Christmas Newsletter 2012

Dear Parents Carers

Welcome to the Crystal Early Years Christmas News letter!

By now you will have noticed that the Nursery has been transformed into a Christmas wonderland and to celebrate the festive season we have lots of exciting events lined up!

This year we have decided to do things slightly differently from the last few years. Those families who have been with us for previous Christmas's will recall that we usually hold the Christmas play and children's party on the same day at the town hall next door to the nursery. For the past few years we have been concerned that although the children did seem to have fun on this day, it felt very hectic and holding the children's party at the town hall with so many adults present has made it difficult for us to focus properly on the children and therefore give them a real party experience. This year we have decided that we will be holding the Christmas play on a separate day to the children's party.

The play will still take place in the Town Hall but the children will have their parties in their own group rooms with their own key staff. Unfortunately space restrictions will mean that we are unable to invite parents to this part of the celebrations but it does mean that we will be able to offer children a more traditional Christmas party atmosphere with a sit down tea, games, music, dancing and of course a visit from Father Christmas in a more calm, relaxed and familiar environment.

We would however like to invite all parents to the Crystal Early Years Christmas performances which will be held in the town hall on Tuesday 18th December at 3pm. Festive drinks and light refreshments will be served as you arrive. You will then be able to relax and enjoy the performances. This year the preschool group will be performing "The Littlest Christmas Tree", The lower twos will performing ''Going on a Santa Hunt'' and the Upper Twos will be having a Christmas Sing along! Some of the older babies will be joining lower twos in their performance and baby room parents will be informed if their child is taking part. Although the younger babies are too young to be included in this part of the celebrations, baby parents are warmly invited to collect their babies if they wish and bring them to watch the older children's performance.

I must stress that while we try to include every child in the performances, it is not our policy to force any child to take part this is meant to be an opportunity to expand the children's social and emotional development, to support their language and communication and to encourage confidence; however if at any time any child seems distressed by performing or doesn't seem to be enjoying rehearsals we simply let them enjoy watching the others. I know that this can be disappointing for some parents but while some children flourish in the spotlight others really don't enjoy it and this is something we always have to take into account each year.

Following the performance if you wish to take your child home you may of course do so. We understand that some people occasionally have to return to work after this time if this is the case and your child will need to remain with us after the play until their normal home time, please can you let us know in advance. Some children do get upset seeing their parents leave after the play but if we are prepared it will mean we will be able to explain in advance to the older children and distract the younger children.

If your child does not normally attend on a Tuesday but is taking part in the performances please bring them along to the town hall at 2:30pm where staff will dress them ready for their performances. These children must be taken home after the performance.

The Christmas party will be held on Friday 14th if your child does not normally attend on a Friday, they are still welcome to come and join in the fun. Parents may bring their children along at 2:45pm (prompt) but will need to collect their children by 4:15pm please. For children who do normally attend on a Friday they will of course automatically be invited. Parents are welcome to bring in party clothes or fancy dress outfits or favourite outfits for the children to be changed into but you must make staff aware of this on the day and all clothes must be clearly labelled. Please make sure clothes are suitable for children to move around in and be comfortable. We have found in the past that some outfits can be restrictive or even itchy for children to wear and we don't want anything that will spoil the children's enjoyment. Please also be aware that while special dietary and cultural needs are always catered for at parties there will of course be more sweet foods available than we would normally have at tea time if you have any concerns or questions about this please speak to your children's key worker.

During Father Christmas's visit, all children will have their photo taken however if children are reluctant to approach Father Christmas we will not force the issue. Photos will be taken throughout the party so we will ensure all children have at least one memento of the occasion, Christmas dinner will take place on Thursday 20th December as this is in the middle of the day we regret that we can only invite children whose normal day of attendance is on this day. The nursery will close for the Christmas break at 4:00pm on Monday 24th December please collect your child promptly on this day as many staff not only have children of their own to collect but also have to travel long distances

May we respectfully remind parents that all accounts must be up to date by this time and fees for the weeks closure must be paid in advance. Places will be at risk for January start if accounts are in arrears.

Thank you all for your support over the past year and for helping to make Crystal Early Years Centre the warm and friendly place that it is Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy and Peaceful New Year!

Lorraine Duffy, Alisha O'Connor Campbell and all the staff at Crystal Early Years Centre.