Minnies: children up to 2 years of age: 12 places; ratio of 1 adult to 3 children.
Every child deserves the best possible start in life and support to fulfil their potential. A child’s experiences in the Early Years have a major impact on their future life chances. A safe, secure and happy childhood is important in its own right and it provides the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.When parents choose to use Early Years’ services, they want to know that the provision will keep their child safe and help them to thrive. Early Years Foundation Stage is the framework which provides that assurance.In Minnies' Room, our focus is on children aged between six weeks and two years old. We offer one member of staff to every three children because they are very much in need of our support. We take careful consideration into planning activities and make observations in the child’s Learning Journey. Planning is always displayed in the entrance to the Minnies Room along with photographs of the children.
Once the registration form has been completed with your emergency contact details, you can arrange your first Nursery visit.We also have a ‘settling-in’ form which includes information for you to fill in such as when your child sleeps, your child’s likes and dislikes, feeding times and other information which will help us to look after your child well.You are welcome to visit Nursery at any time to meet staff and have a look around. This will also give you a chance to discuss your queries or questions. Not all children take to being separated from their parents in the same way; some are like ‘ducks to water’ and others are not so keen at first. Of course, we will work with you and your child to make this transition as smooth and stress free as possible.
What is a special carer?
Each child in Minnies will be assigned 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 you, the parents or carers.The special carer will help your baby or child become familiar with the setting, and to feel confident and safe within it. They will also talk to you to make sure that the needs of your child are being met appropriately and that records of development and progress are shared with you and other professionals as necessary. Your child’s special care will create a Learning Journey for your son or daughter. The Learning Journey will indicate progress that your child has made, special moments, observations and any other things that have occurred during this time.
Children love the social experience of sitting in small groups taking part in activities such as songs and story-time. In Minnies' Room, we do a lot of group time activities with the children and encourage them, for example, to make different sounds during song time with musical instruments. Children also have the opportunity to play with the other children within Nursery, playing with different stimulating toys, and also listening to stories.
During the time that your children are with us, we offer lots of 'messy play' activities, to include painting. We give the children support and encouragement during these activities and all of the work that they create will be their own.In Minnies' Room, the children tend to paint with their hands; however, we give the children paint brushes, rollers and stamps to encourage hand-to-eye co-ordination. When we are exploring our messy activities, we provide children with aprons but also wearing old clothes is a great idea!
We have a great outdoor area where children can find various ways of moving around. The money raised from a recent fundraising event meant we were able to purchase new soft flooring for the outdoor area; this provides all children with the opportunity to crawl, run and jump around safely.We have a beautiful blossom tree which provides protection from the summer sun. We also have a newly-built canopy which enables us to access the outdoor area in most areas whilst still remaining dry. Children have lots of opportunities to learn about the effects of wind through the music lines, coloured streamers and natural mobiles in the tree. We have a lovely area which has magnifying glasses where children can enjoy searching for mini-beasts such as wiggly worms and spiders.
Whilst in Minnies' Room, children go on walks around the local environment. We visit the Bowes Museum grounds where children have lots of open space to explore their environment. We spend time stamping in paddles and searching for conkers.We often head to the local park where children enjoy finding their own ways of moving around the play equipment whilst being supported and encouraged by their carers. We have a fantastic push-chair with four seats for children and this helps us get out more often. We also try to do as much as we can in order to raise money for different charities. We have recently held a week long pyjama party for ‘Children in Need’ and a ‘Princess and Pirate Family Night’ to raise money for new resources for the Nursery.
Meals and snacks
School lunches are available to children in Minnies' Room. These are provided by the school kitchen. They are priced at £2.46 per meal which will be added onto your bill each month. The menu from the school is on a four-week rota; a sample copy is available on request. If you would like your child to have a packed lunch, this will be kept in the fridge until the appropriate time (your instructions).A child’s meal will then be heated up and he/she will be supervised and encouraged with their eating skills. If your child attends Nursery for breakfast and/or tea, we ask parents and carers to provide this. Children will receive a snack at around 10:30am and 4:30pm. We provide the children with healthy snacks and try to provide a variety of different tastes and textures. If you do not wish your child to have the snacks, or have any concerns, please feel free to speak to a member of staff; we will try to be as flexible as possible.
We will provide a large sack for your child to keep on their peg in Minnies' Room. In the sack, you can keep anything your child may need throughout the day. This may include:· spare clothing· nappies· nappy cream· sun hat and sun cream· wellies This sack is provided for you to try and help make things a little bit easier so that you don’t have to remember everything each day. We will check these sacks regularly and will let you know if you are running low on anything.
The Daily Diary is kept throughout your child’s day to enable you to see what they have got up to 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 you as much as we can about their day. Within the diary we will note:· How the 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.· Activities your child has taken part in throughout the day.· Any messages we need to tell you and if they need more nappies or milk, etc.· Any other things your child may experience around Nursery.· This diary will be given to you at the end of each day; feel free to add any comments and return it at the start of each of your child days in Minnies' Room.
Opening hours, fees and holidays
Minnies' Room is open between 07:30am and 6:00pm, Monday to Friday, 50 weeks of the year. We close over Bank Holidays and for a short period over Christmas and New Year. Our fees are £4.30 per hour. If your child is ever off sick or absent from Nursery at any time, it will be much appreciated if you could contact us to let a member of staff know as early as possible in the day. You will still be charged for the hours your child has booked in for. Any permanent changes should be made in writing with one month’s notice. You are entitled to six weeks holidays; this is pro rata running from September until August. We require one month’s notice for any holidays to be taken. Upon starting in Minnies' Room, your child will automatically be entitled to a place in Little Tiggers (2 to 3 years) and also in Pre-school (3 to 4 years); this will save you worrying about Nursery being full when you may need a place. If you do not wish to take up these places, please inform the staff in Minnies' Room as early as possible.