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Press release from: Tops Day Nurseries

Michael Tomlinson, MP, officially opens Tops Bearwood, planting an apple tree in the grounds with the children and MD Cheryl Hadland, to teach children where apples come from, and to help clean the air around the nursery.

Michael Tomlinson has met with local childcare provider Tops Day Nurseries at the new nursery Tops Bearwood on Magna Road, Bearwood and pledged his commitment to support local childcare providers, parents and children.

Michael Tomlinson, MP joined Cheryl Hadland, Managing Director of Tops Day Nurseries to officially open Tops Bearwood on Friday 21st of October 2022.

Michael revealed a plaque commemorating the opening and planted a new Red Falstaff apple tree, in the nurseries garden, to mark the occasion. The children enjoyed using spades to help dig the hole and bury the roots of the new tree and Michael supported the children to use the watering can to complete the planting. The tree will be planted with a mixture of Allium bulbs, including Nigrum and Oreophilum, all of which were purchased from Brackendale Nurseries in Wimborne, Dorset. These flowers were chosen specifically because they are known for attracting bees, beneficial insects, butterflies/moths and other pollinators.

The children also enjoyed a story called, ‘Well Done, Little Croc’, read by Michael, who also joined in with some Boogie Mites fun, where they sang and danced together.

The official opening was catered by the Tops catering team, all ingredients were fresh from the local Badgers farm and were enjoyed by Michael, staff, and parents.

During his visit, Cheryl and Michael discussed:

  • Tops Day Nurseries Queens Award for Enterprise (Sustainable Development).
  • The underfunding of early years provision and parents by the government, which was about half what it should be (Governments own figures) and has failed to keep up this year again despite living wage, national insurance, health insurance, inflation and utilities all increasing again this April.
  • One of the results of the underfunding is not being able to pay for and retain the top-quality nursery teachers that the children deserve, and which is the best investment this country can make.  There is now a national shortage of nursery teachers which is reducing availability of nursery places, and damaging the quality of education.
  • The importance of apprenticeships from starting to degree level for early years staff.
  • Immigration and requirements for opening up the workforce for skilled migrants which is currently difficult due DofE processes for checking foreign qualifications and very slow processing at the Home Office.
  • Means testing for funding for early years places and funding to enable all children to attend for 30 hours.
  • The local authorities not applying for relief on business rates for day nurseries despite notice to do this from the Department for Education and other local authorities now doing this.  Wales and Scotland already refunding business rates, schools have rates refunded.
  • The land and water pollution being caused by water companies allowing sewage into the environment, and the one use plastic and micro plastics now in our food chain causing infertility and disease in humans and injuring and killing birds, whales, turtles, dolphins.
  • The nurseries using bamboo toothbrushes and washable nappies.
  • Air pollution, which is causing asthma and lung disease in small children.
  • The nursery EV and charging points.
  • Dairy milk provision for early years children being unsustainable, whereas fruit and vegetables would be more universally beneficial in terms of the children’s health, would reduce obesity and discrimination against those in the population who are milk intolerant
  • Waste costs of disposable nappies being 4% of the domestic rates bill for everyone plus £1000 per nursery p.a.
  • The positive impact that Tops Day Nurseries has on children and their families lives in Bournemouth, good and outstanding teaching, healthy safe environments,

Speaking after the official opening event, Cheryl Hadland said: Children do not have a vote, and need us all to represent them and their needs for the future, so it was great to be able to share our concerns for them with Michael, particularly now he is on the front bench of the government.  Planting a tree helped to symbolise day nurseries vital role in educating children about the outdoors, with the practical application of providing healthy food, clean air, and shade from the tree.

Michael Tomlinson commented: It was a pleasure to meet the children and staff of Tops Bearwood, and to help them plant their tree.  Education of the youngest children in our community is of concern to us all, as they are the future, whether they become lawyers, farmers, NHS staff, politicians or occupations still unknown. Giving children the best start possible is one of the best investments we can make in our community and country.

Tops Day Nurseries offers care and education for children from 3 months – school age, all year around for extended opening hours, as well as having an afterschool and holiday club for school age children. For more information, please call 0801 699650 or email: enquiries@topsdaynurseries.co.uk

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