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Birthday cheer for beacon nursery during lockdown

07 Jul Birthday cheer for beacon nursery during lockdown

Little Adventurers Nursery enjoyed belated 5th birthday celebrations on Monday (6th July) with a personal visit
from a classic Ice Cream van from Piccadilly Whip! A wonderful two-tier birthday cake, environmentally
friendly balloons and a balloon modeller completed this award-winning nursery’s celebrations. “Our actual 5th
birthday was on the 5th April, right in the middle of lockdown”, explained Chris Ford, Business Development
Manager. “We just couldn’t let this special milestone pass us by unnoticed – we are all so, so proud of our
wonderful nursery team and all that we have achieved over the past 5 years together.”

Little Adventures was one of the few nurseries to remain open to key worker children throughout lockdown.
Nursery Director, Lee Stimpson explained, “I wanted our nursery to support those working on the front line
and those key workers holding the country together during this unprecedented time. I knew it was the right
thing to do and that was important to me. Key workers needed childcare to carry out their roles and whilst it
was a difficult period for our nursery, I want to praise our staff team who rose to the challenge and continued
to provide a safe and caring nursery environment for children throughout lockdown. They did a truly
magnificent job, under difficult circumstances and it’s testament to their expertise and skill that we were able
to provide a smooth and seamless service for key worker parents.”

“The past 3 months have been a tough time for many families and businesses but together, we have got
through. We must also pay tribute to our many supportive parents who continued to support and encourage
us throughout lockdown; getting through really was a united effort through a combination of measures. Our
aim was always to support all parents as much as we could; maintain our staff team and re-open our nursery
again to all children. We are very proud to say that the vast majority of our little ones have all now returned
as have our staff team. Having over 30 children attend on 1st June was simply amazing!”

Deputy Manager Kerry, who was one of the staff members to work throughout lockdown described her
experience. “It was lovely to see how the children adapted so quickly to playing in a different group to their
usual friends. Having our key children based together supported the idea of our ‘sibling time’ with the all the
children benefitting from playing in a mixed age group. The younger children’s independence and language
skills increased so quickly and the older children developed empathy and self-confidence. It was challenging
covering a mixture of roles, but this gave me the opportunity to learn new skills and supported my own self
development. I really enjoyed working closely with staff who I generally don’t spend time with and fostering
lovely new working relationships.”

Ginny Andreas who scooped Nursery Manager of the Year Award last year from Nursery World could not
be more proud of her staff, “We have an exceptionally qualified team here, with only 1 apprentice who will
herself shortly qualify. The remaining team are qualified to a mixture of levels 3,4 and 5 with every fulltime
staff member first aid qualified as well. Moreover, our practitioners are caring and highly valued by our
nursery parents.” As one parent recently commented, “The staff are just incredible. Not only do they always
greet you in the morning with the biggest smiles, they work tirelessly through the day to keep the children
happy and then greet you with smiles and updates at pickup. It’s an amazing feeling knowing that when you
drop your child off to go to work not only are they looked after, fed well, but really given all the attention and
play they desperately need at this age, and by such wonderful staff members. The toys and facilities at the
nursery are fantastic, but it’s the people that really make this nursery what it is, a fabulous, safe home away
from home full of people who genuinely care for each and every child, and we cannot thank them enough
for doing such a brilliant job.”

Ginny admitted re-opening the nursery has meant changes, “Yes, there are operational challenges but the
way our nursery is set up, makes it ideal for working in bubbles without social mixing at this time. We take
the safety and well-being of children and staff extremely seriously and have introduced further health and
safety measures throughout our nursery to mitigate risks as far as are possible. We worked hard with keeping
in touch calls, zoom meetings and garden gate visits to all our little ones before nursery resumed to help
settling after their 8 week break. I think this really supported a smooth transition back to nursery for many of
our little ones.”

The nursery recently completed their garden room project which has helped with being able to work in bubbles
of children. “The new garden room is a fantastic space with air con and leads directly out onto our nursery
garden. It’s already a huge hit with children and staff alike! It has also meant we now have a few limited
spaces to offer but they are filling quickly.”

Ice-cream is not something you would normally find on the Little Adventurers menu as nutrition and healthy
lifestyles are high on their agenda, however Chris said, “It seemed a great way for us all to be able to celebrate
this milestone in a fun way – together but apart – , as children came out in their individual bubbles to queue
for their ices!” The celebration was definitely a great success with children and staff enjoying this one-off treat
from the nursery.

“We like to show our appreciation to staff in many ways alongside supporting training and development”,
explained Director Lee Stimpson who offers a whole host of staff benefits for this A* team. These include
restaurant vouchers, staff parties, wellbeing and team building events as well as a weekly complimentary fruit
bowls to name a few.

Little Adventurers is now offering virtual tours and Saturday viewings for prospective parents to avoid having
visitors within the nursery whilst children and staff are present. Strict protocols are in place for these visits
which are by appointment only and booked through the nursery on 01708 227657. Anyone interested in
finding out about places at the nursery are invited to contact them by phone in the first instance. Places are
limited and will be on a strictly first come first served basis.