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Day Nursery


Monday, 28 February 2011

‘Outstanding’ nursery gets Ofsted approval

The University of Essex Day Nursery has been awarded top marks by Ofsted with ratings of ‘outstanding’ (provision that is of exceptionally high quality) in four areas and as ‘good’ (provision that is strong) in the remaining thirteen areas.

The Ofsted report coincides with a £60,000 refurbishment aimed at further improving the quality of care. The inspector praised Nursery staff for their ability to meet the individual needs of the children and said they “are excellent role models and speak to the children with respect and kind, positive language” resulting in children who are “very caring.”

Both the indoor and outdoor environments were commended with the inspector reporting “children play in exceptionally welcoming, clean, bright playrooms that have access to a secure outdoor play area…children delight in their time outdoors” and “proudly show ladybirds they find and listen carefully as staff members explain how to care for them.”

Nursery Manager Elaine Dixon said: “This result is brilliant as it proves once again that we are providing top quality childcare. However, improvements can always be made; hence we are currently undergoing an extensive refurbishment. Amongst other things, this includes adding large interconnecting doors between rooms to provide more flexible space, thus improving opportunities for interaction between different groups of children.”

For the full report please see the Ofsted report page.

Monday, 28 February 2011

The Great Outdoors

The University of Essex Day Nursery, in line with the University’s own research findings highlighting the physical and mental benefits of spending time outside is actively promoting outside play. Under close supervision, using the secure gardens and parkland setting surrounding the nursery, with its grass and mature trees, we are giving children a safe and peaceful place to be adventurous, explore and make the most of the great outdoors.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) states that children “should be given access to an outdoor play area and this is the expected norm for providers.”

Says Elaine Dixon, Nursery Manager, “Unusual to many nurseries, each room benefits from direct access to its own secure garden and we promote what we call ‘free flow play’ meaning the garden doors are open in most weathers. Parents equip children with cosy clothes, waterproofs and wellies to ensure everyone is warm and dry”.

Research shows that being outdoors has positive impacts on a child’s well being and overall development. They have the chance to play with more freedom and give in to their natural creativity, curiosity and need for adventure. Being outside allows children to experience life in terms of different textures, smells, noises and sights to what they are restricted to indoors, stimulating healthy development.

Parents often worry about giving children such freedom, but with appropriate clothing, a safe and secure play area and adult supervision, why not try more outside play with your child at home too?

Please do talk to staff if you have any ideas about this venture. With the help and cooperation of our parents, we can endeavour to ensure the best learning environment for our children.

Note to parents – The Day Nursery recommends children are equipped with warm coats, gloves and hats, as well as a waterproof suit/ trousers and jacket for wetter days.

Please ask Day Nursery reception for advice on local suppliers of children’s waterproofs. Internet- based supplier of waterproofs for children include Mucky Puddles, Regatta and Togz. Day Nursery provides these brand names for guidance and do not endorse any particular product.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

‘Christmas is for Children’

Carols and charity at the University of Essex Day Nursery

Children at the University of Essex Day Nursery enjoyed a twilight carol service on Tuesday, 14 December.

The event was held around the nursery’s Christmas tree, adorned with charity stars. The stars have been purchased over the past week with all proceeds going to the Colchester General Hospital Children’s Ward.

After the carol service led by the University’s Anglican chaplain Thomas Yap, the event was rounded off with a visit by Father Christmas and warming cups of soup prepared by the nursery kitchen team.

Elaine Dixon, Nursery Manager said ‘we’re delighted to welcome children and parents to this annual fixture in the nursery calendar. It’s a great way to come together and enjoy the festive season’.


tel 01206 873224

"Nursery Days" newsletter December 2010

The December 2010 "Nursery Days" newsletter is out now.