Posts Tagged ‘nursery workers’

A sense of place…

March 25th, 2019 by Sarah Steel

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting Flo’s Place in Oxford, having last seen it several months ago, when it was just an idea. It is a former children’s centre in a very mixed part of Oxford, which has been transformed into a community centre by its Trustees, who wanted something that really served the local community. The ‘anchor tenant’ of this centre is a children’s nursery, which has been put together with a lot of support from Annie Davy, former Head of Early Years in Oxfordshire. It was fantastic to visit on a sunny day and see people using the nursery, cafe and midwives to give a vibrant and buzzing feeling of purpose. I wished I had something on my doorstep like it, when I was a new Mum. I hope it continues to thrive and becomes part of the community.

Annie also gave me a copy of her latest book, ‘A Sense of Place’, which is a lovely deep dive into ‘mindful practice outdoors’. I thoroughly recommend it to anyone with an interest in Early Years provision and think it should be on the reading list for all Early Years students. It will certainly be doing the rounds within our company! There are lots of ideas of activities included, but also it prompts you to reflect on why we do what we do. I particularly like the section on risk benefit, so that teams can think about the hazards of working outdoors and how they can manage these risks, as well as teaching children about risk taking and keeping safe. I hope that every OFSTED inspector who visits us has also read Annie’s book!

As Margaret MacMillan so famously said, ‘The best classroom and the richest store cupboard is roofed only by the sky.’ For more details of Annie’s book see: https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/a-sense-of-place-9781472953650/

Where do your nursery fees go?

April 1st, 2015 by Sarah Steel

Now that we have gone into pre-election Purdah, we are expecting to hear more than ever from our politicians about childcare as they launch their manifestos. To date both Labour and the Lib Dems are promising to expand the ‘free entitlement’, which is great for parents but a disaster for nursery providers as none of them have indicated an interest in sorting out the mess that is nursery funding already, never mind an increase. We’ve just heard from Oxfordshire County Council that our funding for 3 year olds will increase by a whole 6p from £3.90 to £3.96 and in Gloucestershire from £3.25 to £3.50 per hour. The fact that our fees for an hour for a 3 year old would be between £4 and £5 per hour depending on location, is totally irrelevant. So, inevitably, working parents buying additional sessions for 3 year olds, or those with under-3s, end up paying higher fees, to allow us to balance our books.

This article in The Guardian explains very clearly where childcare fees goes and is a very familiar story.

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/mar/28/9000-childcare-parents-nursery-fees?CMP=share_btn_tw

I will be waiting to see what all the parties say about childcare funding before placing my vote on 7th May. The All party select committee report last week couldn’t have been clearer; funding needs reform and the parties have no excuse any more in saying they don’t know it is a problem. Let’s hope someone out there is listening……

Shock horror – some childcarers have no GCSEs!

March 26th, 2012 by Sarah Steel

The papers on Saturday were full of the preview report from Professor Cathy Nutbrown, which raised concerns that some nursery staff have very low educational standards.
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FIND A NURSERY

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