Our setting aims to:
- provide high quality care and education for children below statutory school age;
- work in partnership with parents to help children to learn and develop;
- add to the life and well-being of the local community; and
- offer children and their parents a service that promotes equality and values diversity.
Parents are regarded as members of our setting who have full participatory rights. These include a right to be:
- valued and respected;
- kept informed;
- involved; and
- included at all levels.
Children’s development and learning
We aim to ensure that each child:
- is in a safe and stimulating environment;
- is given generous care and attention, because of our ratio of qualified staff to children, as well as volunteer parent helpers;
- has the chance to join in with other children and adults to live, play, work and learn together;
- is helped to take forward her/his learning and development by being helped to build on what she/he already knows and can do;
- has a personal key person who makes sure each child makes satisfying progress;
- is in a setting that sees parents as partners in helping each child to learn and develop; and
- is in a setting in which parents help to shape the service it offers.
The Early Years Foundation Stage
The provision for children’s development and learning is guided by the Early Years Foundation Stage (DfE 2012). Our provision reflects the four overarching principles of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage.
A Unique Child
- Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self assured.
- Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
- Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners, parents and carers.
Learning and Development
- Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision including children with special educational needs and disabilities.
How we provide for development and learning
Children start to learn about the world around them from the moment they are born. The care and education offered by our setting helps children to continue to do this by providing all of the children with interesting activities that are appropriate for their age and stage of development.
The Areas of Development and Learning comprise:
- Personal, social and emotional development.
- Physical development.
- Communication and language.
- Understanding the world.
- Expressive arts and design.
For each area, the level of progress that children are expected to have attained by the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage is defined by the Early Learning Goals. These goals state what it is expected that children will know, and be able to do, by the end of the reception year of their education.
The Development Matters guidance sets out the likely stages of progress a child makes along their learning journey towards the Early Learning Goals. Our setting has regard to these matters when we assess children and plan for their learning. Our programme supports children to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding they need for:
Personal, social and emotional development
- making relationships;
- self confidence and self awareness; and
- managing feelings and behaviour.
- moving and handling; and
- health and self-care.
Communication and language
- listening and attention;
- understanding; and
- reading; and
- numbers; and
- shape, space and measure.
Understanding the world
- people and communities;
- the world; and
Expressive arts and design
- exploring and using media and materials; and
- being imaginative.
Our approach to learning and development and assessment
Learning through play
Play helps young children to learn and develop through doing and talking, which research has shown to be the means by which young children learn to think. Our setting uses the Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage guidance to plan and provide a range of play activities, which help children to make progress in each of the areas of learning and development. In some of these activities, children decide how they will use the activity and, in others, an adult takes the lead in helping the children to take part in the activity. In all activities, information from ‘Development Matters’ the Early Years Foundation Stage has been used to decide what equipment to provide and how to provide it.
Characteristics of effective learning
We understand that all children engage with other people and their environment through the characteristics of effective learning that are described in the Development Matters the Early Years Foundation Stage guidance as:
- playing and exploring – engagement;
- active learning – motivation; and
- creating and thinking critically – thinking.
We aim to provide for the characteristics of effective learning by observing how a child is learning and being clear about what we can do and provide in order to support each child to remain an effective and motivated learner.
We assess how young children are learning and developing by observing them frequently. We use information that we gain from observations, as well as from photographs or videos of the children, to document their progress and where this may be leading them. We believe that parents know their children best and we ask them to contribute to assessment by sharing information about what their children like to do at home and how they, as parents, are supporting development.
We make periodic assessment summaries of children’s achievement based on our ongoing development records. These form part of children’s records of achievement. We undertake these assessment summaries at regular intervals, as well as times of transition, such as when a child moves into a different group or when they go on to school.
The progress check at age two
The Early Years Foundation Stage requires that we supply parents and carers with a short written summary of their child’s development in the three prime areas of learning and development: personal, social and emotional development; physical development; and communication and language; when a child is aged between 24 – 36 months. The key person is responsible for completing the check using information from ongoing observational assessments carried out as part of our everyday practice, taking account of the views and contributions of parents and other professionals.
Records of achievement
The setting keeps a record of achievement for each child. Your child’s record of achievement helps us to celebrate together her/his achievements and to work together to provide what your child needs for her/his well-being and to make progress.
Your child’s key person will work in partnership with you to keep this record. To do this you and she/he will collect information about your child’s needs, activities, interests and achievements. This information will enable the key person to identify your child’s stage of progress. You and the key person will then decide on how to help your child to move on to the next stage.
Working together for your children
We maintain the ratio of adults to children in the setting that is set by the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements. We also have volunteer parent helpers, where possible, to complement these ratios. This helps us to:
- give time and attention to each child;
- talk with the children about their interests and activities;
- help children to experience and benefit from the activities we provide; and
- allow the children to explore and be adventurous in safety.
How parents take part in the setting
Our setting recognises parents as the first and most important educators of their children. All of the staff see themselves as partners with parents in providing care and education for their children. There are many ways in which parents take part in making the setting a welcoming and stimulating place for children and parents, such as:
- exchanging knowledge about their children’s needs, activities, interests and progress with the staff;
- contributing to the progress check at age two;
- helping at sessions of the setting;
- sharing their own special interests with the children;
- helping to provide and look after the equipment and materials used in the children’s play activities;
- taking part in events and informal discussions about the activities and curriculum provided by the setting;
- joining in community activities, in which the setting takes part; and
- building friendships with other parents in the setting.
Key person and your child
Our setting uses a key person approach. This means that each member of staff has a group of children for whom she/he is particularly responsible. Your child’s key person will be the person who works with you to make sure that the childcare that we provide is right for your child’s particular needs and interests. When your child first starts at the setting, she/he will help your child to settle and throughout your child’s time at the setting, she/he will help your child to benefit from the setting’s activities.
Learning opportunities for adults
As well as gaining childcare qualifications, our staff take part in further training to help them to keep up-to date with thinking about early years care and education. The setting also keeps itself up-to-date with best practice, as a member of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, through Under 5 magazine and other publications produced by the Alliance. The current copy of Under 5 is available for you to read. From time to time the setting holds learning events for parents. These usually look at how adults can help children to learn and develop in their early years.
The setting’s timetable and routines
Our setting believes that care and education are equally important in the experience which we offer children. The routines and activities that make up the day in the setting are provided in ways that:
- help each child to feel that she/he is a valued member of the setting;
- ensure the safety of each child;
- help children to gain from the social experience of being part of a group; and
- provide children with opportunities to learn and help them to value learning.
We organise our sessions so that the children can choose from, and work at, a range of activities and, in doing so, build up their ability to select and work through a task to its completion. The children are also helped and encouraged to take part in adult-led small and large group activities, which introduce them to new experiences and help them to gain new skills, as well as helping them to learn to work with others. Outdoor activities contribute to children’s health, their physical development and their knowledge of the world around them. The children have the opportunity, and are encouraged, to take part in outdoor child-chosen and adult-led activities, as well as those provided in the indoor play zones.
Snacks and meals
The setting makes snacks and meals a social time at which children and adults eat together. We plan the menus for snacks, and parents provide packed lunches.
We provide protective clothing for the children when they play with messy activities. We encourage children to gain the skills that help them to be independent and look after themselves. These include taking themselves to the toilet and taking off, and putting on, outdoor clothes. Clothing that is easy for them to manage will help them to do this.
Uniforms are encouraged and consist of a red sweat shirt and royal blue T-Shirt. These can be purchased from us, or any school uniform retailer. All children’s belongings MUST be clearly marked.
Copies of the setting’s policies and procedures are available for you to see at the setting and are also available from our web site.
The setting’s policies help us to make sure that the service provided by the setting is a high quality one and that being a member of the setting is an enjoyable and beneficial experience for each child and her/his parents.
The staff and parents of the setting work together to adopt the policies and they all have the opportunity to take part in the annual review of the policies. This review helps us to make sure that the policies are enabling the setting to provide a quality service for its members and the local community.
Our setting has a duty under the law to help safeguard children against suspected or actual ‘significant harm’. Our employment practices ensure children against the likelihood of abuse in our settings and we have a procedure for managing complaints or allegations against a member of staff.
Our way of working with children and their parents ensures we are aware of any problems that may emerge and can offer support, including referral to appropriate agencies when necessary, to help families in difficulty.
As part of the setting’s policy to make sure that its provision meets the needs of each individual child, we take account of any special needs a child may have. The setting works to the requirements of the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (2001).
The management of our setting
The setting is owned and governed by Mrs E Swatton.
The setting has a parent support group. This group is made up of, and elected by, the parents of the children who attend the setting. In our setting we share with this group, some of the tasks involved in managing the setting.
The fees are currently £18 per session payable half-termly/termly in advance. Fees must still be paid if children are absent without notice for a short period of time. If your child has to be absent over a long period of time, please contact the owner or deputy.
For your child to keep her/his place at the setting, you must pay the fees. We are in receipt of nursery education funding for two, three and four year olds; where funding is not received, then fees apply. We require a deposit and the half termly fees that are payable in advance. Should to terminate your place, six weeks notice in writing is required.
Starting at our setting
The first days
We want your child to feel happy and safe with us. To make sure that this is the case, the staff will work with you to decide on how to help your child to settle into the setting. Our policy on the Role of the Key Person and Settling-in is available.
We hope that you and your child enjoy being members of our setting and that you both find taking part in our activities interesting and stimulating. The staff are always ready and willing to talk with you about your ideas, views or questions.