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From 2 To 8 Years In One Centre


Guest Wolverton Day Nursery
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Guest Wolverton Day Nursery

Hi again, My nursery is located in a building shared with a nursery class attached to a primary school. We offer wraparound care, with breakfast clubs, afterschool and playschemes for the 4 - 8 year olds attending the school - alongside our day nursery for 2 - 5year olds. Has anyone experienced having a mixed aged range like this? We find it works really well, the older children help the younger, younger children encourage patience and caring in our older children.

 

Looking forward to hearing from everyone again.

Ann

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Guest LucyQ

Wow Ann, that sounds great. We don't do this yet but one day, when we have our own building we hope to offer those kind of services.

 

How long have you been doing this?

 

What resources do you find invaluable - thinking here about areas/rooms too?

 

Do you personally work throughout the day or do you have other staff that cover, say, breakfast club?

 

Did you get funding to get things started?

 

Sorry to ask so many questions but its the kind of vision I have for our pre-school when we have our own building. I'm trying to get as much info about building specs as possible.

Lucy

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W.D.N., I've written to Ofsted to extend my registration age up to 8 yrs but just for the summer hols. Parents want this service but for all siblings in the family, not just the 2-5 yrs.

 

I am curious as to what activities the older children enjoy most. I also like the idea of all ages socializing together as you have experienced.

 

Peggy

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Hi Ann and welcome

 

Would be very interested in how you run the day in terms of staffing. We are an 8 till 6 day nursery offering afterschool care too. We are limited to what we can offer as the nursery is full. Our holiday care has to be run from another site so it all adds to complications with staffing. I echo Lucy's thoughts on how it all pieces together!

 

Gem

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Hi Ann

Welcome to the forum. You have what I feel is going to be the way of pre-schools in the future if we are going to survive. Glad you are finding it all successful!

Linda

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I agree with Linda that this is probably the way forward for pre-schools, and I think this philosophy is what is behind the Sure Start children's centres.

 

It is so encouraging to hear that this is working in practice for you, Ann. There's no doubt that the community needs more resources like this. I'm sure the continuity of care is important to the families you support: they don't need to form new relationships with other settings at the same time as getting their children settled in school.

 

And the bonus for you and your staff is that they don't necessarily have to say 'goodbye' when children go off to school at five!

 

Mind you, I can think of a few I've been very glad to say goodbye to... or am I being too politically incorrect?

 

Maz

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Guest Wolverton Day Nursery

Hi again, so nice to hear from others who share my vision. Our day nursery began some 16 years ago. We moved to our current location about 7 years ago, and found we were competing with the nursery class in the school for the same children. We decided to diversify and extend the age range and the number of care packages we could offer. We carried out a survey of parents and found that the restrictive hours on offer were not particularly helpful, and that for greater flexibility they would be prepared to pay extra. So began the breakfast club and afterschool club during the term. The playschemes began that summer and we were away.

The children tend to use similar equipment and resources. We applied and were successful in gaining a new initiative grant to buy bigger outdoor resources. We put pleas out to companies (argos and the like) to donate and were lucky again. Staffing is covered on a shift basis. Ofsted have recently carried out our care and education inspection and were impressed with the range of option we offer parents. We don't segregate the children by age, but support the younger ones who want to try more challenging activities. The down side? With up to 5 "sessions" a day, and another 3 option during the school holidays, the art is keeping all the balls in the air at the same time!

Great site

Ann

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Wow, Ann: it sounds really great!

 

Do you own this nursery? It sounds like real entrepreneurial spirit at work here: realising there was a 'gap in the market' (I hate using phrases like that to talk about our job), and providing services that parents really want.

 

And the thing about juggling balls is that sometimes you have to let go: even if only to remind yourself of the chaos that would reign if you weren't so fabulous at your job!

 

I prefer plate spinning myself...

 

Maz

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