Oct 08, 2008

Hello and welcome!

Welcome to the very first post on The Old Station Nursery blog!  Over the last few months we have been looking at new ways of communicating with parents who use our nurseries and also with our staff team, who now number well over 200.  As a relative newcomer to blogging, I hope that this will provide you with some up to date information and a feel for what is going on around the company.

I am sure you will use the opportunity to let me know what you think about some of the topics covered and I look forward to being able to hear your views.  How our children are cared for is obviously a subject very close to all our hearts and we genuinely want to do this to the best of our ability and to hear all the suggestions that you may have.

It is a really exciting time to be involved in childcare, as we have just launched the new Government framework which all nurseries have to work to, the Early Years Foundation Stage. Much has been written in the media about this ‘curriculum for babies’, but in reality most of the nursery sector seems to welcome the framework and certainly within the company we are getting on with embedding it with as little disruption as possible. I’m lucky enough to sit on the Government’s Early Years Stakeholder Group and it was fascinating at our meeting last week to hear some research from both Oxford and London University about research findings around how children learn and the influence of day care and home environments on that learning.  The key messages seem to be that firstly, the biggest single factor in determining a child’s performance at the end of Key Stage 2 at school is his or her home environment. No real surprsie there, I guess. Secondly, the biggest factor within childcare settings is the quality of interactions with the staff; again, not rocket science, but something that we are looking at very closely and trying to develop as much as possible.

It’s been a busy week around all the nurseries and we were delighted to welcome Ed Vaizey, our local MP to Faringdon, to visit the nursery on Friday. It is just over a year since we were flooded there and it has certainly been a long, slow drying out process.  The sandbags are still piled up in a corner, just in case, but we all have our fingers crossed it was just a one off…….

That’s it for now, but I hope you will find this a good way of keeping up to date and we will have news from around the company, from the sector as a whole and any other items of interest that are taking place. For now, those of you in Lincoln, don’t forget we are sponsoring a charity fashion show on Monday 13th October at the Drill Hall – do come along and see what well-dressed parents are wearing this Autumn!

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