By working in true partnership with parents we aim to provide a stimulating, challenging environment which is a warm, friendly extension of home, where children and adults can explore, have fun, play, talk and learn together, developing as happy, confident and independent individuals within their community.
We hold dear the African proverb “It takes a whole village to educate a child“ believing that we have a significant role to play, along with parents, families, other professionals and the whole of the wider community in raising the young citizens of the society.
In May, Nursery staff make a home visit to all new families. This an informal, friendly opportunity to say hello, introduce ourselves and get to know a little bit about the child and his/her family. Parents often talk about this visit in a positive way and seem really happy to meet staff on their own ‘home ground.’ This first meeting is where the relationship and partnership begins.
In June, we hold a Welcome Evening for new parents, where we spend time together, talking about the way we work, giving a clear message to our families about our philosophy and ethos. We then divide into smaller groups where parents meet their child’s key person and other families of the same group. This is another opportunity to build upon the relationship that started in May.
In September, children are brought into nursery in key groups, for 2 short visits. We ask that a parent or close family member accompany them on their visit days. This is a lovely time for parents and children to become totally familiar with the space, indoors and outdoors, the staff and the routine, or as we like to call it, the rhythm of the day.
If all goes well, we invite the children to stay at nursery on their own after that, but of course, are very flexible with those children who need more time with parents. All children are different – some may settle in very quickly, whilst others need a little more time. We also acknowledge this separation can be as upsetting for parents as it is for children and so we offer comfort and patience to all during this transition time. Time spent on settling in, is time well invested for the children’s security and confidence.
During to the Covid-19 pandemic, we invested in a new garden gate, which became our new nursery entrance – to avoid lots of people walking through the building. We wanted to find a way to safely build and maintain strong relationships with parents and carers, and so far, this works brilliantly. On arrival, through the new gate, we ask parents to support their child with hand sanitising, before collecting their little wooden name tag, which they then give to their key person. Once children are settled and parents are happy, they leave via our old garden gate to avoid crossing pathways with families still arriving. Children are collected from the garden and once again, have the opportunity to chat with the staff.
It is really important that children are collected on time, as searching the sea of faces for your mum or dad, nana or grandad, and finding no-one there can be really upsetting when you’re only 3 or 4 years old. We ask that parents inform us of the people who are most likely to collect their child. In the interests of safeguarding all our children, we ask parents to provide a password at the beginning of the year for all adults to use when collecting children at the end of the session. Anyone the staff don’t recognise, will not be allowed to leave the building with a child, unless they provide the correct password.