Hargrave Park is very proud of its excellent children’s centre facilities. We believe we offer the very best provision for babies and toddlers and hold regular Open Day Sessions for prospective families.
Our Children’s Centre
At our children’s centre, we offer a child-centred education, where the activities are exciting, age-appropriate and with high quality resources. Children start their journey in baby room, from 6 months to 2, and then they move to Toddlers when they are 2.
Our baby room has been redesigned with the babies’ needs in mind. The environment is very calm and familiar so that babies feel confident and eager to learn. Babies start crawling and walking; explore sounds, textures and feelings; dance and play instruments; and learn to eat new food and cook very healthy meals! We have 9 babies daily, who are looked after by 3 qualified key workers, with whom the babies build very strong relationships. Babies have a daily report to inform parents what they ate and how much, how long they slept for, and at what time they had their nappy changed.
‘Staff promote children’s well-being effectively and consequently children feel safe happy and safe.’
Our Toddlers room is where the children start becoming more independent – putting coats and shoes on, washing hands, and start potty-training. With this in mind, we offer children a wide range of activities: sand, water, mud kitchen, painting, drawing, building blocks, planting and preparing healthy meals. This is the time when children start playing with each other and making friends.
A key strength of the provision is the wide range of creative activities on offer in each room.
Staff encourage children to make choices confidently and to develop a high level of independence.
Our key worker system
The key worker is the first point of contact for parents and the person who will build a special relationship with each child. They are responsible for doing the observations and assessments and they have meetings regularly (once a term) to talk about the children’s development. We use an online journal – Tapestry- shared by key workers and parents, where they can upload photographs and videos of important events, make comments and practitioners will also make suggestions of activities to do at home. It is very important that parents comment and upload photographs so that key workers can plan activities more effectively. Key workers plan focus activities weekly for each child, and they scaffold children’s learning with language and by engaging in open-ended play.
‘Practitioners were evidently tuned into children and understood that each child is unique.’
Healthy Early Years report
The Under 3’s daily routine
Children learn best when they live with a predictable routine, it gives them a sense of security to know what is going to happen after. This is why children in babies and toddlers follow the same routine.
Breakfast – 8.00 -8.50
8.30 – 10.00 – free play and focus activities
10.00 – Hygiene and snack
10.20 – Outdoors
11.30 – lunch time
12.10 – 2.30 – Sleep time/ Free play and activities
2.30 – Hygiene and snack
2.45 – Outdoors
3.20 – Story time
4.00 – Tea time
4.20 – 6.00 – Free play
We ask parents to sign the ‘Early years Attendance and Punctuality Policy’. Children are expected to be here on time in the morning and to be collected on time. No child is allowed after 9.30am (10 in baby room) unless they have called beforehand to inform the school’s office.
Parents can collect their children early; but we always ask parents to inform the practitioners in the room if they are doing so.
The settling-in week is when the parents and the child meet the key worker. It runs from Monday to Friday for half an hour each day. The aim is for the children to create a bond with the key worker so that they feel safe in leaving the parents when they start. Sometimes children cry when leaving the parents in the morning and this is a very normal reaction, even after the weekends!
This is the first time your child will meet their key worker. The best thing to do is to sit close by but allow the key worker to spend the maximum time with your child. If your child cries when you move away, stay close and try to engage the key worker in a play with the two of you. The key worker will ask you to fill in a form with information about your child and will talk to you about the routine, likes and dislikes, and important people and events in your child’s life.
The key worker will play with your child for 30 minutes. Try as much as possible not to interact with your child and start moving away from where your child is.
If your child is already confident with the key worker, you can come in the room for a little while and go outside for another part of the time. If your child is not confident yet, follow the same steps as the day before.
Your child can now try to stay the 30 minutes outside the room; or you can stay for a part of the time and leave the room for 15 minutes.
You should leave your child in the room and wait outside, if your child is already confident with the key worker. If not, stay for 15 minutes and then stay outside for the other half of the time.
Essentials to bring from home:
. Nappies, cream and wipes
. Pants/ knickers (if potty training)
. Spare clothes (including socks and 1 pair of shoes, if potty training)
. Warm coat, gloves and hat for colder weather
. Sun cream and hat for warmer weather
. Easy shoes and boots (shoes with velcro preferably)
The food for lunch and tea is provided by Caterlink; all food is cooked on-site and the menu is adapted to our needs. We also have a vegan, vegetarian and Halal meat (twice a week) options for children with dietary requirements. We only offer children yoghurt and fruit as a dessert. We ask children on dairy-free diets to provide their own milk and yoghurt.
We were the first Early Years setting in Islington to be awarded the Healthy Early Years accreditation and we continuously reflect on how to improve our practice.
‘Hargrave Park provides a strong foundation for supporting children’s health and well-being’