Tiny Toes Day Nursery

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Tiny Toes Day Nursery'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 Tiny Toes Day Nursery 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

www.tinytoesdaynursery.com

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
30 | TINY TOES DAY NURSERY
Manager Clair Fusco and
Owner Sasha Lewis
A nursery that puts fun first
Southampton’s Tiny Toes Day Nursery “puts fun first”.
Owner Sasha Lewis says that the nursery provides
everything a child might need. The team’s aim, Sasha
says, is to make every day fun; she believes that happy
people thrive, and she strives to make the nursery a truly
enjoyable place for children, parents and staff alike. Sasha tells
TheParliamentaryReview
more about funding frameworks in
the early yearssector.
I am so bored of reading the headline “government 30-hour funding offer causes
nursery business to close”. For us, the 30-hour government funding just isn’t
an issue. In fact, we welcome the funding with open arms, as it’s a guaranteed
government-backed income received in advance. So, what’s not to like? Write, or
update, your business plan starting with the government funding rate per hour and
build your business model from this.
We are a relatively new nursery business, opening our doors just over three years
ago. We started on day one with just four children on our register. We were
completely full within a year, built an extension to our building allowing us to
increase our number of registered places to 103 and currently have a waiting list of
over 40 children. We are now the largest single day nursery in Southampton.
Although I have spent a number of years working for American investment banks
and subsequently managed a number of private enterprises, I had absolutely no
experience in the childcare industry other than the experience of being a working
mother myself.
FACTS ABOUT
TINY TOES DAY NURSERY
»Owner: Sasha Lewis
»Manager: Clair Fusco
»Established in 2016
»Based in Southampton,
Hampshire
»Services: Nursery and
wraparound care for children
aged 3 months to 5 years
»No. of employees: 28
»No. of children registered: 182
»Tiny Toes provides a breakfast,
afterschool and holiday club
for children aged 5 to 11
Tiny Toes Day Nursery
31TINY TOES DAY NURSERY |
EARLY YEARS EDUCATION
However, I knew that there was an
enormous need for good-quality
childcare and that this need would
continue to grow; there are many
mothers out there, like me, who
need or want to go back to work.
I wanted to create a secure, happy
and stimulating environment where
children could develop and be
nurtured. It’s important to get as close
as you can to providing a “home away
from home” while at the same time
celebrating parents and not making
them feel guilty for leaving their
children in a nursery.
When setting up any new nursery
business, the government’s statutory
framework is an essential guide. I have
never come across another industry
that provides a handbook on day one;
the framework sets out the minimum
essential criteria for staff ratios, floor
areas, care expectations and so on and
so forth.
Following this, I wrote my business
plan based on the local hourly funding
rate and I knew that anything beyond
this would be a bonus. We keep our
fees simple and offer as much of an
all-inclusive package as we can. This
way it’s simple, upfront and honest for
our parents.
The unique family approach
For us, it is important that our parents
are recognised and respected as our
customers. While the children are our
priority when it comes to care, the
needs of parents are important too.
It became clear fairly early on that
many of our parents were struggling to
get to work comfortably on time with
our opening time at half past seven –
so we brought it forward by half an
hour to seven o’clock.
Flexibility is key, as is listening to your
customers’ needs and desires. The EYFS
promotes a “unique child” approach,
but we like to develop this further into
a “unique family” approach. Our aim
is to be generous where we can be
to those families who are in need, by
offering extra sessions for free or by
providing a healthy lunch if required.
By giving something back to the
families in the local community, we
are all working together as one. The
cost to us overall is negligible, and
it is far better than spending money
on untargeted marketing. The best
marketing in this sector is word of
mouth, particularly when it comes
to trusting someone to look after
yourchildren.
Delivering quality
childcare
We are now
the largest
single day
nursery in
Southampton
Fun climbing trees
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
30 | TINY TOES DAY NURSERY
Manager Clair Fusco and
Owner Sasha Lewis
A nursery that puts fun first
Southampton’s Tiny Toes Day Nursery “puts fun first”.
Owner Sasha Lewis says that the nursery provides
everything a child might need. The team’s aim, Sasha
says, is to make every day fun; she believes that happy
people thrive, and she strives to make the nursery a truly
enjoyable place for children, parents and staff alike. Sasha tells
TheParliamentaryReview
more about funding frameworks in
the early yearssector.
I am so bored of reading the headline “government 30-hour funding offer causes
nursery business to close”. For us, the 30-hour government funding just isn’t
an issue. In fact, we welcome the funding with open arms, as it’s a guaranteed
government-backed income received in advance. So, what’s not to like? Write, or
update, your business plan starting with the government funding rate per hour and
build your business model from this.
We are a relatively new nursery business, opening our doors just over three years
ago. We started on day one with just four children on our register. We were
completely full within a year, built an extension to our building allowing us to
increase our number of registered places to 103 and currently have a waiting list of
over 40 children. We are now the largest single day nursery in Southampton.
Although I have spent a number of years working for American investment banks
and subsequently managed a number of private enterprises, I had absolutely no
experience in the childcare industry other than the experience of being a working
mother myself.
FACTS ABOUT
TINY TOES DAY NURSERY
»Owner: Sasha Lewis
»Manager: Clair Fusco
»Established in 2016
»Based in Southampton,
Hampshire
»Services: Nursery and
wraparound care for children
aged 3 months to 5 years
»No. of employees: 28
»No. of children registered: 182
»Tiny Toes provides a breakfast,
afterschool and holiday club
for children aged 5 to 11
Tiny Toes Day Nursery
31TINY TOES DAY NURSERY |
EARLY YEARS EDUCATION
However, I knew that there was an
enormous need for good-quality
childcare and that this need would
continue to grow; there are many
mothers out there, like me, who
need or want to go back to work.
I wanted to create a secure, happy
and stimulating environment where
children could develop and be
nurtured. It’s important to get as close
as you can to providing a “home away
from home” while at the same time
celebrating parents and not making
them feel guilty for leaving their
children in a nursery.
When setting up any new nursery
business, the government’s statutory
framework is an essential guide. I have
never come across another industry
that provides a handbook on day one;
the framework sets out the minimum
essential criteria for staff ratios, floor
areas, care expectations and so on and
so forth.
Following this, I wrote my business
plan based on the local hourly funding
rate and I knew that anything beyond
this would be a bonus. We keep our
fees simple and offer as much of an
all-inclusive package as we can. This
way it’s simple, upfront and honest for
our parents.
The unique family approach
For us, it is important that our parents
are recognised and respected as our
customers. While the children are our
priority when it comes to care, the
needs of parents are important too.
It became clear fairly early on that
many of our parents were struggling to
get to work comfortably on time with
our opening time at half past seven –
so we brought it forward by half an
hour to seven o’clock.
Flexibility is key, as is listening to your
customers’ needs and desires. The EYFS
promotes a “unique child” approach,
but we like to develop this further into
a “unique family” approach. Our aim
is to be generous where we can be
to those families who are in need, by
offering extra sessions for free or by
providing a healthy lunch if required.
By giving something back to the
families in the local community, we
are all working together as one. The
cost to us overall is negligible, and
it is far better than spending money
on untargeted marketing. The best
marketing in this sector is word of
mouth, particularly when it comes
to trusting someone to look after
yourchildren.
Delivering quality
childcare
We are now
the largest
single day
nursery in
Southampton
Fun climbing trees
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
32 | TINY TOES DAY NURSERY
Wraparound care
As a working mother, I know the
problem with quality childcare doesn’t
end with nursery age. Schools still
finish their day at half past three,
meaning there is an enormous
and growing demand for decent-
quality breakfast, afterschool and
holidayclubs.
We are expanding into this area of
care, as there is a definite lack of
good-quality, affordable provision.
Schools are often not interested in
getting involved with this, and many
parents are left stranded when their
children reach school age.
We appreciate and realise this need,
and we are building a dedicated space
to this end. We aim to offer support
to local families of working parents
with full childcare support until the
end of Key Stage 2. We are expected
to meet the needs of children – why
shouldn’t we try to meet the needs of
parents,too?
Quality staff
One of the biggest daily challenges we
face, along with every other nursery, is
that of recruiting and retaining top-
quality staff.
Nursery nursing is vocational, and it
is not a highly paid career for most.
I believe that it is crucial that at least
once a year our staff are celebrated
and recognised for the hard work and
dedication that they give every day to
caring for our children.
To this end, we provide a fabulous
Christmas celebration for them, all
expenses paid, which for the past two
years has been a weekend away in a
European city. Happy staff make for
a happy working environment, which
makes for happy children.
Attracting quality staff is so
fundamentally important. We offer
a financial incentive for attending an
interview, further incentives when
a job offer is accepted and finally a
significant reward for a successful
probation. We keep management
staff to a minimum – in this sector, it’s
always better to pay more for decent
staff. Our philosophy, as it should be
with every other nursery, is quality
overquantity.
The EYFS
promotes a
‘unique child’
approach, but
we like to
develop this
further into a
‘unique family’
approach
Nursery graduation

www.tinytoesdaynursery.com

This article was sponsored by Tiny Toes Day Nursery. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development