Our Learning Environment
The environment in which they play and learn is often referred to as the ‘third teacher’. Light, airy and open spaces with learning zones and soft furnishings help us create calming, safe and secure spaces to help the children feel free, while at the same time enabling them to concentrate well when they need to.
Outdoor Play is essential to children’s learning and development. We have a spacious garden and patio area where we can take our learning outside and enjoy lots of physical play, from learning to ride a trike to creating a ‘mud kitchen’. Different sensory experiences such as clay, sand and water play allow them to make and form connections, not just with nature, but with their own emotions.
Our provision is set up each day to include the 7 areas of learning. Our childcare ethos is built firmly around children learning through play and using their imagination. Careful planning takes place to ensure children engage, enjoy and make the most from our activity zones. We can adapt the inside area for indoor physical activities and P.E. when the weather may be unsuitable to play safely outside. We have a separate area for use later in the day for after school activities. An example of our daily set up may include:
- An adult led art area
- Free ‘messy’ art area
- Fine motor skills zone
- Maths zone
- Literacy area
- Role play
- Small world & Imaginary play
The children are encouraged to self-select from these, with a little adult guidance and support, when required. We work according to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) which was revised in September 2014. This is the framework that all Nurseries and Pre Schools follow throughout the UK, as it covers the 7 Key Areas of Learning which are:
- Communication and Language
- Physical Play
- Personal Social and Emotional Development
- Understanding of the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Choosing the Right Setting
We understand that choosing the right childcare for your child is very important. Village End is unique in many ways as we run a Breakfast Club, Nursery, Pre School, After School Club, plus a Mini Camp during the school holidays. Our provision is perfect for working parents who wish to take control of their hours and days and book and change them in accordance with their own family requirements.
A Typical Day
Between 8am-9am a healthy breakfast including fruit, cereal or toast is available for children to help themselves (with support from a caring member of staff). There is always somebody else on hand to exchange information with parents/carers and to ensure children are handed over sensitively and settle happily, without any distress.
After Breakfast we have Registration and Special-Time, where children have the opportunity to chat about life at home and any ‘Wow Moments’ or achievements. They also like to share ideas and inspire us with ways to enhance our activities.
This is followed by Pre School activities. These may be adult or child initiated activities and also enables your child’s keyworker to have some one-to-one time with them, make observations and think about the any next steps to extend their learning and development.
Morning snack is at 10.30am, where children are encouraged to help prepare the snack, for example preparing the fruit, laying the table and looking at books about healthy eating. After snack the children are able to go outside for some fresh air and play in the garden area.
Lunch is served at 12pm followed by afternoon Pre School and then an afternoon snack at 2.30pm. At 3pm we open up the rest of the hall to allow more space for the after school children to attend. Dinner is at 5pm where all the children sit down together and enjoy one our carefully selected healthy meals which we serve on an 11 day cycle.
The Learning Journey
From the day your child starts, to the day they leave; we observe and record their stages of learning and development in their very own ‘Progress Diary’. Their special achievements, important milestones and unique masterpieces are all added to this. Parents are encouraged to provide photographs taken at family occasions and any special days out. Photographs enable children to share their experiences with staff and other children. This book will be kept at Village End until your child moves on to primary school, so you can see how they have progressed towards their Early Learning Goals, and hold on to those childhood memories forever.
Book a Trial Session
A free trial session is always recommended to help both us and your child get to know one another. We need to be confident that Village End is right for your child just as much as you do. During your child’s trial session an appointed member of staff will support and feedback to you any notes they have made.
Should you decide Village End is right for your family and you feel that your child will benefit and enjoy what we have available, we recommend a settling in session where you will be offered the opportunity to feed important information regarding your child to your child’s appointed keyworker. This will enable us to gain some knowledge as to their personality and if there are any areas regarding your child’s development that you wish to discuss.
What to Bring
We ask all parents to provide a named bag for their child when coming to Village End which includes the following:
- Spare change of clothes (plus extra underwear, if potty training)
- Nappies and wipes
- Wellies (weather dependant)
- Slippers (optional)
- Sun cream (in hot weather)
- Healthy meals and snacks (if you are providing your own food)
We ask that if all clothing and shoes can be labelled with a clear indication of the child’s name so that they are easy to locate.
If you are providing a packed lunch, please hand it over to a member of staff on arrival. Please do not include sweets or nuts in your child’s packed lunch as we have children with nut allergies. Smaller items such as grapes, cherry tomatoes, mini sausages etc., should be cut into quarters to avoid choking hazards.
Please ensure your child is suitably dressed to enable them to participate comfortably in all of the activities available. We like to spend a lot of our time outside exploring, whatever the weather. For example, on hot summer days the children should be dressed in cool light clothing and a sun hat is placed in their bag. We ask parents to apply a high factor sunscreen to their child before coming to Village End and also provide us with a labelled sunscreen, so our staff can top up throughout the day.
In the colder months, they will need warm comfy clothes, hat, scarf and gloves. They need to bring a coat every day. They may prefer to have a pair of comfy slippers for inside and wellies, for playing outside. We have splash suits available for all of the children to be worn over their clothes, so we can enjoy splashing in all the puddles and go out on muddy walks. For their own safety, footwear should be enclosed and flip-flops avoided.
Meet the Team
Staff diversity with a variation of skills and experience is essential when working together to deliver high quality childcare. Therefore, choosing the right team of professionals with the passion and commitment to work well as a team is high on our ethos. All our staff are carefully vetted and have a current DBS, Paediatric First Aid, Safeguarding & Food Hygiene training, as well as a natural ability & passion for working with children.
Tracey Fielder – Business Owner
Tracey Fielder has over 18 year’s Childcare and Playwork experience. Tracey is passionate about her chosen vocation and believes that children learn best through play when they are not stressed or confined. She has a Level 3 childcare qualification and has operated Village End for over 10 years.
Alice Johnson – Pre School Educator
Alice has experience working with children of all ages and more recently with Pre School Children. Alice has a level 3 Childcare Qualification and will be focusing on delivering early years education and introducing a range of learning and development activities for our Pre School children.
Hannah Mulvihill – Childcare Assistant
Hannah has been part of the team at Village End over the past 5 years. She has recently achieved a degree in Speech & Language Therapy and is therefore now a very important member of the team. Hannah likes Minions, arts & crafts and having story time with the children. She is also an amazing cook!
Chloe Cheema – Creative Childcare Assistant
Chloe has also worked at Village End for 5 years. Chloe delivers all aspects of arts and crafts and is an inspiring ‘Atelier’. She sets up a range of materials for focused and free-choice art activities every afternoon from 3pm. Chloe always has something different up her sleeve every day. Chloe is a Level 4 Childcare Practitioner who is passionate about anything related to art or craft and loves to encourage messy play.
Robert Fielder – Administration
Robert handles new bookings, invoicing and marketing. Robert has a home office and has many years’ experience in business development and management.
Healthy eating is very important at Village End. We provide 5 healthy meals per day and a fortnightly menu, which is displayed on our notice board. We understand that not all children enjoy trying new foods; therefore we do our best to make meal times interesting and fun by sitting down with the children and discussing, where the food is grown, how it’s made and how it gets here.
Good nutrition allows the brain to develop stronger and faster in young children while at the same time strengthening the immune system. Keeping food fresh, fun and diverse means this becomes a positive experience for the children and helps develop their understanding of what healthy food is, where it comes from and why a balanced diet is important.
Our kitchen is at the heart of Village End and the children can see where the food is prepared and get involved themselves. We have regular cooking activities where they can enjoy making their own pizza, bread and help to prepare their fruit and snacks.
- Breakfast £1.00 – natural cereal, toast, porridge and fruit.
- Morning snack – 50p – crackers/bread sticks, fruit and fresh semi-skimmed milk.
- Lunch £1.50 – hot or cold meals prepared on the premises.
- Afternoon snack -50p – biscuit, crumpets, muffins, fruit.
- Dinner – £2.50 – hot evening meal freshly prepared in our kitchen followed by a yogurt or fruit
- Fresh drinking water is always available for children to help themselves to throughout the day. Children are encouraged to use a cup rather than a bottle to allow their speech and language to develop naturally.
Working with Parents
When you arrive to collect your child, a member of staff will have information on your child’s day. Including what activities they have participated in, the food they have eaten, nappy changes, toilet visits, sleeps times etc. We also encourage parents to do likewise when dropping their child off. Working together is essential to ensure we understand how your child is feeling and whether we need to offer extra care and support on any given day.
Village End provides a transfer service including home/school to and from Village End. Transfers can be arranged either on a permanent basis, or at short notice. Our transfer service costs just £6 each way and is perfect for busy parents.
Book the hours to suit your routine. Unlike many other provisions, we allow parents to choose their hours and days. Should you require different hours on difference days, for example, Monday 10am -2pm, Tuesday 1pm – 6pm and Friday all day, we are able to accommodate, plus we can set up an account, so that you can extend any of your sessions when needed.
From September 2017 working parents with children aged 3 or 4 (and some 2 year olds) are able to benefit from 30 hours per week of free Government funding. Funding can be used in both the school term-time and holidays and is worth £5,000 per year.
We will provide an assessment once a year on how your child is progressing towards the Early Learning Goals. This will be shared at individual parent briefings throughout the year to meet with our Pre School Educators.
Parents & Carers are welcome to attend our social events throughout the year, including Sports Day, Summer Barbeque, Christmas Celebration, Mother’s Day with Croissants and Coffee, Father’s Day with Bacon Butty and Tea, plus many other opportunities for parents to feel part of the Village End family and get to know the people who are caring for your child.
Available throughout the school holidays, Mini Camp is designed for children aged between 2 – 8 years of age. We organise woodland walks to collect items for arts and craft activities, visits to places of interest, take our sketch pads, plus themed role play days, such as Buddy’s Restaurant, Survival Training, Flight Simulator, Olympic Games and The Big British Bake Off.
We believe that children learn best whilst they feel relaxed, are enjoying themselves and following their own interests. Therefore, we deliver the EYFS in a way that engages them though play. We initially concentrate on the three prime areas of learning which are personal, social and emotional development, communication and language and physical development before moving on to the remaining four specific areas which include mathematics, understanding the world, expressive art and design and
Personal, Social and Emotional development (Prime Area)
We develop the children’s independence and confidence as well as an ability to play co-operably and become part of a group.
Communication and Language (Prime area)
This focuses on development in the skills of speaking, listening and understanding.
Physical Development (Prime area)
Activities are planned that enable the child to develop mobility and manipulative skills. They will learn about taking care of their own needs and keeping healthy.
Mathematics (Specific area)
Practical activities are designed to promote understanding of mathematical concepts and use of apparatus to play in situations. Children will become aware of shape, ordering, sequencing and counting.
Understanding the World (Specific area)
Children develop understanding and knowledge of their environment and the world around them. They develop a sense of the past. This provides the foundations for science, technology, history and geography.
Expressive Arts and Design (Specific area)
Children are encouraged to develop their imagination and to express ideas in creative ways, particularly in art and music.
Literacy (Specific area)
Children are encouraged to develop conversational skills and listen to stories, Rhymes and poems. They will foster an appreciation of books and develop the skills needed to become writers.
We hope you like what you’ve read and look forward to working with you and your family during this important stage in your child’s learning and development.