Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to caring for your child, we understand you’ll have lots of questions. From the practical; “what time do we arrive and what do we bring?” to the curious; “what do they learn and how can I find out what my child is doing?”

So you can be prepared, and your child is ready and raring to go, we’ve compiled a list of our most frequently asked questions.

If there’s more you’d like to know, email POD Manager or call 0161 439 5000.
Traditional settings can be very restrictive with set days and times, holiday fees and late charges. This doesn’t work if you have irregular working hours or last-minute plans. The POD is here to change childcare for good. Whether you want a block booking or single session, your hours can be flexible, fixed or full-time. No contracts, no commitments, no worries. Find out how POD can work for you here.
To arrange a showround at POD please contact
We don’t offer formal settling in sessions, but you can arrange a showround and then book a few sessions from 1hr15mins at a time. The amount of time a child needs to settle in is completely individual to every child and family so you can work it however best fits. Book 1 session, 2, 3 and build up over time or just head straight in – you know your child!
We have provision for children from birth to age 11.
All our indoor and outdoor activities provided by our amazing teacher led, qualified, First Aid Trained, DBS checked team members. This includes our Practically Wild forest school sessions, exciting explorations of topics such as French and chemistry as well as all the crafting, baking and mud-making we can muster! Drinks are provided throughout the day including our infamous Smoothie Station. Depending on what time you book your session we also have food and snacks:

Breakfast between 8:00 - 8:30

Morning Snack & Smoothie at 10:15 – 10.30

Lunch between 11:45 – 13:00

Afternoon Snack between 16:30-17.15
If your child is staying beyond the afternoon snack and you would like to provide dinner (hot or cold) we’re happy to give this to them. Just speak with a member of the team to make the arrangements.
If you are new to Practically Family, then you will need to register first so you can manage your bookings. As part of this process, you’ll add your child’s details, emergency contacts, Tax Free Childcare Reference (if you have one). Once you are logged in then simply start a new booking and select POD. Choose your day and time(s) – anywhere from 1hour 15mins upwards. Choose your payment method and make your booking! If you are already registered just log in and go! Book now
Yes, we accept both of these methods of payment. You can pay through our booking system.
There’s absolutely no contract. Sessions at POD start at 1 hour 15 mins minimum, right up to full days Monday – Friday 8am-7pm. It’s totally flexible to suit your needs.
You can add siblings and update personal information at any time, using your login on our booking system. If you need to cancel or update your booking it’s no problem, just give us a call on 0161 439 5000 or email and we’ll do it for you. Any less than 24 hours, your booking cannot be amended or refunded, so please do bear this in mind.
We generally open our bookings for up to 12 months ahead.
Yes, we are universally inclusive. We simply ask that you contact so we can support you and your child in the best way possible.
We understand that children have dietary, religious and cultural requirements so we work closely with our parents to ensure every child is catered for and happy. When registering your child, please make sure you include any specific detail around your child’s diet that we need to be aware of. Alternatively, if you let us know, you can bring in your own packed lunch for them to enjoy.
Our days are not designed to tick boxes but to give each child the tools to learn and discover their passions at their own speed and in a supportive environment built around their needs, not ours. Each day at POD is completely different. From free flow in our soft play and sensory room, to circle time where we focus on speaking, listening and communication skills, to outdoor adventures on HMS POD! Whilst we do have a routine to help the children learn structure, our focus is that your child is having the best day, every day.
Our children are all little individuals with their own different mountains to climb and worlds to explore. Some will dance. Some will paint. Some will read. Some will build. We embrace child-led learning and free play so if an activity isn’t for them right now, we move on!
The POD Squad are a team like no other! Highly qualified in child development and expertly trained, each of our childcare professionals bring something unique to the table – their very own brand of superpower to nurture children’s curiosity, celebrate their individuality and completely delight the children they care for. Meet the POD Squad here.
If you attend POD for short, ad hoc sessions (POD & PLAY) the whole POD Squad will make sure they are learning, exploring, developing and having fun and be responsible for their care and learning journey.

If your child attends 10 hours a week or more then they will have a dedicated POD Pal – one of our highly qualified team to plan specific activities that nurture and inspire your child on their individual learning journey.
It very much depends on your child’s age and your preferences. For babies, we do provide nappies and wipes but find many of our parents prefer their own brands. Bring your chosen formula/breast milk for your baby and any comforters that they may need. For all children we suggest a change of clothes, coat and weather appropriate clothing – from wellies, hats and gloves to a sun hat and sunscreen. Please ensure everything is labelled clearly with the child’s name.
We take time at the beginning and end of each day to speak to parents. We want to make sure that we are supporting you and your child in the best way possible. If you are with us for over 10hrs a week you will have access to Tapestry – a very special online record of your child's experiences, development and learning journey.
If your child is feeling under the weather and you’d rather keep them at home, you can cancel any booked sessions up to 24 hours before, just let us know as soon as possible. Unfortunately, we cannot amend or cancel any bookings on the same day as we plan our team to Ofsted ratios.

However, if your child is really quite poorly and especially if they are vomiting, have diarrhoea or are showing signs of Covid-19, please do not bring them into the POD to prevent the risk of infecting other children or our team. For vomiting and diarrhoea, we ask you wait 48 hours from their last episode before bringing them back to POD. If a child falls ill during a session at POD, we will make the child comfortable and ring parents to discuss.
Children are eligible for preschool between the ages of 3 and 5 years old.
To apply for POD Preschool please contact or telephone call us on 0161 439 5000
The 15 and 30 hours funded childcare schemes are available to use in our POD Preschool from the term after a child’s 3rd birthday. You can find out more here.
Preschool is 9am- 3pm term time. Outside of term time, POD is open 8am-7pm weekdays and we also run Holiday Clubs during the school holidays for children aged 3 to 11 years.