult for a family whose childcare is pedagogically set up to continue until the child’s seventh year. From our experience, many children are withdrawn from the setting at this point which affects the constellation of children and of course the child that is withdrawn.
It eliminates our financial independence – childcare providers are not allowed to receive any form of top-up fee so the contribution set by the Local Authority becomes our fixed income and there is no financial relationship between the family and setting. This makes it difficult to meet our costs but more profoundly it means we can’t build supportive relationships with the families; neither the family nor the setting comes to the relationship out of freedom.
We are registered for the government’s tax free childcare scheme which contributes 20% of fees for working parents who are not receiving tax credits or other childcare support. This scheme is not targeted solely at young children (it is available for children up to the age of 12) and does not impact on our independence or relationships with families.
Click here for details and to check eligibility.
For parents on low incomes, you can gain government support via child tax credits and working tax credits.
Click here to check your eligibility.