Little Monkey’s Windsor Nursery celebrate Father’s Day with tasty treat for parents

Little Monkey’s Windsor Nursery celebrate Father’s Day with tasty treat for parents

Press release from Little Monkey’s Windsor Nursery.

Little Monkey’s Nursery Windsor on Victoria Street celebrated Father’s Day on Friday 14th June by serving up a delicious breakfast surprise for their parents.

The Nursery Chef, James, made bacon rolls for all the parents, with the choice of ‘eating in’ with the children, or a ‘takeaway’ option for those busy parents dashing off to work.

Sarah Billings, Nursery Manager said: “We wanted to do something nice for our parents on Father’s Day, and know that they may often be too busy to eat breakfast before they leave the house in the morning.  We offer parents fruit every day from one of our ‘5 a day fruit baskets’, but as it was a special occasion, we thought we’d cook them a treat.  Giving parents the option of taking their breakfast away with them, meant that no-one had to miss out. The children really enjoyed having breakfast with the parents who were able to stay, and we hope everyone enjoyed it as much as we did!

“What a wonderful and thoughtful thing to do.  It was a really nice morning, and the bacon butties were even nicer!” – Toddler Room Parent

For more information about Little Monkey’s Windsor Nursery, please contact Sarah or Emma on 01753 622149 or


It’s child’s play! Local councillors explore nursery garden

It’s child’s play! Local councillors explore nursery garden

Press release from Tops Day Nurseries.

Plymouth’s Deputy Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayoress recently attended Tops Day Nurseries Cattedown’s official open day.

Cllr Chris Maven and Cllr Sue Dann spent time exploring the nursery garden with the children, balancing on beams, cooking up a treat in the mud kitchen and speaking with Managing Director of Tops Day Nurseries, Chery Hadland about the steps the nursery has taken since joining the Tops Family.

The councillors were particularly interested in the nurseries sustainability ethos, and was surprised to learn of the award winning groups most eco-sustainable nursery group title. Tops Day Nurseries have taken some controversial actions in a bid to save the planet and educate the next generation; including the banning of glitter, DIY baby wipes and now a new pilot is being trialled across the 30 Tops Day Nurseries settings in which parents can trial re-usable nappies and other eco products on offer. Cllr Sue Dann was particularly interested in this topic given her passion to support Plastic Free Plymouth.

Cllr Sue and Cllr Chris talked about funding with the founder of Tops Day Nurseries, both pledging to support the inadequate funding rates set by the government.

Cheryl Hadland commented, “It was great to be able to meet with the Deputy Lord Mayor and Mayoress and welcome them in to our nursery.  I was delighted to find they showed so much enthusiasm with supporting the sector, sustainability and of course engaging with the children.

We have 30 nurseries across the South Coast now all following the same sustainable ethos but unique to their own environments.

Tops Cattedown have worked tirelessly to revamp the environments, ensuring that they provide exciting activities with the best possible outcomes for children and I am so proud of what they have already achieved.”

Tops Cattedown are part of the UK’s award winning eco-sustainable nursery group, offering extended opening hours and flexible booking opportunities to families in the local community.

To find out more or to arrange a visit, please visit or email

Chichester nursery spots toddler’s cancer

Chichester nursery spots toddler’s cancer

A dad spoke of his family’s ‘whirlwind’ journey after his 23-month-old son was diagnosed with cancer.

Dexter Richardson was diagnosed with a Wilms’ kidney tumour on April 3, after workers at First Steps Childcare at Chichester College ‘spotted a firm patch on his tummy’.

Dexter’s dad, Mark, said to Chichester Observer: “The nursery told us to go and get it checked out, and we don’t know what might have happened if they hadn’t. We did, and Dexter has been having chemotherapy since. He had major surgery a few weeks ago, and the results are positive as we wait for the final sign off.

“We are really thankful to the nursery. If it had been left much longer, it could have been a lot more dangerous.

“We don’t know what damage would have been done.”

The dad added that Dexter started chemotherapy on April 5 after being referred to a cancer specialist at Southampton General Hospital.

“Dexter had a major operation on May 16 where they cut in from side to side and removed his gut and the tumour in the kidney.

“It was a dangerous operation. If they pierced the tumour at any point, it would have automatically gone to stage three cancer.

“It is usually a nine-hour operation, but it was done in six.

“It’s been a whirlwind for us. The first few days were really dark, and we were just thinking, ‘why us?’ We were thinking that it wasn’t fair. We then decided that we needed to be as positive as we could and focus on the end goal of him getting better. You have also got to use the support network around you. We’re confident that positivity breeds more positivity.”

Mr Richardson said that the ‘turning point’ came after they launched ‘Dash4Dexter’ to raise £2,000 for Piam Brown ward at the hospital, with well over £8,000 being raised within a month.

“The care he has had has been phenomenal.

“The nurses have gone above and beyond, even coming in on their day off to do chemo. The care has been out of this world. We couldn’t have asked for more.

“The response has inspired us to do more for local children and the campaign will continue to make a positive difference to others.

“We have also started to put a journal together so when Dexter’s older, he can look back on it,” he added.

There have been several fundraising events organised for Dash4Dexter including a horse riding event, a superhero day at a local nursery, and a team completing Bognor Prom 10k and the London Marathon, as well as Mr Richardson’s daughter holding a cake sale at her school.

Dexter’s dad continued: “We have no plans of stopping until we have enough to buy the entire toy room wish lists for Howard ward at St Richard’s, Piam Brown and G4, the ward where he had chemo and after surgery.

“We are coming to the end of our journey, and we want to make a real, positive difference to other local families. We want to do more for other children with cancer and the wards that have given us the incredible care. We are organising a charity football match, and I am going to run the Brighton marathon next year along with a few others.”

Ian Sewell, Mr Richardson’s work colleague, organised a charity quiz night for the cause.

Mr Sewell said before the event: “The event is being attended by employees of Checkatrade to raise money for our boss’s funding page. We are hoping to raise lots of money with a quiz, raffle and an auction.”

Dash4Dexter is planning on organising a charity ball soon, with the date still to be confirmed.

To donate to Dash4Dexter, click here.

Story by: Chichester Observer

Can nursery rhymes help children with their maths skills?

Can nursery rhymes help children with their maths skills?

According to recent studies, phonics and phonology (the study of the patterns of sounds in spoken language) can assist children in acquiring better maths abilities.

Scholars at Liverpool John Moores University discovered that discussing the sounds in words or identifying individual letters is more likely to result in early numeracy abilities, as opposed to reading narratives or counting.

Researchers followed more than 200 children from 40 early years settings in the North West, from the spring term of their pre-school year to the summer term of reception, as part of the Liverpool Early Number Skills project (LENS), funded by the Nuffield Foundation.

The final project, entitled “Understanding the influence of cognition and the home learning environment on early number skills”, showed how different types of home learning affect children, including:

  • Meaning-focused home learning experiences, involving interactions around the meaning of words, sentences or stories, such as shared reading
  • Code-focused home learning experiences, involving emphasis on the phonological and orthographic structure of languages, such as discussing letter-sound relationships (phonics) or the sounds within spoken words (phonology)

The proposed interactions that concentrated on talking about the sounds in words or recognising letters, could create both literacy abilities and numeracy abilities by helping children get to grips with the concept that symbols have significance.

According to the research, parents and professionals should be motivated to carry out these interactions with children as part of general activities, such as singing songs or exchanging rhymes or books, and could do so informally.

As quoted in Nursery World, Dr Anne-Marie Adams, co-investigator said: “Much less is understood about the pre-school, home-based practices which foster children’s early numeracy skills, compared to their literacy development. Our research is an important first step in addressing this imbalance.

“The evidence indicates that interactions in the home, which focus around the sounds in words and the letters that represent them, may support pre-school children’s early number-skills development.

“This may be through improving phonological processing skills, which may, for example, be useful in supporting knowledge of the counting sequence, or it may be through fostering an understanding that symbols have meaning, allowing children to connect quantities to numbers.”

Since the study did not evaluate formal systematic phonics training, however, Dr Adams advised against taking the results to promote the phonics scheme.

She added: “We would not propose that our research advocates the use of formal phonics teaching with pre-school children. The activities studied represented informal discussions about letters and sounds which were integrated into pre-schoolers’ everyday activities.”

Story by: Nursery World

Sunderland nursery receives top Ofsted rating for the 5th time!

Sunderland nursery receives top Ofsted rating for the 5th time!

Seaham Harbour Nursery, which has been running for the past 13 years, “continues to be outstanding” by giving children the best start, said the latest Ofsted report.

The nursery has been celebrating after receiving the ‘outstanding’ rating for the fifth time in a row.

On their last inspection, Ofsted outlined how the nursery’s employees are working hard to assist those with delayed communication develop their language abilities, promote book love, and draw on their interests, supporting them as they learn.

The setting was described as “vibrant and stimulating”, and the children’s learning is supported by answering questions well and encouraging them to find the answers themselves or by speaking to other pupils.

The inspectors also observed how the nursery records accomplishments, including parent feedback, and a display recording ‘wow’ moments.

One of the parent’s comments on the display reads: “The headteacher is an inspirational professional who is the driving force behind this special nursery.”

Mealtimes are focused on providing kids with an opportunity to learn how to socialise, learn about good food, and try fresh foods.

The report suggested that the nursery should develop the knowledge of its educators and assistants in teaching and delivering phonics, and make sure that lunches given to the children meet nutritional dietary rules.

Carole Scott, the nursery’s headteacher, said to the Sunderland Echo that she was “absolutely delighted” with the report: “It’s our fifth consecutive outstanding Ofsted, so it’s tremendous.

“It’s a statement to all the work put in by the staff and governors, who have worked consistently hard to continue to improve the quality of our teaching as we work to do the best for all our children.”

Story by: Sunderland Echo

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