Frequently Asked Questions

Of course! Choosing a care provider is an important decision and you may want to visit a number of settings to feel confident you are choosing the right one for your child. Just contact us by email or phone us and we will arrange a suitable time. We will invite you for a visit at the weekend or in the evening after our children have left the building so as to minimise the number of contacts our children have with visitors. 

All children who are under two years old will be looked after by the Owlet Staff. However, once they are up and on their feet, we encourage free flow play across all the playrooms upstairs, so that they become familiar with the staff in the Branchers room. Once they are 2 years old, then the transition from being an Owlet to becoming a Brancher is smooth and uneventful!

Branchers are those children who are two up to three year olds who have not yet received their 1140 hours funded childcare. So, your child does not automatically move downstairs once they are 3 years old. But, once they are approaching 3 years of age, they will have opportunities to play with their Fledgling friends and meet the Fledgling staff to allow for them to familiarise themselves with their downstairs surroundings.

Moving downstairs to the Fledglings Room is not as clear cut as “once they have reached their 3rd birthday” There are a number of factors to consider, including their readiness, according to their Brancher Keyworker, how far along in their potty training they are (not being potty trained does not exclude them from being a Fledgling.) We also need to consider the dynamics of the group and staff to child ratios. This should be less important than following the needs of the child, but nevertheless is an important consideration to make in order to keep to our registration requirements and for the safety of the children.

To reserve a place at Wise Owls, there is a £50 registration fee. This covers the cost of processing your information, and any transition visits before your child starts with us. This usually involves 4 transition visits of increasing length but we can be flexible as every child is different (and every parent too!) There is also a deposit of one week’s fees which is returned when your child leaves Wise Owls, if the full months notice is given and all fees have been paid.
Lastly, each month, we charge £3 per family for use of our nursery management app (£1 if your child attends OSC)
None of these charges apply if your child receives solely funded hours from ourselves.

Our sessions run from 8-12.45pm in the morning or 12.45pm-5.30pm in the afternoon. This helps with setting staff ratios and keeping the flow of play uninterrupted. However we acknowledge that every family has different needs. Therefore there is an hourly rate of £7.00 Children who require full sessions will always be given priority over those who want ad hoc hours. However, if there are other people needing full sessions, we will always give you the opportunity to take full sessions first. If staff ratios are compromised (due to staff illness) children who have ad hoc sessions will be first to have their session cancelled.
For funded children, our only sessions are 8am-12.45 or 12.45 -5.30pm. This is because there are alternative settings who offer the traditional term time only 9am-3pm model. 

We are delighted that, from August 2020, we offer flexible funded hours for all 3-5 year olds and for eligible 2 year olds. Due to high demand, children will be prioritised based on four factors; those who already attend WON; those who have siblings already at WON; those who require longer hours that are not accommodated at other settings; and those who require a 48 week model (full time) rather than a 38 week model (term time only). 

Term time only children are eligible for 30 hours per week (limited term time only spaces available)

48 week model Sessions are 8am-12.45pm or 12.45pm-5.30pm (4.75 hours a sessions) Parents would be eligible for 5 of these sessions (i.e. 2.5 days)

Any additional requirements would be charged extra (e.g. extra hours 7.30am-6pm, early mornings, late pickups)

Children will be eligible for 1 free meal a day. If they attend for longer days, parents will be charged for the additional meal. 

Children who are deferring automatically (ie born between 21 August 2019 and 29 February 2020 , do not need to fill out a form, they only need to enrol for nursery during nursery enrollment – they don’t need to do anything for school.

Children with the date of birth between 1 March 2019 and 20 of August 2019 don’t have an automatic right to defer entry to Primary School or be entitled to a funded early learning and childcare place. However, you can apply for special consideration for a deferred year. You should complete the online form. Please click the link for more information.

Yes, your hours can be increased at any time, however you cannot use more than 30 hours a week. 
Children in Scotland usually start school between the ages of 4 years 6 months and 5 years 6 months old. All children who are 4 years old at the start of the school year can defer and start primary one the following year.  Parents are asked to attend their catchment school to request a place at either their Catchment school or to request a place at a Non-Catchment school for their child(ren).  Parents are required to bring along proof of address and the child’s date of birth, usually the second week of January. 
Details of catchment schools can be found on the Council’s website ( Enrolment by the appropriate date is particularly important in light of the legislation regarding parents’ choice of school to be attended. Further information regarding the enrolment process can be obtained from your catchment primary school. Parents are reminded of their right to retain their child(ren) at home until the enrolment date following their fifth birthday.
All parents will receive a letter and registration form in the post for their 3-year-old from the LA. Parents will be asked to complete the registration form and return this with the child’s birth certificate and proof of address to the nursery of their choice usually in the first week of February.
Year 2 up-date forms will be provided by your current nursery. Parents who wish to change their provider for their child’s second year should ask their nursery for a ELC2 form and deliver it, once it has been filled out, to their new chosen provider.
We are not a fully outdoor provision. Ivy House is a wonderful setting for children to explore and lead their own play and learning. However, we do subscribe to the view that the outdoors is nature’s classroom and, with Moffat’s wonderful surroundings, we are fortunate to extend learning outdoors. We have a garden where children can choose whether to play inside or out and we regularly visit other outdoor venues, such as the riverside and the woodland area around us as well as our local shops and parks. The weather will not deter us as there is no such thing as the wrong weather – only the wrong clothing!

Yes, they are available in paper format at the Nursery – kept in the main
reception. Or you can access them via this link here.

Yes! You can read our latest monthly menu plan here.

It’s updated regularly by our nursery chef. All our menus are planned
following guidance by the Scottish Government, “Setting the Table” and
more recently, “Food Matters” Each recipe has a list of allergens, with the
exception of seasonal soup which is decided based on the vegetables in our
garden or local greengrocers.

We are open 48 weeks of the year.  We are closed for two weeks over Christmas matching the school holidays (Monday 25 December 2023 – opening again    Tuesday 9th January 2024 ) and for one full week and two days of the school summer holidays. In 2024 these are the weeks commencing 12th August and 19th and 20th August) We will reopen on Wednesday 21 August 2024, which is the same day as the start of the school term. We are also closed for Good Friday and Easter Monday (in 2024, this is Friday 29th March and Monday 1st April 2024) 

We adhere to the NHS guidance ‘Infection Control and Prevention in Childcare Settings’. You can view a table of the exclusion criteria here.

Yes, we publish our duty of candour report every year in January. To read the latest one, follow this link. 
Yes we do! Although vouchers are being phased out in favour of taxfree childcare, we accept all vouchers. Just ask us for our registration details when you apply for them. Many of our parents are eligible for taxfree childcare. It’s definitely worth looking into whether you are eligible as the government pay 20% of all invoices. You can check whether you are eligible here
Even when your child is eligible for funded hours, you can still use your taxfree childcare account to buy any private hours in addition to those funded by the government. 
We have recently changed our potty training advice to be in line with the recommendations from ERIC – The Children’s Bowel and Bladder Charity. You can read our advice leaflet here and our potty training policy here