Parent Handbook

Table of Contents


Opening and Closing Hours

Food in the Creche

Outdoor Play

Illness in the Creche



Our Staff

About each room –         Nursery –         Charmers Room –         Dreamers Room –        Starlights Room

Our Curriculum


Dear parent, Welcome to Ashvale Crèche.

We provide full daycare for children from 4 months to school age. When you enroll you child in Ashvale crèche they will be treated as individuals and cared for in a stimulating, fun loving, and safe environment.

In Ashvale crèche we strive at all times to create a happy, loving and caring atmosphere. Our staff will nurture each child’s physical, social, emotional and intellectual development.

We have an open door policy for parents to drop by at any time and wish to maintain an honest and open relationship with parents. Staff are happy to discuss child’s progress with parents at any time. Our policies and procedures are available for parents if wished. Please ask a staff member in your child’s room.

We are a member of Early Childhood Ireland  and approved by the Eastern Health Board. Regular inspections are carried out to ensure our high level of care is maintained.

It is our aim in Ashvale crèche that every child will be happy and develop to his/her full potential

Opening and closing hours: We are open from 07.30 to 18.00, Monday to Friday.

Ashvale crèche will be closed on the following days – Bank holidays, St. Patrick’s Day,  Easter Monday and also for one week at Christmas.

Introduction to Ashvale crèche: Settling in should be a positive experience as it will promote the child’s self confidence, and lay the foundation for a happy and content child. In the two weeks prior to commencement date parents are encouraged to arrange a time to drop in to familiarise the child with the new environment.

Issues and concerns regarding your child e.g. security blanket, soothers, etc. will be discussed with management and key staff worker prior to settling in.

Collection of children: In Ashvale crèche we encourage only parents or carers of the child to collect or drop child off. However we understand that this may not always be practical therefore any other person who may collect the child must be recorded on the registration form and parents must notify staff verbally that another collector will be attending.

Food in the crèche: In Ashvale crèche we understand the importance of highly nutritious, good quality meals. This is important for health and development and also to stimulate taste bubs and develop social skills involving eating and sharing.

Breakfast is provided each morning, followed at 10am by fresh fruit snack. Lunch is provided at midday and this may be hot food or salads. Early afternoon snack is provided – smoothies, scones or yogurts. The main meal of the day – a hot dinner is provided every evening.

Meals in the nursery are timed to suit the babies’ individual needs. An outside catering company- Creative Chef- operated by Master Chef Rory Redmond provides the main dinner. Creative Chef is dedicated to providing the highest quality foods, which is especially prepared for children. All food is free of artificial additives, colourings and no extra salt is added. We chose this method of providing food as the company has an excellent reputation in quality and hygiene. It allows us to provide a varied menu and suit special dietary requirements.

A weekly menu is displayed on the notice board in the front hall. We encourage healthy eating at all times and provide a cheerful, relaxed atmosphere at meal times.

Front Garden

Front Garden

Outdoor play: In Ashvale crèche we are very conscious of our beautiful environment. We strive at all times to get the children out into the fresh air and promote outdoor play and activities.

We have different outdoor areas to facilitate different activities. A large grassy garden is used mainly by the older children; this area has many areas for digging, cycling trikes, climbing and balance beams, a trampoline, and much more. We have an astro turf garden for the babies and smaller children – with a playhouse, crawling frames and small slides.

We also have a large tarmacadam area with large timber climbing structures – the children also use this area for their bikes, pretend play and outdoor meals. We have a lovely orchard and a vegetable patch that the children care for all year around.

The children enjoy exploring the grounds around the crèche and are always supervised in the outdoors.

Illness in the crèche: To safeguard the well being of all children and staff it is vital that sick children are not brought into the crèche. Children with heavy colds or coughs are advised not to attend. Children with any of the following symptoms will be excluded from attending: diarrhoea, vomiting, a fever of 38 C/101 F or above or any of the following: chickenpox, mumps, measles, meningitis or hepatitis. In the event of your child attending the doctor please get advice as to when it is possible to return to crèche.

A child on antibiotics must have the first 2 doses administered by their parents. Antibiotics can be administered by our staff – in accordance with our medications policy.

Should a child become sick or have a temperature during the day, parents may be asked to take the child home. If you feel that your child may require Calpol or Neurofen medication please fill in a medication sheet so that staff can administer this medication. Parents will be phoned prior to Calpol being administered except in exceptional circumstances.

Any medication being brought into the crèche must be given to a staff member.

Head lice infection is contagious and if a case is noticed, it will be brought to the attention of all parents immediately. We ask parents to check hair regularly.

Birthdays: Birthdays are always special and deserve to be celebrated. Parents may supply a special cake or food if they wish to do so. Parents are welcome to attend the party or to provide a camera.

Fees: All fees are paid monthly, in advance and standing order payment is the preferred method of paying. On commencement a deposit of 200 euro is payable, which is refunded provided Ashvale crèche is given one months notice of intention to leave.

There is a non-refundable registration fee. Places will not be secure until payment; along with registration forms have been returned.

Fees must be paid when the child is not in attendance due to illness, and when the service is closed due to public holidays and Christmas

Fee structure is available on contacting the crèche.

Fees are reviewed each year. Ashvale Creche is open 51 weeks of the year. We close for Christmas week.

ECCE fees – children availing of the free ECCE year will not be charged any additional fees for their 3 hours preschool on the 38 week model. However additional hours may be sought by parents and paid for as per our fee structure.

Our staff: When you place your child in Ashvale crèche you can rest assured that they will be receiving the highest possible care.

Our staff are a dedicated team of qualified, highly competent people. My own qualifications are in nursing and midwifery and followed by Montessori teaching – and I am available at all times to answer questions regarding your child’s health and welfare. Some of our staff members are parents themselves with a childcare qualifications and the wealth of knowledge being a parent brings cannot be imparted in textbooks.

All our staff members have qualifications relevant to their working environment. We always have first aid qualified staff on the premises– and are competent and able to deal with emergency situations.

We work within excellent child: staff ratios. 1staff to 3 babies in the nursery. 1 staff to every 5 – 1year olds.

In our starlight’s room one staff to every 8 children.

We are regularly inspected by the Preschool Officer assigned to us by the Health Board, and adhere to required protocol laid down in the Childcare Regulation 2007.


About each room Ashvale crèche comprises of the following:

Nursery room               Wobblers Room – Dreamers                     Toddlers Room – Charmers                        Montessori Room- Starlights

Nursery: This room caters for 6 – 8 small children with 2 qualified staff members.

This room is specifically for tiny tots who are just beginning to find their feet. Our room has a large selection of toys to stimulate the children – mirrors, musical toys, baby gym, and much more, together with lots of love and cuddles.

With each child we follow whatever routine they are used to. All this can be discussed freely with staff. Staff will provide a daily record of your child’s intake and output and sleep times. Weaning babies onto solids will be done in accordance to the parents’ wishes.

This room has a separate sleep room with  cots with direct visibility from the nursery.

The next 2 rooms that cater for your child’s care and development are situated beside each other and there is a lot of interaction between these 2 rooms. There are 3 staff members between the 2 rooms. The age range is a guide and depending on your child’s development he/she may move rooms at a different stage.

Wobbler Room – Dreamers room This room caters for 8 children between age 20 months and 2 and a half years. 

This room will provide a wide range of activities for busy little hands, involving creative messy play, art time, story time, puzzles, home corner, construction play and singing. Children will have lots of outdoor play therefore ensure coat and hat is always provide A sleep period or rest time will also be provided after lunch each day.

Toddler Room – Charmers –   This room caters for 10 children between 2 – 3and a half years old.

This room will provide a wide range of activities for growing hands and minds. The day will involve table top work, art and craft time, circle time, story time and music and dances. Children will have lots of outdoor play.

Children will be have a more structured day with time allocated for certain activities. A sleep period or rest time will also be provided after lunch each day if necessary.

Toilet training: will be undertaken when you feel that your child and you are both ready. Staff will always give advice and positive encouragement.

Preschool Room – Starlight’s (3-5 years)

This spacious, bright room provides a variety of activities in a free play environment. Once again our focus is on the whole child – and developing the child’s physical, intellectual, emotional and social skills.

The children will be encourages to be independent in toilet facilities, mealtimes and planning their own day.

There will be more emphasis on structure throughout the day. There will be Montessori activities incorporated into the day; this allows your child to experience learning by their own choice. This room provides a variety of stimulating activities – children use work books and work sheets, free hand drawing, painting, expression through role play, dressing up, construction play, home corner music, singing and drama.

The children are encouraged to get involved in planning the vegetable garden, sowing the seeds, cultivating and harvesting their crop. A lot of their learning is focused on the outdoors and Mother Nature.

Children build up their self confidence through circle time, self expression and praise, to equip then to advance to primary school.

After school area: This area has been developed in response to a growing need by our current parents. Currently we collect from many local schoosl – Gael Scoil Chill Mhantain, Holy Rosary and St Patricks . Collections from other schools can be discussed and arranged if necessary.

The children are given help with their homework where necessary.

Our Curriculum

The curriculum at Ashvale crèche is based on the Aistaer and Siolta guidelines.

At Ashvale we centre out planners around the Aistear framework  relating  to everyday activities and class time table. We evaluate our planners month and are inspired and directed by a child led philosophy.