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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHEN SHOULD I PUT MY CHILD'S NAME DOWN TO ATTEND WILDLINGS?

It is never too early! We run a waiting list and in some sessions we can fill up over a year in advance. If you aren't sure what days you would like, we can adjust your requirements nearer to the time that your child is due to start with us as long as we have their name on our waiting list. You can withdraw your name from the waiting list at any point, we just ask that you give us as much notice as possible so that we can offer that place to another child.

CAN MY CHILD ATTEND BOTH HALL AND WOODS SESSIONS?

Yes, of course. We offer woods sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and hall sessions 5 days a week.

WHAT AGE CHILDREN DO YOU TAKE?

We take children from their second birthday up until they are school age. We have even had some children stay on with us until their fifth birthday either part time while at school or due to a delayed entry to school.

CAN MY CHILD ATTEND PART TIME?

Of course, however we do ask for a minimum of two sessions. In our experience children settle better and get the most out of learning opportunities when they do a minimum of two days per week. This continuity means that the children get to know us and their peers better and enables them to form trusting relationships which support them to enjoy their time with us more. We aim to accommodate parent’s requests as far as possible. Half day sessions are only available in the hall (9-12 or 12-3pm). Some children also stay with us for lunchtime (9-1), just speak to us about your requirements. Woods sessions are full days only as this allows your child to make the most of the unique learning opportunities we provide.

DO CHILDREN NEED TO BE TOILET TRAINED?

No. We are happy to work with you and your child at whatever stage they are at in their toilet training journey. We would recommend that you pack lots of spare clothes if your child is in the process of toilet training. For woods sessions we also find that nappies (as opposed to pull ups), waterproof trouser/dungarees and jacket sets are much easier than all in one suits as your child can be more independent with dressing/undressing quickly and are we don't have to strip off all of their clothes if they need changing.

HOW DO YOU DO TOILETING IN THE WOODS?

We erect a special toilet tent to offer shelter and privacy for toileting. Children not used to toileting outside quickly adapt and staff are on hand to assist. We provide warm water and soap for hand washing after toileting and before snack and lunch. For children still in nappies, we have a nappy changing mat within our tent or toilet tent.

WHAT DO YOU DO IF IT IS COLD OR RAINS?

Carry on! The right clothing is essential as remaining warm and dry is the most important element to keeping children happy regardless of the weather. Whilst the trees themselves offer some shelter, we also have a large tent with cosy mattresses and blankets. We are also fortunate to have skilled practitioners who are quickly able to put up large tarps to provide wind-breaks and extra protection when we don’t want to let a sudden downpour disrupt our fun. We can also make fires, bring hot water bottles or instant warm pouches and provide a hot drink and snack to warm the children from the inside. In our experience, as long as children have good outdoor clothing, are out of any biting wind and their hands are warm, they are happy to play outdoors regardless of the weather! In extreme weather conditions such as heavy snow, thunder and lightening or strong winds we are able to base ourselves at our hall and adventure from there. We can then return for lunch if needed or when we need a place to go to get warm and dry. If nurseries and schools in Scandinavia can spend the majority of their time playing outside in sub zero temperatures, we can certainly manage it!

DO I NEED ANY SPECIFIC CLOTHING OR FOOTWEAR?

Because of the amount of time we spend outdoors both during woods and hall sessions, it is extremely important that your child is kitted out appropriately. You can find out more about the clothing and footwear we recommend in our 'New Starters' booklet. This is in the best interests of the child as we need to keep them comfortable throughout the day to enjoy their time with us and to be ready for play and learning. Unfortunately children who do not have appropriate clothing will be unable to attend until they are suitably clothed. 
Children in the hall will also need warm clothes, waterproofs and wellies as they have free flow access to the outside area and often get muddy or messy!

DO YOU GO TO THE WOODS IN ALL WEATHERS?

Our aim is to be outdoors rain or shine but in severe storms or winds, where safety could be compromised, we are lucky that we can use our hall setting as a base. This means that we can return to the warmth or dry when needed or use the outdoor space at our hall to ensure that we are still getting some fresh air! We will still continue forest school activities such as woodwork, tool use and cooking on the fire.

ARE THE CHILDREN PROVIDED WITH LUNCH OR SNACKS?

We do not have facilities to provide children with lunch, therefore you will need to provide a packed lunch for your child. We do provide a healthy morning snack and drink. In the winter we provide hot snacks and drinks.

WHAT IF MY CHILD NEEDS A REST OR STILL NAPS?

We know that it is important for children to have periods of proper rest during the day and offer natural breaks in the day when the children sit and talk or just relax. In the hall we have cosy sleep mats if your child would like a sleep. In the woods we have our warm and comfortable tent with mattress and sleeping bags. Our practitioners will provide support to help your child to settle following the methods you tell us work for them for example rocking, singing etc. If the child is upset for a period of time and does not want to sleep we will leave them and try again later. We will let parent's know whether they have slept when they are picked up at the end of the session.

HOW WILL YOU SUPPORT MY CHILD SETTLING IN?

We appreciate what a big step it is for both you and your child, and we acknowledge that fears may be manifested by both the child and adult. Our aim is to support your child as best we can as they enter this new chapter.
Once you have a place at Wildlings we will invite you to a settling session to meet staff, ask questions and explore the environment with your child. We will also ask you to fill out an 'All About Me' booklet which will give us an idea about your child's home life, likes and interests. On your child's first session they can do a shorter day or can call you to pick them up earlier if they become unsettled. Each child is different and we will follow their lead and discuss with you what would work best.

Frequently asked questions: Programs
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