Nursery Frequently Asked Questions

What is the background of the nursery?

Children playing with cogs

Staffordshire University Nursery runs from the Stoke site and was set up in 1992. It is part of Staffordshire University, but runs an open service for members of the local community as well as students.

Since we opened we have set ourselves high standards for nursery care and education. We put great importance on having well trained staff. This has given us one of the most highly qualified and experienced teams in the area.

How do I find the nursery?

Clown with children

Stoke: Opposite Stoke-on-Trent Train Station is the North Staffordshire Hotel.  If you go to the right of the hotel, into their car park you will find the nursery building on the right. The door is up the ramp with the red banister.

You can park in the North Staffordshire Hotel car park for free for 10 minutes.

What kind of activities will my child do in the nursery?


Staffordshire University Nurseries are committed to providing a varied curriculum that is accessible to all. Throughout the year, we plan many kinds of stimulating activities that challenge and inspire the children. A tailored programme is delivered to each child to cater for their interests and individual learning needs.

We provide daily opportunities for all children to access the outdoor learning environment whatever the weather and when possible we like to take the children on outings to explore the surrounding areas and local communities.

How will you make sure my child settles into the nursery well?


Starting a new nursery can present lots of new experiences which your child may not have come across before. This might be confusing to start with, especially if your child is accustomed to spending much of their time with you.

To overcome this, we offer free settling in visits before your child starts nursery. To begin with, you can spend time in the nursery with your child. Then you can leave them for short periods of time, till they are familiar with the nursery and its routines. This has the added bonus of giving you a clear idea of what your child will do in nursery.

How does the nursery tell us what our children have been doing?

nursery child drawing class

As a parent, we appreciate that it is important for you have a good understanding of how your child is developing emotionally, physically and socially. At Staffordshire University Nurseries, we make a point of keeping you informed of your child’s progress on a daily basis.

During the day you are welcome to give the nursery a call to see how your child is getting on; you will be able to speak to a member of staff from your child's room who can give you an update on their day so far. This can be particular reassuring when they first start the nursery or if they have been unwell at home.

When you come to pick your child up at the end of the day, a member of staff from your child’s room will update you on how they got on during the day. They will tell you what they ate and how much, if they had a sleep and for how long and what they have done during the day. All this information is also written on notice boards in your child's room for you to check how your child's day has gone for yourself.

When children are very young, it is important that you know exactly when your child was last fed, slept and changed. For this reason we have communication books which you are given at the end of each day to take home, these are also for you to use to pass on any important information that you feel we may require. These books are used for all children in the 0-1's room.

What happens at meal times?

nursery children chairs

Meal times at Staffordshire University Nurseries have a strong focus on healthy eating. The nursery has three different weekly menus which are displayed on the wall. We ensure our meals offer children a varied and balanced diet. 

Mealtimes follow a regular routine where all the children and staff sit at the table and eat together. The children are supported with eating where necessary, yet given full encouragement to be as independent as possible.

We provide breakfast for the children between 8am and 9am, followed by a fruit snack at 10.15, at 12 the children have a freshly cooked lunch. The children then have a fruit snack around 2.30pm or on their waking from their nap. A light tea is then provided at 4pm.

How will you provide drinks for my child?

boy pouring tea

Drinks of water and milk are readily available to children. They are given them at meal and snack times. Younger children are regularly offered and encouraged to have drinks throughout the day. Older children each have an individually labelled cup and are encouraged to help themselves to water.

Can you provide for special dietary needs?

The nursery is able to accommodate all kinds of dietary requirements, so please talk to us if your child needs a particular diet.

Can my child take a comforter to nursery?

nursery children with toys

Lots of children have a favourite comforter like a dummy, blanket or teddy. If parents wish, the child can have these in the room at all times. Or they can be brought to the nursery and left in the child’s bag for when they need them.

How do you keep the nursery secure?


Security of the children in our nursery is very important. We ask all parents to arrive and leave through the same door. We ask parents to sign their child in and out of the building so we always have a record of who is in the building. The door is accessed using a number code. Only staff are given the door code.

CCTV systems are installed at our nursery site, to ensure added security. Access to the nursery spaces can only be granted by a member of staff using a video monitor and communication system.

Before your child starts the nursery you will be given an enrolment form to fill in. This will ask for your full names, phone number, and a password. If someone else will pick your child up from time to time, you will be asked for photographs or visual descriptions of what they look like. By this information we can ensure you child is kept safe and secure.

Will my child get a nap when they are at nursery?

nursery children gather puzzle

Children are given the opportunity to sleep during the day. The nursery provides each child with their own sleep mat and a blanket. Children under 12 months have their own cot.

At sleep time a relaxing atmosphere is created using dimmed lights and calm music. Children are not forced to sleep. Those that are awake are offered peaceful activities to give them time to rest.

Children are supervised at all times whilst sleeping. Our nurseries record the amount of time each child sleeps and regular checks are carried out by staff on the children.

What happens when my child’s nappy needs changing?

nursery boy blowing soap bubbles

We ask parents to bring in their own nappies, wipes and creams. These are put in an individually marked cupboard and used for only your child. When you drop your child off, we will ask when they were last changed. Nappies are changed on a 1 to 1 basis. This gives the added benefit of adult/ child interaction and encouraging language development.

Children are checked every 2 hours and before sleep and mealtimes. Any child, who has soiled, will be changed immediately.

What happens if I want to breast feed my child?

nursery hands on toys

Our nursery have a parent room to enable you to breast feed your baby. If required, we are happy to accommodate you returning to the nursery to give feeds throughout the day. If you wish to express milk, we can bottle feed this to your child.

What happens if my child is bottle feeding?

nursery one hand digging

If you are bottle feeding your child you will need to provide formula and bottles. Please bring in enough sterilised bottles for each feed during the day. You will also need individual sterilised containers with the measured amount of powder for each feed. Alternatively you can bring in ready made cartons.

Can I see your Ofsted reports?


The Stoke Nursery has been assessed by Ofsted and was Ofsted report for Stoke-on-Trent Nursery.

The nursery also successfully achieved the Stoke Speaks Out level 4 accreditation.

Can I see the nurseries policies and procedures?

The nursery has a policies folder for you to view at any time, please ask a member of the team if you would like to see this.

How qualified are the nursery staff?

nursery hands on sand

Staffordshire University Nursery’s have some of the best qualified nursery staff in the region with all members of staff qualified to level 3 and above, with the exception of an apprentice. Also the nursery has 4 members of staff holding a degree qualification as well as a Early Years Teachers Status.

What do you do to try and keep a stable environment in the nursery?

child knocking on door

Each member of staff is allocated to a particular room in the nursery. We aim to keep the same staff in the same room. This means that when your child comes in, they will see a familiar face. This gives your child a feeling of security and continuity.

If someone is off sick and we do have to bring in another member of staff to help, we will endeavour to keep the same level of continuity with staffing.

Will my child get special help from any members of staff?

boy on climbing frame

Each child in the nursery is assigned a key person. Your child’s key person is responsible for keeping records of your child’s progress on a day to day basis. They will also consider your child’s holistic developmental needs and ensure the activity plans and care routines reflect these needs.

The key person will informally observe your child throughout the day and record their achievements. This is available for you to see on request.

How do you help children with special needs?


We have many children with special needs in our nursery and are happy to work with you to make nursery a great experience for your child.

The nursery has disabled access throughout. If necessary, we will make every reasonable effort to make adaptations for access and inclusion to all activities undertaken within the nursery.

Sometimes special needs can become apparent as a child progresses through nursery. If this happens, discussions will take place between parents and members of staff in order to look at ways to support you and your child. We have access to many different professionals who have expertise in many different areas to ensure we are meeting the individual needs of your child. 

If your child has been identified as having special needs, their requirements will be identified through discussions between the key worker and you. If necessary, a special development programme will be put together for your child. Each term, the key worker in partnership with you will set your child a learning focus and will identify methods to meet this through play and care routines. The leaning focus is then used on a weekly basis to inform the educational and care programme for your child.

Where necessary we can help parents to get advice from external agencies. We can also support parents with processes like gaining a statement from the Local Education Authority that will support your child’s education with our setting our in any future school / setting they may attend.

What happens if my child becomes ill whilst at nursery?

nursery child drawing class

If your child becomes sick when in nursery we will telephone you straight away to let you know. If you are unavailable, we will call the emergency contacts provided on your enrolment form. If it is a minor problem, we may advise you to make an appointment at the doctors or to pop in to take a look or just inform you of the situation so you are aware.

The nursery follows rigorous cleaning and hygiene procedures to keep exposure to infectious diseases at bay. If a child in the nursery shows signs of having an infectious disease, or is not coping with the day, we will send them home straight away. This will help us to ensure that it does not spread throughout the nursery. This includes children vomiting or suffering from diarrhoea.

What happens if my child is ill before going to nursery?

nursery children with lettuce

If your child is absent for any reason, and unable to attend nursery, please inform the nursery on all occasions.

If your child has shown symptoms of any infectious disease, including vomiting and diarrhoea, the Health Standards state that a child cannot attend nursery for 48 hours after the symptoms have subsided. This helps us to stop infection being passed on to other children in the nursery.

Any absences due to sickness must be paid in full.

For details of exclusion periods following illness please follow the link below to Health Protection Agency website:



What happens if my child needs medicine during the day?

nursery two girls

Before we can give your child medicine, they must have had at least two doses prior to attendance at the nursery and be monitored for signs of allergy. Generally the nursery staff will only administer prescribed medicines.

If your child is taking medication and some of it needs to be taken whilst they are in nursery, then you will need to let us know when you bring them in. Keep the medicine in its original packaging with appropriate information leaflets. The medication will need to be labelled with your Child's name.

Each day your child needs medicine, you will need to fill in a medicine form. You need to write down the required dosage and when they need to take it, and then sign the form. If this form is not filled in that day, the staff will not be able to give your child any medicine.

The nursery will never give your child any medicine unless you have given us written consent. We will also never give aspirin or medicines containing ibuprofen unless prescribed by a doctor.

When the medicine is given to your child, the nursery staff will immediately fill this in on the medicine form showing what was given and at what time. You will need to sign this form again when you come to collect your child.

Is the nursery ever closed?

The service is closed on all bank holidays and University statutory days and can close a maximum of 5 days per year for training / maintenance etc. Please refer to Closures.

What happens if I am going on holiday or my child is going to be absent?

play cooking

If you are going on holiday or your child will not be attending their booked session, please could you inform us as soon as possible so this can be recorded on the register. If we are not aware of any absence then a courtesy call will be made to check on your child's well being.

How do I make changes to my booking?

nursery one hand digging

Once you have days when your child attends nursery, you are guaranteed them throughout your time here until you wish to change them.

If you want to make a change to your booking, write it in a letter and drop it in to the office as soon as possible. If you are reducing the number of days you do, or finishing in the nursery, you will need to give us at least a months notice. This will give us enough time to refill the space.

If you want to add days to your booking pop into the office and tell us what you are looking for. We will do our best to give you the days you need. Sometimes it may take sometime for a place to become available because we also need to ensure there is space for your child when the time comes for them to move up to the next room.

Staffordshire University Nursery are familiar with helping students who are parents. We appreciate that study timetables can change and we do our best to try and accommodate these changes. Before the end of each term, we send out notices asking if anyone needs to change their bookings. We will try to give you your requested days before we offer out places to people on the waiting list.

What happens when my child is ready to go to school?


When the big day arrives that your child is ready to leave nursery and start school, we will put together a transition to school booklet for your child. The booklet shows examples of your child’s work and describes the progress you child has made through nursery. This will give the new school a clear idea what your child can already do and where they need to go next in their learning.

The transition to school booklet, will help to give your child a good start with their new teacher. The pre-school room helps to prepare children for school and promote independence. Your child's key person is happy to communicate with your child’s new school if you wish and particularly to discuss any specific care / educational needs.

Does my child have to leave nursery after I graduate?

The childcare service is open to members of the public, as well as students and staff. This means that your child does not have to leave the nursery after you graduate.


Stoke Nursery
4/5 Winton Square, Station Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 2AD
t: +44 (0)1782 294981