Care and Education at Little Crystals Day Nursery
Caring for babies
Danielle and Rachel care for six children aged three months to two years in this comfortable and cheerful group room filled with cosy cushions, soft mats and lots of age appropriate toys that stimulate all areas of development. For our youngest babies who are not yet able to sit up we offer baby gyms, bright mobiles and sensory toys and bouncy recliners. As children develop the ability to sit up we offer toys which as well as stimulating them visually, encourage them to reach out and develop their hand eye co-ordination. As children become cruisers and crawlers we offer toys which encourage them to explore and develop their physical experiences. Our early walkers are offered sit and ride toys, toys that can be pushed and pulled as well as toys that begin to stimulate their imaginations such as cars and garage, dolls, tea sets etc. Baby room shelves are full of shape sorters, cause and effect toys heuristic equipment, bricks, musical toys and many more all aimed at promoting the three prime areas from the Early Years Foundations stage which are Communication and Language, Social and Emotional Development and Physical development. On a practical level, all children have their own peg on which to store a bag of spare clothes on. In addition to this each child has their own box for their nappies, wipes creams dummies etc. Parents are required to provide nappies and wipes and creams including sun cream for the summer.
Feeding and weaning
For bottle fed children, parents are required to provide cooled boiled water in clean sterilised bottles with containers of measured powdered milk. Staff will work with parents at all stages of feeding and waning in order to compliment care given at home. As children are weaned, fresh food is cooked on the premises and blended appropriately for your child’s developmental stage. High chairs are provided for the early feeding stages but as children begin to be physically able to sit up and are developing some early independence, they will be able to sit with other children from their group at small tables and chairs. This is where the fun begins as staff balance assisting children to ensure they enjoy a balanced diet and allowing them a degree of independence in feeding themselves. This is a time rich in opportunities to develop language and social skills.
We are very keen to support breast feeding mothers as they return to work and are happy to discuss your requirements and routine and do everything in our power to make your return to work as easy as possible.
Rest and sleep times.
In this area again we aim to compliment the child’s home routine and will discuss carefully with parents all the important issues such as does the child have a special blanket or teddy to sleep with, do they like to be cuddled to sleep or do they prefer to be put down in a cot and allowed to sleep with as little fuss as possible. Children generally sleep in cots when they first join us but as they develop and when the time is right they are moved onto rest mats.
We chose staff to work in our baby rooms who are warm and empathetic and who have a sound knowledge of the needs of this age and an ability to meet them to a high degree. Our baby room can be calm and cosy during rest and nap times but also can be lively and exciting. If you walk past our baby room at any time of the day you will constantly hear staff and children singing and enjoying clapping and action rhymes.
Our priority in the baby room is to work as closely in partnership with parents as possible and to give babies the best possible start in life.
Caring for two year olds
Natasha and Giovanna care for up to eight two to three year olds in this cosy and comfortable room which is close to the bathroom in order to help support children through their potty training stage.
This room is equipped with a cosy book area, a home corner area with a large supply of dressing up and play kitchen equipment, dolls and tea sets etc. In the messy area children have regular access to sand, water, paints and various creative opportunities. There are also areas where children can play with a wide variety of constructive and imaginative equipment and the room has a plentiful supply of puzzles and activities that support children’s fine motor development such as threading or shape sorters. Children and staff continually enjoy singing and story sessions together and staff carry out continual observations and assessments to ensure that activities are offered that are both appropriate for the individual child and help move their development forward.
As in all our rooms, the relationship with staff and parents is highly valued. We welcome parents input and opinions and work hard to share all those important little details about a child’s day. Toilet training is often a key issue in this room and staff work closely with parents to plan this time in their child’s life. We do ask parents to be prepared to supply the nursery with an abundance of spare underwear and clothes and to dress their child’s in clothes that help them achieve their independence. This is a very exciting time in a child’s life with loads of changes physically and emotionally. It is our aim that we can offer children both the stimulation and seethe security they need to both maximise their potential and to give them a warm and happy experience.
Sladana leads the pre school team supported by Joanne and Sue which can cater for up to eight children aged from two to five years. In this room both the three prime areas of the early years foundation stage and the specific areas.
The prime areas are:-
- Communication and language development.
- Physical development.
- Personal social and emotional development.
Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
The specific areas are:-
- Understanding the world; and
- Expressive arts and design.
Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.
Little Crystals Day Nursery has a pleasant sized garden which arranged in a way that actively supports children’s learning and development. A sheltered area with padded floor enables children to sit and enjoy books and puzzle outside. Mathematics is strongly supported by use of visual aids that link with some of the equipment e.g. numbered parking spaces linked to numbers on cars and bikes etc. physical development is supported by a wide range of equipment including climbing frame and slide, bikes, hoops and balls and balancing beams. Out door messy and creative activities are often available and Children love to play imaginatively in the many play houses around the garden.