Starting Early Years
Our aim is to make the journey through Early Years as smooth as possible, not only for the child, but for you as a family as a whole.
Our philosophy is to nurture every child’s curiosity, encourage, support and help them on their first steps to becoming a life long learner.
This will be done by :
• Recognising the importance of the child’s family and encourage family participation in all aspects of the early years environment.
• Using planned structured opportunities, as well as lots of free play to stimulate a child’s inquisitive nature. Play is the main way in which children learn and therefore play affects all aspects of a child’s development.
• Providing experienced, qualified, professional staff, using the key worker approach to develop relationships with the child and adults alike.
• Indoor and outdoor play, using all environments as learning tool.
• Encouraging children to make their own decisions and reflecting on them.
• Most importantly, we play with the children and have lots and lots of fun!
Leonard Stanley Early Years is part of Leonard Stanley C of E Aided Primary School, and as such is managed by the School Governors, the School Head Teacher (Mr Andrew Green) and the Early Years Management Team.
We hope that are time together is a happy, memorable and educational experience. Your child is taking their first steps into their life long journey of education. We hope to work alongside you and your family to make this the best possible start for your child. See below for useful information.
When starting Early Years, there are a variety of forms that need to be completed, it is important that we have all this information from the beginning. During your child’s time with us, please inform us of any changes that occur in contact details, pick up authorisation, medical information etc so that records are always kept up to date.
Your child will be assigned a 'key person', this is the member of staff that will be your point of contact and the one that will maintain the assessment on your child. However, this does not mean that you can not approach another member of staff or Management. All staff work as a team together caring for all the children.
Our settling-in procedure is different for every individual child. We treat all children as individuals throughout their time with us, and how we help them settle is no exception. The procedure is one that is worked out between the parent and staff together. All situations are different, for some it is best for the parent/carer to stay with the children to start with, for others it is not. We all have the same aim, happy, contented children.
Objects & Toys
Objects or Toys from home can make a child feel safe in a new environment. Transitional objects, (blanket, favourite toy etc.) are welcome in the setting, although children are encouraged to leave them in their personal tray, and fetch them when they feel the need to. Hopefully, within a few weeks the child will not need to do this any more, and the object will be left from home.
Although we do not discourage children from bringing in toys from home, we are not responsible for the loss or damage of any toy. If it is a precious toy, please leave it at home.
Clothing & Personal Belongings
Personal belongings should all be clearly named, as many children have the same coats and shoes, all in the same size. In hot weather, please ensure your child has a sun hat and that they have been smothered in sun cream before they arrive. In cold weather, a warm coat, hat and gloves are needed. We do try to access the playground everyday, so a waterproof coat allows us to still have a run around even in light rain.
We encourage the children to experience and experiment with new ideas, and as such it is best for them to wear old clothes. Although all paint and playdough are washable, experience tells us that occasionally they can stain. We do have optional uniform available for purchase.
In hot weather, please ensure your child has a sun hat and that they have been smothered in sun cream before they arrive.
If your child is still in nappies, this is not a reason for them not to start with us. We all appreciate that children develop at different times, and we are able to accommodate this. If your child is still in nappies, we do ask that you provide your child with a bag, which includes – nappies, wipes, nappy bags and a change of clothing. We do have nappy changing facilities and a nappy bin.
During a typical session we will provide – free flow indoor and outdoor (weather permitting) play, consisting of – creative activities, construction, malleable activities, mathematical activities, role play and the opportunity for lots of free choice for all individuals. We are totally flexible, and will be led by the interests of the children, if it is a nice day, we may just go to the park, or for a walk around the village, (with parent consent and completed risk assessment.)
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
As with all Registered settings, we have to adhere to the Early Years Foundation Stage. This incorporates the care and education of all children aged 0 - 5. It provides a framework for assessing child development from birth right up to and including a child’s reception year at school.
The Early Years Foundation Stage focuses on playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically to support children’s learning across all areas. These areas consist of 3 prime areas and 4 specific areas. These are as follows:- the prime areas consist of personal, social and emotional development, communication and language and physical development. The specific areas consist of literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive arts and design.
Food & Drink
See our 'Eating at Early Years' page for more information.
From the term after a child turns 3 years old, they are currently eligible for Nursery Education Funding. This is free child care for up to 15 hours a week. Funding is also available for some children from the term after their 2nd birthday – criteria to be met. For more information please go to the Parent Zone on our website or ask a member of staff.