At Little Stars Pre-school Nursery, we recognize that three of the key service qualities appreciated by parents are: quality & safer care, quality development of their children, and a strong cooperative partnership with parents. We recognize parents as the primary educators of their children and our role is to support parents (in their often busy lives) to nurture the full potential of their child during their early years by encouraging, and giving them opportunities to explore, learn and build confidence in a safe and loving environment. We work with several associations including OFSTED, Harrow Early Years, and the Environmental Health & safety officer to ensure we implement the highest standards and have over x policies in place. The information below describes some of the quality aspects of the setting and how we partner with parents to bring out the best possible outcomes for children.
Little Stars Pre-school Nursery operates on staff to children ratios that are aligned with Early Years standards based on the ages of the children. A child in each age group also has a minimum area of floor space to ensure that we do not overcrowd our nursery and we have a maximum occupancy at any given time to provide quality care and a safe & healthy environment for your child to develop within:
|Child Age||Staff: children ratio||Minimum floor space / child|
|3 months – 2 years||1:3||2.3 m2|
|2 years||1:6||2.5 m2|
|3-4 years||1:8||3.5 m2|
During their early years, children need to be physically active in order to support their health and development, as they learn to move, crawl, balance and walk. Our natural outdoor play area provides daily outdoor physical activity, exploration and exercise for all children including a dedicated area for babies to allow them to also experience the outdoors within a safe surrounding, while older children have free-play areas to mix and interact with different age groups. We have two outdoor play areas:
The indoor class rooms provide opportunities for all aspects of the child’s development through various visual, interactive, explorative and social methods that are scheduled weekly. Indoors there is an ample free flow area to ensure that children have the opportunity to mix with different age groups and develop social communication skills.
Risk assessments are continuously performed to ensure the safety and security of children, staff and parents at the premises, which includes a risk assessment each morning before opening. Our first responsibility is towards the safety of children and therefore the first floor entrance is kept locked at all times ensuring that all occupants are safe and visitors in the setting are controlled. Parents and visitors must ring the buzzer at the door, to be allowed access by a member of staff, and all visitors are signed in to a visitor’s book to ensure records are kept of everyone entering the setting.
Prior to outdoor play, a member of staff performs a safety check to ensure that all areas are safe and that there are no unauthorized individuals on the grounds and secures all gates to the play area/ grounds which remain locked during outdoor play and activities.
At Little Stars Pre-school Nursery, we perform regular fire drills, and have in place fire evacuation procedures, amongst other policies for hygiene, and health. Our entire staff is trained in first aid and safe guarding practices with regular training, and we work with Harrow Early Years, OFSTED and various institutions to ensure we continually evaluate and assess risks to provide the best possible practices and environment for the safety of all individuals.
All employees undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, (previously called a Criminal Records Bureau or CRB check) before they are employed and permitted to work with the children. Additionally, staff references are acquired from previous employers or colleges and undergo a selection process which includes interviews and practical demonstrations.
The staff undergoes regular training in several areas of importance and self-development that include safe guarding of children, first aid and food hygiene. We encourage all our staff to seek higher qualifications and ensure they are qualified to a minimum level 3 when considering the above ratios. Next to the parents, our staff members are the most important individuals in a child’s development, and we have regular meetings to ensure motivation and engagement both with the children and parents, to deliver continuous high quality services.
Additionally, Little Stars Pre-school Nursery has several policies in place that set standards of conduct for staff to ensure that a disciplined, safe and quality approach to childcare is followed.
Young children learn best through play-based approaches rather than through formal teaching. Play supports children’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical development, and helps them learn to co-operate, negotiate and overcome various challenges. Little Stars Pre-school Nursery has activities that incorporate the areas of development, play, rest and meals. The weekly newsletter will inform parents what their child has been learning that week, and what they will be doing the following week, and also provide details of activities parents can follow-up at home. As each family has individual requirements, we work with parents to incorporate their child’s routines and requirements into their daily routine in the setting (such as daily nap-times). The weekly schedules are also clearly visible for parents on our parent’s notice board, where parents can also find information about local community events and partnerships we have with the community.
Children develop best when they have a secure and stable relationship with their carers. At Little Stars Pre-school Nursery, your child will have a “Key Worker” to ensure this relationship, and keep you informed of progress. The Key worker will ensure that your child feels safe and loved by appropriately comforting them and mitigating any risks (internal and external) to the child, respond to their individual needs, and deliver and track the development of your child.
Little Stars Pre-school Nursery follows the EYFS curriculum which is structured around 4 themes:
These four themes are based on the principals that:
Staff teach children by ensuring that challenging and playful opportunities exist across the 7 prime and special areas of learning and development.
A practice of continuous formative assessment is at the heart of effective early years development: Children are first observed, then assessed and based on the observations plans are developed to support them, to strengthen and deepen their current learning and development.
Effective Learning is described in the 7 areas of development (above) and we have a range of creative and innovative activities that help deliver these learnings and skills, examples of which are shown via our daily schedules and newsletters. We also have off-site visits to local attractions that include farms, parks, and regular visits to the local library to familiarize children with learning activities based on exploration, while encouraging them to read.
The availability of both age-defined class rooms and a free-flow area allow children optimal support to work in age-defined groups when appropriate, but also the ability to mix with different age groups to build confidence and social communication skills. The large outdoor play area has a significant role in the physical development of all children, including the youngest 3-month old babies who have a dedicated area. We ensure significant outdoor activities take place all year round giving children the opportunity to explore, heighten their sensory skills and enjoy the fresh air.
During meal-times we encourage children to be sociable, have fun and learn about the importance of healthy eating, drinking and hygiene. We therefore encourage balanced nutritional lunches catered for both vegetarian and non-vegetarian needs; and if opting for packed lunches, parents are also encouraged to send balanced and nutritious food. Our staff is qualified and trained in food hygiene and follow processes to ensure specific dietary needs are met such as avoidance of ingredients causing food allergies, and the necessary knowledge and experience to manage the transition from formula/milk to solids.
Parents are the anchors in a child’s life, and how they feel and behave significantly influence how children feel about themselves and their surroundings. As a care provider, Little Stars Pre-school Nursery has a key role in helping your child reach their maximum potential by providing an environment where your child’s opinion, autonomy and initiatives are valued and respected, and learning is actively promoted through fun, challenging experiences that foster their thinking skills. To achieve this, we must be sensitive and responsive to both your needs and your child’s, to build a cooperative relationship with you and your child as a foundation for your child’s development.
We create an environment built on mutual trust with parents by ensuring an environment conducive to continuous dialogues between parents and staff through multiple channels including the introduction of a parent’s association. This relationship is critical because:
At Little Stars Pre-school Nursery, all children have access to all learning opportunities, activities, and experiences regardless of their abilities or challenges. All children are meaningfully included in daily routines and individual support provided based on their needs. To facilitate this infrastructure being in place, and to engage families and staff, both the owner and the manager are SENCO qualified.
The world is changing, and diversity is important because children must learn to accept and get along with people of different cultures, races, and religions in order to become integrated with the different communities of modern society. At Little Stars Pre-school Nursery, we prepare children to accept and embrace diversity by ensuring we have resources that promote diversity and by openly talking and celebrating different cultures and practices. These include: