University College London Nursery

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University College London Nursery

University College London Nursery

Nursery Services

The UCL Day Nursery provides high quality childcare and nursery education, giving priority to the development needs and happiness of our children and their families in a safe, nurturing and stimulating care environment.

The nursery offers a safe, caring environment for children aged three months and five years.

The nursery offers a safe, caring environment for children aged three months and five years.

Information for New Parents

Settling in UCL Day Nursery staff wishes to provide the best possible care for all children in partnership with parents and carers.

“At UCL Day Nursery, we put a very strong emphasis on settling-in and ask that all parents and carers allow two weeks for their children to settle in. We want to be sure that each child feels confident about being in nursery and being looked after by her or his key person. We also want. Parents and carers to be confident about what we offer in nursery. If you are finding it difficult to settle your child in, then please talk to your key person, or to me. Starting nursery is an exciting step, but can also be difficult: we hope to make this work for you and for your child.” 

Kate Burtenshaw Nursery Manager and the staff team

In order to do this we arrange a settling in period for each child and parent/carers to become familiar with the Nursery routine, establishment and staff. It is also especially important for The child to develop a positive relationship with his/her allocated key Worker so that he/she feels confident and secure when his/her parents leave them.

Every child is different and the settling in period can vary, for some children it will be their first experience of separation from a familiar person, however this can usually be achieved in one or two weeks. The length of time a child spends at Nursery, and the length of time they are being left will gradually be extended until the agreed hours are reached.

How quickly this is achieved will be discussed and agreed between the parents/carers and the allocated Key Worker.

Please be patient, the settling in process can take time and commitment. We at UCL Day Nursery think it is an important process, which not only enables children to settle happily and confidently into the Nursery, but it also gives parents the opportunity to do so as well.

When a child attends the UCL Day Nursery for the first time, the parent is asked to allow for at least a week/two weeks to permit for the settling in process to take place. No fee are charged for those two weeks.

Part time children should/will be settled in on a full time basis if at all possible. Each child’s allocated Key Worker will be responsible for this settling in period.

The transition between home and nursery normally requires a period of adjustment for children and parents. When a parent or parents visit the Day Nursery before their child takes up a place there, the Nursery staff will suggest ways to settle their child into the Nursery. The process of separation between child and parent during the Nursery day needs to be both structured and flexible, and to take account of the needs of each individual child.

On your child’s first day you child will be allocated a key worker, it is your child’s key worker’s responsibility to liaise with you and settle

To ensure a smooth settling-in period it is expected that on accepting a place parents arrange to spend time in the nursery with their child prior to their start date, and then, as necessary, in the first days and weeks after the child has taken up his or her place. This settling-in time, helps the child to adjust gradually to the new environment, the nursery staff and other children.

During the child’s first couple of weeks at the Nursery we recommend to parents that they leave their child in the Nursery for less than a full day, until the transition from home to Nursery has been successfully made. In the event that a child becomes distressed, nursery staff will contact the parent or parents concerned so that they may come to the Nursery to reassure their child.

Further Information

Our Mission

The UCL Day Nursery provides high quality childcare and nursery education, giving priority to the development needs and happiness of our children and their families in a safe, nurturing and stimulating care environment. As part of this process the Nursery recognises and values the diverse community that it serves, believing that quality can be achieved by working together in partnership with parents, carers and Ofsted.

The latest Ofsted reports for the Day Nursery’s two units can be found below:

The Nursery’s childcare and education provision is firmly based on the following principles:

  • Every child is a unique individual
  • All children have skills and abilities that need to be brought out and built upon
  • The starting point of children’s education is what they can do, not what they cannot do
  • Children have the right to develop physically, socially, emotionally, morally and intellectually to their full potential
  • All children learn through first hand experiences, using their five senses
  • Learning is holistic for young children

UCL Day Nursery Fees 2015-16

There is usually a waiting-list for places (especially baby places). Nursery fees, which are subject to annual review, can be viewed here: UCL Nursery Fees. Some parents may be eligible to apply to the Government’s childcare grant scheme.

Location and Contacts

The Nursery can accommodate a combined total of 68 children between the ages of three months and five years – the nursery is situated on two sites in the basement of 50-51 Gordon Square for the children over two years, and in the basement of 55-59 Gordon square, for children under the age of two and a half years. You can contact the manager Kate Burtenshaw at 020 7 679 7461 or email

Nursery Management and Staff Structure

There are Sixteen full-time members of staff appointed to the Nursery comprising a Nursery Manager, Two Deputy Manager’s one with responsibility for each site, Twelve Nursery Practitioners and a full-time cook. With the exception of the Nursery Assistants and the cook, all the staff is NVQ Level 3 qualified (or equivalent) and above.

There is also a Day Nursery Management Group made up of the Nursery Management and a number of parent representatives which meets trebly to discuss Nursery issues and policies and to make decisions on matters such as fees, staffing, registration and administration. The agenda and minutes of all Management Group meetings are posted on the parent’s web site. (See also Partnership with Parents.)

Opening Hours

The Nursery is open for approximately 49 weeks per year. It is closed at normal UCL closure periods, usually one week at each of Christmas and Easter, plus bank holidays. It may also be necessary, depending on staffing levels, to close the Nursery for up to four weeks during the summer vacation. Daily opening times are from 8.30am to 5.30pm, however the last collection time 5.20 pm Mondays to Fridays, The nursery can close for up three days per year for staff training, there would usually be at least two weeks’ notice for each date chosen.

Parents are asked always to collect their children from the Nursery by no later than 5.20pm this is ensure, there is enough time for you to talk to the staff about your child’s day, look at what they have been doing and collect their belongings etc. If anyone other than yourself is collecting your child the Nursery Manager or the staff in your child’s room must be informed either in the morning or by telephone. This person should be known to the Nursery staff and must be named on your child’s record as a person authorised to collect him or her. If your child is not coming to Nursery a phone call is appreciated as soon as possible.

There is a combination lock on the Nursery entrance off the pre-school. On your first day please ring the bell and you will be told the combination.

The baby unit front door is operated by an intercom system, please ring the bell and staff will let you in. There is covered space for the storage of buggies and push-chairs on both Nursery sites.

Waiting Lists

There is a waiting list for Nursery places, especially baby places. Those wishing to register should obtain an application form from the Nursery Manager, or from the UCL website, there is a £50 non-refundable registration fee your child’s names will be added to the waiting list upon receipt for this fee. Further information is available on request to the Nursery Manager.

Page last modified on 20 aug 15 13:20


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