At Christmas in 2012, Grove Cottage Nursery was on threat of closure, with staff facing redundancy. Providing a respite service for local families of children with disabilities, numbers of children attending were low, and the future of the service was in jeopardy.
A decision to accept pre-school aged siblings, alongside existing children, secured the Nursery’s future again. The nursery built up its reputation for offering quality early years education and combined this with promotion of the service to local main stream providers, health and children’s centres. The nursery was pleased to be rated ‘Good’ by OFSTED in October 2015 and again in July 2018.
Interest in the Nursery grew again, with children attending from all over Hertfordshire and Essex, and the setting was able to streamline once again, and only accept children with diagnosed or suspected additional needs. This set Grove Cottage apart from all other providers in the area.
Over the last two years, the Nursery has gained a solid reputation amongst local professionals and organisations who routinely signpost parents to Grove Cottage for support or as a possible placement for their child.
The Nursery provides the Early Years Foundation curriculum outlined by the government for all under 5 ‘s, carried out by qualified staff. However, higher staff to children ratios, combined with a small group size of 12 children maximum per day, allows for more individualised, targeted learning. Professionals involved with the children such as specialist teachers, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and many more, are all welcome to come and help the child in nursery and provide the child with specific targets for staff to work on alongside their other learning.
There are also activities each week outside of the nursery, including, swimming, sessions at a local gym, forest school, and community visits.
Parents give regular feedback and included in this was a wish for increased hours and days. This was in recognition of the positive outcome’s parents see from their children attending, and also to aid the logistics of family life where siblings are attending usual school hour days. As a result, Grove Cottage nursery is pleased to announce that from September 2019 it will open for five days a week rather than four days per week and the hours will be increasing slightly to 9.00-3.00. This allows those who are eligible for the 30 hours of free child care available, to take advantage of this.
Maria Sims, Nursery Manager at Grove Cottage said “We are delighted to be expanding our service for those who need it. It has been a long-term aim of Grove Cottage to offer this service five days per week and we are thrilled that it is now possible. At the Nursery at Grove Cottage we work closely with the family to ensure that every child has the best start in life and we support the families to ensure that their child is on the best path for them, whether that be continuing their education at a specialist or mainstream school.”
Maria added “We currently have spaces for September 2019 and would encourage anyone who thinks that our nursery might benefit their child to contact us for an informal chat.” For more information please call 01279 656085 or 07734 257223 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grove Cottage’s Ofsted Regulated Special Needs Nursery accepts children with any additional needs (medical, physical or academic) whether that need be diagnosed or suspected.
Grove Cottage’s Special Needs Nursery was fortunate enough to receive funding from The National Lottery Community Fund earlier this year; this funding has played a key role in securing the future of this much needed service.