Welcome to

St. Matthew’s Preschool



Preschool times:


Monday – Friday 9.00 am – 3.00pm (Free Entitlement)

8.00 – 9am & 3pm - 4pm (Extra opening)

Open 38 weeks during term times.


Please bring and collect your child as near to these times as possible. If someone other than you is to collect your child at any time, please let the Preschool Leader and the member of staff at the door know before-hand to arrange a Password. We will NOT allow a child to leave with someone we do not know.



There is limited parking for cars but if you do bring a car on to the premises please drive very slowly.




Children are eligible for entry from 2 years. We accept children from all religious and social backgrounds. We encourage parents to bring their child to visit the Preschool for induction/taster sessions before the child is due to start. Home visits are available before your child starts if you wish – just ask!




Children have a Free Entitlement of 15 hours in the term after they are 3 years old. Free Entitlement for 2 year olds is available for some families, please enquire on the West Sussex Early Years website or ask for details at the preschool. Working parents may be able to access the Extended Free Entitlement (30 hours) for 3 & 4 year olds by visiting the website www.childcarechoices.gov.uk

Please note sessions are non-transferable; if your child misses a session due to an appointment elsewhere, an illness or holiday they cannot make up the hours by taking someone else’s place. Speak to the preschool leader or supervisor if you have any questions.

We open at 8am and close at 4pm for those needing extra childcare cover – please ask for costs.




Abuse of staff


Please treat all the staff, students and volunteers with respect – any verbal or physical abuse of staff will not be tolerated.





Fees are payable for children not yet in receipt of the Free Entitlement, these are reviewed annually and are kept at a very reasonable rate. Fees can be paid weekly, monthly or termly by cash, cheque or through the bank - ask for details. Please speak to us if you have difficulty in paying.

One month’s notice must be given if your child is leaving the Preschool, otherwise one month’s fees will be charged in lieu of notice.




If you are going on holiday, please inform us beforehand. Places will be kept for two weeks in case of absence if you do not inform the preschool of the reason. All places have to be paid for in cases of absence.




Emergency contact details


If your telephone or mobile numbers change please inform the Preschool as soon as possible. This also applies to emergency numbers given upon registration; in the event of an accident we will need to contact you.


Please remember to inform us of any change of address as our records have to be kept up to date and West Sussex will need to contact you for school places.





Health and Safety


The health and safety of your child is of utmost importance to us. We have a fire drill at least once every term.

We take pride in our equipment and make sure everything we use is of the highest standards.





Our snack time is organized to promote your child’s independence and to encourage healthy eating. The snack menu is displayed on the entrance notice board each morning.

The children are offered a choice of either milk or water to drink with their snack.

We have fresh fruit, vegetables, crackers, cereals and toast as regular snacks.


Water is always available; we encourage the children to help themselves to a drink whenever they require it.





The preschool staff will administer prescribed medicines from a doctor providing the parent/carer has written a signed and dated letter giving permission. You will be asked to complete a medical form with dosage, times and any other relevant information. You will be asked to sign the form when you collect your child at the end of the session. All practitioners have up-to-date First Aid certificates.







If your child is ill please inform us as soon as possible.

If your child is suffering from sickness and/or diarrhoea, they cannot attend pre-school until they have been without symptoms for as least 48 hours.

If your child contracts an infectious disease e.g. chicken pox, German measles, your child will have to be kept at home for the specified period of time and we should be informed immediately.


Please read the notice board regularly for details of infectious diseases, Head Lice etc.


If your child becomes unwell during a session we will contact you immediately.

If an accident occurs your child will be given First Aid by a member of staff – all of our staff are qualified First Aiders.




Special Needs (SENCO) & Inclusion Officer (INCO)


We have a SENCO/INCO who is available to talk with you about any concerns you may have about your child. If we feel that your child may need additional support we will speak to you in confidence.

Our SENCO/INCO will work on a one-to-one basis or in small groups with any child needing additional support.

Children’s specific needs will be monitored, supported and reviewed by her in consultation with other professionals, including speech therapists, social workers and health visitors.

Please speak to the manager or the SENCO for more details or look on our website for the ‘Local Offer’ information.


Key Person & Learning Journals


Our staff have Early Years qualifications of Level 3 or above and our Early Years apprentice is working towards her Level 3 certificate. All practitioners continue to train and attend courses to further their knowledge.

The preschool operates a key person scheme; your child will be allocated a member of staff who will keep a record of observations and assessments in their Learning Journal. If you wish to talk to your child’s key person or see their records please speak to them to arrange a convenient time.

There will be opportunities throughout the year to meet and discuss your child’s progress.


We have to send your child’s Learning Journal to the next early years setting or school. We have good contacts with local Primary Schools and we aim to ensure a smooth transition for your child from St Matthew’s to school.





Settling into Preschool



We want your child to feel happy, stimulated and safe at our preschool. We also want parents and carers to feel happy about leaving their child in the care of other adults outside the family.

We encourage parents to visit St Matthew’s with their child, to stay for part of the session, before admission.

You may stay until your child is happy to be left.

We operate flexible admission procedures to help individual families.


Starting Preschool


You can help to prepare your child for preschool by helping them to become independent in taking care of themselves – washing hands etc.

We will reassure parents who are anxious about their child by telephoning to assure you that your child is happily involved;

Or we may suggest that you collect your child earlier than the other children.

Activities and Aims


At St Matthew’s we want your child to grow in confidence and enjoy a stimulating and friendly environment. The sessions are carefully planned to encourage all the children to have fun, whilst improving their personal/social skills and developing their knowledge and understanding of the world around them. We provide a good variety of activities and play equipment to develop physical and creative skills and activities encompass all curriculum areas.

We promote learning by play and discovery, and aim to help children become increasingly independent.



Staying to lunch


Lunch boxes and drinks must be clearly named to avoid confusion. We suggest a sandwich/roll or something savoury, a piece of fruit, yoghurt and cereal bar as a typical healthy lunch. Please do not put chocolate or sweets in lunchboxes.

Do not use Peanut Butter or Nutella spread in your child’s lunch or give them nuts/peanuts as some children in the setting may have severe airborne allergic reactions.




Behaviour and discipline


We encourage children to be responsible for their own behaviour and actions, to aim towards self-discipline.

It is our aim to help children acquire a positive self-image, a pride in the work they do and high self-esteem, through praise and encouragement.

Challenging behaviour: this may include rudeness, fighting, biting, physical or verbal intimidation and swearing/bad language. Any child will be talked with quietly about the behaviour, emphasising that it is the behaviour which is unacceptable, not the child.

A positive approach will be taken to any behaviour considered inappropriate with the child being redirected to an alternative activity, with an adult, after talking about the reason. Continued unacceptable behaviour will be discussed with the parent/carer.




How can you help?


Be interested in your child’s preschool!

Take an interest in the things they do, collect pictures, paintings etc that they have done and display them at home.


Ensure your child is suitably dressed for preschool in comfortable clothing and footwear. It is best if your child is dressed in clothing they can manage, particularly for visits to the toilets.

Do not send your child to preschool wearing open-toed footwear as accidents with equipment can result in injury.


Additional Information


Please can you ensure your child’s coat/jacket/cardigan and shoes are clearly named!

Please note that we have a good store of spare clothing for ‘accidents’ and you do not need to send extra clothing in.

We would prefer children not to bring their own toys to Preschool in case of loss or damage but if they do need a special toy for comfort we have a ‘Going home’ box where it can be placed for safety.

What do Primary schools want your child to be able to do? Reception teachers would like your child to be independent in the toilet, able to open lunch boxes and food packaging, able to put on their shoes, clothes and coat and recognise their own names. Please do not teach your child to write using Capital letters – ask us for advice!




If you have cause to complain about anything, we would ask you to speak to the Preschool leader Liz Greene; if you are not satisfied the Chairperson of the Governing Body will deal with your problem, the telephone number is available upon request from the office.

You may contact Ofsted at any time –

Telephone: 0300 123 1231

Write: The National Business Unit


The Royal Exchange Buildings

St Ann’s Square


M2 7LA


Our registration number is 113726





If you have a query concerning your child, or a general question, your Key Person, the Preschool Leader or any practitioner will be pleased to talk to you.




Contact Numbers


If you need to contact us please telephone

01903 218071 during pre-school hours

01903 207024 church office

Visit our website: stmatthewspreschool.co.uk

Or our Facebook page



Our Policies and Procedures are available for you to read at any time on the website. If you have any questions or concerns please email Liz Greene at







Chairperson: Ian Prior


administrator: Mags Williams Fuller


Committee Members:

Paul Taylor

Maureen Rackham

Liz Greene

Barry Jones

Parent Governor: Dominika Bury- Glowacka