Ages

Key Carers

All children

Each baby/child who attends nursery will be allocated a key carer – a member of staff in their room who is responsible for their key children’s overall well-being and development and sharing any relevant information with the child’s parents, carers or professionals.

Key carers are responsible for ensuring that there is a strong, respectful partnership between all those involved with every child and that they form caring and supportive attachments to their key children. In addition to this, we also operate a ‘buddy system’; every child is also assigned a ‘buddy’, who is their second key carer, who will assume the role of the key carer. Key carers also complete/contribute to all paperwork for their children, including online learning journals, progress reports, transition documents and also attend meetings with parents/carers/professionals.

In addition to having an ‘open door policy’, parents and carers are regularly invited into nursery to discuss their child’s progress with their ‘key carer’.

Bunnykins

Aged 0 - 16 months

Our baby room staff have been specifically chosen for their experience, knowledge and sensitivity in their approach to caring for our babies. One of our senior nursery nurses has worked at Abacus for over 10 years, with an additional full time staff member working with her for over 12 years.

The individual routines of each baby are maintained, and staff provide appropriate care and experiences to meet their needs and aid their development. The staff/child ratio is 1 member of staff with no more than 3 babies, with each baby having a ‘key carer’ and buddy who is available to assist the baby room staff during feeding times etc.

Key carers are responsible for ensuring that your baby‘s daily diary is completed, which gives you written information about your child’s day, enabling you to share in their experiences. Staff will also encourage the sharing of relevant information about your baby with any carer(s) that drop off/collect your baby from nursery.

Daily activities

Our babies engage in many ‘hands on’ experiences using a wide range of toys, equipment, environments and materials. These include exploring both man-made and natural materials, various sound and light equipment and playing with materials with different textures (water, sand, gloop etc.).

Staff interact with our babies as much as possible whilst they explore their surroundings. Babies also learn about ‘cause and effect’ from an early age. Our babies are also encouraged to enjoy/partake in singing, story-telling and communication in many different forms.

Outings

We have a varied selection of buggies and a ‘play-bus’ which allows us to take our younger children and babies out into the local community. We have a strict outings procedure which is followed each time the children leave the nursery.

Food & nutrition

Parents provide formula milk powder/breast milk for our babies until they can drink cow’s milk. We are able to reimburse parents for most types of formula milk.

The food and drink intake of each baby is carefully monitored. When babies are ready to wean, we work with parents and carers to ensure that both the babies’ and families’ needs are met.

Sensory room

Our babies enjoy the vast amount of equipment in this room, which develops all of their senses. They enjoy a variety of lights, sounds, textures and smells through both adult-led activities and their own explorations.

Indoor play

We have an indoor soft play area in which our babies can access every day to provide them with the opportunity to climb, crawl, walk, slide, throw, roll, rock etc., whilst at the same time developing their social skills.

Outdoor play

We have two private enclosed play spaces, including a garden where the babies play on the grass, which also has a large wooden pergola providing shade.

Tweenies

Aged 16 - 24 months (approx)

It is at this age that the development of both spoken language and the child’s understanding of language becomes more apparent. Staff in the Tweenies‘ room focus on this area of development, encouraging children to communicate their needs and understanding as they try to make sense of the world around them.

The staff/child ratio in our Tweenies’ room is 1 member of staff with no more than 3 babies, with each Tweenie having a ‘key carer’.

Our Tweenies’ room staff are experienced in ensuring that the environment provided for our older babies encourages their independence, enabling them to choose the activities that they would like to engage in. Older babies begin to copy what they have seen around them – we provide a variety of ‘role’ play equipment so that they can make tea, feed and look after their babies etc. This gives them the opportunity to re-enact their past experiences.

Daily activities

Our Tweenies continue to develop their exploration skills, playing with a variety of man-made and natural materials. They become effective in constructing with various building materials, and enjoy a variety of messy activities, such as gluing, sticking, painting with a variety of tools and materials, cooking, and playing with materials of different textures.

As the children’s social skills, language and concentration develop, they are able to more effectively take part in group activities, such as story time, singing time and ring games. Staff encourage their growing confidence to partake in such activities, and praise their efforts, strengthening the relationships between our children and their staff.

Outings

We have a varied selection of buggies and a ‘play-bus’ which allows us to take our older babies out into the local community. We have a strict outings procedure which is followed each time the children leave the nursery.

Sensory room

Our Tweenies enjoy the vast amount of equipment in this room, which develops all of their senses. They enjoy a variety of lights, sounds, textures and smells through both adult-led activities and their own explorations.

Indoor & outdoor play

We have two private enclosed play spaces, including a garden where the Tweenies can play on the grass, which also has a large wooden pergola providing shade.

We have an indoor soft play area in which our older babies can access every day to provide them with the opportunity to climb, crawl, walk, build, jump, throw, slide, roll, etc., whilst at the same time, developing their social skills.

Tiny Tots

Aged 24 - 30 months (approx)

As well as encouraging learning in all areas of development, it is an important aim of the Tots’ room to encourage the child’s independence and social development through the activities and experiences provided.

As well as promoting each child’s individual learning, the children are encouraged to take part in small group activities, learning to share and socialise with other children and staff. As well as having many opportunities for the children to experience child initiated play, the children will begin to experience more adult initiated/structured play and activities. Both types of play are supervised.

The Tots take part in activities including art and craft sessions (gluing, play dough, sticking, painting etc.), cooking, mark making, construction, sounds and music, role-play, exploratory activities (including sand and water), story time/sharing books, singing, physical activities (both indoors and outdoors), games etc. The children also take part in ‘Tumble Tots’ and various other action songs/games.

Activities

The Tots are very fortunate to have continuous access to the outside during their day due to having French doors leading directly from their room to the outside play area.

These doors are opened at set times during which the children can choose to move between the indoors and the outdoors. They have access to two private enclosed play spaces, including a garden where the Tots can take part in activities such as growing plants and vegetables or exploring activities on the grass, which also has a large wooden pergola providing shade.

Whilst outdoors, the children can play on the climbing frame or with various equipment such as; bikes, parachute, balls, coits, beanbags, hoops, skittles, bats, prams, sand and water.

Staffing

The staff/child ratio in our Tots’ room is 1 member of staff with no more than 4 children, with each Tot having a ‘key carer’. The nursery also rotas in at least one additional staff member per day (not the Manager) who is available to assist the Tots’ room staff when necessary.

The children are encouraged to develop their self-esteem and confidence. We encourage the children to share their news at circle time, or they may be asked to contribute to regular activities/discussions. This helps them feel part of a group and gives them the confidence to express their ideas and thoughts.

The children are also encouraged to develop their self-help skills from an early age, e.g. putting on their coats and aprons. This also includes the promotion of good hygiene practices, such as washing their hands before eating and brushing their teeth after lunch etc.

Toilet training

When children are ready to begin toilet training, or have already begun to toilet train, we work in partnership with parents and carers to ensure that consistency is maintained, both at home and at nursery. This is seen as most important for toilet training to be successful.

Due to the Tots having their own bathroom in their playroom, they can access potties and toilets at all times, which encourages successful toilet training. Children who are not yet toilet training are also encouraged by the success of their friends.

Outings

As well as visiting the shops, library, park etc., the Tots also incorporate additional visits depending on the children’s interests, e.g. farm, Metro rides and the Marine Park. We have a strict outings procedure which is followed each time the children leave the nursery.

Tinkers

Aged 30 - 40 months (approx)

Staff in the Tinkers build on the independence and social skills that the children have begun to develop in order to prepare the Tinkers for our pre-school room – the Rascals.

The staff/child ratio in our Tinkers’ room is 1 member of staff with no more than 4 children for 2 year olds, and 1 member of staff with no more than 8 children for 3 year olds, with each Tinker having a ‘key carer’. The nursery also rotas in at least one additional staff member per day (not the Manager) who is available to assist the Tinkers’ room staff when necessary.

Daily activities

Very much like the pre-school room, the Tinkers have set times whereby they follow a routine that promotes both small and larger group activities. For short periods of the day, the children begin to work and play in set groups with their key member of staff (key carer) who will be able to closely monitor their interactions and development in all key areas of the ‘Early Years Foundation Stage’. The children will still have an adequate amount of time where they can choose where and with whom they would like to play.

ICT

The Tinkers’ room also houses our ‘Smart’ board, in addition to a computer, which gives our children the opportunity to learn ICT skills, preparing them for school and our increasing ICT world in which we live.

Communication & thinking

At this age, children’s language develops rapidly, enabling them to communicate more easily. Staff will also encourage children to talk about what they are thinking, helping them to problem solve, share with their friends etc. As a result, children’s social and play skills develop, as well as their learning in all areas of the ‘Early Years Foundation Stage’.

Indoor & outdoor play

Very much like the Tots’ room, the Tinkers are very fortunate to have continuous access to the outside during a lot of their day. The Tinker’s doors are opened at set times during which the children can choose to move between the indoors and the outdoors.

Whilst outdoors, the children can play on the climbing frame or with various equipment such as; bikes, parachute, balls, coits, beanbags, hoops, skittles, bats, prams, sand, water etc. They can also make marks, dress up, build with larger equipment, or find a den and look at books/chat to their friends.

Environment

The Tinkers’ room has its own integral bathroom and cloakroom. They have a very large, spacious room that is clearly divided into separate learning areas that are well resourced, labelled and easily accessible for the children. This encourages them to be independent, selecting their own equipment and then being able to return them during tidy up time.

Visitors and outings

Our Tinkers go on relevant outings as often as possible. For children of this age range, we also bring in relevant outside agencies/visitors to enhance any interests that they may have, developing further their skills. We have a strict outings procedure which is followed each time the children leave the nursery.

Rascals (approx)

Aged 40 - 60 months

The Rascals is our pre-school room, which is where most of our children stay with us, prior to starting school. The Rascals’ room staff recognise the importance of preparing the children for this next step in their lives. An inspirational, happy, safe and warm environment is provided to ensure that our children can continue to make progress in all areas of development within the EYFS.

One of the main priorities in working with children of this age is to encourage independence, confidence and a curiosity about their environment which helps them to make decisions for themselves. Sharing and working in partnership with others is also widely promoted to encourage positive relationships amongst peers.

The staff/child ratio in our Rascals’ room is 1 member of staff with no more than 8 children, with each Rascal having a ‘key carer’. The nursery also rotas in at least one additional staff member per day (not the Manager or Deputy) who is available to assist the Rascals‘ room staff when necessary.

Daily routine

Our pre-school children have a varied, yet structured day to assist in preparing them for school. The day is carefully broken up into a balance of child-led and adult-led activities (all supervised). Small group time is carried out daily, mainly by the children’s key member of staff who uses this time to get to know their individual children’s needs through careful observations and recording.

The children and staff also participate in ‘circle time’ as well as ‘large group time’ at specific times throughout the day. During this time, the children will gain confidence and be able to share their news, sing, play instruments and both tell and listen to stories and rhymes.

The children are encouraged to develop their self-help skills from an early age which gives them a good start for school, e.g. putting on their coats, aprons, collecting their own cups and cutlery for tea and dinner and tidying up. Independent hygiene practices are also promoted, such as the children having to wash their hands before eating, brushing their teeth after lunch etc.

Environment

Children learn and thrive in a stimulating environment that offers accessible and age-appropriate resources and activities. The children are offered the choice and opportunity to explore all areas of the room, including the home corner, construction area, quiet corner, writing area, investigation area, messy area and sand and water trays. They take part in cooking, planting, various messy activities, indoor and outdoor physical activities and role-play etc. They learn about being healthy in relation to food, germs and exercise.

The children also spend time outdoors, both during the morning and afternoon sessions. During this time, all areas of development within the EYFS are promoted through various adult-led activities. The outdoors is also resourced to cover the children’s interests.

Celebrating achievements

The children’s achievements are celebrated in many ways. Colourful wall displays can be seen in the Rascals’ room and around the nursery. Parents are also sent photographs, videos and information showing the children’s experiences and learning.

Visitors & outings

The children meet various people of interest in the community and also visit places that are fun and can help them learn about the world in which they live. We have a strict outings procedure which is followed each time the children leave the nursery.

Finally, children of this age are able to tell us exactly what makes their nursery fun and exciting and we listen to them very carefully.