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 Tiddlywinks Day Nursery is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.
Tiddlywinks Day Nursery
Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
30 | TIDDLYWINKS DAY NURSERY
Director Helen Spink
Founded in 2003, Tiddlywinks Day Nursery is a private
nursery for babies, toddlers and preschoolers, located just
ten minutes from Shrewsbury city centre. At Tiddlywinks
Day Nursery, the safety and satisfaction of their children always
and unequivocally come first. To achieve this, they say it’s
vitally important to have a team of staff who are well trained,
enthusiastic and genuinely committed to providing a happy
and stimulating environment for children in their classrooms.
In doing all this, they follow the principles of the Early Years
Foundation Stage, whose span ranges from the birth of a
child all the way through to the time of first school enrolment.
Director Helen Spink describes what is involved in all of this in
the following article.
The goal of Tiddlywinks Day Nursery
For Tiddlywinks Day Nursery, we have many goals, both for us and for the children
under our care. One of the goals that’s most important to us, though, is that of
creating a fun, safe and happy learning experience for our children. This may sound
clichéd, but it’s crucial for us, parents and society that children at this early and
precarious phase receive only the best treatment. Getting things wrong at this
stage may have serious and lasting effects throughout the child’s life.
To do everything properly in this regard requires more than just experience and
qualifications (though we possess these too); it also requires genuine love and
TIDDLYWINKS DAY NURSERY
»Director: Helen Spink
»Established in 2002
»Based in Shrewsbury,
»No. of employees: 11
»No. of children: 42
31TIDDLYWINKS DAY NURSERY |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
care, which are traits that the staff
at Tiddlywinks Day Nursery possess
in great abundance. Additionally, we
ensure that our staff, too, undergo a
constant process of learning, renewal
and professional development,
which entails in-house workshops,
appraisals, guided supervision and a
general review of our processes and
principles. Many of our efforts at
self-development also take the form
of collaboration with stakeholders,
including other professionals in
The creation of a loving and
Another goal for us is to nurture
a genuine love of learning in our
children – to foster in them a spirit of
curiosity and to remind them at every
juncture that they are loved and cared
for, with no preferential treatment on
any basis, including ethnicity, culture,
religion or ability. Knowing how to
offer this loving treatment forms a key
skill of our practitioners and comprises
a core part of the purpose of our
There is, however, the risk of not
striking the right balance between
allowing risks and promoting physical
safety. Of course, physical safety
should always be at the fore of our
considerations, but it’s also important
that children learn to explore the world
in a way that meets their creative
needs and helps them to develop
holistically. This is why we have a lovely
private woodland area around the back
of our building, a play area at the side,
book cases and an outside playroom.
On top of this, though, I am qualified
in the areas of first aid, advanced child
protection, food hygiene, and health
In terms of the provision for our
toddlers, they can express their creative
instincts fully via sand and water play,
musical toys, dance and movement,
and yoga. For our babies, there are
treasure baskets, toys (including hand
and feet paints), ball play, picture
books, music and singing, and a
new sensory area. In short, there’s
something for everyone.
Although nurseries are places in which
children should feel happy and playful,
it’s also important to develop their
faculties and teach them the skills
appropriate for their age. To ensure
that our children are developing
satisfactorily, we track their progress
and communicate this with parents.
Indeed, this element of involving the
parents is an area in which excel. We
are always doing what we can to
conjure up for them the fullest possible
pictures of their children. On top of
this, we want there to be fantastic
relationships among everyone, and
communication is the best way to
The baby room
It is also
to explore the
world in a way
helps them to
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
32 | TIDDLYWINKS DAY NURSERY
The free 30 hours of care that has
been offered by the government,
we feel, has been beneficial. We
believe it offers sufficient flexibility
to parents around their shifts, and,
from what we have gathered, this is
something the parents believe too.
It’s been said that this arrangement
works less favourably in London for
various reasons, but it’s nonetheless
been a success for the parents we’ve
spoken to. Free provision in this area
is especially helpful to parents who are
not well off. Much of our funding is
private, and this comprises most of our
revenue stream, but it’s still welcome
to receive extra funding in this way.
The future of Tiddlywinks Day
In terms of our outlook for the
future, we are profoundly optimistic.
Tiddlywinks Day Nursery is an
exceptionally dynamic environment,
and we’re always looking to improve
wherever we can. For instance, we’ve
recently purchased a touchscreen
computer table for the children, which
can be moved around and interacted
with by multiple children at a time.
We’re constantly looking at the
environment, in line with the Early
Years Foundation Stage Goals; this
term we are renewing our preschool
flooring – which may not sound like
much to us walking talking adults, but
for children, who are often on the floor
and interacting with the world as such,
this will be a very welcome change – a
change that’s more hygienic too.
By embracing this dynamic ethos of
ours, we are confident that we will
continue to provide the loving and
learning environment that our children
love so much. What won’t change,
however, is our love of the children
under our care.
To ensure that
we track their
The outside play area
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review
This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.
In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.
We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.
With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.
And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.
As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.