Being a Volunteer Helper
Parents and carers are encouraged to help out regularly during sessions on a rota basis. This helps maintain the high ratio of adults to children in our group, guaranteeing individual care and attention for each child. It also gives you the opportunity to take an active part in the group to see what happens there and to talk about it afterwards with your child. If you are unable to attend the session you will be asked to help out in other ways, for example by preparing craft activities at home (cutting out shapes, making playdough, etc), or by supporting fundraising events etc.
Guide to being a Volunteer Helper (Download a copy here)
So you’re not quite sure what a Volunteer Helper does? Well this guide should take the mystery out of the role and provide a few hints and tips. Don’t worry if you still have questions, every new helper gets a full briefing at their first session and, of course, continued guidance from our friendly Pre-School staff.
Your time and efforts as a Volunteer Helper are an invaluable asset to the Pre-School and will help maintain the quality of teaching and care that your child already enjoys. Feedback from previous volunteers indicates that it’s an extremely enjoyable and rewarding experience.
So the things that we ask you to do as a Volunteer Helper are:
If you can, arrive before the session starts approx. 9.10 on your first session to allow time for inductions and showing around, and 9.15 on subsequent sessions. If you are unable to help on the day that you have stated, can you please advise as soon as possible to allow us to find another helper. Where you have no choice but to cancel on the day due to sickness for example then please notify Liz King no later than 8.15.
At the start of the session, check – in with a member of the teaching staff who will tell you what they’d like you to do. This usually involves mingling with the children while they play – anything from being a customer at their pretend hairdressers to making a story book come alive or helping to create the masterpieces your child brings home every day – whatever you end up doing, you’re guaranteed a fun time!
You are welcome to make yourself a drink at any time during the morning. Perhaps you would like to make one for other volunteer helpers and the staff as well (there is a list in the kitchen). Previous helpers tell us that this activity is best done a bit before tidy-up time. Please note that hot drinks must not be taken out of the kitchen and must be kept well away from the children (usual procedure is they are left on the serving hatch).
After drink and snack time, you’ll need to disappear into the kitchen – the cups and bowls will be passed back to you for washing-up, drying-up and putting away. Depending on the children’s activities that morning you may have paint pots, glue pots, brushes etc to wash as well. Obviously, these will need to be washed separately in the caretakers cupboard.
So that’s an idea of how your morning will take shape as a volunteer at Hanslope Pre-School. Many aspects of the role are fairly informal; however there are a few issues of safety and confidentiality that you must observe.
For the safety of the children we ask that you:
1. Do not take any child to the toilet other than your own.
2. Do not allow your own child, or any other child, to go into the toy cupboard or kitchen.
3. Refer All accidents/incidents to a member of staff.
4. Ensure that all doors are properly closed with the chain in place, and/or alarm switched on. A full briefing on this will be given by a staff member.
5. Do not let anyone into the building – if you hear the doorbell ring please refer it to a member of staff.
Please respect the confidentiality of any information you may learn about the children, parents, staff or other adults connected with the group.
Once you’ve volunteered for a particular session we really do rely on your help, so if you find you’re unable to attend we’d be grateful if you could get in touch on any of the following numbers with at least 24 hours’ notice:
• Village hall 01908 511886
• Liz King 01908 511719
• Pre-School mobile 07977 721755