Emphasis is placed on a homely atmosphere particularly in the youngest baby area. The Nursery is sensitive to the needs of new parents as well as the child, especially during a potentially difficult settling in period.
Good liaison with staff at this time is essential. A key person takes responsibility for new children starting and a bond is encouraged but it is also important for the children’s development and socialisation that they respond well to other members of staff.
The nursery operates a key person system. A key person has special responsibilities for working with a small number of children, giving them the reassurance to feel safe and cared for and building relationships with their parents. Notice boards in each room help identify the whereabouts of staff. Staff wear name badges, grey sweatshirts and lilac T shirts bearing our logo – a lion.
The nursery is staffed according to the numbers of children present. The ratio of staff to children is as follows:
1:3 for babies/toddlers 3 months – 2 years
1:4 for children 2 years – 3 years
1:8 for children 3 years – 5 years.
These ratios allow for adequate care even during staff’s lunch breaks, sickness periods and short holidays.
Children ideally move on when they are developmentally ready. Thought and care is taken with transition between the groups: Chicks, Ducklings, Goslings, Cygnets & Swans. Short regular visits are made prior to starting in a new area of the nursery, and children begin to build a bond with their new Key Person. It is sometimes possible for children to transfer in pairs.
There is a good scope for continued contact between staff and children. Although there are virtually self contained areas within the main rooms for the varying age groups, the nursery is generally envisaged as a whole, creating flexibility and integration between areas, shared staff and resources. We also encourage siblings to have regular contact with one another.
There is a full Transitions Policy available to parents in our Policy and Procedures Folder.
Each room has their own routine and plan of activities which are displayed for parents.
There is provision for all children to rest during the day. Sleeping arrangements are always discussed with parents. For Babies under approximately 18 months cots and a separate sleep room is provided. Older children sleep on mats and have a sleep according to their needs. Older children who do require a daytime sleep have a quiet time appropriate to their needs. We provide bedding for each child.
We have been awarded 5 stars by Environmental Health for food safety, the top mark that can be awarded. The Nursery has a large kitchen where our food is freshly prepared by our experienced cook.
Our menus are produced with the child’s balanced diet in mind, and therefore each meal is prepared using fresh ingredients. Meat, Fruit and Vegetables are delivered fresh on a regular basis. WE DO NOT USE NUTS IN THE NURSERY. Nutritious and well balanced meals are provided throughout the day. Breakfast is available until 9.00am. A mid morning healthy snack with milk or water is provided at 10.00am. A home cooked 2 course lunch is served at 12.00pm. Staff are encouraged to eat with the children.
Either a hot or cold tea is provided at 3.30pm, followed by fresh fruit or yoghurt. We offer water or milk for the children to drink and drinking water is always available.
Staff are asked to encourage children to relax whilst eating and to respect children’s individual speed of eating. Children are encouraged to enjoy meal times as social occasions, using good table manners and sensible behaviour. In Swans, the children participate in helping to lay the table and serve their friends. Young babies have a diet appropriate to their specific needs which contains no salt, sugar or unnecessary additives.
Catering for food allergies are a matter of priority in our Nurseries. Our practitioners and cooks are aware of children’s individual needs and have undertaken training in allergen awareness, where necessary. As all of our meals are freshly prepared at each of our settings we are able to cater for a variety of needs. Our weekly menu displayed in each of our settings has numbers along side the meals that relate to an allergen food, alternatives can be offered in the event that a child has an allergy to that particular allergen.
We offer various menus depending on the age and stage of the individual child. Copies of our menus for babies and older children are displayed. Parents also receive copies of these when joining the Nursery. Our Nutritional Policy is displayed in the Entrance Hall.