As we celebrate our 25th anniversary this year, we’re reflecting on some of the services, highlights and people who have had such an impact during that time. This month, we’re pleased to feature our Childcare services.
We provide childcare suitable for all children from just a few months to 13 years of age in safe, supportive environments, which gives parents peace-of-mind. Our settings are Ofsted-registered and provide a warm welcome for all children and their parents and carers, where everyone will feel safe, valued and happy.We plan activities which reflect the interests of the children, and enhance their development, emotional, social and learning skills. We spoke to Early Years Manager, Teresa Moate to learn more.
How long has The Benjamin Foundation offered childcare provision?
“Kidzone in North Walsham started offering childcare to after school children and holiday clubs back in 1994. It actually started in a mobile on the site of the Junior School. In 2008, the opportunity became available to take over the running of Town Tots pre-school, which had been established as a pre-school in North Walsham since 1970. The following year we merged Kidzone and Town Tots into the same building where it has been operating successfully ever since.”
How has our childcare provision developed?
“In 2011 another opportunity came along of tendering for Ditchingham Day Nursery, which is a full day nursery on the site of a convent that was previously run by the nuns. The site is an old school so space is not a problem. In September 2018 we were asked by Dussindale Primary School in Norwich to operate a breakfast and after school club on the school premises, which has seen numbers slowly increasing to near capacity.”
What changes have been implemented?
“Change is constant in any Early Years service and we constantly evaluate and keep up to date with changes as a regulated service of Ofsted and the framework set by them. We have recently introduced an approach called The Curiosity Approach to our pre-school and nursery which is an accreditation to inspire children to become curious learners through natural play. Think back to your childhood of making mud pies and building castles from cardboard boxes!”
How many children attend the services each year?
“Roughly 400 children attend our services each year and some of our services operate 50 weeks a year.”
What activities are provided?
“All activities are based on the Early Years Foundation Stage and the child’s interest. If it interesting to a child, their learning and development will be achieved quicker and we can extend their learning by introducing other activities. All activities at our services are inspired from the children. Activities recently have included plane making and measuring distances, forest schools, mud kitchens, and loose parts constructions to name just a few.”
How do the children benefit?
“Children learn from having fun and from things they are interested in, so ensuring we have good communication with the parents and feedback from parents on things that happen in a child’s life helps us to plan for a child’s day in Early Years. For the older children, it is empowering them to make choices and help make them independent with activities, which can include making their own snack and helping others.”
Have there been any highlights?
“Kidzone being rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in July 2017, and having an Ofsted inspector recommend a parent to use one of our services.”
What’s the best thing about working for The Benjamin Foundation Childcare services?
“No day is the same and is so varied. To see the children learn and move on to their next stage of learning makes each day valuable.”
To learn more about our childcare provision at Town Tots and Kidzone, Ditchingham Day Nursery and Dussindale After School and Breakfast Club, click here.
Our children love the Forest School scheme - the sessions are always in demand and it is amazing to see what they get out of it.