Whitchurch Pre-School Nursery (Shropshire) Ltd

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Whitchurch Pre-School Nursery (Shropshire) Ltd'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 Whitchurch Pre-School Nursery (Shropshire) Ltd 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.whitchurch-pre-school-nursery.co.uk

BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
20 | INCEY WINCEYS DAY NURSERY
Finding funding
As a private nursery, we do at times
struggle with funding. We hire a
professional for yoga sessions and her
fees are subsidised by my own money.
In order to pay more attention to
preventative mental health care, we
believe that the local authority ought
to supply far more training than they
do at present. This specialised training
is once again an issue of funding.
Cutbacks understandably impact us
directly. We have lost a great deal of
our local council team, and we are
finding it increasingly difficult to obtain
the essential specialist help for the
children we work with.
The lack of resources range from
the removal of the toy library to the
reduction in the number of grants. The
increased disappearance of children’s
centres across the country means there
is insufficient childcare.
In spite of this, we are pleased to
note that Ofsted has moved from a
paperwork-heavy assessment style to
a practice-based one. This allows us to
exhibit our best practice in a far more
comprehensive manner.
Future flagship
We hope the coming years will provide
us with the opportunity to be a
flagship nursery. We will continue to
promote and make a difference in both
mental health and in environmental
issues for young people.
More specifically, we plan to move
to litter picking once a month and
are looking to get a wormery for our
nursery. We will also teach children
the importance of recycling, which we
hope can filter through to their home
life too.
Overall, we will continue to champion
the mental health of children, both
in print and in practice, instilling
the values of preventative mental
healthcare in children.
We have a
mindfulness
corner where
children can
wear ear
defenders and
consider their
feelings
Fun with stories and
props during yoga
21WHITCHURCH PRE-SCHOOL NURSERY (SHROPSHIRE) LTD |
EARLY YEARS EDUCATION
Nursery Owner Julie Allmark
Outdoor play provides opportunities
for social interaction
Countryside-set Whitchurch Pre-School Nursery provide
a “secure, stimulating and enjoyable” environment for
children in their care. According to Julie Allmark, the owner,
the company deliver “educare” – a halfway point between childcare
and early years education that Julie says provides children with a
great foundation for later education. Julie tells
The Parliamentary
Review
more about the concept of “educare” and how her own
history informed and inspired what the nursery promotes today.
I strongly believe that people who choose to work within the early years industry do
so with a view of their role being vocational. I know that back in 1995 when I left
school, working with children was my planned career, and 22 years later, I still feel as
passionate now about making an impact on the lives of all the children we carefor.
In early 2002, while working as a Level 3 qualified early years practitioner, my then
employer asked me to manage a new 58-place nursery that was due to open in the
September of that year.
The funding we received as part of the Neighbourhood Nurseries Initiative allowed
us to provide support to families in need, including parents who were wanting to
return to work and needed a childcare facility in order to attend an interview but
were unable to afford childcare costs. We also worked closely with our local health
visitors to provide funded childcare to more vulnerable families.
Working first as a practitioner, then a manager and now, since 2010, owner,
has given me a wealth of experience regarding the provision of best practice and
equally the challenges we face within the sector.
FACTS ABOUT
WHITCHURCH PRE-SCHOOL
NURSERY (SHROPSHIRE) LTD
»Nursery Owner: Julie Allmark
»Established in 2002
»Based in Whitchurch,
Shropshire
»Services: Wraparound nursery
provision
»No. of employees: 17
Whitchurch Pre-School
Nursery (Shropshire) Ltd
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
22 | WHITCHURCH PRE-SCHOOL NURSERY (SHROPSHIRE) LTD
The nursery is open 7.30am to 6pm
each weekday. I employ 17 staff and
have 120 children currently enrolled,
most of whom are aged between
12 weeks and five years old with
wraparound provision and transport
provided to and from our local feeder
school. Our Out-of-School and Holiday
Club will cater for children up to 12
years old.
Our focus on “educare”
My nursery continues to thrive for
a multitude of reasons. We provide
“educare” to young children, enabling
them to establish firm foundations
in preparation for their journey into
school and beyond. In addition to
this, we are a childcare provision
for working parents, which in turn
enables them to contribute to the ever-
changing economy. We also support
families in need, whether that need is
for safeguarding, supporting families in
social deprivation or supporting a child
with special educational needs.
As we are a full-day care setting,
parents can flexibly access funded early
years education for three and four-
year-olds with funded provision also
available for eligible two-year-olds.
The more recent introduction of the
extended entitlement, an additional 15
hours, has further supported working
parents while also providing additional
“educare” opportunities for children.
Quality service and quality
childcare
The nursery is partially located in my
old secondary school building, having
been purposely renovated as a nursery.
We are blessed with having lots of
space for our children to flourish,
including a secure outdoor area for
fresh air and exercise.
We have received consistently “good”
ratings from Ofsted since we opened
17 years ago, and we continue to
move onward and upward to provide
an outstanding service to our children
and parents.
Our children build close relationships
with their key person, and we strongly
believe that these relationships enable
their learning: it’s vital for our children
to feel safe and secure before they can
enjoy and learn.
We offer meals and snacks throughout
the day, but we also offer parents
the alternative of providing their own
meals, which can prove to be more
financially viable.
Our nursery cook and head of catering
is dedicated to providing healthy,
nutritious and tasty meals, and we
cater for many dietary requirements
to ensure all our children receive an
inclusive experience. We have recently
been shortlisted for a National Nursery
Recognition Award for “Nursery Food
We encourage
autonomous learning
We provide
‘educare’ to
young
children,
enabling them
to establish
firm
foundations in
preparation
for their
journey into
school and
beyond
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
22 | WHITCHURCH PRE-SCHOOL NURSERY (SHROPSHIRE) LTD
The nursery is open 7.30am to 6pm
each weekday. I employ 17 staff and
have 120 children currently enrolled,
most of whom are aged between
12 weeks and five years old with
wraparound provision and transport
provided to and from our local feeder
school. Our Out-of-School and Holiday
Club will cater for children up to 12
years old.
Our focus on “educare”
My nursery continues to thrive for
a multitude of reasons. We provide
“educare” to young children, enabling
them to establish firm foundations
in preparation for their journey into
school and beyond. In addition to
this, we are a childcare provision
for working parents, which in turn
enables them to contribute to the ever-
changing economy. We also support
families in need, whether that need is
for safeguarding, supporting families in
social deprivation or supporting a child
with special educational needs.
As we are a full-day care setting,
parents can flexibly access funded early
years education for three and four-
year-olds with funded provision also
available for eligible two-year-olds.
The more recent introduction of the
extended entitlement, an additional 15
hours, has further supported working
parents while also providing additional
“educare” opportunities for children.
Quality service and quality
childcare
The nursery is partially located in my
old secondary school building, having
been purposely renovated as a nursery.
We are blessed with having lots of
space for our children to flourish,
including a secure outdoor area for
fresh air and exercise.
We have received consistently “good”
ratings from Ofsted since we opened
17 years ago, and we continue to
move onward and upward to provide
an outstanding service to our children
and parents.
Our children build close relationships
with their key person, and we strongly
believe that these relationships enable
their learning: it’s vital for our children
to feel safe and secure before they can
enjoy and learn.
We offer meals and snacks throughout
the day, but we also offer parents
the alternative of providing their own
meals, which can prove to be more
financially viable.
Our nursery cook and head of catering
is dedicated to providing healthy,
nutritious and tasty meals, and we
cater for many dietary requirements
to ensure all our children receive an
inclusive experience. We have recently
been shortlisted for a National Nursery
Recognition Award for “Nursery Food
We encourage
autonomous learning
We provide
‘educare’ to
young
children,
enabling them
to establish
firm
foundations in
preparation
for their
journey into
school and
beyond
23WHITCHURCH PRE-SCHOOL NURSERY (SHROPSHIRE) LTD |
EARLY YEARS EDUCATION
Recognition”, which will be judged in
January 2020; however, being one of
only six other nurseries nationwide, the
nomination itself is still an accolade.
Back in 2007, I was extremely
fortunate to begin my foundation
degree, and then continue onto a
BA honours in early years leadership
with early years professional status.
This was all fully funded, and at that
point in my career, I began to believe
that the government of that time
had developed an understanding of
the importance of upskilling the early
years workforce. I wholeheartedly
believe that my additional training has
enabled me to develop my expertise,
and even though this funding was only
available in the short term, it should be
considered in the future as it is crucial
to financially support budding early
years practitioners with a passion for
working with children.
Quality versus sustainability
Ever-increasing overheads, including
extortionate business rates, restrict
my ability to make enhancements.
Therefore, maintaining a high-quality
service can be very challenging, and we
are often unable to pay our amazing
staff team a well-deserved wage,
which in turn presents the difficulty of
retaining staff.
Back in 2002, we received professional
advice and financial support from
our local authority, including
funded training and termly visits by
experienced advisors. This has subsided
over the years because of the pressure
on the local authority to reduce
overheads, and alongside this, austerity
has caused an ever-decreasing spiral
within Shropshire Council’s early years
team. It has now been condensed to
approximately six people, including the
early years and childcare manager. Even
though there are hundreds of early
years settings in Shropshire, the team
are still committed to supporting us all.
Remaining sustainable has become
such a challenge over recent years,
especially without the continued level
of support of local authority or central
government funding. With Shropshire
being one of the local authorities
offered the lowest levels of funding
from central government, passing
on the free entitlement to parents of
three and four-year-olds has proven
financially crippling for settings as the
hourly funded rate is still lower than
the hourly rate offered by the setting.
The next generation
Our nursery is a great starting point for
children, and we support them in many
of their early milestones, including
learning skills such as how to hold
cutlery, toilet training and learning to
share. When our children go to school,
teachers at our local feeder school
have often commented on how much
more “school ready” children are if
they have attended our nursery.
If I can hope for anything in the future
for the early years industry, it would
be to receive more recognition of the
importance of our role, which is to
support children in their early years
and to create firm foundations for
when they move into school. It is vital
to invest in our young people to equip
them for their lifelong journey.
Ever-increasing
overheads,
including
extortionate
business rates,
restrict my
ability to make
enhancements.
Therefore,
maintaining a
high-quality
service can be
very
challenging
Building relationships
with a key person is
invaluable

www.whitchurch-pre-school-nursery.co.uk

This article was sponsored by Whitchurch Pre-School Nursery (Shropshire) Ltd. 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