Little Dots Daycare

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Little Dots Daycare's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Little Dots Daycare is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Founders Lynsey Morris
and Clair Way
Recognising the importance
of the early years in child
Little Dots Daycare was founded in 2011 by Lynsey Morris
and Clair Way. At the time, Clair possessed 20 years of
childcare experience, while Lynsey had experience in sales
and marketing prior to becoming a mother in 2008. However,
both had a passion for childcare and professional development
and in the nine years since, Lynsey tells the
that they
have developed “the perfect team”.
Clair can always be found at various training courses or with her head in a book
about improving the quality and standards of our childcare provision, as well as
looking at new and unique ideas to engage the children of Little Dots Daycare.
As a lover of the great outdoors, Clair has recently been studying for her forest
I started my career in sales and marketing before having my first child and
as a new mother, I became aware of the importance of finding the perfect
childcare provision. I knew that, working together, Clair and I could create a new
and exciting childcare facility for the town of Witney. I believed that with my
management experience and Clair’s childcare knowledge, we would be the perfect
team. Almost ten years into our operations I am glad to have been proven right.
Location, location
Once we had found the correct premises – a derelict building that had been empty
for five years – we set about creating a vibrant, warm and welcoming childcare
facility for 39 children, from newborn to age five. We wanted to provide a setting
that truly was a home from home. Our goal was to offer nutritious, home-made
»Founders: Lynsey Morris and
Clair Way
»Founded in 2012
»Location: Witney, Oxfordshire
»Services: Pre-school nursery
for children between 0 and
»No. of staff: 52
»Ofsted: “good”
Little Dots Daycare
Highlighting best practice
meals prepared by our very own
mother, who all the children call Nanny
Kitchen, in addition to a stimulating
and engaging environment with a
free-flow structure to the outdoor
learning space. We opened our doors
in August 2012 and within 12 months
we were at full capacity and starting
to think about ways to expand. By
2015 we had plans in place for a new
preschool area, meaning we were able
to increase our provision to 70 places.
In 2017, another opportunity
presented itself, with the opportunity
to take on a second setting, a 70-place
nursery set in the beautiful grounds of
a country park estate. Again, it was in
much need of repair, so we set out to
develop a safe, warm and stimulating
environment, opening our doors
Around the world in 80 teas
Clair and I are extremely passionate
about the importance of the early
years in child development. We
understand that offering education
that is both structured and fun results
in confident, happy and inquisitive
children. As a mum to two children
myself, I also understand how difficult
it can be to choose the right childcare.
Therefore, we offer a settling-in period
that helps our children get to grips
with their new surroundings and also
puts the parents’ minds at ease so they
can go back to work feeling safe in
the knowledge that their children are
happy, well cared for and content.
Within both settings we wanted
to offer a range of activities and
experiences for all of the children, so
every week we engage in cooking
activities. We have a dedicated sensory
room at each site with dedicated daily
sessions for smaller groups of children,
from the babies through to preschool.
We have changeable role-play areas,
physical space and cosy corners, while
using the garden and outdoor space to
create outdoor learning areas for all of
the children to enjoy.
We look at teas from around the world
and each week we talk about different
countries and the food they eat, and
then enjoy cooking these speciality
dishes while also greeting the children
each day in the chosen language for
that week. We encourage the children
from the age of two upwards to
engage in phonics sessions, which they
all love.
Children enjoying the
garden and outdoor areas
We wanted to
provide a
setting that
truly was a
home from
We have weekly music classes along
with our wonderful dance class with
Disco Duck. We understand the
importance of number recognition, so
the preschool children and teachers
can often be found with their wands,
dancing the “Digit Dance” where we
use our wands to make the shape of
the numbers.
The good, the bad and the ugly
We want parents to feel part of the
nursery environment so every year
we have a full calendar of events
including a Mother’s Day afternoon
tea, Father’s Day BBQ, grandparents’
day and Christmas party. We offer
parent meetings with their child’s key
teacher so they can discuss their child’s
individual learning and development.
Clair and I have a team of 52 childcare
practitioners based over the two settings
and we offer extensive training for
each team member to enrich their own
learning and experience within the early
years. We encourage all of our team to
be involved in the weekly class plans and
individual planning, and we celebrate
our team’s successes with employee of
the month and employee of the year.
We also encourage each team
member to voice their ideas, praise for
one another or concerns through an
anonymous system we call the good,
the bad and the ugly. This is a way
for those that may not be confident
enough to openly talk about such
issues in a group environment to jot
down their thoughts, which we then
share within team meetings. This has
proven a great way to ensure that
all voices are heard and no issues
are ever left unaddressed, which
in turn means we have a happier
workforce that can fully enjoy their
days with each of the children within
We encourage our team to expand
their expertise and development by
completing further qualifications in
childcare while also hosting a large
number of training events on site
covering the characteristics of effective
learning, first aid, safeguarding,
working with babies and much
more. By keeping ourselves and the
team informed and motivated, we
are always able to offer the highest
level of childcare to the children of
that offering
education that
is both
structured and
fun results in
happy and
Creating a fun and
stimulating environment
for children

This article was sponsored by Little Dots Daycare. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster