We believe in a child-centred approach to care and education. Little Steps gives the children freedom of choice, while encouraging them to join in with the activities and learn at their own pace. We promote a relaxed, calm and homely environment supported by a team of caring, qualified and experienced staff.
We care for a wide age range and believe that although their needs are best met within groups of a similar age and ability, children benefit enormously from regular contact across age ranges. We have found that children enjoy playing with their age peers, but they also benefit from contact with older and younger children. Watching, playing, communicating and helping each other all happen naturally in families with more than one child. Older children find pleasure in communicating with babies and toddlers and show a sophisticated understanding of how to adjust their communication. The younger children watch, listen, anticipate and copy. Affectionate relationships can form across the age bands, often consolidated by play. We make it easy for brothers and sisters to visit and spend time with each other, just as they would do at home, as some of these children can really miss or worry about each other. The practicalities of full-day care can mean that the beginnings and ends of the nursery day are a useful time to have mixed age groups. Children show they enjoy the prospect of coming together and relish this social contact.
We regard the parent partnership as a cornerstone and attach great importance to this input. Our Parent Forum is an excellent opportunity to involve parents in planning the care and education of their children and providing feedback on every aspect of the nursery. We value parent/carers as equal partners with the staff, and actively encourage the sharing of information. This is invaluable when it comes to identifying children’s learning needs and ensuring a quick response to any area of particular need. Parents and families are central to a child’s well-being and we do our utmost to support this relationship and foster partnership. We do this by providing introductory information, Parent-Key Person consultations, being available to talk at the beginning and end of the child’s day, parent forums, a parent’s communication book, posting information on the nursery website and hosting social events. We regularly email updates to parent groups and daily information is displayed on the blackboard in the nursery foyer.