At Acorn Childcare, we provide several different areas tailored to the needs of our children. We house babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers in defined areas equipped with age-appropriate materials.
Our Sunflower areas are designed to meet the needs and encourage the developments of babies between the ages of 3 months and 18 months. Sunflower areas are bright and stimulating with soft, clean materials used for safety and activities. Cots are provided in a quiet area for sleeping times and separate baby-changing facilities are used.
We actively encourage parents of young babies to adapt the child’s daily routine to their home life requirements. We then reflect this routine at nursery, with regards to sleeping and feeding times and the kinds of foods given. As the babies get older, in preparation for the toddler room, they are encouraged to follow nursery routines more and more where suitable.
Parents receive feedback on their child’s day in a written report detailing bottles and food consumed, number of nappies wet or soiled, sleep times and activities enjoyed.
Our Bluebell areas are designed to allow our toddlers (aged 18 months to 3 years) the space and stimulation that this age group require. We enhance and encourage newly developed physical and language skills through learning based play. Although structured, this approach to developing young skills allows the children to feed their needs and interests in a very informal fashion – children are never asked to participate in a particular activity, only offered a choice of activity from several which are set up within the session.
A sleeping time is encouraged for younger toddlers, usually after lunch and small toddler beds are provided for this. We work with parents closely to establish potty training when parents decide the time is right. Separate bathrooms with small toilets and potties are used.
Parents receive feedback on the child’s day through verbal means and the use of displays around the Bluebell’s area.
Within the Sunflower and Bluebell areas, we voluntarily follow the Government’s advised ‘Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)' . This framework is developed to support children's learning from birth to 5 years. Promoting a holistic development of each child in their first 3 years: A strong child, a skilful communicator, a competent learner and a healthy child. Planned activities encourage babies and toddlers to use and extend their newly developing skills within play.
Our Evergreen areas are designed to house a large variety of activities for our pre-schoolers (Age 3+). Evergreen activities are based upon the Government’s Education standards for this age group – the Foundation stage. The Foundation Stage covers 6 areas of development: Personal, Social Emotional Development, Communication, Language and Literacy, Mathematical Development, Knowledge and Understanding of the World, Physical Development, Creative Development. Activities covering our educational development areas are planned in three stages – long term (over 1 and 2 years), medium term (over each term), and short term (over each week). These are displayed for parent’s information around our Evergreen areas. Children are encouraged to engage in activities which interest them and the Evergreen area allows many activities to be on offer at any one time. Books, computers, ‘environment walks’, music and dance are all integral materials used.
At this age, children are encouraged to become more independent and responsible, in line with their capabilities and in preparation for school.
Our pre-school areas take great care in the children’s last year at Nursery to discuss the forthcoming move to school in a positive and encouraging manner. Books, role-play and discussion activities are used to allow the subject to become natural and exciting in the children’s lives. Reports are created for the schools in line with Local Education Authority requirements. These are a general overview of the child’s interests, development and capabilities within each of the 6 core areas of the Foundation Stage. The reports are shared with parents for discussion before being sent to the school.
At all ages
Tactile and ‘messy’ experiences are encouraged ie. Finger painting, sand and water play etc. Our children are encouraged to play outside and study their local environment on walks. Often, extra activities are available such as swimming (Headlands only), music groups etc.
The staff: children ratios for our Nursery areas are:
Sunflowers 1:3, Bluebells 1:4, Evergreens 1:8
As part of our responsibilities to parents, governing bodies and the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), we build observation folders on each child in our care. These are confidential within the organisation’s staff and are open for viewing by the child’s own parents at any time. A child’s observation folder contains details of activities that the child has enjoyed and their learning development within them.
Each child at Acorn Childcare has a named primary carer, their Key Worker. Whilst staff care for all the children within their area, key workers will have specific responsibilities to their ‘key children’. These include observing and recording developments, communicating with parents regarding changes to routine etc. and administering medicines when necessary.
At Acorn Childcare, we actively encourage parents to share as much information as possible regarding children’s home lives and / or any changes to this. This helps staff to understand the children fully, to appreciate any changes of behaviour in response to home changes, and to help the child understand and deal with emotions connected to these. Please be assured that all information about a family is kept completely confidential.