Claire Brookes, Preschool Leader of Musbury Moles, describes how the setting has gone from strength to strength, despite facing a challenging time last year:

Musbury Moles is a small, rural preschool in Devon. Two years ago, I  took over as Preschool Leader in January 2013 with just 4 children on role. Firstly, the job role was overwhelming and many challenges were faced, even the prospect of the preschool being closed down. However, with the support of a strong, passionate committee and a whole new staffing structure, the Moles were  able to  think fast.

I started visiting local preschools and gained invaluable advice from other childcare professionals.  I looked at what made them different, how they used space, how they promoted enabling environments and how they linked with parents and carers.

Our outside environment offers a variety of learning opportunities. This would be our niche. Researching the outdoors and how to incorporate and enhance learning opportunity, Musbury Moles has seen spectacular changes in recent months.

Transformation of the outside has been completed  with new pirate ship climbing frame, as well as a Mole Hole Exploration Area which focuses on Forest School ethos and a Sensory Room.

Musbury Moles also has a passion for being green, recycling and upcycling. The children have learnt the importance of recycling and how to recycle at home as well as in the setting.

It has taken two hard, long years but Musbury Moles has found their niche  and is  extending services, introducing professionals into sessions and importantly, networking with other childcare professionals in the area. This success story is about finding what can you offer, making a difference to childcare provision, liaising with parents to find out what they want and promoting a happy, and secure  learning environment for children.

September will see 26 children on role, two days full at Musbury Moles and plans to open longer and more days.

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