Newsletter: Summer Term 2015 Part One


We would like to welcome all our new families that have recently joined us! Welcome back from the Easter break, we hope you didn’t eat too much chocolate!

Nursery news

Best Practice for two year olds

Over the Easter holidays ten of the Cheeky Monkeys team were luckily enough to attend training at the best practice rooms provided by Essex county council.

The training included lots of ideas and activities to help support our younger children in areas of development such as communication and language, physical and social skills. We can’t wait to show you all the new ideas we have put in place over the next few weeks.

We would love your help too, so any donations of the following would be a great help:

  • Lids of all shapes and sizes including fabric softener lids, jam jar lids or any that make the popping sound, milk lids, gravy lids and any more you can think of.
  • Any bracelets, wooden curtain rings
  • Old mini laptops, phones that you no longer use.

Thank you in advance.

Sensory play

Babies will be starting walks to the children’s center week beginning 20th April to use their amazing sensory room filled with lots of equipment to excite the senses, look out for the pictures on Facebook!

Forest school

We currently have a couple of spaces for forest school available on Tuesday and Wednesday. If you are interested and your child is over three and toilet trained, then please ask Michelle.

Writing in the world around us

Over the next couple of weeks Monica will be introducing the children to labels and words in the environment around them for example words on road signs, packaging etc. We would love to see any of your pictures with your little one looking at numbers and letters around them for example on your front door or car number plate. If you could send all pictures to the email below we can then make a display with them all. Thank you!

Chatters Matters

We are proud to announce we will be launching chatter matters to our parents and children aged 2 who may be need extra support in speech and language. It will be a six week course held at nursery, lasting around 30 minutes. It will be run with the children’s centre and nursery staff. Parents are encouraged to join in. For more information please ask.

Mother’s day

Tea parties

We want to say a huge thank you to all 56 Mummies and 2 nannies that came to our tea parties, we loved having you and hoped you enjoyed yourself. Thank you for all the lovely comments.

School leavers

It’s that time of year when you find out your confirmed school place for reception. If you could complete the list in preschool with their school name on, we can then start planning their transition plans for example school photo books for you to borrow, teachers visits etc.

Fee increase

We included a letter with Aprils invoice for notice of a fee increase that comes into effect from 1st May. You can find the new pricing structure on the parents area for you to view. Any questions please ask Laura or Sophie.

Parent’s reminders


We currently have had a couple of reported cases of headlice within the nursery, please can you ensure your child has been checked and treated regularly if any lice are found.

Sun Cream

As its finally getting warmer, please can you ensure you bring in sun hats (downstairs children), upstairs we have a supply and ensure you sign the permission form for use of our sun cream or bring in your own.

Dates for your diary

Term dates

Summer term Part 1: Monday 13th April Returning on funded week 1.

May half term: 25th May to 29th May.

Nursery is closed for bank holiday 25th May.

Summer term part 2: Monday 1st June. Funded return on week 2.

Funded last day of term: Friday 17th July 2015.

Keeping in touch

Stay up to date with all our fun adventures and exciting updates.



Twitter: Cm_nursery

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Our distinguished guests from Nigeria – our overseas connection.

Last week we had the honour of hosting a management placement for three lovely ladies from Nigeria with us here at The Cheeky Monkeys Day Nursery & Pre School – Colchester.

They all run their own schools in Nigeria and were coming to visit us as part of their ongoing training to see how day nurseries in the United Kingdom work and set up.

They were all extremely friendly and we enjoyed showing off all of the children’s work and our nurseries to them.

As well as demonstrating our curriculum and policies and procedures we also looked at how we monitor our staff, ongoing nursery development and parent engagement. We loved listening to their tales and stories of how they run, for example they couldn’t believe we had beds for the children to rest on whilst they used their school tables, they also couldn’t believe the size of our houses (they said they are very tiny!) and also mentioned how cold it was!

They finished off their time here with us at Cheeky Monkeys Essex by joining the children in preschool and our two to threes with a music and story session, dressing up in traditional clothes. The clothes are beautiful and the children really liked learning all about them.

They also love the traditional musical instruments including a very noisy drum!!

They left behind all these goodies so we can continue to build on these new experiences.

We have also promised to remain in touch as pen-pals so the children can send pictures etc to each other so we can continue to learn about the world around us!

A huge thank you to Joyce, Esther, and Tessy for being so lovely and teaching us so much, we hope you like using all your new found knowledge in your own schools!



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Free Early Education Entitlement for Two, Three and Four Year Olds A Guide for Parents

April 2015

FEEE_Guide for Parents_April 15_Final (PRESS TO DOWNLOAD)

The answers to the frequently asked questions in this guide seek to explain how Essex County Council (ECC) funds free early education for eligible two year olds and all three and four year olds in day nurseries, pre-schools, childminders and nursery classes/schools. These early years providers are known as the maintained, and private, voluntary and independent (PVI) sectors.  Before an early years childcare provider can deliver the Free Early Education Entitlement (FEEE) they must have a contract with ECC. This forms a binding agreement between them and ECC and states that they must abide by the conditions and requirements of the contract and the Department for Education (DfE) ‘Early Education and Childcare: Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities September 2014’.

What is the Free Early Education Entitlement?
 The FEEE is at the heart of the Government’s vision for all children to have access to high quality early years education.
 Evidence shows that regular good quality early education has long lasting benefits for all children.
 The FEEE for two year olds is not universal and can only be accessed by families meeting certain criteria.
 The FEEE for three and four year olds is a universal free provision for every child from the term following their third birthday up until they reach compulsory school age.

Frequently asked Questions

Q. Is my two year old eligible for a free nursery place?
A. Two year olds can access a free nursery place if they meet one or more of the criteria set out below:
 Their parent/carer meets eligibility criteria also used for free school meals as set out below:
 Income Support
 Income-based Job Seekers’ Allowance
 Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
 Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
 The Guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
 Child Tax Credit (but not Working Tax Credit) and have an annual income not exceeding £16,190
 Working Tax Credit during the four week period immediately after their employment finishes or after they start to work less than 16 hours per week
 Their family receives Working Tax Credits and have annual gross earnings of no more than £16,190
 They have a current statement of special educational needs (SEN) or an education, health and care plan
 They are entitled to Disability Living Allowance
 They are looked after by a local authority
 They have left care through an adoption order, a special guardianship order or a child arrangements order which specifies with whom they live

Q. How can I apply for a free nursery place for my two year old?
A. You can apply for funding through a referrer; this could be an early years childcare provider, Children’s Centre outreach or support worker, health professional (such as a Health Visitor), social worker or specialist teacher. The referrer will complete the application form with you and will confirm they have seen evidence of your eligibility.

Q. When can I access a free nursery place for my two year old?
A. Eligible two year olds can access a FEEE funded place in the term after their second birthday, see below:

Child born between 1 April – 31 August 1 September following the 2nd birthday, 1 September – 31 December 1 January following their 2nd birthday, 1 January – 31 March 1 April following their 2nd birthday

Q. What information do I need to provide to get my free nursery place?
A. Early years childcare providers will ask to see your child’s birth certificate to confirm their eligibility for the FEEE.
They may also wish to check whether your child is eligible for the Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) and may ask for a National Insurance number in order to do so. Children are eligible for the EYPP if they are three or four years old, receiving the FEEE and their parents meet the criteria used for free school meals. Children are also eligible if they:
• have been looked after by the local authority for at least one day
• have been adopted from care
• have left care through special guardianship
• are subject to a child arrangement order.

If you are applying for the two year old FEEE and are not eligible under Free School Meal criteria you will need to provide other evidence of your eligibility, e.g. a photocopy of TC602a form for the working tax credit eligibility.

To find out more about the Free Early Education Entitlement for two year olds:
 visit an early years childcare provider, you can find your nearest at
 visit a children’s centre, you can find your nearest at
 speak to your Health Visitor or allocated Social Worker
 contact the Family Information Service by email at or by telephone on 0800 055 6874

Q. When does my child qualify for 3 and 4 year free entitlement funding?
A. The term after their 3rd birthday, see below:
Child born between 1 April – 31 August 1 September following the 3rd birthday, 1 September – 31 December 1 January following their 3rd birthday, 1 January – 31 March 1 April following their 3rd birthday

The dates have been fixed by DfE in line with the current Statutory Guidance

Q. How do I apply for my 3 year olds free place?
A. If your child is already attending an early years childcare provider they will claim the FEEE on your behalf and will ask you to sign a parent/carer agreement form to confirm this. If your child is not registered with an early years childcare provider yet you will need to find a provider that offers FEEE places and register your child with them.

You can search for a provider at
Or contact the Family Information Service by email at or by telephone on 0800 055 6874

Flexibility – what does flexibility mean?

Children are able to take up their full FEEE at times that best support their learning and at times which fit with the needs of the parents.
Providers delivering the FEEE flexibly must ensure that the entitlement is offered to you in a way which meets your needs and gives you real choices about how you access a free place.
Frequently asked Questions

Q. How do I know I am getting what I am entitled to?
A. Your provider must complete a Parent/Carer Agreement with you as it sets out how you are accessing the FEEE. It is really important that you are aware of all the details relating to your child’s place before you sign the form. Ensure you are aware of any additional costs and what these are for. Providers must make sure you are able to access your entitlement without any additional cost unless these have been agreed prior to your child taking up the place. Please take note of the following:
 Completing and signing the form confirms the contractual agreement between you and the provider for the duration of the term
 The Parent/Carer Agreement Form records the number hours/weeks of FEEE for the duration of the term
 The Parent/Carer Agreement Form informs you that if you decide to move your child after headcount, the point in the term when the provider provides data on funded children to ECC, you may be liable to pay full fees at the new provider
 For the FEEE for three and four year olds the Parent/Carer Agreement Form records whether you are accessing the funding in one or two provisions
 The Parent/Carer Agreement Form informs you of how hours can be taken
 The Parent/Carer Agreement Form informs you that additional charges can be made
 The Parent/Carer Agreement Form informs you about the restrictions of increasing hours in a term
 The Parent/Carer Agreement Form informs you about what happens if your child starts school

Q. Can lunch or meal times be included in the free entitlement and will this have to be paid for?
A. Free Entitlement hours can cover a lunch time period where it is structured to support the children’s overall learning & developmental process
When the Free Entitlement hours do include a lunch time period there may be a charge for lunch or snacks, any charge for the lunch must be agreed with you in advance. If you don’t want to pay this charge the provider must give you the choice to bring a packed lunch or allow you to take your child out of the setting over the lunch period

Q. The provider has asked me to pay a top up fee – is this allowed?
A. Providers cannot charge a ‘top up’ fee (the difference between what they would normally charge and the amount they receive from ECC) for any free entitlement hours.
Providers can only charge for hours and services that are not part of the free entitlement. Any costs that you may be liable for should be made absolutely clear on the parent/carer agreement form which should show that;
 you have received your child’s full 15 hour funded place completely free, there should be no monetary value attached to the free 15 hours
 additional hours and services can be charged for, e.g. meals or hours in addition to the funded free hours. The provider must notify you of these before you take up the place as you will be agreeing to them by signing the parent agreement form
Please also be aware that;
 the rates that a provider charges for additional hours outside of a child’s FEEE place are a private matter between the provider and the child’s parent/carer, local authorities cannot intervene in providers’ private business outside of a child’s FEEE place
 if your child is only accessing the 15 hours of FEEE you will not need an invoice. However, the provider must tell you that an application for funding has been made on your behalf and ensure you complete a Parent/Carer Agreement Form
 charges for any additional hours and/or services must be clearly recorded separately on an invoice.

Q. How do I know if I am being charged the right amount?
A. You should be provided with an invoice which must be clear and transparent so you can clearly understand what has been charged for.
The invoice a provider sends to you should include the following:
 The relevant date
 The provision details
 Details of you/your child
 The period of time the invoice is for i.e. one week, two weeks, a month
 It should itemise what is free of charge i.e. FEEE funded hours, and what are chargeable items
 FEEE hours cannot be represented as a monetary value or as a discounted item on the invoice
 Chargeable hours that have been taken outside FEEE hours should be clearly itemised on the invoice
 Any snacks, meals and additional activities should also be clearly itemised on the invoice
 The provider should indicate when you should pay their invoice

Q. Do I have to pay anything if I just want my free entitlement?
A. No, The entitlement is a free, part time place for each eligible two, three and four year old child. If you only want to access your FEEE funded hours you should not be expected to pay any additional charges e.g. snacks or extra-curricular activities unless you have agreed to these before taking up your place.
Early years providers must not;
 attach any conditions to the funded place which oblige you to purchase additional hours or pay lunchtime charges in order to secure free early education
 charge for any goods or services where such payment is conditional to access the free place for example a registration fee or charges for a uniform
Q. How many days a week can I take my free entitlement over?
A. The FEEE can be taken up in a number of ways. ECC has a duty to ensure that, as a minimum, you can access the FEEE in the following patterns:
 either three hours a day over five days of the week
 or five hours a day over three days of the week
The free early education place does not offer a guarantee of a place to you at any one provider or a particular pattern of provision. Most providers choose to deliver the FEEE places in line with school term times, but there is no requirement for them to do this.
Q. Can I still choose to take my Free Entitlement funding for fewer than 38 weeks?
A. You can take the funding for fewer than 38 weeks at a provider of your choice, the minimum they should offer is 33 weeks.
If your provider is receiving funding to deliver a reduced entitlement they cannot charge you for additional hours of provision if your child is accessing 15 hours or under per week.
If you choose to use a provider who offers fewer than 38 weeks it is not then possible to make up the remaining weeks up at another provision. If you need the full 38 weeks it is best to choose a provider that can accommodate this.
Q. Am I able to take up my Free Entitlement over more than 38 weeks?
A. Yes you can, but the maximum number of hours per term you can claim for does not change nor does the amount of funding you are entitled to.
If your provider does offer funding over 50 weeks of the year please be aware that the 15 hours maximum hours per week will be worked out pro rata and therefore the hours will be reduced to approximately 11 hours per week.
Q. The DfE guidelines say that I can claim from 2 hours up to a maximum of 10 hours in a day – is this right?

A. These are guidelines set by central Government however ECC have made the decision that in Essex parents can claim between 2.5 and 10 hours in any one day.
It is also possible for a parent to take their 15 hours over a minimum of two days and maximum of five days, and be claimed between 7am and 7pm.
Q. Is it okay to just ask for the hours I want to claim for or do I have to take up the full entitlement?
A. Yes, you can just ask for the hours you want, you do not have to take the full 15 hours if you do not want to.
When asking for your hours at the start of each term be clear with the provider how many hours you can take and when. This should be confirmed on your parent/carer agreement form.
NB. The provider will only be funded by ECC for the amount of hours that your child actually attends the setting.
Q. What if I want to split my Childcare entitlement between two Essex early years childcare providers – can I do this and how does the number of hours claimed get checked?
A. Yes, if you are accessing the FEEE for three and four year olds you can split your 15 hours between two providers if it meets your needs. However, you need to be aware that some settings, particularly schools, will have a sole provider policy and will not allow split funding.
If you are splitting the funding you will declare this on the Parent Agreement form you sign with each of your chosen providers at the start of each term detailing the amount of hours you will take at each provision.
Both provisions will then submit the details of your claim for your child at each provision to Essex County Council who then cross check details of each child to prevent any over claims.
If your child is accessing the FEEE for two year olds, they can only attend one provider.
Q. Can you combine school places and nursery places?
A. You can split your free entitlement between a PVI provision and a maintained school nursery/nursery class if you wish. However you should bear in mind that most schools will have a single provider policy and this may not be possible.
The ECC FEEE contract gives providers the option to operate a ‘sole provision policy’ if this is their policy they must inform you at the time you complete the Parent/Carer Agreement Form.
You cannot split the funding between a PVI and a reception class. When a child enters reception class at any school they will no longer be entitled to the FEEE.
If your child is due to start in a reception class at a state school (not a private or independent school) you will no longer be eligible to claim Free Entitlement funding. However, some schools stagger their reception class intake over the opening four weeks of the term. If your child continues to attend an early years childcare provision during this period, your provider may claim for Free Entitlement hours for your child, for up to a maximum of four weeks.

Q. Can we insist that the provider is open for longer hours?
A. No. This is still left up to individual settings, but equally they must be mindful of parent demand (sufficiency) as another provider may fulfil the need for any gaps in the market.
NB. Free entitlement hours can be accessed between 7am -7pm
Q. I now want to increase my hours, even though the term has started is this possible?
A. No, at the start of each term we ask parent/carers to sign a declaration form with the provider for them to be able to claim funding on your behalf. Increasing hours after the headcount day means that provider cannot claim for the extra hours requested by the parent. ECC will not pay the provider for these extra hours. In this instance the provider can ask the parent to pay for the additional hours until the end of the current term (this should be included in the provider/parent contract).


Outcome: all children are able to take up their entitlement to funded early education in a high quality setting. Evidence shows that higher quality provision has greater developmental benefits for children, particularly for the most disadvantaged children. The evidence also shows that high quality early education at age two brings benefits to children’s development. This guidance reflects the Government’s intention that, as far as possible, early education for two-year-olds is delivered by providers who have achieved an overall rating of ‘outstanding’ or ‘good’ in their most recent Ofsted inspection report.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How do I know my child is getting the best care?
A. ECC must ensure that all early years providers who deliver the FEEE must:
 deliver the full Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and either be registered with Ofsted as an early years provider, or are a school taking children aged three and over and therefore exempt from registration with Ofsted as early years providers
 submit to an inspection by Ofsted
 maintain records about children receiving the FEEE and make that information available to the local authority, and Ofsted on request
Q. Can I get my free entitlement at any provider I choose?
A. ECC will only fund providers who are registered with Ofsted and hold a FEEE contract, and will:
 base their decision whether to fund a provider to deliver early education places solely on their most recent Ofsted
 fund places for two, three and four year old children attending any provider rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted
 fund places for three and four year old children attending any provider rated ‘Requires Improvement’
 only fund two year old places in ‘Requires Improvement’ providers where there is not sufficient, accessible ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ provision
 secure alternative provision and withdraw funding , as soon as is practicable, for children who are already receiving their funded entitlement at a provider when it is rated ‘Inadequate’ by Ofsted
 fund new providers registered with Ofsted until their first full Ofsted inspection judgement is published.

Funding FEEE places
Outcome: fair and transparent funding which supports a diverse range of providers to deliver early education places and encourages existing providers to expand and new providers to enter the childcare market. This diversity enables parents to choose a provider that best meets the needs of their child and family.
Eligible children are entitled to up to 50 weeks of FEEE over the year. The entitlement is divided into three terms ranging from eleven to fifteen weeks which mirror the school terms. ECC will fund a provider to offer any number of weeks between a minimum of 33 and to a maximum of 50 (reducing hours pro rata).
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How does the provider claim the funding from ECC?
A. The provider enters your child’s details on an online form at set times each term, the table below sets out the term dates when funding can be claimed. Term Inclusive term dates Duration of FEEE Equivalent in hours Summer 2015 13/04/2015 to 22/07/2015 13 weeks 13 weeks x 15 hours = 195 hours Autumn 2015 03/09/2015 to 18/12/2015 14 weeks 14 weeks x 15 hours = 210 hours Spring 2016 04/01/2016 to 24/03/2016 11 weeks 11 weeks x 15 hours = 165 hours
The provider can claim up to 570 hours of FEEE throughout the year. If providers are stretching the entitlement over longer than 38 weeks they still claim the full 570 hours within the dates above.
FEEE funding is paid to the provider if the following conditions are met:
 your child is included in the headcount and registered at the provision on the day of the headcount
 or if your child is included in the headcount but ill or otherwise absent during that week, and genuinely expected to take their place during that term
 if your child joins after headcount date a late claim can be submitted providing your child has NOT claimed FEEE at any other provision within Essex for that term
Q. How much does the provider get paid?
A. All providers offering the FEEE for two year olds are paid a flat rate of £5 per hour per child for those two year olds in place.
Providers of the FEEE for three and four year olds are paid using a Single Funding Formula (SFF) which takes into account the variable cost of delivery for different types of setting. The hourly rates for different provider types are set out below
 Pre-Schools – £3.82 per hour
 Day Nurseries – £4.01 per hour
 Independent Schools – £4.01 per hour
 Childminders – £4.61 per hour

 Maintained Schools with Designated Nursery Classes – £4.27 per hour
 Maintained Nursery Schools – £6.19 per hour
Providers may also receive a social deprivation supplement of an additional 10p, 20p or 30p per hour for qualifying children based on their home postcode.
They may also receive the Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) for eligible three and four year old children attending their setting. The EYPP is calculated at an additional 53 pence per hour for every hour of FEEE.
Q. My child has special needs am I entitled to any extra funding?
A. It would be down to the Childcare provider to make a claim, such as an inclusion grant to meet any Childcare requirements for your child. Supporting evidence for any such claim would need to be substantiated by a Childcare professional such as a Special Educational Needs advisor. The funding would go to the provider to be able to offer any additional service to your child.
Q. Is it okay to take holiday during the term, and if so will my Childcare provider be penalised when my child is not attending?
A. Yes, this it is okay. The childcare provider would not have funding withheld if a child is absent for a short period due to holiday or sickness
Q. Are Schools allowed to say you have to come to our nursery if you want a place at the school?
A. No, they are not allowed to say this, but equally we are aware this could be happening. If you are told this, we would appreciate this being brought to our attention so we can take action.
Q. I have recently moved to Essex from another Local Authority – am I able to claim for Free Entitlement funding even though the term has started?
A. We would allow a childcare provider to claim for any child not already enrolled in Essex. They would be able to make a ‘late claim’ for the entitlement remaining for that term.
Q. What if I want to move my child from one Essex childcare provider to another, is this possible and how does this get funded?
A. The Free Entitlement contract that we supply to providers requests that they transfer funding if a child moves to a different provider. However, ECC are unable to insist on this therefore you may be liable to for the fees for the rest of the term at the new provider.
Q. What do I do if my provider closes unexpectedly during the term?
A. If a provision has to close during a term you will need to seek an alternative provision, please contact the Family Information Service who will assist you with this. Once you have secured and alternative provider, they will submit a late claim for your child’s FEEE for the remainder of the term.

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Newsletter: Spring Term – Part 2

Cheeky Monkeys Day Nursery and PreschoolNewsletter: Spring Term 2015 Part Two



We would like to welcome Joanne to our team, she will be joining us to support us on our busiest days! Make sure you say Hello!

This term is only a short one, but we have so much to share with you about what is going to be happening!

Nursery news

World book day

World book day is on Thursday 5th March 2015; following last year’s success we want this year to be bigger and better! It would be great to see all of you in fancy dress as your favourite characters to join in all the fun and games!

Please see your letter for more information about the activities that will be happening during the day.

Mothers day tea party

We are excited to announce the dates for our Mothers Day tea parties for our upstairs children for our second year. All invites will be going out during the first week of term, just pop your reply back.

We would love to see as many of you as possible to join us for some crafts and a cream tea.

Holiday club

What a busy time we had during February half term, visiting the police museum in Chelmsford was a high, the children got to try on uniforms and have their fingerprints taken. The science day was a day full of giggles, as Atomic Andy carried out experiments including blowing up a balloon with his nose, and showing the principal of air!

Easters dates and themes will be launched soon- don’t forget to book early!

Nature explorers

Our toddlers over the next few weeks will be exploring the world around them by planting seeds, looking at various animals and the weather as it changes. To help us when you’re out and about why not collect us any natural items such as acorns, fir cones, shells etc. thank you. These will be used during displays, art activities and discussions.

New nursery

Our new nursery will be opening in the summer term, based at Colchester Institute, but open to all! Feel free to let anyone know that may be interested, for more information email Steve on

Parent sessions

Our dummy workshop was a great session and we already had success with a couple of them giving up their dummies to the dummy fairy! The resources are now available to loan, so if you couldn’t make it then let us know and we can still give you a pack!

We would love to hold more sessions for you all, are there any more topics you may find useful ? i.e. potty training, sleep routines. Let us know and we will see what we can do!

Parent’s reminders

Lost property

We currently have a large box of lost property upstairs, please can you all take five minutes to go through it and see if you’re missing anything. To make it easier please ensure all coats and jumpers have their name in thank you.

Sainsbury’s vouchers

Don’t forget to collect your Sainsbury’s vouchers for us! Our collection box is in the office.

Early Years Pupil Premium

Don’t forget to return your early years pupil premium forms. (Preschool only)

Term dates

Spring term part 2: Monday 23rd Feb. Returning on funded week 2.

Easter half term: 30th March to 10th April no funded sessions.

Please note we are closed on Good Friday and on Easter Monday.

Summer term starts: Monday 13th April. Funded return on week 1.

May half term: 25th May to 29th May. No funded sessions.

Keeping in touch

Have you seen our face book and twitter pages or our website? Stay up to date with all our fun adventures and exciting updates.



Twitter: Cm_nursery

—————————————Keeping in touch—————————————

To help us keep in touch we are asking parents for their email address so we can send any letters/newsletters and holiday club details quickly, and easily. These details will be securely stored and not passed onto anyone else.

Please send us an email to if you are happy for us to email you. Please mark your email “Parent Info – Keeping in touch” and let us have the following information:

Childs name:………………………………………………

Email address:…………………………………………….

Nursery Site:……………………………………………….

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Newsletter: Spring Term – Part 1

Cheeky Monkeys Day Nursery and Preschool

Newsletter: Spring term: Part One


Welcome back everyone from the Christmas break, we hope you all had an exciting time, we have loved hearing all your tales and news about Father Christmas visiting you all!

Our autumn term was very busy but we had lots of fun making Christmas crafts, learning Christmas songs, Christmas parties and visits from the post man and father Christmas!

Also a big welcome to all our new families that have joined us over the last few weeks.

Nursery news

We love jumpy in muddy puddles

Our children have really enjoyed jumping in muddy puddles in the garden the last few days, (we blame Peppa pig) however we do apologise for muddy clothes coming home. Please feel free to bring in waterproof clothing and wellies to nursery. We are in the process of ordering some waterproof suits to stay at nursery also.

Bye bye dummy

We know dummy’s can be a god send to some parents when their babies are little, however we know they can be hard to get rid of and can cause problems with speech and language development. To help with this we are running a parent workshop on dummies in partnership with the Berechurch children’s centre. It will run from 2pm – 2.30pm on 5th Feb and give tips and ideas on how to help your little one separate from It and other useful ideas. Sarah, a family support worker from the centre will then be on hand to help answer any questions you may have till around 4pm. For more information please speak to Laura or Sophie.

Holidays are coming

We have now launched our February half term holiday days! Ranging from a visit to the police headquarters, a science lab visiting us to a yummy pancake day! A 9am-3pm session cost £20 per day! Places will sell fast, so please book in sessions with us as soon as possible.  Its open to everyone, aged 3 years – 8 years so please let your friends know!

Wet wet wet

All our age groups love daily water play, not only is it a great sensory activity but it also can help with their development for example about mathematical language such as full, empty and working out how any cups would take to fill a jug etc. but it can get a little messy, so any donations of old towels would be greatly appreciated. Also spare trousers that your little one may have outgrown.

Maths is fun

Preschool have been working really hard on their maths skills since Christmas with the older ones doing simple sums with Monika. Why not practice at home during everyday activities for example by asking how many more forks do they need whilst setting the table, or by counting their cars in two groups. For more ideas why not have a chat with Monika.

Forest school

Forest school will resume on Tuesday 20th January. Please ensure your child has got lots of layers on, a hat and gloves and their packed lunch.

Forest school is open for all over threes that are toilet trained. If you would like your child to go to forest school please speak to a member of the preschool team.

Local Offer

We have now published our local offer on our web page, this details what we can offer children with any special educational needs whilst at nursery. If you would like a printed copy or have any questions please speak to Laura or Michelle.

Cheeky Monkey Fact of the newsletter

Did you know that Ofsted regulations state that you only need one paediatric first aid member of staff on site at any time? But at Cheeky Monkeys 90% of our staff are Paediatric first aid trained and the rest will be completed by April 2015.

Dates for your diary

World book day

Last year world book day was a huge success for Cheeky Monkeys and this year we would love to see even more of you dressed up so we are giving you advanced notice that this will take place on Thursday 5th March.

You can be any of your favorite book characters for example last year we had Gruffalo’s, princesses, Mary Poppins, Goldilocks and so many more! What will this year bring?

Term dates

February half term:

16th-20th Feb, no funded sessions.

23rd Feb: Funded sessions resume. We will be returning on the week one rota.

Easter holidays: 30th March-10th April, no funded sessions

Summer terms starts: Monday 13th April resuming on week 1.

Keeping in touch

Have you seen our face book and twitter pages or our website? Stay up to date with all our fun adventures and exciting updates.



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SCHOOL HOLIDAY CLUB itinerary for February

Wow we have so much planned for the next exciting School Holiday Club week!!

We are visiting the Police Museum, having a Mad Science Day with the Mad Professors!

We even have a visit planned from Atomic Andy and Plasma Penny!!

We will also be planting and digging in our gardens and on the Allotment!!

I cant wait!!!

Here’s the itinerary for each of our nurseries.

To make your bookings please call the nurseries direct:

Colchester: 01206 574402

Earls Colne: 01787 221102



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Tesco Store Visit – Farm to Fork

The children from our Colchester Cheeky Monkeys Nursery had an amazing day at Tesco stores for their Farm to Fork tour recently.

The children boarded The Cheeky Monkeys minibus and after a short trip we arrived at the Customer Services department to meet our 2 Tesco helpers, the wonderful Gill and Nina.

We went to the Office “behind the scenes” where we were given Hi Visibility Vests to wear.

This would let everyone in the store see us and know that we were learning where our food comes from.

Dionne tried one of the hi visibility  vests on!

We were given a clipboard and had to go into the store and find foods that were different colors!

We had to find something Red, Yellow, Orange, Blue and Green then put them in our basket and write them on our list!

Once we found them all we talked about if the food and chatted about if it had to be picked or had to be dug up!

We got them all right!

Then we got to smell Ginger, Garlic and Rosemary.

We then walked to the Cheese Counter and got to try different types of cheese!

We all tried Red Leicester, a smoked cheese and one even had Ginger and Lemon zest inside – they were yummy!

We then looked at all the fish on the fish counter!

We looked at lots and lots of different types of fish and also a huge bowl of mussels.

We then went behind the scenes again and looked in the warehouse and watched people pushing big cages of food around the warehouse.

We went in the cooler room where they stored Milk and then we went in to the freezer room where they store the ICE CREAM!!!    Bbbbbrrrrr it was very cold!!!

After the tour we went back to the office and made lovely fruit kebabs and tried various fruit smoothies  – they were yummy!

We would like to say a big “Thank You” to Tesco for inviting us to come along for the day it was most memorable.

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The Gruffalo’s Child Trail – Our adverntures on the Cheeky Monkeys Minibus

We had a wonderful time at The Gruffalo’s Child Trail at Thornton Park in Brentwood recently.

It was a lovely Autumn day so we all put our hats, scarves, coat and wellies on and boarded the Cheeky Monkeys minibus for our long trip to Brentwood from our Earls Colne nursery.

We then bought our maps and headed off to find the Squirrel, the Mouse, the Fox, the Snake, The Gruffalo’s Child and The Gruffalo!!

Off we set to find them all!!

After finding the Mouse we then found the Fox…..

Then we found the Owl!

We also found the Snake!!!

Then we found the Gruffalo’s Child…..

Then we found the Gruffalo!!

or perhaps 2……..

We then had a play in the sandpit and made “Sand Angels”, played  in our “dens” and climbed on the trees!




We jumped in puddles!!!……that tasted….well like Mud really…..


After all the running around we had a lovely packed lunch in the park!

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Cheeky Monkeys Newsletter for period October- December 2014

Newsletter for period October- December 2014


Cheeky Monkeys Day Nursery and Preschool
Newsletter: Autumn Term 2014 Part Two


We would like to welcome Sophie to our team, she will be joining us as Assistant manager and will be on hand alongside Laura for any questions you may have.

We would also like to welcome Katie as a student to our nursery.  She is currently studying her BA in early years and will be with us until February 2015. Rebecca will also be joining us to complete her placement as part of her level three qualification from Colchester Institute.

We would like to wish Lee every success as he heads back to college to complete the remainder of his level three.

Nursery news

Winter warmers

Over half term we introduced our new winter menu that will be on a three week rolling menu. It will be the same home cooked meals from scratch but with new dishes for example sweet and sour chicken, warm chocolate sponge and pasta with salmon and broccoli.

Further details can be found on the parent’s notice board. For our funded children a hot meal is £2.50 a day.

From farm to fork

On Friday 14th November we will be taking some of our preschool children to Tesco’s in Highwood’s to take part in their farm to fork trial. The children will get to look around the store and help at the various counters e.g. the fish and cheese counter, look behind the scenes and try some new foods.

We will be completing a shop back in nursery for them to practice the skills they have learnt and for some of the younger ones to engage also. We would love any packaging you may be able to save for our shop.

Children in need: super hero day

We will be taking part in the children in need celebrations on Friday 14th November. We would love as many of you to dress up as super heroes as possible and make a donation of £1.

We will be holding a cake stall for the whole week, starting on Monday 10th November.

Thank you

A big thank you to all of you that brought in conkers for us, we have managed to do lots of art work and our older ones have had discussions about where they are from and how they grow.

Communication sheets

We are excited to announce that we are introducing new daily sheets for our preschool children, these sheets will be completed by your child’s key person, and will give you an idea on the activities your child has done during the day and links to the seven areas of learning.

We would love to hear your thoughts of these over the next few weeks.

Say cheese

Our photographer had a very busy day when she visited; all proofs will be shortly sent out to you. You can place your order online, or fill in the form and return with payment to nursery, no later than Tuesday 18th November.

Christmas cards

In order for them to be back and printed in plenty of time for Christmas, please ensure you have ordered online and returned your art work design to nursery by: Monday 10th November


Now we are all settled we have started learning our phonics sounds again in preschool. These are based on the jolly phonics scheme and each letter sound has a action and song attached. We will be teaching them one sound a week and a parent’s song sheet will be available for you to take home on the parents signing in table.

Term dates

3rd November: funded sessions resume on Week 2.

Friday 19th November: Funded children break up for Christmas

Nursery closes at 1pm Christmas eve and re opens on 2nd January.

5th January: Funded sessions resume. We will be returning on the week one rota.

Keeping in touch

Have you seen our face book and twitter pages or our website? Stay up to date with all our fun adventures and exciting updates.



Twitter: Cm_nursery

———Keeping in touch———-

To help us keep in touch we are asking parents for their email address so we can send any letters/newsletters and holiday club details quickly, and easily. These details will be securely stored and not passed onto anyone else.

Please pop your details below or email the nursery direct on if you are happy for us to email you:

Childs name:………………………………………………

Email address:………………………………………………

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School Holiday Club visit Colchester Castle

Cheeky Monkeys School Holiday Club recently took a group to visit to Colchester Castle which is the largest Norman Keep in Europe.

The Children from our School Holiday Club really enjoyed the visit.

Colchester Castle was built when Colchester was the first Roman capital of Britain. 

A visit to the Colchester Castle in the Cheeky Monkeys Minibus was a great start to the School Holidays and our School Holiday Club group.

It’s now bigger, brighter and better than ever before, with brand new interactive displays including new finds and star exhibits like the Colchester Vase and the Colchester Mercury statuette.

Visitors can try out some exciting new experiences – we dressed up, joint a roman clan (and renamed ourselves The Cheeky Monkey Clan), we even steered a chariot (the wrong way) around Colchester’s recently uncovered Roman Circus!

The large scale projection on the Castle Walls transformed the east wall with light and sound and was fantastic!

There was plenty to occupy our children from dressing up to stepping inside a recreated thatched roundhouse and we got to go down into the Roman vaults and the dungeons…..then it was back on the minibus for the short trip home (via the park)

The School Holiday Clubs are run separately at each of our nurseries (Earls Colne Essex Nursery or Colchester Essex nursery)

If you would like to arrange a booking please do not hesitate to call the nurseries direct on

01787 221102 (Earls Colne) or 01206 574402 (Colchester)








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“They look forward to playing with their friends and all the opportunities they have to investigate and explore & the messier the better!”


“We are aware that there is a real drive to improve the services offered to the children & that has been very evident over the past year. The children really look forward to coming to the nursery.”


“They are looked after so well by the staff.”


“We know the children are happy, settled and cared for by staff who know them so very well.”


“Friendly staff, Flexible, Like the newsletter, Loved the boys xmas pressies!”