Fees and Government-funded places
Please email for current nursery fees, Holiday Club fees, and further information.
We provide Government-funded places. The 15 hours Universal Funding can be taken between 9am and 3pm. We have a limited number of 30 hours funded places. Please enquire.
We offer places for 2-5 year-olds and can have up to 25 children per day. Please email for admission queries.
Settling in (transitions)
Starting nursery is a big moment for both you and your child. We take settling in very seriously and work out individualised settling plans with each family. Each child will have their own ‘key person’, a person who is dedicated to ensure your child’s needs are met whilst at nursery. Your key person builds a relationship with you and your child over time, getting to know each family, therefore we encourage lots of visits to the nursery including a home visit prior to starting.
Parents are able to stay to allow their little one a chance to become familiar with our environment without the absence of their special person. We know that moving from a home into a nursery is very different, and for some children being in the great outdoors can seem daunting, so for children who are a bit unsure we allow them to take everything at their own pace, spending more time inside and gradually moving outside (this usually doesn’t take long!)
Moving onto school?
Children who attend Nature nursery leave ready and equipped with the skills they need to start school. They are confident, independent, resilient, creative and able to communicate. All these are the foundations for learning and being ready to take on more formal methods of teaching.
We work closely with schools to ensure they understand our approach to learning. We offer training and open days for school staff to experience our approach to teaching. Prior to your children starting school we invite teachers to visit the nursery and where possible we embark on ‘transition’ visits to the school.
If your child isn’t quite ready for the move into school, we work very closely with families and schools to support the transition. We are able to advise families of the best approach in deciding the right time to send their child to school.
Why is being ‘outdoors’ so good for my child?
Being outdoors supports your child’s brain development. For your little one’s brain to develop, they need lots of neurological connections to take place. One of the best ways to do this is by having repeated, first-hand real experiences. Where best to do this, but in the outdoors!
Being outdoors supports language and communication development. Children need lots of opportunities to ‘experience’ the meaning of words. For example, to understand the word ‘splash’, we need experience what a splash is.
The Forest School approach also increases opportunities for children to develop a love of nature, conservation and wildlife at a young age, which lays the foundation for future generations of stewards of the natural world. ‘Research has shown that children who use woodlands when young are more likely to do so as adults’ (Bell et al. 2003).
The Forest School ethos and approach has been found to increase children’s sense of wellbeing, happiness, confidence, and allow for increased opportunities to acquire the key skills set out in the EYFS. Outdoor nurseries provide optimum opportunities for children to develop secure roots for learning which include confidence, social skills, communication, motivation, physical skills and knowledge and understanding (O’Brien, 2005).
Do you go out in all weathers?
We are an outdoor Nature Nursery, so we spend as much time as possible outside in all weathers, all year round. We take the weather very seriously and all the joys it brings. We monitor forecasts and have strict health and safety guidelines which allow us to make safety decisions in those rare times of extreme weathers. We have a number of safe, cosy, warm shelters during these times where children can be warm, safe and secure. The heated sustainable Nest building and Badger Sett are places children can rest and take time out from the outdoors.
With every type of weather, we get a new learning opportunity. When it rains, the air smells and sounds different, the ground feels different and everything looks different, so children will play differently and they will learn lots of new things!
‘There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing’
What to wear?
Clothes are important and the right clothing will help your little one enjoys their time in the outdoors. In fact, it is so important we must insist children come ready to explore the outdoors suited to the weather.
We can give you advice for suitable clothing to ensure your little one is comfortable and able to move in the different types of weather they may experience.
What food and drink do you supply?
Fruit and fresh drinking water are always available throughout the day and accessible to children when desired. We provide a range of healthy snacks which are often cooked on the fire. Children are involved in the growing, picking, preparation and cooking of the fruits and vegetables grown on site. We ask children to be provided with a healthy and low packaged packed lunch and have a composting area for organic waste to nurture the vegetable beds.
Meeting children’s personal needs, toileting, and naps
We have composting toilets and nappy changing, situated within Badger’s Garden. In the woodland, we have designated toileting and nappy changing tents. We follow appropriate levels of hygiene and will ensure access toileting facilities throughout the day. We also work with families to support children to be confident with toilet training.
If your little one needs a nap or simply a rest, we have plenty of areas where children can snuggle down and will be continuously supervised. We work with you to ensure we meet your child’s specific needs. We have sleeping mats and blankets available in shelters or in a cosy tent in the woods with sleeping bags. In warmer, weather children can rest or nap in a shady spot by the Nest.
For further enquiries please call: 07533 376783 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Abbotts Hall Farm, Maldon Road, Great Wigborough, Colchester, CO5 7RZ