Our specially designed Under Two's room at Church Gresley offers care for our youngest children. This has proved a popular addition to our centre and what started as a small area for siblings and employee’s children has become a large part of our setting! It is continually oversubscribed and it is important to sign on to our waiting list as soon as possible because it is usually at least a year's wait to be offered a placement and we often do not have sufficient spaces to meet each familys need. We purposely maintain small numbers in our Under Two's provision and maintain a 2:1 ratio as much as possible and the children move out in to the main areas when they become ready.
We only offer placements for a minimum of 10 hours a week over two days as we have clearly found that this is the minimum attendance requried to support the child to settle effectively at OMC. If a child attends less than twice a week we find the 7 days in between is just too long to develop and maintain an effective relationships with the Key person and the other practitioners in the room. We also want each of our children to feel safe in the environment and feel comfortable and familiar which will enable them to learn and develop effectively.
The area includes a seating space for meals and snacks and for some messy play or table top activities which the children can access easily. There is also a large self-selection shelving unit with wooden blocks, animals, musical instruments, train track and other resources that will motivate and stimulate the children.
The largest piece of equipment in our room is our play Gym for the children which allows the children to learn to negotiate stairs, slides, slopes, different surfaces and even tunnels! Since having the gym we have seen our childrens physical development exceed all expectations as we watch them balance, manouver themselves around and negotiate space to become experts in controlling their bodies.
Front facing book units enables the children to easily select books by their covers and we also include their own learning story folders in here too. A further reading area gives our children a chance to access a wide range of books including popular TV characters, nursery rhymes and pictures of faces and people. To further encourage a young child's love of books we usually make a book of their family for them to access for comfort and pleasure.
Our sleeping area includes 3 large wicker baskets and a cot for the children to choose to sleep in and is a cosy, small and comfortable area for them to relax in. The children can also choose to sleep in a pushchair, on a bean bag or anywhere else that helps them feel secure.
Our large room opens on to the garden and even has it's own small fenced off area however, the children have access to the entire centre, either with a 1:1 or in a small group. We try to ensure that as soon as they can open the gate, they are free to come in and out as often as possible. We have a large outside area for the children to experience sand and water play and other messy play and experience the seasons as they pass. They can also physically challenge themselves with push along's and climbing.
We always try to maintain a childs natural routine and we will work closely with you as a family to understand their sleep routines, favourite acivities, eating patterns and how they like to be comforted. We want our youngest children to have their needs met and provide a home from home experience to ensure that their time with us fits neatly into their week. We will prioritise your childs natural sleep cycle and ensure that we can response naturally to meet their personal care needs.
We also try to make sure that the children that are with us for a large part of their week go out on trips regularly to sensory rooms, soft plays, farms, parks and other fun places. We also spend time in the other areas of the centre including the Library, the Hall and soft play and visiting the art spaces to get messy and explore painting, gluing and other materials.
We ensure we have consistent practitioners who provide the daily care for the children and who can develop our provision for the child’s individual needs by maintaining close relationships offering the emotional security that our youngest children need. The Key Person approach means that the children have an allocated practitioner to support them and be a consistent point of contact for you during your childs time in the this area.
Both Kerryann and Lisa have been working with children in their earliest years for most of their careers and both have acheived their FdA Early Years and are working on their BA (Hons) Early Years together at Pen Green Research Base. When we offer you a placement in our Under Two's space both Kerryann and Lisa will spend time with you and your child to support their effective transition into the centre and this will always be taken at the pace dictated by your child.