Frequently asked questions

We are different from other preschools and nurseries and so families have lots of questions before choosing Venture.

How do I know my child will be safe and secure?

The safety of our children is of paramount importance to us.

All staff hold an up to date enhanced Criminal Record Bureau check now called a DBS, (Disclosure and Barring Service) before they are allowed to be with the children. In addition, two personal references are taken up prior to starting work with Venture Outdoor Kindergarten.

The staff to child ratios at Venture Outdoor Kindergarten are much higher than Ofsted requirements. We employ highly qualified and experienced teachers and practitioners.

All equipment at Venture Outdoor Kindergarten is of a high quality and regular risk assessments on equipment and procedures are carried out to ensure everything is maintained to the highest standard.

We spend a great deal of time talking to the children about safety and playing games which teach and encourage them to manage risks for themselves and support their friends to do this too.

We carry out regular fire/ emergency evacuation drills with the children, so that they become familiar with the routine, and should we have an emergency, we will be able to clear the site quickly and safely.

When you register your child with us you will tell us who is allowed to collect your child and a record is kept of this. If your child is to be collected by a different person, staff must be notified at drop off time. We will not release a child to anyone unless we have your permission to do so.

Visitors attend by prior appointment. Visitors are not left alone with the children.

There is always at least one member of staff present who holds a paediatric First Aid qualification.

Upon registering we will ask you of any medical issues you are aware of that will ensure we understand any medical needs your child might have and adjust our practice accordingly.

Children have extremely healthy lifestyles; they have plenty of fresh air in all weathers and have healthy foods and drinks.

Ofsted Inspection report, November 2019.

What if my child needs to rest?

We appreciate how important it is that children have opportunities for rest and relaxation. There are three points during the day when we encourage the group to have calmer, more restful periods together where we sit and chat and read stories. These are the morning and afternoon snack times and lunch time. Children have access to hammocks, sleeping bags and shelter if they need to rest or nap which is quite likely due to the fact that they spend the entire day in the fresh air!

Do I need to provide food and water for my child?

We ask that parents provide enough food to give their child plenty of energy for an extremely active day! This includes a morning snack and lunch. Please note that we do not impose rules about the order in which the children consume their food, so please only supply food that you are happy for your child to eat. On colder days, please feel free to supply your child with hot food in a flask. We provide the snack in the afternoon, and this is often something that the children get involved in preparing and cooking on the fire.

Children will also require a bottle of water each day. We ensure that we always have fresh drinking water available should your child drink all of their water.

Teaching is inspirational. Staff closely track each child's progress and build upon identified areas for their development. They skilfully extend children's learning based on their interests.

Ofsted Inspection report, November 2019.

Children know how to keep safe. They confidently talk about the high tide and dangers at the beach. Children know the safe areas they can play by the flags at the den area, which identifies the safe boundaries. Staff use visuals to remind children of the dangers while they play in the den. Children confidently talk about not touching the sheep and not eating berries as this could make them poorly. Children tell staff that they need to join the 'rope bus' quickly and leave their bags behind in an emergency.

Ofsted Inspection report, November 2019.

What do you do if it rains? And what about cold weather?

Play, play, play! We see rain as an opportunity for water play and exploration. All children attending Venture Outdoor Kindergarten arrive dressed ready for a full day outside no matter what the weather so that they can make the most of our wonderful, changeable British weather! Please see our kit list for what your child will need.

Are you really outside in all weathers?

All types of weathers offer learning experiences and challenges and we are very lucky to live in a country where children can encounter so many diverse conditions outdoors. The woods offer shelter from rain and sun but we have tarps that we can use should we need extra shelter. The children learn how to keep warm in colder weather including how to light a fire and prepare warm drinks.

Our cosy indoor space offers refuge from the weather when we need it too!

In certain circumstances we may close the kindergarten if we judge that conditions are unsafe.

Can my child attend if he is not yet toilet trained?

We welcome children who wear nappies or are being toilet trained. We ask that parents provide enough nappies / spare clothes to accommodate their child during the day. We are available to give children plenty of support with toilet training as needed.

Can I visit the kindergarten before my child starts?

We love to show off our unique settings to new families! We hold an open session at each of our kindergartens each term. Please see our events page for details of the next session.

How do you allocate places at Venture?

Please see our registration and charging policy for full details on how we allocate places.

If you have further questions, please contact us.

Does my child also need to attend a nursery or preschool alongside Venture?

We believe passionately that the early years education we provide at Venture is second to none in fostering a love of learning, and the independence and resilience that children need when they start school or continue on their journey in life. Like other nurseries and preschools in the UK, we follow the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) curriculum, but the learning at Venture goes much deeper than this. You can read about our approach here and in our newsletters here.