At Barcombe Playgroup we believe that children start to learn from when they are babies and we are committed to continuing this learning by offering a wide choice of activities and a variety of play facilities appropriate to their age and stage of development.

We use curriculum guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). This divides the children’s learning and development into prime areas and specific areas, which follow-on and grow out of the prime areas.

We monitor the progress of each child and use this information to plan and provide a range of activities that will help the child develop in each area of learning. We can also identify areas of need.

The prime areas are:

Personal social and emotional development

Involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.

Communication and language development

Involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.

Physical development

Involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.

The specific areas are:


Involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.


Involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.

Understanding the world

Involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.

Expressive arts and design

Involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.

Early Years Foundation Stage

Issued by the Department for Education, the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is statutory guidance setting standards for the learning, development and care of children under five years of age. All schools and Ofsted-registered early years providers must follow the EYFS, including childminders, preschools, nurseries and school reception classes.

The EYFS framework supports an integrated approach to early learning and care. It provides all childcare professionals with a set of common principles and commitments to deliver quality early education and childcare experiences to all children.

As well as being the core document for all professionals working in the foundation years, the EYFS framework assures parents that regardless of where they choose for their child’s early education the same statutory commitments and principles will underpin their child’s learning and development experience.

For more information regarding the Early Years Foundation Stage, please visit and search for ‘What to expect When’. This is a very parent friendly, informative document.

Learning Through Play

At Barcombe Playgroup we believe strongly in learning through play. Play helps young children to develop their physical, social, emotional and intellectual skills. Research shows that by ‘doing’ and ‘talking’ children learn to think. Children also learn to socialise through play by engaging with other children and adults.

The Early Years Foundation Stage provides a play-based framework, ensuring that children from birth to five years develop and learn to their full potential. At Playgroup we plan and provide a range of play activities that help children to make progress in each of the Prime and Specific areas of learning and development.

Learning Journeys

As part of the EYFS framework we observe each child to assess how they are learning and developing. We use this information, along with evidence from photographs, videos and work samples, to document their progress and where this might be leading them. We update parents regularly through informal discussions when you collect your child and we create a Learning Journey for each child in our care.

A Learning Journey is a folder containing written observations, photographs and children’s artwork. Parents are welcome to look at their child’s Learning Journey at any time and we encourage you to take them home and add any relevant comments or photos of your child.

The idea of the Learning Journey is to celebrate each child’s achievements and to work together with parents to provide the best care possible for the needs of the child.

The following reviews of each child’s progress will also be shared with parents, enabling you to work with us to decide how to help your child move onto the next stage of progress:

Progress check at age two

When your child is aged between 27 months and 30 months a Progress Review will be undertaken by the Health Visiting team and the Playgroup. Your health visitor will meet with you to talk about your child’s health and development and you will then be invited into Playgroup so that we can discuss progress in the prime areas of learning.

Early Years Foundation Stage Profile

As your child prepares to start school at age five, an Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP) is completed to provide a review of your child’s progress as they come to the end of the EYFS.

Special Educational Needs and Disability Information

The Playgroup works to the requirements of the 1993 Education Act and the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (2014). It is part of our policy to make sure that we are fully inclusive and can meet the needs of each individual child. We take account of any special needs a child may have.

The Local Offer gives parents information about our special educational needs and disability (SEND) provision.

Your child will be given a key person who will support them during our sessions, they will make sure that your child’s needs are met and that they are given lots of exciting learning opportunities. Your child’s key person will observe your child at play and make assessments regarding their learning and development. You will have the opportunity to share these observations alongside photos and pieces or your child’s work when their key person shares the Learning Journey with you. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to talk to your child’s key worker. Staff are available to talk at the beginning and end of every session, the staff team are friendly and approachable and are able to assess if your child has extra needs. We can access support from outside agencies and organisations if we need to. If you think/know that your child needs extra support, you will be able to raise your concerns to the key person or our Supervisor by coming into the setting. You can also telephone or email us.
Your child’s key person will plan and oversee all your child’s learning. Our Supervisor is also our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) coordinator and she will ensure that the key person has guidance and support if they have any concerns with any aspect of your child’s progress. If your child has a specific need then we will discuss and write an Individual Education Plan which will support any areas of need. These plans are regularly evaluated so that we can ensure that your child is receiving effective support.
Our setting offers a fully inclusive service and has policies in place to make sure that all children have access to enriching and valuable play experiences. Your child’s key worker will use the observations, assessments and professional judgement to plan a learning/play programme which is beneficial to your child. Each child will be given opportunities to join in activities which will give them the chance to learn and explore at a level which is appropriate to their own needs.
You will be invited into the setting to share your child’s Learning Journey, to discuss their development and progress. We will also explain how we use the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) to help us to form our judgements. We also encourage you to add observations and pictures from home life to the Learning Journey and ask you to share any additional information such as toileting and family relationships. You will have the opportunity to discuss with your child’s key person what they will be looking for in their next assessment and will be able to raise any concerns you may have. We can offer parents advice from a setting level and also advise how to access help from other agencies and organisations.
Your child’s day to day well-being will be managed by their key person. Any health issues will be supported by our first aiders who will oversee the administration of medicines. Staff are experienced in managing asthma and we will seek training in managing other conditions should the need arise. We have policies in place for overseeing positive behaviour. We have an experience team who have all worked with children who require extra support. All members of the staff team are trained in child protection and safe guarding and we have members of staff who hold current paediatric first aid qualifications. Each child is valued and their emotional well-being and self-confidence is supported.
All our staff are offered training in all areas of children’s development. Some of our staff have specific areas or responsibility and will receive extra training in these areas. We work alongside health visitors, speech and language therapists, inclusion team workers and outreach workers from early years support teams. As a setting we have experience in working with children with speech and language problems and behavioural issues. We have also worked with children with ASD and Angelman Syndrome.
Our Supervisor and Deputy both hold Level 3 qualifications in child care, learning and development and also have many years of experience working in the early years sector. We have another three members of staff, one holds a Level 2 qualification in child care, learning and development and the other two are currently working towards a Level 2 and Level 3 qualification. All staff are offered regular training on a wide variety of subjects related to early years and Early Years Foundation Stage.
When staff are planning an outside activity, risk assessments will be undertaken to determine which areas of support individual children may need. Parents will be invited to discuss ways to achieve full inclusion in our trips and outside visits.
We have wheelchair access into the building with a gradual ramp and handrails. We have disabled toilet facilities which include a shower. Access to the outside play area is achievable but could be better, the Village Hall committee do have plans to build a wheel chair friendly path around the building to improve this. We have two unisex toilets and a step up to the hand washing basin. We use a wide range of visual aids to help children communicate their needs where this is necessary and we also use some basic Makaton signing.
We have a very flexible settling in policy, we like to take the time to ensure that you and your child are comfortable in the setting. You know your child best and we will always work alongside you to ensure that your child settles well, however long this takes. You will be offered settling visits to come into the setting with your child so that they get to know us and the environment. When you feel it is appropriate you will be asked to leave you child with us, if your child finds it hard to settle without you we will always contact you to let you know and ask you what course of action you wish us to take. Each child will be given visits until they are able to attend a full session without you. We have very good links with our local primary school and when it is time to move on there are lots of activities planned to help with the transition. We have experience in supporting children with special needs who are transitioning to new schools/settings. We will hold transition meetings with parents and carers, outside agencies and teachers from the new school/setting so that we can all ensure that the move is as smooth as possible. Learning Journeys and progress reports will be shared with the new school/setting so that they have a good understanding of your child’s needs.
We will apply for inclusion funding so that children with extra needs can be supported. If we need special resources, we can obtain these through the funding or the Early Years Specialist service.
Your key person will work alongside the setting’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) and outside specialists to produce a plan specifically for your child. This will detail all aspects of management of day to day care within the setting. Each member of staff will be aware of strategies put in place. The plan will be regularly evaluated by the key person and relevant members of staff and you will be invited to meet the team to discuss and review all aspects of the plan on a regular basis.
Our setting is managed by a parent led committee, this means that parents have a direct input into how the setting is managed and run. This is a good way for parents to be involved in the setting on a management level. We also encourage parents to air their views and comments whenever possible. We hold open weeks each term so that parents can come in and contribute in an informal way and we also ask parents to come in and share a particular skill, for example cooking, art or gardening. We also share information on day-to-day activities enjoyed by the children at the end of every session and send out termly newsletters to keep all parents up-to-date.

Who can I contact for further information?

We share information with our parents via regular newsletters and can be contacted via email, our Contact Us page or by calling 07845 937254.

Your first point of contact is:

Supervisor: Miriam Austin 07845 937254

SENCO: Miriam Austin

For more information on Local Offer go to

Fees & Funding

In East Sussex the school year is split into six terms. Barcombe Playgroup follows this term pattern. Fees are due every term in advance, within the first two weeks of commencement. Invoices will be given out in the first week of each term. A reminder will be sent out in week three if fees have not been received.

The fees are reviewed every year but not necessarily increased.

Cheques should be made payable to ‘Barcombe Playgroup’.

Fee payments should be sent to the treasurer via the Playgroup staff in a sealed envelope with your child’s name and ‘fee payment’ written on the front. Arrangements can also be made if you would like to pay your fees electronically by using online banking.

Fees are still owed to the Playgroup and cannot be refunded under the following circumstances:

– non-attendance due to parental choice

– holidays during term time

– illness

– your child not settling in

– any act of God out of the control of the Playgroup

If you think that you are going to have problems paying the fees within the stated timescales please contact the treasurer who will be willing to discuss in confidence alternative arrangements for payment.

If you wish to terminate you child’s place at Playgroup we require a full half term’s notice. If this notice is not given you are liable to pay for your child’s place for the rest of the half term.

Non-Payment of Fees

If at the end of term an invoice remains unpaid fees will be charged weekly in advance and in addition a minimum of 10 per cent of the original debt must also be paid. Failure to comply with this by the end of the first week of the next term will result in immediate forfeiture of the child’s place at Playgroup.

Early Years Education Entitlement

Children over three years of age are eligible to claim the Early Years Education Entitlement (EYEE) from East Sussex County Council. This can be claimed from the term after your child turns three. This funding is based on the traditional three term year with Autumn, Spring and Summer terms. This payment is claimed at the beginning of each term.

The Early Years Education Entitlement covers 15 hours free child care per week. Playgroup operates every morning from 9 am to 12.30pm and Monday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons until 2.45pm. You can access as many sessions per week as you like but if you access over 15 hours you will have to pay at the normal rate per hour for any extra hours.

If you wish to only access your 15 free hours you can do this by sending your child for three hours per morning for five mornings. These three hours can be accessed between 9.30am and 12.30pm. Or you could send your child for three mornings and two afternoons. You can claim your 15 free hours at more than one setting but no more than two settings and the total number of hours must be 15.

At the start of each term you will be required to fill in and sign a Parental Declaration form which will ask for personal details of your child, how many hours you are claiming and whether you are claiming at more than one setting.

Latest News


Just a reminder that we will be returning to Playgroup on Monday 6th September 2021.  [...]

September 2020 – Welcome Back!

We look forward to welcoming our existing children and new starters back to Playgroup on [...]

Coronavirus – Latest information

In line with recent announcements and recommendations, Barcombe Playgroup will be closed from 1230, Friday [...]