Forest School at Harlequin
What is Forest School?
Forest School is an inspirational process that offers children regular opportunities to develop socially, emotionally, psychologically and physically, whilst building confidence, self-esteem and independence through hands on learning experiences and exploration of the natural world.
Through carefully structured sessions supported by qualified practitioners, Forest School will bring learning to life for children in a real and tangible context, developing practical and life skills. The sessions are flexible and not constricted by strict goals that must be reached by the end of the session. Leaders may utilise spontaneous learning opportunities, to enhance or extend a learner’s interest and to allow him or her to learn in a style that suits them.
Children are taught how to respect and nurture the environment, to appreciate what nature brings and to provide a foundation for greater appreciation of nature as they grow up. Forest School supports individuals and guides them to be healthy, stay safe, and to enjoy and achieve as children, to facilitate them in making a positive contribution as young adults and building economic security.
If you want to know more, Rob has written a guide to Forest School at Harlequin that can be borrowed from our settings.
PROPER forest school is based on 6 key features:
- It is run by qualified level 3 practitioners.
- It is a long term process with regular contact with a local wooded environment (preferably over the seasons).
- It follows a child-centred teaching strategy where children learn about and manage risk.
- It has a high adult-child ratio.
- Observations of the learners are key to enabling scaffolding of the learning.
- Care for the natural world is integrated.
Real forest, not just some mud and trees at the end of the playground...
Our forests are huge natural woodland spaces. Large enough that our presence does not stifle biodiversity and natural growth within the area.
Harlequin has two exciting forests
Harlequin rents a private woodland within Salomon’s Estate to deliver Forest Club and Forest Pre-School.
The site that extends to many acres, has a variety of trees and shrubs and evidence of wildlife including birds, foxes, rabbits, and even deer. There is a small stream that leads down into a pond.
The site gently undulates providing exciting adventure opportunities for the children, who can run, shout, build dens and climb the trees. The site includes a fixed location camp, where we can have fires and lead small group activities.
We use this site currently three times a week for forest pre-school, all year, and at least once a week during the holiday clubs.
We have an exquisite forest in Boughton Monchelsea. It is very different from the forest in Tunbridge Wells in that it has totally different trees, plants and animals. It is also more over-grown, which just lends to it’s magic for the children. As well as running regular sessions for home education groups and school sessions, we have visited the site several times with the children during the holiday clubs. The children have all found it to be great fun and full of adventure.
This woodland is enclosed by a high security fence and only used by Harlequin. Is is of local and historical significance and includes a 17th Century folly, Britain’s highest haha and a number of unique mature trees. The site once included a stately home (now demolished) and was the epicentre of a vast private estate. Former owners used their wealth and interest in flora and fauna to travel the world collecting unusual species and examples, many of which are now established.
The site is also home to a large badger sett and a number of fox dens. On our wildlife cameras we have seen birds of prey, owls, bats, an albino squirrel and an albino badger. There is a long-abandoned formal pond that has thrived on four decades of isolation. Here we have discovered newts including rare crested varieties.
- Tax free childcare
- Childcare vouchers
- Registration and booking
- Ofsted Reports
- KCC school calendar
- Online safety
- Making a complaint
- Terms and conditions
- Policies and Procedures
- Video game guide
- Harlequin bank details
Please refer to the fees document for full details for each setting (prices vary depending on school and session times).
Breakfast club from £4.00 - £6.00
After school from £15.00 - £21.50
Holiday club from £25.00 for a half day
Holiday club from £40.00 for a full day
A full fees list is available on request. Please use the Contact us to request a copy.
You probably qualify for Tax-Free Childcare and can save 20% on our fees.
Tax-Free Childcare helps with the cost of childcare, almost all parents who work and pay tax qualify and it will save at least 20% of the childcare cost.
Harlequin is an "approved childcare" provider under the scheme.
You can use the scheme whether you are applying for funded hours for your two-year old to attend one of our pre-schools, universal funding for three and four year olds, or if you use wrap around care for your primary school aged child.
Search "Help paying for childcare" on gov.uk. Help paying for childcare - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
You’ll be able to open an online account, which you can pay into to cover the cost of childcare with Harlequin. This will be done through the government website, GOV.UK.
For every 80p you pay in, the government will top up an extra 20p. Harlequin receive the same fee whether you use this scheme or not.
To qualify, parents will have to be in work, and each earning at least £115 a week and not more than £100,000 each per year.
The scheme is designed to be flexible for parents if, for example, they want to get back to work after the birth of a child or work part-time.
Any eligible working family can use the Tax-Free Childcare scheme. It is also available for self employed parents.
Parents and others can pay money into their childcare account as and when they like. This gives you the flexibility to pay in more in some months, and less at other times. This means you can build up a balance in your account to use at times when you need more childcare than usual, for example, over the summer holidays.
It’s also not just the parents who can pay into the account - if grandparents, other family members or employers want to pay in, then they can.
Paying with vouchers
You save money too
Harlequin accept a number of voucher companies to deal with. We are also prepared to consider new ones if it benefits our customers.
We can not accept paper vouchers, but all companies now offer electronic alternatives.
Please bear in mind these voucher providers can take 10 days from your instruction to cleared funds to us the first time, after which is is usually quicker. Late voucher payments cannot be our fault, so late fees will be incurred if cleared funds are not received before stated deadlines.
What are Childcare Vouchers?
An employee benefit available to all eligible working parents
Once an employer is registered with a voucher provider, eligible working parents can exchange up to £243 per month (£55 per week) of their gross salary for Childcare Vouchers. The exchanged part of the salary is exempt from tax and National Insurance contributions. This allows parents to make savings of up to £1,196* per parent, per year on their childcare costs.
Childcare Vouchers can be used to pay for all types of childcare
Save money on all types of registered childcare (like Harlequin) for children up to 16** years old, including day nurseries, nannies, au pairs, crèches, childminders, out of school clubs, holiday schemes, activity clubs and qualifying childcare offered by schools.
A scheme offering a potential saving of £2,392* per year
Both working parents can claim Childcare Vouchers whether they work for the same or different employers. Provided the employer offers a Childcare Vouchers scheme, you could save up to £2,392* per family, per year.
A tax initiative
New voucher schemes cannot be opened now and have been replaced by tax free childcare allowances (see Tax free childcare tab).
These are the voucher providers we currently accept
The number or code after the company names are how the they identify harlequin.
Busy Bees - Harlequin Out Of School Club Limited or Ofsted number EY333465
ComputerShare - 7900669
Their website: www.computersharevoucherservices.com
email: from their website
telephone: 0845 002 1122
Gemelli Employee Benefits - HA3807
telephone: 01280 851113
KiddiVoucher - Harlequin Out of School Clubs Ltd"
Their Website: www.kiddivouchers.com
telephone: 0800 612 7075
Perk Up - N1083
Please note - we are registered with Perk Up at our Coxheath address, please search for post code ME17 4PS or Ofsted registration EY333465, irrespective of which setting you attend.
RG Childcare - 07260102067
RG Childcare know we have three Ofsted registered settings, but they have the Tunbridge Wells one as the primary setting. This is still the correct code to use for Coxheath.
SodexHo Pass - 154125
Their website www.sodexhopass.co.uk
telephone: 0800 328 7411 or 01276 687000
Please note, Sodexho use post code referrences for settings, and Harlequin is recorded at ME159XG with them.
Also known as Saycare
TEDs - ME15 9XG
Their website: www.tedsgroup.co.uk
telephone: 01565 650 396
TEDs only make payments once per month on or after the 1st, so it maybe necessary to pay an extra month in advance.
Please use the links to register your child.
We do not charge a fee to register.
Please help us to support you and your child by being as accurate as possible when filling the form. If there is further information you would like to offer, or you have questions, please use the contact us page or email firstname.lastname@example.org directly.
Bookings for breakfast, after school, holiday clubs and pre-school become a formal agreement once accepted by us. A retainer is needed to secure a place or full payment of fees for holiday clubs. Once we have received booking and payment we will guarantee the service as booked.
Please refer to the terms and conditions tab for further information.
To view the reports click on the links below
In August 2019 and February 2013 we were inspected and awarded "outstanding" in every category.
Click the link to read the report: registration number EY333465
In March 2020 we were inspected, and judged and awarded 'outstanding' in every category.
Click the link to read the report: registration number EY486142
The Tunbridge Wells Forest Pre-School was registered in July 2016 as a new setting. In November 2018, we were inspected as a new setting, and judged 'Good' in every category. It is worth noting that it is impossible to achieve 'outstanding' on a first inspection.
Click the link to read the report : Ofsted Registration EY501163
Expert help on keeping children happy and safe online
In line with CEOP’s Thinkuknow programme, some of the content covers common internet safety issues, but all of the content starts from the assumption that young people make little distinction between their online and offline lives and the issues for parents are often the same. The aim of Parents Info is to help parents help their children be discriminating, web-literate and resilient and is suitable for parents/carers with children of different and ages and abilities.
Making a complaint
Our club is committed to providing a safe, stimulating, consistent and accessible service to children and their parents/carers. We always aim to provide high quality services for everyone, but accept that sometimes things do not always go to plan. In such circumstances, we want to know so that we can put them right and learn from our mistakes.
The procedure to make a complaint is detailed in the document below.
- Speak to the a member of staff who will take necessary action to record and deal with the complaint or concern.
- If you are not satisfied, please formally write to the setting manager who will investigate, record, take necessary action and formally report back.
- If necessary, the registered person (Alison Payne) will intervene at this stage.
Complaining to Ofsted
Any parent/carer can, at any time, submit a complaint to Ofsted about any aspect of registered childcare provision. Ofsted will consider and investigate all complaints received.
Links to Ofsted reports and web site are on the Ofsted Reports tab.
This exert is from "Fees" and is effective from June 2021.
These terms apply to pre-school, breakfast, after school and holiday clubs offered by Harlequin for all age groups.
- Our preferred payment type is bank transfer to Harlequin Out of School Clubs Ltd. Sort code 090150, account number 05659671. Please use the child’s name as reference.
- Cleared funds for payments must be received no later than the 1st of each calendar month, by cash or standing order, BACS transfer or childcare vouchers. See 5.
- Invoices are emailed to the email account Harlequin hold for each parent, it is the parents’ responsibility to ensure the email address we hold for you is one you access regularly, including during holidays and that we are informed of change of email address. Invoices are sent on around the 15th of each month. See 6.
- Please ensure you get a receipt every time you make a payment by cash.
- Four week’s written notice (email) of any adhoc changes or cancellations is required. See 2 and 3
- Booked sessions shall be charged as if taken even if not attended, irrespective of the reason for non-attendance. See 2
- Cheques are not accepted.
- Holiday club fees are due when submitting a Holiday Club booking form. See 5.
- Trip fees are in addition to normal session fees. See 5.
- Half day bookings are not available on days when a day trip is arranged. See 5.
- Non-payment of the fees will lead to the child's access to the club being refused. See 14.
- Adhoc sessions may be booked. See 3 and 4.
- Fees may be paid in regular, fixed monthly instalments by standing order or childcare vouchers. See 17.
- A late payment charge is levied if fees are not settled in full by the due date. See 14.
- A late notification charge is levied if a session is cancelled but we are not informed. See 16.
- An additional fee is charged to collect a child from a school organised club or event after the normal end of school time. See 11.
- An additional charge is made when a child is collected after their booked end time. See 13.
- Retainers will be forfeit if sessions are cancelled before a child starts or in their first three months attendance. See 9.
- Pre-booked means arranged as part of a regular schedule or arranged before noon on the day of attendance. For example 6.30pm finishes. See 12.
- Breakfast club fees for Hunton and East Farleigh schools are based on a minimum attendance each day. If attendance is below the minimum the fee applied will be greater to cover the cost to provide the service. Please enquire at the time of booking the relevant fee at that time.
2. Notice of termination
A minimum of 4 weeks written notice is required when you wish to terminate your child’s place at Harlequin. For funded places, if notice is given and it is less than 4 weeks, parents/carers are responsible for paying Harlequin the equivalent amount that Harlequin would have received from the funding route until the end of the 4 week notice period, as well as any additional sessions not covered by funding, eg breakfast or lunch club etc. During the notice period, the child can attend the sessions but all sessions must be paid for before they are attended.
Harlequin reserves the right to terminate a child’s place with immediate effect if a serious breach of these terms and conditions occurs, or if termination of a place is considered by Harlequin to be in the best interests of the club and/or the continuing welfare of the other children at the club. Examples of this are a parent using foul language or being abusive to staff. Serious breaches of the agreement would include a parent frequently arriving late at the club without prior notification, or regularly failing to pay fees.
3. Changes and swaps
All sessions shall be charged as if taken unless four weeks written notice is provided. Swaps of booked sessions within a four week period are not permitted. Adhoc changes beyond four weeks will be made with no fee for the cancelled session up to a maximum of 2 sessions per school term (approximately each 6 weeks) per child.
Where 2 or more requests to change bookings are received in any school term, a review of the schedule may be made and where necessary may result in the change being deemed permanent. In this event parents will have the choice whether to pay for sessions (even if not used) in order to hold the space for the future terms, or for the regular schedule to be changed and adjustment made to the held retainer. Subsequent changes to schedule will be subject to payment of any retainer and availability for the session(s).
This policy is to enable Harlequin to permanently resell the given up schedule to a child on the waiting list.
4. Adhoc Sessions
Adhoc sessions are any session outside a regular weekly schedule.
Parents are welcome to request additional and adhoc sessions. These are granted provided there is sufficient space in the club and staff to make the pick-up from school, and payment is made with the request, in advance of the session date. If an adhoc request is made that cannot be fulfilled due to space, then no fee will be charged.
For children who only attend adhoc sessions, requests for adhoc dates should be made at least 2 weeks in advance of the month they refer to. This enables us to include them in the monthly invoice.
The minimum retainer of £75 per child is payable for users of adhoc sessions.
5. Holiday clubs
Holiday club bookings must be made on the forms provided. Trip costs indicated on the form do not include the standard day fee. On trip days, a full day must be booked.
Normal days are 8am to 6pm unless indicated on the booking form otherwise. Late finishes at 6.30pm must be pre-booked on the form to be charged at the indicated rate, otherwise collection after 6pm will be subject to the late collection charge (see 13).
7.30am starts are available at an extra charge but must be pre-booked on the booking form to enable adequate staffing.
Holiday club sessions are confirmed once full payment has cleared and the related form received, at which point all fees are non-refundable. A completed form represents your commitment to pay for the sessions booked on the form. Payment must be made at the same time the form is submitted.
If a session is full and cannot be offered by Harlequin, a full refund of session and trip fee will be issued.
6. Invoices and payment
Invoices for term time clubs are issued on about the 15th of the preceding month. These are generated based on each child’s regular schedule and taking into account any requested changes and adhoc requests.
Invoices will detail all sessions booked, and the fee for that booking. It is parent’s responsibility to ensure the right sessions are displayed on the invoice, as these are the dates we will collect the child from school.
Invoices are emailed to the primary email account for each parent/guardian.
The Harlequin office should be informed if invoices are not received by the 20th of each month.
Cleared funds for payments must be received no later than the 1st of each calendar month (see late payment surcharge below), by cash or standing order, BACS transfer or childcare vouchers. Automated bank and voucher transfer can take up to 5 days to be received; it is the customer’s responsibility to ensure sufficient time is allowed for payments to clear.
Holiday club invoices are not mailed out, as holiday club bookings must be paid with booking. Holiday club invoices can be provided on request to email@example.com.
Invoices for additional fees (see below) are normally issued by email weekly, and are due immediately.
7. Disputed invoices
If the amount or stated sessions on an invoice are not what you expect, please pay what you think is due, or the amount of the invoice if it is less, then contact the Harlequin office at firstname.lastname@example.org to resolve the discrepancy. Not paying for sessions booked because the invoice is incorrect will incur a late payment surcharge (see below).
Harlequin staff in the clubs will not have access to the computer to query fees and invoices during club hours.
A retainer payment of four weeks’ normal scheduled fees (after school and breakfast club or pre-school) is due when registering. This amount will vary as necessary when the number of booked sessions is changed. When notice is given to the club of a child leaving, a full refund of the retainer held will be issued after all remaining fees have been deducted. This is usually done by bank transfer or cheque within 6 weeks of the last session. See 9 Forfeit of retainer below
When registering a child to start sessions immediately, the retainer and fees for the current month need to be paid on booking.
Retainers must be paid in cash or by bank transfer. Childcare vouchers cannot be accepted for retainer payments for tax reasons.
Retainers are set as a minimum of £75 per child attending.
No interest is earned or paid on retainers.
See also 9 Forfeit of retainer and 10 Wait list and waiting list payment below.
9. Forfeit of retainer
Retainers are in place to demonstrate a commitment from parents to take up a session offered by Harlequin, in return we commit to ensure the requested session is available for their child. Places may be denied if there are not spaces and are only confirmed with the acceptance of the retainer.
Cancellations and changes in regular booked attendance (schedule) before the child’s first session at the club and within the first three months of first scheduled attendance shall forfeit the retainer for those sessions. Minimum forfeit in these circumstances is £75, or the retainer equivalent to four weeks fees for the sessions cancelled, whichever is the greater amount.
See also 10 Wait list and waiting list payment below.
10. Wait list and waiting list payment
Harlequin hold a waiting list for any regular sessions that are full. These are managed primarily on a first come first served basis. Please refer to Harlequin Waiting list policy for full details.
In order to be added to the waiting list, a payment equal to four weeks fee for that session is required. Once the space is allocated this payment is added to the customers’ retainer.
If a space does not become available or you choose to come off the waiting list, the payment made to enter the waiting list is refunded or credited to your account.
11. Clubs after school
Many schools run sports and activity clubs for pupils after school. We understand how these can be beneficial to children and support parents by providing a collection service from these clubs.
The fees for these extra collections reflect the travel cost involved and the need for additional staff to be able to be abstracted from the club in order collect the children.
Therefore, for staffing and logistical reasons we cannot guarantee this service is always available.
Charges shown in the table above are based on the school attended and are only charged when used (unless a cancellation is not notified and member of Harlequin staff goes to the school or club unnecessarily, in which case an uninformed absence fee is also charged).
12. Pre-booked late finishes (6.30pm)
A finish time of 6.30pm can be booked on all after school and holiday club sessions (except some forest days). This end time must be indicated on the form at the time of booking, using the forms provided.
Adhoc late finishes can be booked in advance before noon on the day of attendance by email or telephone. In this case the extra fee shown in the table above will apply.
Notification after noon, or not at all, will count as a late collection and be subject to the late collection fee described below.
13. Late collection fee
£20 per family (siblings) for each 15 minutes or part after the pre-booked finish time is charged. Parents and children must leave the building before their booked finish time to avoid a late fee. Please plan any time necessary to talk to staff before this time.
This fee is charged whatever the reason for the delay in collection. Harlequin staff will remain with all uncollected children, and will determine when escalation is necessary in line with Harlequin policies.
If a third party collects a child late the late collection fee is charged to the parent.
14. Late payment of accounts
Any late full payment of invoices will be subject to a late payment surcharge of £15 on the date the invoice is due for payment, i.e. the first of the month it refers to. Harlequin reserves the right to apply a surcharge of 4% above the Bank of England base rate for late payment from the payment due date. Any late payment fee surcharge will be added to the outstanding invoice and re-issued weekly. £15 late fee will be added each week that the fee remains unpaid.
We may pass unpaid fees to a debt collection service after a total of 30 days from the initial invoice date, and the cost for this service will be added to the amount outstanding. In addition, in the event of fees being unpaid for more than 30 days, Harlequin reserves the right to refuse care for the child or children without further notice.
Even when the first day of the month falls during a school holiday (such as January and September) the latest date for payment of the fee shall be the first day of the month.
Where voucher and electronic payments are used, it remains the parent responsibility to ensure payment is made early enough to arrive before it is late.
15. Special care supplement
Children with special needs can be accommodated at the club by prior arrangement. Where their care requires additional or specialist staff the charge for the session shall be the normal session fee, plus a special care supplement. Special care supplements are determined individually based on the needs of the child and the potential impact on other users of the club. Typically special care supplements are between £5.00 and £15.00 per hour (for the full duration of the booked sessions) in addition to the usual session fee.
16. Late notification of cancellation (uninformed absence)
All non-attendance at after school club must be informed to the club by 2pm on the day of collection. This is to ensure staff and other children do not need to track down the whereabouts of a child who is ill, collected by a parent, visiting a friend or relative for the afternoon. Failure to inform staff creates anxiety in children, creates work in tracking down a child as they still must be accounted for, and wastes time. When we are not informed by phone (please don’t rely on voicemail) or email before 2pm on the day, a late cancellation fee of £10 shall be added, in addition to the normal session fee, irrespective of the reason for absence.
To avoid this fee, please call 01622 749773 or 07734 507086 (Maidstone clubs) 01892 518065 or 07760 788820 (Tunbridge Wells) and speak to a member of staff before 2pm.
If your child is unwell and sent home from school on a day when we would normally collect them, it is important that we are informed immediately, by the parent or carer. The schools should not be asked to pass on messages.
All absence from pre-school must be reported to the setting at the start of the first missed session. Where government funded education sessions are being missed, a reason for the absence must be provided as Harlequin has an obligation to the local authority to report on all absences.
17. Paying monthly
Fees may be paid in regular fixed monthly amounts. The formula for the amount is the average weekly fee x 3.5. This assumes payments are spread over 11 months from August (for September fee) to June (for July fee). Harlequin will request top up payments or offer a refund if the account is getting in arrears or is in excess credit.
This formula only provides payment for breakfast and after school club. To spread the cost of holiday clubs through the year, estimate the number of days and fee required and add 1/12th to the monthly amount.
Monthly invoices are produced to show credits and debits carried forward from the previous month. Only sessions booked are charged.
18. Bank Charges
Any bank charges due to re-presented cheques or returned payments will be charged at the cost to Harlequin or £20, whichever is greater.
19. Summer holiday club instalments
By prior agreement with the managing director, and where the total holiday club fee is in excess of £450, Harlequin may be prepared to accept payments for holiday club by instalments. Harlequin will indicate the schedule for each payment as all fees must still be paid in advance of sessions attended. Any discounts are applied to the last instalment (see promotional discounts below).
20. Promotional discounts
From time to time, Harlequin may offer promotional discounts based on early commitment, or when more than a certain level of commitment is made, for example. Any discount is normally deducted once the booking is confirmed. Any overpayment will be refunded by cash, bank transfer or a credit on the family account within 6 weeks of the final discounted session. Holiday club discounts are applied in the final week in holiday club, full fees up to this time must be paid.
Children who attend our clubs may be eligible for a discount when hiring our venues for a party.
21. Preparation of financial statements
Harlequin receives a number of requests for accounts and official statements (for example for HMRC and employers) that take a long time to prepare and in some cases require retrieval of archived hard copy documentation.
Requests for detailed accounts to be prepared for historic review of sessions and payment made / due will be charged at the rate of £50 - £100. An estimate of the charge necessary will be provided before the account is prepared, and will require authorisation of the fee by the parent/guardian.
Harlequin will not charge for statements of accounts where the request is received directly from HMRC.
A charge of £15 will be made for each report to third parties of fees paid by parents receiving childcare funding from external sources. This includes Student Finance England and Tax credits. Request for this information must include the forms pre-completed by the parents and allow a minimum of 10 working days to be processed. Short notice and emergency requests, i.e. less than 10 working days, will be charged at the rate of £50 each request.
22. Harlequin adherence to fees policy
Harlequin staff will adhere to the terms of this policy to ensure fairness, equality and predictability of the service and charges provided.
Harlequin may review these fees at any time. New fees will issued to parents a minimum of 4 weeks prior to their coming into effect.
When your child starts at Harlequin, you are agreeing to abide by all the clubs policies and fees. If you would like further clarification, please email email@example.com.
23. Effective date of fees
This document replaces all previous fees document and is applicable to all sessions and bookings from June 7th 2021.
These documents are required for good management of a setting, and reviewed by Ofsted. Our policies have been upheld by KCC as best practive. We encourage our parents to read them and ask questions and provide feedback as required.
These policies are Copyrighted to Harlequin Out of School Clubs and freely available for the benefit of our parents. Whilst it is very flattering that our competitors choose to download and use our policies as their own, this is not permissible.
Use of Harlequin polices by anyone other than existing or potential parents is not permissible. All policies are available to view in the setting, please contact the office by clicking here or call 01622 749773.
We have complied a list of video games that are poplar with children. Not all games are suitable for all ages. We hope this guide will help to guide parents to ensure their child is not exposed to inappropriate content.
Our preferred method of payment is by BACS direct to our bank account.
Account name : Harlequin Out of School Clubs Ltd
Sort code : 090150
Account number : 05659671
Please use your child's name as a reference and this simplifies matching your payment to your invoice.
Payments are processed at least twice a week, when an email receipt will be sent to your registered email address.