Fees and FAQs

Below are some answers to the most common questions we answer at Children First. If you have any further questions, you can always email us at: Queens Baby Nursery bn@children-first.info Queens Pre-School Day Nursery qn@children-first.info and independent Place Nursery  ip@children-first.info 


Independent Place Nursery is open from 8.00am-6.00pm. Queens Baby Nursery, Queens Nursery and Queens Preschool @ The Old Stables are open from 7.30am-6.30pm. Our nurseries all offer a variety of sessions in terms of start and finish times.

Attendance Plan Conditions

We have a minimum of 3 days attendance which must include a Monday or Friday. We are open 51 weeks a year, excluding Bank Holidays and our staff training day on the first working day of the new year. These conditions are subject to availability. 2 month’s notice is required to reduce the number of days of your child’s attendance. We can sometimes offer increases in your child’s attendance with shorter notice.


Fees are paid by standing order which parents must set up and paid in advance and by the first working day of every month. Fees include all meals, snacks, nappies, wipes, trips, special events and daily specialist teachers until a child receives the funding for 3 year olds. For children who receive the 3 year old funding, known as Funded Early Education Entitlement or FEEE there is a consumables charge for the 3 days which we apply the funding to. Unfortunately, we are unable to refund for days of any absence, due to sickness as the nursery running costs remain the same. Once you have chosen your child or children’s sessions fees can be discussed with your Nursery Manager. We do not accept 2 year old funding. We reserve the right to charge daily fines on all late fees and/or accrue interest.

Tax Free Childcare

Many parents use the governments tax free childcare scheme to pay the nursery. This enables the government to pay 20% of nursery fees. Parents set up their account on this portal:  https://www.gov.uk/tax-free-childcare Fees are paid into the tax free childcare account and the government top up 20%. Parents must still ensure this is paid on 24th of the month.  This means for every £8.00 a parent pays the government add £2.00.

15 or 30 Hours Funded Early Education Entitlement FEEE

Depending on your income and circumstances, your child may be eligible for the 15 or 30 hours FEEE when they have passed their 3rd birthday. Eligibility, information and criteria can be found here: The Government provide the funded hours for the school year, that is 38 weeks. Like the majority of other day nurseries, we provide what is known as, the extended offer, therefore the 15 or 30 hours are spread out over the year and are not applied in term time only.


We offer 5% discount on older siblings until they qualify for the FEEE. We offer the same for twins. We are sometimes able to offer NHS staff a 5% discount unitl their child or children claim the FEEE.

Ad Hoc Days

Availability of ad hoc days should be discussed with the nursery manager in advance. Occasionally we may be able to offer ad hoc days on the day in an emergency. Ad hoc days must be paid in advance. We may not know until a few days before, whether or not, we can accommodate your child or children.

Attendance Plan Exchanges

We do not allow attendance plan exchanges between families or siblings as it could affect our ratios and space requirements in one of our rooms.  2 month’s notice is required to reduce the number of days of your child attendance.

Our Waiting Lists

Early registration on our waiting lists is advisable and places do become available during the year. We constantly assess availability taking into account any children who are leaving for school or moving house. We cannot hold spaces open once offered, so if the place is not taken up on the date it will be offered to another child and your child will remain on the waiting list but their start may well be delayed. You can request that your child to be removed from the waiting list and we will delete all relevant data.

Allocation Of Places

We offer places based on the following areas or priority:

  • Siblings on the waiting list who are ready to start. Parents should complete the Enrolment Form for younger siblings as soon as possible as we cannot guarantee a space, however we endeavour to do our best to accommodate siblings.
  • Children on the waiting list who are ready to start.
  • Children who are already attending and want to increase their days.
  • The date of your registration on the waiting list and completion our Enrolment Form and the matching of our availability to parents stated preferences. Parent’s flexibility is requested on the Enrolment Form.


What activities do children enjoy at Nursery?

The variety and quality of activities we offer, provide learning opportunities appropriate to our different age groups in Nursery. Children get involved in experiencing sand and water play, mud kitchens, outdoor activities and classes with specialist teachers. The variety of messy indoor activities and wealth of creative play include paint, glue, scissors, mark making , IT, collage materials and construction. science, maths, literacy and physical development are all provided within the framework of the EYFS. Children are exposed to numbers, mathematical concepts. geometrical shapes. We promote reading through storytelling and listening to stories as well as browsing, enjoying books, discussing pictures and day to day experiences. Making marks on paper and in sand with paint or chalk boarding encourages participation in experiences that develop hand eye coordination and small muscle control that will lead to future writing competence. Natural wood Community Playthings furniture is used throughout the Nursery, this is moved and new spaces created every month to give children opportunities to explore and learn in new areas.

Do children have a Key Worker at Nursery?

Every child has a Key Worker who takes responsibility for updating each child’s records, profiles and WOW books. Key Workers plan age and child appropriate activities for the children in their group. We use the Eylog on line learning journal, this is shared with parents by way of an App on their phones. Children enjoy circle time with their Key Worker and planned learning activities with their Key Group. Key Workers provide that special bond with the child from which they can grow and develop confident learning relationships with other adults and their peers. As each child grows and gets older they move through the Nursery and progress to older Key Groups and rooms.

What can you tell me about my child’s daily routine at Nursery?

Every child’s routine is dependent on the type of day session they choose. Routines include healthy breakfast, lunch, tea, snacks and drinks, Children are encouraged to become autonomous by topping up in water and helping themselves as they get older. Our indoor learning activities, outdoor learning activities, circle times, wow activities, IT activities, creative learning, musical activities and circle times with Key Workers give children pattern to the day and lots of WOW times. Children are encouraged to free flow into the garden and into indoor learning areas. All our Nurseries have a special event and or a Specialist Teacher every day. Please ask your Nursery Manager more about this when visiting Nursery.

Do the children go out of Nursery for trips?

We do take the children to risk assessed, nearby places such as the park, the market or supermarket, the library, local shops, woods or similar places they have shown an interest in going to. Trips and outings stimulate the children and their ability to learn. Our outings are well organised ahead of time and purposeful to getting the best learning outcomes for children as well as being fun. As well as trips we encourage special events in Nursery and invite people in who can contribute to our topics and the children’s learning. Examples are a grandfather who is a GP, parents who are bilingual or who can share with the children, memories of special festivals when they were young, soup making or challah baking.

How nutritious is the food my child will be given at Nursery and are requirements and preferences catered for?

Each Nursery each has a dedicated onsite Chef, who cooks all meals from fresh ingredients and from, ’scratch’ every day. Due to requests, whenever possible food at Independent Place is organic. Menus include tastes, textures, ingredients and recipes from around the world. Menus are nutritionally balanced and overseen by a specialist child Nutritionist. www.juliawolman.co.uk We cater for all religious and cultural requirements as well as parental preferences for their families. Our menus are reviewed when guidelines change to ensure that we are providing highly nutritional food within most recent advice, whilst including children’s favourites and parents ideas and recipes.

What sort of special events do the children enjoy at Nursery?

Our Nurseries are well known for our special and parent partnership events. A small sample of special events we offer include: hatching chicks and ducks, setting butterflies free in the park, Gruffalo hunts, cookie decorating parties and Chinese New Year celebrations. We offer much more. We have weekly events at Nursery and parent invitations to share Specialist Teacher sessions with your child all add to the value the Nursery brings to your family. Regular parties, festival celebrations and trips to the library enhance education and learning. Breakfast stay and play sessions and special days such as Grandparents tea parties are not only fun, but support family engagement in Nursery

My child has an allergy, how does Nursery ensure that children do not become exposed to allergens?

Our chefs are trained in allergens and allergen control. When a child is registered with Children-First, all allergies much be included on the Registration Form.  At that time, notes of all symptoms, required treatment, medication and potential allergens will be identified and included in your child’s notes.  If a child develops an allergy during their time with us, equally rigorous procedures are applied. Children with allergies, dietary preferences or religious requirements are provided with food tailored to their needs. We have a very rigorous policy for supporting children have dietary requirements and use colour coded plates to avoid cross contamination of allergens, children understand and know their plate colour as they get older.

How carefully do you prepare my child for transitioning to school?

In our Pre-School Rooms at Nursery, school preparation for transition becomes a focus in the year before going to school. Children learn to write their names, are taught phonics, learn the value of numbers, 2d and 3d shapes. Pre-Schoolers enjoy browsing books, learning more about IT and hearing stories, whilst getting to know the characters in the Oxford Reading Tree by sharing books from the reading scheme. Relationships with Specialist Teachers, help children prepare for making new relationships with adults in school. We form links with local schools and invite teachers and older siblings of children at Nursery who are at school, to come in to talk to our Pre-Schoolers. All this ensures children go to school with confidence about what school offers. Our Annual Graduation Party and Carnival celebration in August for our Pre-Schoolers ensures that children leave us as with a   sense of adventure about the exciting new opportunities they will experience at school. Many children visit us in their new school uniforms and share this with other children.

Is Nursery open for holidays and Bank Holidays?

At Independent Place Nursery in Hackney we are open from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.  At both Queens Nurseries in Buckhurst Hill we are  open from 7.30 a.m. until 6.30 p.m.  We are closed on  all Bank Holidays, and have an annual festive closure for Christmas and New Year which varies from year to year.

How often do you review your fees?

Our fees are reviewed on 1st January each year at Independent Place Nursery in Hackney and on 1st April each year in Queens Nurseries in Buckhurst Hill. Parents are informed by email  of the changes at least a month in advance and are required to change their standing orders in a timely manner.

Who can I speak to if I have any questions, concerns, compliments or complaints regarding my child’s care at Nursery?

Our Nursery Managers have open door polices and are always pleased to talk to parents about anything on their minds regarding the Nursery or their child. We have a very robust Parent Partnership Policy which can be found here. We always welcome compliments from parents but are equally keen to hear about concerns, everything raised with our Manager is taken seriously and our Manager will get back to you by phone and email.