Nursery welcome handbook

Updated on 14 March 2024

Find out basic information about the daily life of the nursery

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Welcome to the University of Dundee Nursery. This booklet is to provide you with some basic information about the daily life of the nursery. Please feel free to ask staff if you have any questions.

Nursery opening hours

The nursery opens at 08:15 and closes promptly at 17:15.

Morning sessions are from 08:15 -13:00

Afternoon sessions are from 13:00 – 17:15

Nursery home rooms

Puffins – caring for children under 2 years of age

Wildcats – caring for children aged 2 – 3 years of age

Golden Eagles – caring for children aged 3 – 5 years of age

Nursery routine


  • Nursery opens.
  • Free flow playtime.  Free flow play incorporates children’s choice, outdoor play and directed learning (in small groups with Key Person also allowing for bonding time) 


  • Snack time 

11:30 - 12:30

  • Children’s lunch is served 

12:30 – 14:00

  • Sleep and/or rest for children as appropriate
  • Outdoor or quiet indoor play


  • Tooth brushing 

14:10 – 16:50

  • Free flow playtime. Free flow play incorporates children’s choice, outdoor play and directed learning (in small groups with Key Person also allowing bonding time) 


  • Free flow snack time

16:50 – 17:15

  • Tidy up time followed by quite time and preparing children for home time 


  • Nursery closes.  Children should be collected and have left the nursery by this time.

These timings are all fluid and are adapted to meet the needs of the children and any adaptions to the nursery routine.

Meal times

The nursery follows the Setting the Table Guidelines

Menus are shared with parents on a regular basis via email

The nursery caters for a wide variety of dietary needs including allergies, religious and vegetarian. Your child’s registration forms and personal care plan provide staff with relevant information relating to their dietary needs. If your child’s needs change, please let a member of staff know - your child’s personal care plan will need to be updated with the new information.

Promoting independence

As children develop, we start to encourage age and stage appropriate independence. For older children this meant that at mealtimes they are encouraged to serve themselves and pour their own drinks and use a knife, fork and spoon as appropriate. Staff will assist children who are not yet independent. Younger children are encouraged to start feeding themselves when they are ready with staff support and encouragement.


All children are offered water throughout the day to drink. Milk or water is offered to drink at snack and lunch time.


Children are provided with a healthy snack in the morning and the afternoon. Morning snack is usually fruit or cereal, afternoon snack can be sandwiches, crackers and cheese, rice cakes, breadsticks and dips with vegetable sticks. Children (where appropriate) can help to make snack and sometimes cook pizza or biscuits for each other.


Children are provided with a 2-course home cooked lunch each day, this may consist of a soup followed by a main course, or a main course followed by a pudding.  A vegetarian option is always available. Children who do not eat the lunch that is offered will be offered an alternative, this may be soup or toast or a sandwich. We will not prevent a child from having pudding because they have not eaten their main course. We will not allow a child to go hungry.


Children should be dress in appropriate play clothes that you do not mind getting dirty or ruined during play or art activities. The nursery provides children with aprons to wear over their clothing to protect them but cannot guarantee that their clothing will not get spoiled. Clothing should also be appropriate for the weather conditions – children go outdoors in all weathers so will need sunhats and light clothing in the summer and wellingtons, warm coats, hats, scarves and gloves in the winter – preferably a ‘puddle suit’ i.e. an all in one waterproof.

Please provide your child with at least one full change of clothing each day. If your child requires a change of clothes during the session, soiled clothing will be placed in a named bag and kept in the changing room or home bathroom until home time. If your child has been changed please ask a member of staff for their clothing.

Please label your child’s clothing and belongings as the nursery cannot take responsibility for lost clothing that is not named.

Each home room has a lost property box where unnamed clothing will be placed for a period of time before being disposed of.


The nursery supplies nappies, wipes and sudocrem for all children under the age of 3 years. If your child cannot use the nappies that the nursery supplies parent will need to bring their own – there will be no reduction in fees for this. Parents who wish to continue using terry nappies whilst child is at nursery must supply the nursery with enough clean nappies daily. Soiled nappies will be sealed into a plastic bag and sent home – staff will not sluice nappies. Used nappies must be taken home at the end of each day.  If your child is using nappies after their third birthday, you will need to provide the nursery with these as well as wipes and any nappy creams you wish to us to use. A cream consent form will need to be completed if staff are required to apply nappy cream. Staff will inform you that stocks of your child’s nappies are running low allowing ample time for you to replenish them. If you do not replenish them and we have to use the nurseries supply we may charge for each individual nappy and any wipes used.

Toilet training

Staff will support your child and yourself through what can be for some an anxious time. Your child will probably indicate that they are ready to start toilet training by showing a lot of interest in the toilet or indicating when they have soiled. Toilet training should be started and encouraged at home in the first instance, it is a good idea to spend some time at home with your child to concentrate on this before introducing it at nursery.

If your child is toilet training, please ensure that you provide us with an ample supply of pants, trousers, socks and shoes for changing into. We expect children who are toilet training to have accidents, practitioners will never be cross at a child for this. We ask that you take your child to the toilet on arrival at the start of their session and staff will encourage them to use the bathroom throughout the day at regular intervals. Please note that staff will not sluice or clean soiled underwear or clothing, if you do not wish soiled underwear to be sent home and the nursery to dispose of it please let staff know. There are times when staff will deem underwear to be beyond cleaning and will dispose of in an appropriate manner. If you do not want them to do this, please talk to a member of staff.

If your child is toilet training, please ensure that they wear appropriate clothing i.e elasticated waists so that they can get them down quickly. At this time dungarees and buttoned jeans or trousers can be difficult for children to manipulate – especially when they are in a hurry to get to the toilet.

Sometimes children have accidents in nursery when they don’t at home, this is usually because the nursery is a busy environment and the child may not want to stop what they are doing or they leave it too late and do not have enough time to reach the bathroom.


During hot sunny weather the nursery expects parents to apply suncream to their child prior to them attending for the day. The nursery will top this us as required throughout the day using cream that has a minimum protection factor of 30. Parents provide  permission for this during the registration process. If you do not want to use the nursery suncream please provide us with an alternative. Children who do not have suncream applied will not be allowed to play in the sunshine for long periods, they will be limited to 10 minutes to prevent burning if their skin is exposed. A legionnaire sunhat and lightweight long sleeved top will allow them longer time in the sunshine.


It is the responsibility of the person dropping the child off at the start of their session to sign their child into the care of the nursery staff. It is a legal requirement that we keep a register of children who are in the premises at any one time. If you forget staff will do this for you when they check the register.  The person collecting your child must also sign them out. Staff check the register at the end of the day to ensure that all children have been collected.

Please ensure that the nursery door closes behind you when you leave and do not l open for another parent. Staff will open the door for parents and visitors.

Please advise the nursery staff in advance if someone different is collecting your child and provide that person with your password – the same one you provided on your registration forms. If someone unknown or unexpected arrives to collect your child the nursery staff will not release the child into their care. We will try to contact parent/carer to confirm, if they cannot be contacted we will progress through the emergency contact that ore on the registration forms. Please be aware that it is possible we will not release your child if we cannot contact you and if you are then late collecting your child you may be charged the relevant late collection fee.

The nursery takes the health and safety of all service users very seriously.


Parking is available for dropping off and collecting nursery children outside the nursery on Airlie Place. A nursery parking permit is required when using this space. Permits will be issued by the nursery management during the registration process once relevant forms have been completed. Nursery drop off spaces are for short stays only, anyone who parks for long periods will be at risk of receiving a parking ticket. Please do not park in the disabled bays as this may also result in a parking ticket being issued.

Invoicing and payment

Invoices will be emailed directly to the email address you provided – if you are associated with the university this must be an address. Invoices must be paid by the 11th of the following month directly into the nursery bank account. Details of this will be on your invoice.

Fees are calculated for the year (50 weeks) and then divided into 12 equal payments so that parents can set up a standing order directly into the nursery bank account. Invoices will not be issued for any hours that are funded.

Dundee City Council Funding

From the term after their 3rd birthday or for entitled 2-year-olds 1140 hours of funding are now available from 1st August to 31st July (academic year). The nursery offers this over either 38weeks or 50 weeks as follows.

38 weeks – 30 hours per week, Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 3.00 pm following the school term dates. If parents chose this option children will not attend during school holiday and closure days. Parents will have the option of paying for additional hours, these must be booked in advance.

50 weeks – 22.8 hours per week which can be booked in a variety of ways – 2.5 days with no fees. 5 x morning or 5 x afternoon sessions with no fees payable. A full-time space can be booked with a reduction in the amount parents pay to take account of funded entitlement, the same with 3- or 4-day bookings.


If you have any questions or concerns please talk to your child’s key person or another member of staff, we are here to help and support you and your child through this exciting journey of nursery life and pre-school learning Our aim is to ensure that your child and their family have a wonderful and exciting experience with us that will instil in your child a lifelong love of learning.

Thank you for the privilege of allowing us to care for your child.



Jacky Jones

Nursery Manager
From Nursery
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