How We Work
Activeplay Nursery and Preschool is registered to look after up to 54 children at any one time, of whom 15 may be under the age of two years.
It is the policy of the nursery that we aim always to exceed staff:child ratios set in law. In addition, our nursery manager is supernumary, as is the nursery owner who is on the premises for most of the day and both are available for childcare duties in the case of unexpected absence or staff illness. All children are allocated a key person to be specially responsible for their care and as a point of contact for parents.
The aim of Activeplay Nursery and Preschool is to provide a safe, happy, caring and homely setting for the children in our care, providing varied and high quality developmental and educational experiences for children and encouraging good relationships with parents and carers through partnership working and good reporting practice. Children are encouraged to become independent in their self care, for example using the toilet or getting themselves a drink of water, and to have choices in the activities they undertake during the day.
Whilst 50% of staff are required to hold a suitable childcare qualification in law, it is the policy of this nursery that all staff should be suitably qualified to at least NVQ Level III, and many staff are qualified beyond this. Both manager and owner are graduates and also hold Early Years Professional Status. All staff are DBS checked and during recruitment, references are always sought. All staff are first aid trained, child safeguarding trained and hold a food hygiene qualification. The company is committed to staff development, and staff are encouraged to attend training courses to develop their skills. Time off for training is paid. The nursery takes students on work experience from local colleges from time to time. These are always carefully supervised and are not counted towards our staffing ratios.
The setting has an open door policy for parents, reflecting the ideal that nursery care and education should be a true partnership between the provider and parents and guardians. Parents are welcome to attend nursery at any time to spend time with their child, or to experience the care and activities in which their child is involved. Parents' suggestions and comments are encouraged, and the nursery owner or manager can be accessed at any time. Monthly newsletters keep parents in touch with nursery developments, and copies of nursery policies are provided to new parents, as well as loan copies always being available on the premises. Nursery policies are reviewed regularly to ensure that they meet the needs of children, parents and staff as appropriate. This organisational plan is informed by, and should be read in conjunction with, the portfolio of nursery policies.
We are committed to equality of opportunity, and this includes care to children, involvement with parents, recruitment of staff and access to training, and admissions. We have a policy to give precedence to the siblings of children already at the nursery, and to parents requesting extra days. We also have a legal obligation to give priority to children entitled to receive free early years education ('nursery grant'). All other applicants have equal weight in respect of admissions.
We have a member of staff trained in, and responsible for, special needs, and we will work with any parent in making it possible for their child to attend Activeplay and receive quality care and educational experience here. However, we must also recognise that this is an older building, not designed with accessibility in mind, and there may be some disabilities or special needs it would be difficult to accommodate safely. Options will always be discussed with parents in the spirit of finding a safe and acceptable solution.
In the baby room, daily update books are prepared for parents, and for all age groups, online development folders are maintained to record each child's progress. We operate a system of observations on children, which are recorded in their online learning journal. Parents have a password to access this and are able to, and welcome to, add to their child's journal or comment on it at any time. We also send you a monthly newsletter via this means.
The rooms in the nursery are arranged so that younger children are on the ground floor, with the Preschool being on the first floor. Children can spend time both with their peer group, but also spend time with children of other ages. This is particularly helpful for children without siblings, but it is useful for all children to have an opportunity to learn from older children, and to learn to show care for younger children. Children have the opportunity to move around the nursery and undertake different activities in different rooms, which is intended to replicate to a degree children's experience within their own homes and make the experience of nursery a more homely one, and each day more interesting and varied.
The main rooms within the nursery are as follows
The nursery, comprising a baby room and a toddler room, accommodating children from birth to two years.
The preschool, comprising two separate rooms to allow children to divide into groups for different activities.
The outside play area, used both for free play and for more organised games and activities on a daily basis by all children, even in wet weather, as we have waterproof suits for the children to wear. There is also an outdoor 'imagination' room.
The 'library', used by all children for reading, music activities and quieter times. Every room in the nursery also has a book corner, reflecting the importance of books for enjoyment and learning.
The dining room, where children sit communally for breakfast, lunch and tea. Children are encouraged to use cutlery correctly, and to serve food for themselves, for example side vegetables. The dining room is also used by the older children for cooking projects, play doh and other hands-on activities.
There are children's toilets on both floors of the nursery.
On the second floor of the nursery there is an office and a staff room, and this area of the nursery is not accessible to children.
The nursery's curriculum supports the Early Years Foundation Stage.