"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn."
We are a small 30 place nursery close to the town centre. We take children from when they are babies until they go to school. We also provide a breakfast and after school club for those who need to be taken or picked up from school.
The nursery hours are from 8 am to 6 pm and is open 50 weeks of the year, closing for a week at Christmas and again at Easter. We have a reputation for flexibility as we try and provide a service to meet the diverse needs of the modern parent. We offer full or part time care, and attending in school holiday times is optional. This does not incur an added fee, although holidays taken in school term time is charged for.
We are in receipt of workplace vouchers, and government entitlement for 15 and 30 hours, although we ask that the 30 free hours are spread over 48 weeks of the year. The government entitlement hours can be used mornings, afternoons or all day, but with a minimum of 2 1⁄2 hours over a morning or afternoon session
Children are provided with a healthy snack and we cook lunches and teas on the premises. Children may bring a packed lunch.
Seesaw 2 has a dedicated floor that takes up to 6 babies each day. They have a playroom and sleep room on the first floor of the house. We work on a small ratio of one member of staff to 2 babies as we believe that this gives maximum opportunity for our very youngest children to develop a relationship with a ‘significant other’. This gives the emotional security that children need in order to be happy and to begin their nursery life.
They have access to many toys, soft play, role play, construction toys, as well as early attempts at creative play. Like the older children they enjoy exploring sand and water, and getting their little fingers into paint. As they become more mobile, begin to walk, and become more socially confident they begin to spend some time downstairs in the tiny tot group. Initially this is for small periods of time, getting longer as they approach the time of transition. Most children will have made this move before their 2nd birthday
When a baby starts a thorough history is taken called the ‘Getting to Know you’ sheet to help us as much as possible with the transition from home to nursery. Parents provide us with their own nappies and milk, and some may choose to provide us with food. Hot dinners are an option. All babies have a learning journal that monitors their progress through observation entries, photographs etc! Parents are invited to contribute to this.
Babies also love to be outside. They like to play in the garden, but also enjoy being taken out in the double buggies.
The tiny tots at Seesaw 2 are aged from just under 2 to around 3 years old. They are looked after on a ratio of 1 adult to 4 children.
This is also the age when many children begin to attend nursery if they have not previously been in the baby unit and where they begin to learn all about nursery life They are beginning to celebrate their new found agility and have to be given lots of opportunity to practice their physical skills, running, jumping, crawling and climbing. Much of this takes place in the garden which they have access to in all weathers.
Many of the skills that form a firm foundation to becoming an independent learner begin in this group. They are learning to sit up to eat, feed themselves, try new foods, use a potty and how to communicate with adults and other children. Playing co-operatively with other children is also learned in this group ready for the firm friendships that form when they are in pre school.
We have to liaise closely with parents in order to keep a good consistency between home and nursery. This is done verbally, using a key person system, and through the learning journal that all children are given when they start nursery. Parents complete a ‘Getting to Know You’ sheet when their child starts which help us to know their child’s stage of development and preferences.
This helps the children get off to a great start!
All children have a learning journal which traces their development through examples of drawing, painting, photographs etc and we hope to encourage parents to share things in the journal, as well as their nursery key worker.
We follow the early years foundation stage curriculum. This is planned for in an imaginative way designed to stimulate the natural desire for children to play and learn. At this age, the children initiate much of the fun for themselves and really begin to enjoy nursery life! Emphasis is put on the children enjoying and learning in the outdoor spaces that we have enriched with lots of learning opportunities.
We use the Development Matters in the early years foundation stage curriculum which is tailored to meet the needs of each individual child. It covers the 7 areas of learning which are as follows: Personal, social and emotional, Physical, Communication and Language, Understanding of the World, Mathematics, Expressive Arts and Literacy.
We actively encourage parents to be involved in this learning process by contributing to their ‘learning journal’ which documents each child’s progress through examples of work, photo’s and observations.We have a ‘hands on’ approach to learning which encompasses the characteristics of effective learning;
Playing and Exploring - investigating materials and ideas through explorationActive Learning – encouraging trying, involvement and achievingCreating and thinking critically – considering their own ideas, making links and choosing ways to do things.We also plan short trips into the local community and invite people into our setting like the police, lollypop person, or a visit to the local fire station.
As part of our commitment to create an environment which children progress and thrive, we have employed a senior manager with a Ba Hons in early years to support and mentor all staff. This enables us to engage with the children through small group work on a regular basis.