All early years settings that care for children from birth to five, including reception children at school, are required to follow the EYFS. This curriculum focuses heavily on the importance of play, with the children being interested and excited to learn being a key factor.
At Hearts and Minds we complete ‘in the moment’ planning systems, allowing the children’s learning to be closely monitored and supported so that next steps for learning are quickly identified and smoothly completed within a short period of time. The EYFS splits children’s learning into 7 areas, three of which are prime and four of which are specific. Each child is allocated a Key Worker and a Buddy who undertake observations and plan focused activities to enhance their learning.
Prime Areas of Learning
Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Within this area children are encouraged to be confident in their own skills and abilities, developing a strong sense of self-worth, along with developing independence skills and willingness to have a go with new activities. Within this area children are also encouraged to develop social skills such as taking turns and sharing along with developing friendships, working together as part of a group. Children are also supported to manage their own behaviour and begin to identify how they feel and how their actions can influence others.
Communication and Language: Children will develop their language skills within this area, exploring both listening and speaking along with understanding what is said to them. Children are encouraged to have their own voice and express their needs and interests along with taking part in two-way conversations, listening to what others are saying and responding back.
Physical Development: Within this area children are encouraged to move freely in a range of ways, developing balance and control with both gross and fine motor movements. Younger children are supported to begin to crawl, cruise around the furniture and take their first steps. Children are also encouraged to develop self-care skills, such as potty training and making healthy choices in regards to their growth and development.
“The setting has a nice and calm atmosphere and a very good routine.” – R.Godwin: (Inclusion support)
Specific Areas of Learning:
Literacy: Within this area, children are encouraged to explore stories and rhymes as well as beginning to ‘make marks’ during drawing and writing.
Mathematics: Children begin to develop their understanding of numbers, size language and shapes. This is supported by exploring rhymes and songs and being aware that things exist when out of sight.
Understanding of the World: Children start to explore the world and people around them, developing care and concern for plants and animals along with an awareness of change and other cultures. Within this area children also start to explore technology and how things work.
Expressive Arts and Design: Within this area children are encouraged to be creative through music, dance, and media. They create pictures, songs, movements and representations.
“Lovely Setting, really well organised, lovely welcoming staff – J.Clark (St Chads School)
At Hearts and Minds, we share close links with all our families and support them in meeting the needs of their children. We understand that all children grow and develop at varying rates, but also recognise that some children may need additional support to allow them to be confident and happy learners.
The team at Hearts and Minds are highly trained to support all children and their families and work in partnership with a range of external agencies to support each individual’s development.
Meals and Snacks
At the nursery, children are offered up to five home-cooked meal options a day. Our menus are carefully created and based on healthy and nutritious choices. The menus are displayed within the nursery and we endeavor to meet every child’s dietary and cultural requirements.
All practitioners at Hearts and Minds hold food hygiene qualifications and we employ an experienced chef who works within our kitchen to produce our daily meals. Practitioners are also trained in identifying the 14 allergens and meeting the dietary and allergy requirements of our children. Our seasonal menus work on a four weekly cycle and are set out as follows:
Breakfast (served before 8:30): Children are provided with a range of cereals, yoghurt or fresh fruit.
Snack (10:00 am): Children are provided with a selection of fresh fruit and a choice of toast, pancakes, brioche, croissants or waffles
Lunch (11:30/12:00): Children are served their main meal at this time. Options include Creamy Salmon, Leek and Broccoli Pasta in a cheese sauce with Garlic Ciabatta, Pork Sausage Meat and Mixed Bean Casserole served with Carrots and Turnips or Roast Beef with Yorkshire Puddings, Roast Potatoes, Parsnips and Gravy.
Snack (2 pm): Children are offered fresh fruit or vegetable sticks
Light Tea (3:30/4pm): Children are provided with a light tea, options include Tuna and Sweetcorn Panini Served with a Rainbow Salad, Sweet Potato Wedges served with Cucumber slices and Tzatziki dip and Carrot and Coriander Soup served with croutons.
All children are also offered two desserts per day, one of which is a sweet option and the other is a fruit option.
Opening Hours and Fees
Hearts and Minds is open Monday to Friday from 7am until 6:30pm each day. We close for all public bank holidays and for approximately a week between Christmas and New Year.
Our current fees are as follows and are reviewed annually.
- Full Time: (Monday to Friday 9 hours between 7am and 6:30pm)
Two Year Olds
- Full Time: (Monday to Friday 9 hours between 7am and 6:30pm)
- Full Time: (Monday to Friday 9 hours between 7am and 6:30pm)
An additional hour or part hour for all age groups = £4.25
Siblings who attend two or more sessions per week will receive a discount of £2.00 per session against their second child’s invoice
Terms and Conditions
- Invoices are distributed on the 15th of each month and must have cleared and be available in the nursery bank account by the 1st of the following month
- As per your nursery contract any late payment, including payment that has not cleared into our account but has left your account, will incur a fee of 5% of the total cost per late day
- Each session covers you for nine hours between our opening times of 7am and 6:30pm
- Full fees are payable during all absences from nursery including holidays and sickness as well as all bank holidays
- Hearts and Minds is open for 51 weeks of the year, closing for all bank holidays and for approximately a week between Christmas and New Year
- To reduce sessions or leave the setting Hearts and Minds require four weeks’ written notice
- A deposit is required to retain a space at Hearts and Minds (£50 per day reserved) All deposits are refundable within your final invoice as long as four weeks’ written notice is given on the space.
- Hearts and Minds closes at 6:30pm prompt. It is therefore each parent’s responsibility to ensure that their child has been collected and left the premises before 6:30pm. Failure to collect your child before 6:30pm will result in a late fee being charged.
- Hearts and Minds accepts a range of salary sacrifice childcare vouchers and tax-free childcare payments
- All children over three are entitled to the early year’s entitlement funding along with some two-year olds. Please speak to a member of management for more information.
- All cheques should be made payable to Sasha UK LTD
Help with Childcare
All children aged 3 and over qualify for 15 hours ‘free’ childcare for 38 weeks of the year. As a setting, we claim this on your behalf following the completion of your parental agreement. Your child will qualify for their 15 hours funding from the term after their third birthday, for example
Children turning three between 1st September and the 31st December qualify for funding from January
Children turning three between 1st January and the 31st March qualify for funding from April
Children turning three between 1st April and the 31st August qualify for funding from September
Many of our parents use the funding to ‘offset’ their nursery invoice however we do offer free places which can be accessed in the form of
Five sessions (8:30-11.30 or 1:00-4:00) Term time only
Further details about the 15 hours funding can be obtained from the nursery manager or from the Lancashire county council website
Early Years Funding (30 Hours)
From September 2017 many families with children aged 3 years and over will be able to qualify for an additional 15 hours funding. This totals 1140 hours worth of free childcare across the year. Hearts and Minds will be offering this funding in a range of ways, further information about our offer can be obtained from the nursery manager.
Early Years Funding for two-year-olds
On top of all three-year-olds qualifying for funding some two-year-olds can also qualify for 15 hours free childcare for 38 weeks of the year. This is not available to all families but many families can qualify without knowing about it.
You can check if you qualify for any of the above funding via the following website www.childcarechoices.gov.uk
“All children, including those in receipt of additional funding, thrive in this stimulating and wholly inclusive environment”- Ofsted: Jan 2017
Learning at home
At Hearts and Minds we work alongside parents and carers to ensure that each child develops into a happy and motivated learner. The ‘What to expect, when?’ guide provides useful information to parents and carers about the types of activities they can share with their child, along with what they can expect their child to be achieving under the seven areas of learning.
This guidance can be found at http://www.foundationyears.org.uk/2015/03/what-to-expect-when-a-parents-guide/
Within the welcome area we offer a resource library, from which children can borrow activities and stories to share at home with their parents and carers. We also offer monthly ‘parental challenges’ to encourage parents and carers to play an active role in their child’s development.
“The addition of the new resource library is brilliant” – C.Fisher
Policies and Procedures
At Hearts and Minds we understand the importance of ensuring that each child feels safe and secure within our setting and also that you are confident to leave your child each day. As a result of this we provide each child with approximately three taster sessions which are normally completed up to two weeks before your little one is due to start with us. During these sessions you will have the opportunity to explore our policies in full, complete all paperwork such as contracts and permission forms and get to know our team.
Parental Partnerships: At Hearts and Minds we understand that a child’s parents and carers are their first and most important educators and therefore we aim to work in partnership with you at all stages of your child’s journey. All children in nursery have a home link book and also a learning journey file which parents and carers can take home whenever they wish. We also offer a range of strategies to encourage parents to take part in their child’s learning such as parents play evenings, our resource library where parents can borrow activities and also our challenge sheets.
At Hearts and Minds we have a named behaviour coordinator who is trained in supporting the practitioners with promoting positive behaviour within the setting. Practitioners encourage strong social relationships between the children and role model suitable behaviour. Should there be any concerns about your child’s behaviour we will work in partnership with you to put strategies of support in place.
Sickness and Medication:
We understand that children are often slightly under the weather with coughs and sniffles. However should your child be too ill to take part in our daily routine we ask that they stay at home. Our sickness procedures provide parents and carers with exclusion periods for contagious infections such as chicken pox and conjunctivitis and also those for sickness and diarrhoea.
We can also administer medication to your child as per our procedures. We just ask that all medication is prescribed by a medical professional and is in its original packaging and includes a prescription label. Copies of our medication and sickness procedures can be found here:
At nursery the welfare of all our children is of paramount importance to us and as a result we operate robust safeguarding procedures within the setting. These support us in making sure that all children are happy and content individuals.