Child Care Okehampton


Posted on Monday, September 7, 2015 in Our Policies


Stepping Stones Day Nursery was opened in January 1998 accommodating children aged from four months to five years.  It is conveniently situated between Okehampton Town Centre, the local primary school and the industrial units creating accessibility for both pedestrians and car users with its own private car park to allow for easy drop offs.  The town is within a rural community and the nursery also takes children from the surrounding villages.

Stepping Stones is open from 7.45 – 18.00, five days a week excluding Bank Holidays and Christmas week; taking a maximum of 64 children per session.  It is a purpose built building and therefore takes into account wheelchair and pushchair access.

It prides itself on a self-contained baby unit including its own milk kitchen and sleep room, this has recently been reduced in size due to social changes and caters for just nine babies per session with three members of staff.  This enables strong relationships to be formed encouraging secure attachments in a safe and secure environment that promotes autonomy through the babies’ needs and interests.

Once the children reach the age of two, they join the Caterpillar group which is situated on the upper floor of the nursery.  This consists of two rooms that take into account all areas of learning, providing age appropriate resources and equipment and also offers free flow play to the outside. They are supported by seven practitioners, which actively encourage them to learn and extend through play via observations, assessment and daily planning.

The next stage of our transition is the Butterfly room which is an open planned room with access to a mezzanine which allows space for quiet times such as computer work, story times and small group activities, a role play and small world area, art and craft area, a construction area as well as taking into consideration mathematics, science and literacy.  These areas are carefully planned through linking the continuous planning into children’s extensions and interests.  The children have unlimited access to an outside area, with additional opportunities to encourage understanding of the world through the exploration of growth and decay, taking care of living things and changes within the natural environment, as well as sharing experiences through their senses. Children are encouraged to become independent in their choices but are supported by six members of staff who again recognise and have a good knowledge of their key children’s development and extend their learning through following the children’s interests and needs.  In addition to this topics are also followed to enable further interests to be discovered and followed on.

There are currently twenty two members of staff including myself; over the last few years I have completed my FDA in early years, my BA (HONS) in Early Childhood Studies and achieved my EYP in  January 2013. There is three level four qualified members of staff, one of whom started their Foundation Degree in September 2012.  There are ten level threes, two level two who is undertaking their level three and three unqualified, two is in the process of training at Level three and the other on an apprenticeship has started her level two.  In addition to this we also employ one cook, one lunch time assistant and a cleaner.

The impact of training on the nursery has been considerable due to the fact that as learning has arisen, we as a team have been able to reflect on our current practices and implement new ideas, putting new policies, procedures and documents in place to ensure better services towards the children and their parents.

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