Every child deserves the best possible start in life and support to fulfil their full potential. A child’s experiences in the Early Years has a major impact on their future life chances. A safe, secure and happy childhood is important and provides the foundation that children require to make the most of their abilities and to learn essential life skills.
‘In the moment’ is the approach we use throughout the Nursery. The idea is to capture the interest of each child or children in ‘the present moment’.
Younger children have a natural desire to learn, explore and question. We offer an environment of curiosity which enables child initiated play in order to capture a moment of engagement. We use a variety of items of curiosity to capture the children’s interest and imagination. We provide real life experiences, providing the children with ceramics, breakables, and artefacts that encourage risk taking and a deeper understanding of respect for resources. These teach the children skills for life, allowing them to negotiate problems and manage risks.
We encourage children to be independent by allowing them to put their own outdoor waterproofs on, pour their own drinks and prepare their own snack under close supervision. Independence is an essential life skill and one that needs to be nurtured from an early age.
We are currently working towards our ‘Hygee in the Early Years Accreditation’, which originated from Copenhagen. Hygee helps us to focus on personal, social and emotional areas of learning, taking things slowly and taking time to appreciate things. It impacts learning and ensures we value the children within. It allows us to cherish the little miracles we have the privilege of educating and create environments that show them how special and unique they really are.
As part of our ‘Hygge in Early Years Accreditation’, we are working on exploring Wanderlust. Wanderlust refers to exploring nature and including it as part of our everyday practice. Here at Green Lane Nursery and Childcare Centre, we place a large emphasis on our children accessing the outdoors daily, enjoying exploring the wider community and the natural environment. As a society we are spending less and less time outside. Connecting with the outdoor environment and nature has been proven to have huge health benefits in children. Children can just be themselves, explore the environment naturally and lift their self-esteem. When we go on our nature walks we go with a purpose. Looking at the season that we are we are in, noticing the changes happening around us and using what nature has given us as a learning experience. For example, in the autumn we can often be found out and about foraging for berries to come back and bake a crumble with, or collecting beautiful leaves for making collages.
We ensure children remain active whilst at Nursery. We are fully trained in ‘Ready Set Go’, a pre-school based health and wellness program designed to provide children with the knowledge and skills to live a healthy and happy life. It allows children to develop the necessary fine and gross motor skills along with many others whilst enjoying physical activities.
We have great outdoor area’s which provide children with plenty of age related learning opportunities. We have mini-beast areas to explore, planters for the children to grow plants, water and care for them, mud kitchens, water play, sand pit areas and hills with tunnels to enhance the physical development of the children. We have a wonderful sensory garden which provides a calming outdoor learning environment for small groups of children. In the future we are planning to create an outdoor eco-friendly area where children will learn about nature, grown their own produce to cook with and actively learn about recycling, including emptying our food wastes into our very own composter to create our own compost to use when growing our own vegetables.
We often go on walks around the local environment. We like to visit the Bowes Museum grounds where children have lots of open space to explore. We like to visit the local park where children enjoy finding their own ways of moving around the play equipment whilst being supported and encouraged by their carers.
Children in the Rising Star’s Room enjoy visiting the library on a weekly basis, choosing books to bring back to Nursery and having a story read to them by the librarian whilst they are there.
Children in Pre-School are offered the opportunity to attend swimming lessons at the Teesdale Sports Centre. Swimming lessons are for a ten week period; we work on a rota basis to ensure every child has the opportunity to attend if they wish to do so.
We do regular baking and cooking in all rooms, children are actively involved in preparing vegetables, measuring ingredients, cutting and stirring and the most important part – eating it!
Communication with Parents
Green Lane Nursery and Childcare Centre offers an open door policy. We want to ensure that all parents/carers feel confident in leaving their child in our provision. We encourage regular communication with our team.
The Role of a Special Carer
All children will be allocated a special carer who has the special responsibility of working with a small number of children, giving them the reassurance to feel safe and cared for, and building relationships with parents/carers. The special carer will help the baby/child become familiar with the setting, and to feel confident and safe within it. They will also talk to parents/carers to make sure that the needs of the child are being met appropriately and that records of development and progress are shared with parents/carers and other professionals if necessary.
In Nursery, we use a secure online learning journal called ‘Tapestry’ to capture and record each child’s early years’ experiences. Parents/carers receive emails advising when a new observation or piece of work is available to view. This enables parents/carers to follow their child’s individual progress closely and allows them to reflect upon their achievements. A great advantage of this system is that it allows parent/carers to comment on the entries, and possibly continue interests at home. Parents are also invited to add their own observations, allowing us to see/celebrate those ‘wow moments and special times’.Regular updates with regards to learning, special dates for the family diary and celebrations are posted on here to allow sufficient time for plans to be made.
Within Minnie’s Room we provide a diary to enable parents/carers to see what activities the children have done whilst in Nursery. We understand that it can be difficult to leave your child at such a young age, so we try to make it as easy as possible by telling parents/carers as much as we can about their child’s day. Within the diary we note how children do at mealtimes, such as how much they eat, what they have had and how much of their bottle they have consumed, times of any nappy changes and whether they were wet or soiled, sleep times, etc. The diary is given to parents/carers at the end of each day, allowing them to add any comments and to be returned at the start of the child’s day in Nursery.
All other rooms display a board by the entrance advising parents/carers of what the children have been doing throughout the day and what the children have had for snacks and lunches.
Stay and Play Sessions
We invite parents/carers to regular ‘Stay and Play’ sessions. These are themed mornings or afternoons to allow parents/carers to come into nursery and spend quality time with their child, carrying out a number of fun activities such as arts and crafts, decorating cakes, etc. This gives parents/carers to have an insight into how we operate in Nursery and to get to know the team.
Lunches and Snacks
Warm, healthy and nutritious school lunches are available on a daily basis throughout term time, provided by the school kitchen. Children are welcome to bring a packed lunch. If a child attends nursery for breakfast and/or teatime, we ask parents/carers to provide this.We offer healthy snacks during each session. These could include a variety of fruits and vegetables, wholemeal toast, breadsticks and dips. Children are encouraged to prepare their own snacks with the help of practitioners. Water and milk are available at snack time, again the children are encouraged to pour their own drink from a jug. Water is available throughout the day if children require additional drinks.
Dedicated sleeping areas are available in Minnie’s Room and Rising Star’s Room.
All areas have age appropriate facilities. We also provide potty’s for those children who wish to use them whilst potty training.
We ask that parents/carers send their child in named old clothes that are appropriate for the weather, ie. hats, gloves, sun hats, etc. Sun cream must be provided in warm weather.
Every child is provided with a sack that is kept on their peg. This enables us to store a spare set of named clothing, nappies and any other items a child may need whilst at Nursery.
Enrolling Your Child
If you are interested in enrolling your child/ren into our setting, please contact us on 01833 638581 to arrange a visit with the Nursery Manager.
Prior to a child attending our setting, parents/carers are required to complete registration forms, detailing emergency contacts, existing medical conditions, etc.
> Download Registration Form Here
> Download Consent Form Here
By signing the registration form you are agreeing to conform to all our policies and procedures. These can be found under the documents section, or a hard copy can be requested from the office.
Settling In Visits
Once the registration forms have been completed, we will contact you to arrange some settling in sessions. We also have a ‘Settling In’ form which includes information for you to fill in such as when your child sleeps (if applicable), your child’s likes and dislikes, feeding times and other information which will help us look after your child well.
We will work closely with you and your child to make the transition as smooth and stress free as possible. You are more than welcome to phone up throughout the day to seek reassurance from staff.