Three times Ofsted registered outstanding [2009 / 2014 / 2019] teacher led, childminding setting based in Great Ashby, offering high quality care and education in a home based environment.
A qualified Early Years Teacher with over 19 years experience professional childcare, I specialise in providing high quality care and education in a home based environment. Graded outstanding by Ofsted in my last three inspections [2009 / 2014 / 2019], I offer care for up to 6 children between the ages for 3 months and 8 years. High adult:child ratios
High quality teaching
Hygee accredited setting
Operating as usual
How fabulous that on #WorldBookDay, when we are focussing on the #theveryhungrycaterpillar, our caterpillars arrived in the post from Insect Lore.
We unwrapped the box carefully and looked in awe and wonder!
We will spend the next 2-3 weeks watching their development.
How can it possibly be March next week?
Our thoughts in the setting will turn to Spring, a month of change; wintery at the start but by 31st, blossom and crocus will be in full bloom!
On March 1st our live caterpillars will be sent out by Insect Lore Europe.
We will eagerly await their arrival in the post and be part of their journey from caterpillar to beautiful butterfly before we release them.
We will investigate all things old, new and growing, discuss the significance of St. David’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day and explore our many and varied resources linked to the ever-popular The Very Hungry Caterpillar storybook.
Children will have the opportunity to visit the recycling centre or deposit point, our Little Wonders eco buddies assisting with their understanding of the importance of the task.
We will plant seeds or bulbs and observe their growth. We will also weigh and measure ourselves before making comparisons with last year’s figures.
We will discuss the significance of Mothering Sunday and make gifts to show our appreciation.
The month will then close with a celebration, since Wednesday 30th March marks 21 years of me being an Oftsed registered childminder, and I am certain that’s a good enough reason for a few cakes!
Out with the old, and in with the new!
I noticed a couple of days ago the baby change mat was starting to crack on one of the top seams.
While the stripy green and white mat may still look perfectly good, cleanliness and hygiene are paramount so today a nice new padded grey one arrived.
After discussing the storm due to hit the UK tonight, we decided to make some bird feeders, assisting birds to feed well in these cold, windy conditions.
Using items we had in the setting, we made sure to create a perch and add a loop to hang the feeder on a tree or hook.
This activity helps the children to build empathy and understanding, consider the natural world, habitats and the impact of the weather.
Super spreading skills were required to ease the sticky nut butter over the card.
We are out and about tomorrow so I may download the Peas and Pod winter scavenger hunt list and we will see what the wind has blown to the ground.
Valentines inspired resources that each child [27m / 43m and almost 6] have chosen to use in their own way.
It fascinates me that from such a young age, each creation has a distinct 'style', I regularly see this style follow a child as they mature, it simply becomes more refined.
We moved on from the heart shape when a child decided they would like to create a 'bonfire' using a triangle.
They made connections by using crayons to create triangles too.
The finished product!
Packaged and sealed by the children, all ready to give to their parents to express their love, thanks and appreciation.
We have spoken about sharing and eating these sweet treats in moderation!
More work in progress, 1:1 time with the youngest in the setting.
Helping them to understand how to follow instructions, hold tools correctly and safely and not gobble all the ingredients, which is a temptation at 19 months - well any age really ;)
Work in progress:
This collection of yummy things can only mean one thing!
Today, we will be making Rocky Road hearts for our loved ones to celebrate the thanks, appreciation and love associated with Valentine's Day.
Children will be able to make choices in terms of which chocolate they would prefer to use, count as they break the bar into squares, use the safety knives to chop dried fruit into small, manageable pieces and discuss and understand health and safety around food preparation and the consumption of what are most definitely, occasional, treats.
Watch this space for how they turn out!
Thoughts turn to St. Valentine's Day this week as we consider ways to show our love, thanks and appreciation to special people in our lives.
Red, pink and purple colours dominate our invitations with our Valentine Buddies from Little Wonders providing a foundation for investigations and imaginative play.
We will be focussing on the ever-popular Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and hopefully making sweet treats for our loved ones ❤
Sultana scones - today's teatime snack.
A timetable of events for families.
North Herts Family Centres
Listening to some Chinese music while the children eat their lunch today, it's really rather relaxing!
Are you worried about your little one choking on solid food?
Young children are still learning to breathe, chew and swallow in the right order.
So it’s all about making food manageable for them. Use Child Accident Prevention Trust's handy guide to take the fear out of finger food.
⭐⭐⭐North Herts and Stevenage Opening Hours⭐⭐⭐
Need support or advice?
The Main Hub Family Centres in
Shephall Stevenage and Oughton Hitchin are
open from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday.
You can come in and see us, or give us a call on, 0300 123 7572
For other centre opening times please see below
A super tasty homemade Bara Brith [or Welsh fruit loaf] made today for the children's tea snack this week.
Accompanied by some fresh fruit or a little cheese and a drink, it sees them through until dinner with their families.
This week sees us turn our thoughts from wintery icy blues to golds and reds since Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival, is just around the corner!
Chinese New Year will fall on Tuesday 1st February.
This year is the year of the tiger 🐯
Celebrations traditionally last for 16 days, starting from Chinese New Year's Eve to the Lantern Festival.
In 2022, that is from January 31st to February 15th.
Children will have the opportunity to explore Chinese-themed resources, make pancake rolls, eat prawn crackers, investigate red and gold, observe and create Chinese symbols and writing and enjoy books including Come and eat with us, Chinese Adventure, The Willow Pattern Story, and Lanterns and Firecrackers.
Our Peas and Pod resources support our investigations and Little Wonders buddies are always popular for little hands.
Weekend forest school:
Educational Importance of a Forest School – Great Ashby has one! Friends of Great Ashby (FoGA) are delighted to be part of the program keeping our local woods ecological healthy & safe for use. We love the fact that Tanya Dickson of CultureWood runs monthly …
Free courses available to parents. Pre-booking essential
Find out more here: https://www.supportinglinks.co.uk/courses.html
Loose parts - the reality!
Photos from nhs.uk's post
Wonderful descriptive language, super imagination, and solid connections being made by a 23-month-old child during her play.
Absolutely love the new igloo - thank you Hermitage Rd. &!
Children in the setting after 4.00pm are offered a 'tea snack' to take them through to dinner with their family at home.
It's normally a toasty bun, teacake, or a scone with some fresh fruit but I think these fresh, homemade 'sweet/savoury' muffins will go down a storm today!
Filled with oats, cheese, and dried fruit they smell delicious!
Making "playdough monsters" and more super mark making.
Mark making and collage creating!
It may be a Bank Holiday and the setting may not re-open to families after the Christmas break until tomorrow, however, it's a busy workday for me.
My Christmas break is one of the only times in the year that EVERYTHING gets put away and my home is just that for 10 days, for me and my family to enjoy!
It's lovely, but it does mean a lot of work to re-set exciting and inviting resources for the children to explore.
Almost there, I need to make some fresh, icy blue playdough and team it up with some natural, wintery mark-making resources, and then, I think - we are good to go!
The setting is now closed until January 4th, 2022.
Does your 3 and 4 year old get 30 hours free childcare?
If your child receives 30 hours free childcare please check online to make sure you are still eligible by looking on your childcare service account.
You have until Friday 31 December to reconfirm your eligibility to ensure your child continues to receive their 30 hours free childcare in January 2022.
If you are a parent who may be eligible for 30 hours free childcare from January 2022, you have until Friday 31 December to apply for an eligibility code on the childcare choices website. https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/?dm_i=5ESZ,H4PY,1M7QRN,1ZFZQ,1
Childcare Choices from GOV.UK All about Government help with childcare costs, including 15 to 30 hours free childcare, Tax-Free Childcare, tax credits, Universal Credit, vouchers and support while you study
Festive activities to play with the whole family this year Looking for the best family games for christmas? We've got some creative ideas for turning Christmas time into fun, interactive time for all the family, including babies and toddlers.
Due to the increase in Covid cases and the decision to close schools early, we have had to make the difficult decision to close playcentres from Wednesday 22nd Dec until Jan.
The parties tomorrow and Thursday are also cancelled 😞.
We thank you for your support and will see you next year.
I think this is going to be a super popular new resource today!
Photos from Great Ashby Community Centre's post
|Monday||07:30 - 17:30|
|Tuesday||07:30 - 17:30|
|Wednesday||07:30 - 17:30|
|Thursday||07:30 - 17:30|