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Monkey Puzzle Highbury Announces Nominated Charity

With the time approaching for the new Monkey Puzzle Day Nursery in Highbury to open its doors to the public, owner Geoff Kent has announced which charity they have chosen to be their nominated charity.

The new site, part of the fantastically restored Loxfords building in Highbury, was previously the headquarters for the charity Action For Children, so it was an obvious choice for Geoff when he began shortlisting his nominated charity.

The impressive building, an excellent example of the Regency style, was built in the early 19th Century and was once the residence of the renowned glove makers, the Dent Family, before more recently being occupied by Action For Children.

This wonderful charity focuses on supporting and speaking out for the UK’s most vulnerable and neglected children and young adults, Their mission is simple they will work with them for as long as it takes to make a difference in their lives.

So with our chosen nominated charity in place, we will continue to work hard to put the final touches to our latest Monkey Puzzle Day Nursery and open the doors to the public.

Keep an eye on their website to see which events will be organised to get the fund raising underway.

If you are interested in your child attending Monkey Puzzle Highbury or are interested in employment opportunities, give Fran a call at our Head Office on 01442 878887 or via our contact page

New Childcare Ratio Plans To Be Scrapped.

Since the announcement by Children’s Minister, Liz Truss that the Coalition were to increase the ratio of children to carers as long as carers qualifications met new standards, there have been childcare professionals lining up to dismiss the proposals saying care quality would suffer.

So it didn’t come as a surprise yesterday when Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg telephoned leaders in the childcare sector yesterday, telling them the plans were “dead in the water”.

Mr Clegg was later quoted as saying, “When you are talking about something this important to parents, I think it is imperative to be led by the evidence – which is overwhelmingly against changing the rules on ratios.”

Childcare charities were pleased with the U-turn, as were the majority of parents, with Nick Leitch, Chief Executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance saying, “We are absolutely delighted that the Deputy Prime Minister has intervened and listened to the concerns and evidence gathered by the sector, parents and early years experts which dismantled the arguments for taking forward this ill-advised plan”.

He went on to add, “The sector is supportive of the government aims to raise the status and quality of the childcare workforce. But this was not the way to achieve this.”

The proposed changes would have seen ratios for two year olds rise from 4 children per adult carer to 6 and for children under the age of one from 3 children per adult carer to 4.

We are always looking to ways to improve childcare, but believe this must be born out of consultation between Government agencies and childcare professionals and not a unilateral decision.

So in summary Monkey Puzzle Day Nurseries welcome the decision and look forward to continuing to offer excellent care to children at a very important stage of their educational development.

Wickham Monkey Puzzle Rated Good By Ofsted

Whoo hoo more good news for Monkey Puzzle Day Nursery’s! We are so pleased to be able to announce that one of our newest day nurseries, in Wickham, received a good rating from Ofsted, following their first ever inspection, a great achievement!

Owner Helen Dale was pleased to be able to announce the news, “After all the hard work that myself, our manager Shellie and all the staff has put in it is so good to see that rewarded with a “Good” rating from Ofsted following our very first inspection”

She went on, “but we are not going to rest on our laurels, our aim is to study the report in full and address any issues that prevented us from achieving an “outstanding” rating”.

The nursery which underwent refurbishment before opening can be found within The Old Chapel close to the Georgian Market Square.

They have dedicated spaces for children aged under 2 years old and for children up to 5 years old.

If you live in the area and would like to enquire about spaces for your child, you can either hop over to our contact page or call the nursery direct on 01329 830236.

Monkey Puzzle Ealing Gains Good Ofsted Report!

Our excellent day nursery in Ealing has just received the results of their first ever Ofsted report and it was, drum roll please….

GOOD!

It is extremely difficult to achieve an “outstanding” status on any nursery’s first Ofsted inspection, so huge congratulations to owner Barbara Chan, Manager Biljana Dokmanovic and all the staff.

The location for the modern detached nursery is on little Ealing Lane within 5 minutes walking distance of Northfields Tube Station. Since it’s recent opening it has gone from strength to strength providing quality childcare for the area, which has been highlighted in the Ofsted report.

The key points highlighted by the report which helped them achieve a “good” rating were:

  • Children enjoy their play and make good progress in their learning and development because staff know how children learn and provide appropriate and challenging learning experiences for them.
  • Children benefit from a welcoming, enabling and stimulating environment, which has a range of good quality toys and resources to help promote learning in all areas.
  • The nursery promotes the children’s welfare because staff effectively implement the safe guarding and welfare requirements.
  • Children benefit from secure attachments to their key person and other staff. As a result, they are relaxed, happy and have a strong sense of belonging.

But it wouldn’t be fair to report this without outlining why we weren’t awarded an “outstanding” rating, would it?

The ONLY reason why “it is not yet outstanding” is…

“Children have fewer opportunities to see words on display in their home languages to support their early literacy and to promote a sense of belonging and diversity for everyone.”

But guess what…

We are putting into action a plan that will correct that, so next time we will be OUTSTANDING!

If you want to find out more about Ealing Monkey Puzzle, visit their website. You can also see if there is a Monkey Puzzle Day Nursery on your doorstep by checking out our locations page.

You can read the full report on the Ofsted website.

Measles Precautions for Day Nurseries

With emergency vaccinations being administered after the measles outbreak in South Wales, what precautions should day nurseries take were an outbreak to occur in your area?

Well first parents, carers and communities are being advised to ensure that children are having the MMR jab to prevent further spread.

If nursery staff suspect a case of the measles infection, they should isolate the child before asking the parents or carer to collect the child immediately and seek advice from their doctor. If the case is confirmed the nursery must let all parents know and follow the preventative measures they have in place in the event of an outbreak. this will include disinfecting all handles, surfaces and toys that may have come in contact with the infected child.

Good day nursery practice should mean that the manager will have an up-to-date record of immunisations of all children in their care. Some children may not have been immunised with the MMR jab, purely because of their age or other medical conditions. This should obviously taken into consideration.

Officials in the worst affected area have been urging parents to check for the symptoms of measles and keep children away from nurseries if they suspect or have been diagnosed with the virus, keeping the child at home for at least four days after the rash starts.

Dr Marion Lyons, Director of Health for Public Health wales said, “It’s great to see that more parents are trusting the vaccine and I would encourage others to follow their lead. Measles cannot be taken lightly because you can never tell who will go on to develop the more serious complications of pneumonia or encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). A simple and safe jab from your GP will protect your child’s health, could save their life, and will help protect other children too. It is the only precaution you can take at this worrying time, and we have plenty of stocks of the jab, so I would urge parents to make arrangements with their GP now.”

Vigilance can have a major effect on containing the spread of viruses, so keep an eye on your children and act fast if you suspect anything.

Promoting Traditional Playground Games

Do you remember back in the day when your Mum or Dad told you to “go and amuse yourself”.

What did you do?

In my case we’re talking the 1970’s, where the most high tech thing I owned was an Action Man which, when you pulled the string out from his back,  would kind of talk back to you. What I would do was get hold of a friend and go out into the big wide world and, well, amuse myself by exploring, climbing, kicking a ball around…

…simple, fun stuff, that was free.

Let’s fast forward to 2013. An era of video games so realistic that, they can even sense your movement, football games that are almost indistinguishable from the real thing, 3D television displays that mesmerise you and books that aren’t books but “tablets”.

Sounds incredible doesn’t it…

…but let’s look a little deeper.

Upon closer examination you begin to realise that these technological breakthroughs are slowly turning our children into sedentary beings that has “entertainment” on tap while they just sit around. We, and children in particular, are slowly losing the desire to “amuse ourselves” by being active, inquisitive and inventive.

But it doesn’t have to be that way…

Think back to those games you played as a child, while some may seem antiquated, some have actually survived to this day! And here’s the thing…

Kid’s love playing them!

At Monkey Puzzle we always promote traditional games, alongside educational technology, but we strive to get a balance so that, as the children develop, they appreciate both forms of entertainment.

So with the above in mind here’s a great blog post listing 10 classic childhood games to teach your kids…

Let the fun begin!

For more information about Monkey Puzzle Day Nurseries visit our home page and if you are interested in our Nursery Franchise take a look at what we offer.

Monkey Puzzle Nursery Celebrates World Book Day

Monkey Puzzle Nursery in Cheltenham joined with other pupils across Cheltenham to celebrate World Book Day.

The excitement on the children’s faces was evident when they realised they would be able to dress up as their favourite book character, as part of the celebration.

World Book Day is a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and, most importantly, it’s a celebration of READING. This literary event is marked in over a 100 countries worldwide.

At our Monkey Puzzle Nursery we combined fancy dress with a tea party and plenty of story-telling. The room was full of Fireman Sams, Pirates and Super Heroes. You would think the room would have been filled with excited noise but when the story telling began, you could hear a pin drop!

At Monkey Puzzle we believe it is important to get involved and support worthy charitable causes as well as national and international events, that complement the children’s overall education.

Manager, Gemma Isaccs said, “Both the staff and children had lots of fun with all the children realising that reading isn’t a chore, it can be extremely enjoyable!”.

Take a look at some pictures of the fancy dress costume, I think you’ll agree a lot of effort was put into creating their favourite characters!

For more information about our Cheltenham Monkey Puzzle Nursery, visit their website. You can also find out more about Monkey Puzzle Day Nurseries and our nationwide locations here.