The BBC headlined a new report last week, which claimed that school nurseries were better for the most disadvantaged children. As always, the devil is in the detail, and this report makes it very clear that employing staff who have a graduate level education makes the difference. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-27602287
Within The Old Station Nursery group we are constantly evaluating our staff training programme and looking at how we can add most value to the children in our settings. Last year we revised our criteria for new entrants to the company and decided that a minimum qualification of a GCSE in English and Maths was essential. We are now looking ahead at how we develop the graduates within the team as well, to ensure that we have enough of them in key positions to lead our teams and drive quality upwards consistently.
At the moment we are about to embark on the NDNA’s ‘Maths Champion’ programme, to identify a leader in each setting, or if necessary, between 2 settings, who will lead development of maths activities. Often lack of staff confidence in maths can mean that this area is neglected, or is certainly not a ‘favourite’, so we are looking forward really turning the spotlight on this. For more information see: http://www.ndna.org.uk/local-authorities/maths-champions
So, whilst schools might be great places for some children, day nurseries will continue to offer an alternative which we believe can be at least as good. Many children thrive in the more homely environment we can offer and we will continue to demonstrate that it is the quality of the workforce who matter, not whether the building is a school or nursery.