The moment you walk through the door of the Cressex Day Nursery you can feel what makes us special. It’s our superb staff and our wonderful children. Together they make the place full of laughter and fun whilst forging strong bonds and doing lots of learning- yes we are all learning together. Of course we are well supported by all our families and friends and the wider community. Continue below for specific examples of “specialness.”
- Celebrations and Family Involvement
We celebrate festivals that are important to our families and staff. The most exciting and busy of these being Christmas.
Every year we have a Christmas Tree in our playground and the switching on of the lights signals the start of our Christmas celebrations. We host a Christmas carol concert around the tree and we are joined by Parents and extended families for a mince pies and mulled “wine.” Later the oldest children perform a concert in the local church followed by parties for all. Father Christmas makes his annual visit with a gift for everyone.
After much success of our Mother’s Day breakfasts, where our mummies can join the children for pastries and juice before heading off to work we are planning to invite our Daddies in to do the same for Father’s Day
We champion our grandparents at Cressex and invite them to join us for a tea party in the summer. All the children sat out together in the playground with parents and grandparents while some of the older children entertain us.
We are always looking for excuses for a party – be this a wedding of a member of staff or a “Royal” one. Luckily this year we had both.
Festivals are also incorporated into our menu planning – be it Chinese New Year, American Independence Day, Christmas, Eid, Diwali, to name but a few. Children have the opportunity to sample food associated with festivals either provided by the nursery cook or brought in by parents and staff. Parent regularly come in to share artefacts associated with particular festivals and celebrations. Recently, as part of celebrating together we explored how one of our families celebrated the Sikh festival of Baisakhi. Daddy came into nursery to show the children in the pre-school room how to tie a turban, the children then had a practise themselves. We made paper flags and had a great time parading around the nursery garden. (Just Look at us here).
Each child’s birthday is celebrated at nursery and although we do not encourage sweets to be bought in and given out, each child has a homemade cake that we share with their friends to mark the occasion.
- Parental Partnership
Parental involvement is very important to us, we see ourselves as an extension of your family caring for one another. Some of the additional things we offer our parents include Basic Parent First Aid Training provided by a local training company– covering issues such as choking, convulsions and bandaging. We are working towards our play champion award and towards this we have planned a training session for our parents on the importance of play.
Meet the Nursery Mascots!
Delilah the Duckling, Felix the Fox Cub, Poppy the Piglet and Cyril the Cygnet.
We have four mascots at Cressex and they love to travel, they are very easy to pack for and won’t eat you out of house and home!
Our mascots come in two forms, one is a laminate who loves a holiday and the other is a cuddly toy. As a family at Cressex you will soon understand that we become an extension of your family, sharing memories and experiences together.
Our Holiday mascots can be slipped in your luggage and can be taken around the globe where as our soft mascots like to spend time with you at home for cuddles or can even help support your child with new experiences such as a trip to the dentist or hospital.
First Day and Learning Journals and Comfort Cards
A child’s first day at nursery is recorded with a montage of photos which we send home for you to keep. Experiences during the day are observed and noted in each child’s learning journals with daily verbal feedback being given after each session.
We use a comfort card to share photographs with children of home and nursery life. Each child is given a comfort card with pictures of the staff in their room on - to aid familiarisation of faces and support the settling in. Parents are also provided with a piece of card to fill with photos of family and pets for the children to share and talk about with the adults at nursery and to remind the children if they become upset that their families still exist.
- Our Wonderful Staff and
We are grateful to our well-qualified and caring staff, who fill each child's day with fun and learning. Here we are at Christmas.
Each child is assigned a key carer who is responsible for their development but we also pride ourselves on all staff in the room knowing each child. Both myself and Claire are supernumerary and in the event of a room requiring some we are hands on as we know our children. For this reason, we have never needed to use an agency or bank staff to cover annual leave – we are also lucky to have a team of familiar faces that support us during the holiday periods who the children know and love. Photographs of the staff are given to parents to aid settling when a child moves room.
We have a brilliantly qualified music teacher and a French teacher who visit us weekly along with our Little Kickers, who carry out purposeful physical activities with our children. Read here why our children love Little Kickers. Finally, see here how our children can begin to learn tennis with our visits to the Tennis Centre, right next door.
- Topic Planning
When our pre-school staff plan the forthcoming topics we try and incorporate an outing as part of our research, in previous years when we have visited the science museum and Cotswold wildlife park we have invited families to join us for the day. Zoolab visit the children in the nursery to show the children insects and minibeasts, the children have the chance to stroke the creatures and ask questions. When we plan our topics we also like to incorporate skills and talents that our staff and parents have. Occupations are explored and visits are booked so children can chat first hand about the roles they carry out. Recently a parent who is a dentist came and spoke to the children about caring for our teeth. Visits from the local emergency services are also greeted with great excitement.
- Working with the Wider Community
Our local family centre plus (Mapledene), is just along the Cressex Road where they offer a range of activities and support such as topical issues and parenting classes. Some of the support they offer us includes coming to nursery to discuss road safety with our pre-school children and attending parent’s evenings to share information.
We have an excellent relationship with the Cressex community School – using their main hall, sports hall, classrooms for evening staff training and catering facilities on occasion. Childcare students attend the nursery to gain hands on practical support and we have also supported young people working towards their Duke of Edinburgh Award through our connections with the Cressex Community School.
Through out the many years Cressex Day Nursery has been open we have helped and supported many people with work experience and placements. Since 2007 we have had a volunteer who visits once a month for a few hours to gain experience of working with young children. The volunteer is from the local adult Care home and is supported by a keyworker. Part of her focus is to help our staff with meal times and she loves coming in and singing and dancing with the children. Read about her here.
Long term students/volunteers come to the nursery once a week for varying periods of time to gain experience of normal child development and everyday childcare topics including care, planning an activity supporting a child with their self help skills and communicating at a child’s level.
We recently helped a family who intend to adopt young children, and wanted to gain greater experience in looking after them. Read their observations with this link.
And finally, please read about the regular visits of our pre-school children to the local old people's home. This has proved a wonderful and Special experience for all concerned. Here is the link.