Babies are welcome at the nursery from the age of three months. Babies join the nursery slowly over a two week settling in period. This allows the baby and parents time to get used to the nursery setting, the baby room and the staff. Our baby room staff understand how difficult joining nursery can be for parents and babies and are experienced at helping to make it as comfortable as possible. They are enthusiastic and work hard to help give the babies the best start to their time at the nursery.
Each day, a variety of activities are set out based on the children’s interests and development including messy activities such as textured body painting, sand play, water play and cooking for them to explore.
Our routine is based on all of the babies’ individual needs, from when they need milk, sleep and play time. Our room is very bright, warm, friendly and welcoming to all visitors and families. We love to include parents with their child’s development by giving them daily feedback and by regularly discussing their child’s development folders.
We also have sessions when parents are invited to come to the nursery to do an activity with their child(ren) such as make Easter nests or bake cakes. Whenever possible, staff take the babies on outings to the local library for music sessions or out for a walk in the nursery buggies.
Children move to the toddler room when they start to become more independent, such as by feeding themselves. Toddlers are usually ready to be potty trained and staff are happy to provide support and advice on this to parents.
Every morning, toddlers have small group time which focuses on the core areas or learning in the EYFS and gives the children some experience of adult-led activities. The children enjoy getting messy and creative with paint and cornflour so this is something we do regularly. The children have access to sand and water each day as well as a variety of resources. The children are taken into the garden at least twice a day weather permitting and also regularly go on outings to the local area, such as the park and library.
Children move to pre-school when they have become more independent. Activities in pre-school begin to be more adult-led in preparation for school. In particular, children have two small group sessions which focus on age appropriate activities covering the EYFS areas of learning. Children are encouraged in various self-help skills such as beginning to eat with proper cutlery, learning to go to the toilet alone and washing their hands. At meal times, children are encouraged to pour their own drinks and serve themselves. Before leaving to go to school, children are taken to visit their new school, where the school permits by nursery staff to give them an idea of what it will be like. We also have a pre-school leavers party with a graduation ceremony, which parents are invited to attend. The children are also regularly taken on outings to various parks, libraries and other places where the children show an interest.
In pre-school we have a free flow system where the children have free access to two rooms and our garden. This means that the pre-school children are not based in a room for a set amount of time. The areas in pre-school are:
- Red room – role play room. Here children take part in role play and activities typical of any home, such as cooking, using the microwave, using the toaster, making cups of tea or preparing snack. The children also have the opportunity to dress up as different occupations and explore different cultures.
- Purple room – creative activities. Here children can explore through experiments, be creative and demonstrate marks in a variety of ways for example using shaving foam or couscous.
- The garden gives all children the opportunity to experience the outdoor environment and promote physical skills.