At Wee Care we believe that the first years of a child’s life are fundamentally important. These are the cornerstone years that shape a child’s future.
We believe that children grow, learn and develop rapidly when they receive love, warmth, attention, encouragement, mental stimulation and nutritious well balanced meals, with this in mind we promote in all of our nurseries:
Tax-Free Childcare has been rolled out gradually since its launch in April 2017 and is now available to all eligible families with children under 12 (under 17 if the child has a disability).
The Government launched a website www.childcarechoices.gov.uk to help parents understand what support is available. You can use this website to apply for Tax-Free Childcare.
While the Government's website contains information on another new scheme, one that gives access to 30 hours free childcare, this scheme is not available in Northern Ireland.
If you are a working parent you will need to open a Government Gateway account through the childcare service. https://www.gov.uk/get-tax-free-childcare
Your application will be assessed by HMRC who will let you know if you are eligible for Tax-Free Childcare. This can take up to 10 days. You will need to reconfirm that you are still eligible for Tax-Free Childcare every 3 months using your childcare service account.
You can do this by ticking a box to confirm that your details have not changed. You will be reminded to do this 4 weeks before the reconfirmation deadline.
If you have any queries regarding the process, you can contact the Childcare Service Helpline on 0300 123 4097.
We are open between 7.30am and 6:00pm (6.30pm in our Windsor branch).
As soon as possible as all our branches are very popular and spaces are limited.
Between three and five days depending on your child’s age. We gradually lengthen the duration of the visits as the week progresses. We do this the week preceding your official start date and there is no charge for settling in visits.
Contact the management of the branch you wish to attend; they will take a deposit of £100 and help you with the necessary paperwork. You can complete an online registration form or request a paper copy.
The routine varies according to age, you can speak to the relevant staff in branch for more advice. All nurseries schedule in appropriate rest and meal times as well as planned activities to support the Early Years Curriculum. Also, very importantly, there is outdoor play and free play to allow your child to explore and play, making decisions for themselves. Your Unit Head will be happy to discuss this with you.
On your first day you need to bring nappies, a blanket that will stay and be laundered in nursery, bottles and formula/breast milk. We recommend you also either send a change of clothes daily or leave spares in nursery. For the older children you may want to send in clothes to change into after school to keep their uniforms clean.
We are happy to keep children in the nursery who have coughs and colds, even a slight teething temperature, however more serious illnesses e.g. vomiting, diarrhoea and chicken pox, will necessitate an exclusion period following guidelines from the Public Health Agency.
All our branches have wonderful outdoor areas that each of our age groups can use, some branches have covered play areas for the younger children who are not yet walking. We have children outside twice a day and longer during the summer months.
Yes, our afterschool children are given the opportunity to do their homework when they get in from school, a member off staff will sit with them and supervise/ help when needed or appropriate.
Yes, we regularly take the children out in the community. We go to local parks, libraries and some of our branches are creating wonderful intergenerational connections by visiting retirement homes in their area.
Our ratio’s are 1:3 for 0-2yr olds, 1:4 2-3yrs olds, 1:8 for 3yrs and over
Annually by the Early Years team. All our branches consistently receive excellent reports from our inspections.
All our staff are Access NI checked and vetted by the Early Years Team before commencing employment.
We pride ourselves on the continual professional development of our staff. All our branches have high levels of staff qualified to level 3 in Childcare, Learning and Development (or equivalent), well exceeding the level recommended by Early Years. We also train all our staff in Paediatric First Aid, Child Protection, Fire Awareness and Food Safety.
Our main meals are cooked off site in a professional kitchen with a five-star rating from the Environmental Health Agency. It is brought in hot and all the staff need to do is serve up. Snacks are prepared in house by staff who hold the relevant food safety qualification.
We provide breakfast clubs in some branches, morning snack, a two-course healthy lunch and an afternoon snack. Please see our section on nutrition. Until your child has moved onto milk or a substitute such as Soya milk you need to provide bottles and formula. Water is available throughout the day.
Individual meals are prepared and sealed individually by our caterers. The children with allergies are identified in the food preparation and serving areas so all staff have a visual alert of any requirements. All our staff are trained in First Aid which includes the use of Epi-Pens.
Wee Care is an inclusive nursery and afterschool. We endeavour to provide appropriate care for every child. If your child has complex needs please telephone and speak to the manager for more advice; we do not offer a 1:1 service therefore it may not be appropriate for your child to attend our facility.
Our plans are designed to help your child meet all their goals and milestones. The staff complete observations to track this and to use in designing challenging play opportunities for the incoming weeks. These are available for you to see on our reporting App. It also will show you how these developmental milestones link to the Early Years Curriculum.
All your child’s food, bottles, changes/toileting and activities are logged as they happen and you can sign in at any stage to see what they have been doing. We try to get plenty of photos too, especially in the early weeks, as we understand how reassuring it is to see your child engaged in play. You can also chat to the staff at the end of the day for more information.