“Turning acorns into Oak Trees”

At Squirrels Nursery, we believe that all children deserve an education rich in wonder and memorable experiences that allows their natural creativity and curiosity to flourish, alongside the purposeful acquisition of skills and knowledge. We believe that an education that does all this will give children the best chance to become well-rounded, happy individuals, ready to succeed in an ever changing world. We recognise a curriculum that is ambitious and aspirational for all will enhance the cultural capital for every child and family.

By the time our children finish their pre-school year we hope that they will:

• Have developed age-appropriate independence; they are able to put on own their coat and shoes, serve themselves snack and attend to their toileting and hygiene needs.
• Use their ever-growing vocabulary to communicate their needs, emotions and interests. They are able to communicate with their peers and confidently able to ask an adult for help.
• Will have developed care and concern for themselves, living things and the environment, both inside nursery and wider within the community.
• Have developed positive relationships with their peers and know what it means to be a good friend to others.

This curriculum has been carefully constructed to reflect all seven areas of learning and development included within the statutory Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) (2021) Framework while also being representative of the needs of children and their families attending our nursery setting. At Squirrels, we regularly refer to the non-statutory guidance ‘Birth to Five Matters’ to enhance our curriculum.

The Little Acorns Room

Our Baby Room cares for 6 babies at any one time from 3 months to approximately 18 months old. We offer a intimate baby room to ensure we can meet the needs of all individual babies. Our ratio within this room is 1 staff member to every 3 babies. Each child has a designated key person who will work closely with you to create a care plan which caters for your child’s requirements in regards to food, sleep and routine. As your child develops your key person will work with you and your child to move over to the nursery routine this will help enrich your child’s social interactions.

Our experienced Practitioners are aware that leaving your child for the first time can be difficult, so we will work closely with you to support you through settling in sessions.

During settling in sessions your child’s key person will take the time to fill in an all about me form to ensure we get to know your child as best as possible. You will also be introduced to our planning system, which has been carefully designed to have each child’s learning objectives and interests at the centre of everything we do.

The Seedlings Room

Our Seedling rooms cares for children from 18 months to approximately 2 years old. The ratio in this room is 1 member of staff to 3 children.  Within this room we only have 12 children at any one time.

Our Seedling room offers 5 different learning areas; Quiet/reading , role-play, physical, small world/construction and creative; to allow flexibility of activities for a range of development levels based on the needs of the children. They have access to the sensory room, as well as the outdoor area and are taken for walks around our community.

Our experienced staff are aware that leaving your child for the first time may be a difficult process, so we ensure you have plenty of opportunities for visits prior to starting.

Your child’s key person will take the time to fill in a questionnaire about your child’s needs, likes, dislikes, routine and development levels within the guidelines of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS). This allows us to plan for your child and ensure they have access to resources that will both interest and stimulate them.

The Saplings Room

When your child is developmentally ready at approximately 2 years old your child will move up to our Sapling room. This is a busy and vibrant room where the children start to become more independent. The ratio for our 2 to 3-year-olds is 1 member of staff to 4 children.

The children are encouraged to join in with small group activities such as story time and simple circle games.

Our Sapling room is arranged to make the most out of the space and provide the children with many areas to explore and develop in the seven areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS).

At snack times and lunch, the children sit at a table with a small group of peers and a member of staff who encourages the children to use forks and spoons independently and drink from open top cups.

The staff will work with you to encourage your child to begin toilet training when ready, they will gain a widening vocabulary and are introduced to early literacy and numeracy in a more directed way as well as providing a variety of opportunities for physical play within the outdoor area and sensory room

Oak Trees Room Preschool

On reaching their next development stage around 3 years of age the children move to Preschool. The ratio is 1 member of staff to 8 children.

We ensure the children have lots of opportunities to develop within the seven areas of learning from the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS). Throughout the day multiple play-based activities focusing on the children’s current interests are located around the room to make your child’s day fun and informative.

When arriving in preschool for their session the children are encouraged to recognise and find their own nametag to hang on a chosen peg with their bag and coat. They will partake in circle times where we discuss what the children would like to learn, show and tell achievements or special times in their lives, read stories, play focused games and sing songs.

Importantly we help the children to grow independence by challenging them in all areas and allowing them to take risks and explore in a fun and safe environment. We believe it is important for the children’s learning and development to try new and challenging things whether that be putting on their own coats, cutting up their own food, or filling up their own water bottles (of course we are always on hand and happy to help, but a little motto we have in preschool is “you try it first”).

Upon leaving preschool we aim for the children to have a basic knowledge of numbers, writing, reading, early science and ICT abilities and the independence, social skills and enthusiasm for learning to thrive in the future.

Play area

Outdoor play is a valuable part of aiding a child’s development and has a positive impacts on children’s development. We encourage the children to access our fantastic outdoor play area. There are plenty of opportunities for exploration, Children are provided with regular exercise and have many opportunities to be active.

What our parents say

“The staff are so kind, friendly and approachable”.

“My child progresses well and learns loads”.

“Positive atmosphere”

“The love this nursery has for the children – family vibe love it”

“Has always been a lovely nursery. Have used this nursery for 8 years, each child’s experiences have just gotten better”


• Informative settling in sessions to help staff gain a base of knowledge on the child’s development, likes and interests and health and care needs to help plan the initially next steps.

• Play is central to our work with children. We recognise play as the primary means to children’s learning which allows optimum levels of involvement and ideal conditions for effective learning.

• Activities are carefully planned using the role of the adult and the environment to support each and every individual child development and emotional well being.

• The role of the practitioner is to observe activities, use quality interactions to draw out the children’s knowledge and build upon this through teachable moments. To provide high quality interactions to deepen a child’s understanding when applicable, use high quality questioning and interactions to check children understandings and address misconceptions. The role of the practitioner is also to make tools available to a child when needed and intervene when play becomes disrupted or dangerous. The role of the practitioner is to act as role models to the children they teach in order for children to develop their own speaking and listening skills.

• The role of our environment is to cover all areas of learning and to consider both the developmental needs and interests of the children. In addition to role-play, small world, construction and creative resources, children have the opportunity within each session for play with sand, water and malleable materials. Outdoors serves as an extension of our indoor learning environments, and are essential for physical development, health and wellbeing, understanding the world and learning about science and outdoors.

• Story time and rhyme time is planned twice a day to encourage the love of real books and to support the development of communication and language and to introduce phonic sounds.

• Suggesting home learning opportunities with information about what has been taught and activities completed termly to parents, allowing parents to build on their child’s experiences, at home.

• Our robust routine teaches children basic skills, responsibility, independence and encourages good personal care habits.


Assessing Learning and Development

At Squirrels Nursery, we assess all children’s learning and development individually. It involves our practitioners knowing each child’s level of achievement and their individual interests, and then shaping teaching and learning experiences for that child, to reflect this knowledge. In their interactions with children, our practitioners respond to their own observations about each child’s progress and observations that parents and carers share.

Once settled at Squirrels, a baseline assessment is completed for each child by their key person. This is then reviewed at the end of each term, to recognise and celebrate each child’s progress.
When children are aged between 24-36 months, we will provide parents and carers with a short written summary of their child’s learning and development across the prime areas (communication and language; personal, social and emotional and physical development). This fulfils the requirements laid out within the EYFS (2021) framework for a progress check at age two.

Sometimes, as a result of our assessment processes, or because of concerns shared by parents and/or carers, some children may be identified as having Special Educational Needs (SEN). For these children, additional assessments may be completed in order to closely monitor their progress and provide targeted support. Our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) works closely with families, nursery staff and outside professionals to ensure the correct support and provision is put into place.

Evaluation of Provision:
• Squirrels nursery have improvement plans for all rooms which is devised by observations, environmental audits and supervision feedback.

• We work closely with local Reception teachers to ensure that when children leave us at the end of their preschool year they have the necessary skills to thrive in a school setting. We work collaboratively with schools to ensure an effective and supportive programme is created to ensure a smooth transition.

• We also regularly gather and consider feedback from children, practitioners and parents to ensure that quality of our practice and provision is constantly improving. Children are consulted through for their views. Staffs are provided with opportunities to share their thoughts at team meetings and within supervisions. Parents are consulted and have opportunities to share their views through questionnaires and feedback forms. Any feedback and information gathered is reflected on by our leadership and management team and our practice and provision is shaped accordingly to ensure high standards of care and education are consistently provided.

Information for Parents

What does my child need in their bag?

• Weather appropriate clothing: Coat and wellies in winter months as we play a lot outdoors. sun hats in Summer.
• A change of clothes in a labelled bag. We do like to do a lot of messy play and please can you bring extra spares if your child is toilet training.
• Nappies and wipes. Nappy cream if required.
• We provide each child with a drink bottle that they can access throughout the day so please do not send juice or drinks. If they are sent in, they will remain in your child’s bag.
• A comforter to help them sleep, such as a teddy or a small blanket if they require one. We will allow dummies for sleeping and comforting only but your key worker will discuss our dummy policy with you.
• Medication/Inhaler – labelled with your child’s name. All inhalers must have a spacer. Prescribed medication must have the label with dosage on it. Administration forms to be completed before we can give it.
• We provide a morning and afternoon snack, but will require you to bring a lunch in for your child. We do operate a healthy eating policy, therefore would like you to support us with this in providing your child with a healthy lunch box we do not allow sweets in lunch boxes.
• Please do not send in your child’s own toys in case they get lost or broken. They can often cause friction with other children too, and we have so many toys and resources to keep your child busy at nursery.
• Finally, please be mindful of what is in your child’s bag. Don’t leave any items of value, or potential risk in case a child has access to it.


What snacks are provided?
– We offer a morning snack to all children at 9:30am which is usually cereal/toast, a piece of fruit and milk and water.
– All children are offered their own personalised water bottle when they attend, so you do not need to pack a drink for your child.
– We offer an afternoon snack at 3pm to all children too which will consist of a carbohydrate (cracker, breadstick, etc), a piece of fruit or vegetable and milk/water.
– Children who stop for lunch will need to bring a packed lunch. Please could we ask that you provide an ice pack within your child’s lunch pack to keep the food cool. We encourage healthy eating and would ask if you could help us by providing your child with a healthy lunch box. If you need ideas please look at these useful websites below:



What is the role of Key Person and parent partnership? 

All children are allocated a key person; you will be informed of who this is on the first settling in. The key person is responsible to observe, plan and review your child’s progress/development. The key person will ask you, the parents/carers, to support assessing you child’s development and for planning your child’s next steps by asking you to complete a parent questionnaire every term. You will also be asked to tell us all about your child’s wow moments at home which can be contributed into their learning diary.


Why do you carry out two year checks? 

All children in our care who are aged 2 years will have a 2 year check carried out. We try to do these prior to the health visitor carrying out their assessment so it can shared with them. Please let us know when you have your development check with health visitor to ensure our check is carried out prior to the meeting.


What do I do if my child is not well? 

Recommended EXCLUSION periods for common infections

Chicken Pox Once all lesions are crusted over.
Diarrhoea & Vomiting Until symptom free for 48 hours
High Temperature Until symptom free for 24 hours.
Conjunctivitis No Exclusion – However we would recommend your child receive anti-biotic
Measles For 5 days from onset of rash
Impetigo Until lesions crusted or 48 hours after starting antibiotics
Antibiotics Until child feels well for 24 hours


Where do I find the terms and conditions? 

All the terms and conditions are provided within the registration pack which you would have signed prior to your child starting. If you would like a copy of these please feel free to ask any member of staff for a copy.


How do Squirrels nursery Safeguard Children? 

The nursery works with children, parents/carers and the community to ensure the safety of children. The nursery has a professional and moral duty to report any concerns regarding the safety and well-being of a child by following procedures.

Children must be brought and collected by an adult, staff should be informed if someone different will be collecting the child and a password system to be set up.

No person under the age of 16 will be able to pick up a child.

If you address or contact numbers change it is important to ensure you tell us so records can be updated.

All staff are DBS checked.

Free Childcare

Where can I find more information about 2, 3 & 4-year-old funding and Tax-free childcare?

We provide Nursery Education Funding for eligible 2-year-olds, as well as 15 hours funding for all 3 and 4 year-olds and 30 hours funding for eligible 3 and 4-year-olds.

The term after your child’s third birthday is when they become entitled to a minimum of 15 hours funded care for 38 weeks of the year. We will claim the funding on your behalf and invoice for any additional time or costs. You will be asked to fill out a parent claim form and we will forward this to the local authority in order to claim your funding.

For more information you can access: https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/ to find out more about how you can get help with childcare costs.

We accept all childcare vouchers. Useful information on Child Tax Credit can be found at: http://taxcredits.direct.gov.uk/

Sessions and Fees

We are open for 51 weeks per year and offer flexible sessions/full days between 8.00am and 6.00 pm Monday to Friday.

Fee Rates Effective From 1st April 2024

Session Timings Cost
Full Day 8:00am – 5:00pm £60
Short Day 9:00am – 4:00pm £48
Extra Hour 1 hour £7.50

How are we Invoiced?

Invoices are e-mailed to yourself the first week of the month. These must be paid 7 days after receiving the invoice via the reception in Willow Trees either by cash or chip and pin, or you can pay via a bank transfer, the bank details are at the bottom of the invoice. All invoices are sent via the email you have provided on your booking and fees agreement. There is a £40 registration fee charged to all new children starting (expect for children who receive funding)

Full amount is required to be paid when children are off for any reason- Unless prior arrangement has been made by Manager. You will be charged for bank holidays and when the nursery closes due to adverse weather.

Further information regarding terms and conditions is available in the registration pack.


Early Help offer in Worcestershire

There is a wide range of support available in Worcestershire, and we are happy to advise you and signpost you to these should you ever require it. We all need help from time to time, and experience a change of circumstances that we need some support with.

We will always aim to advise and support you the best we can at nursery, however sometimes there may be a need for more specific and specialist support that we can help you to access.
Early Help Agencies allow you to access support at the earliest opportunity, and this can prevent problems escalating.

More information on the Early Help Offer can be found on:

The Worcestershire Family Hubs offer a range of parent/carer support services on a range of health, social, education, and parenting issues. You can access information on the above link, as well as contact details for all the Family Hubs in Worcestershire.

The Starting well Partnership website has information and contact details on local services and support groups in the area.

www.startingwellworcs.nhs.uk/brookside (Comberton, Kidderminster 01562 827207)
www.startingwellworcs.nhs.uk/halfcrownwood (Stourport, 01299877920)
The above links will offer you options and lists of contacts in your area.

Support is offered for a range of things for health, social, family/parenting, SEND, Speech and Language, and these websites are a really useful source of information to see what is available to you.

Please do feel free to speak to your child’s key worker about the Early Help Services available.

SEND Local Offer
The Local Offer is for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) aged 0 to 25 years. It provides information and support services available to families in their local area, in a single place.

The Local Offer has two key purposes:
• To provide clear, comprehensive, accessible and up-to-date information about the available provision and how to access it, and
• To make provision more responsive to local needs and aspirations by directly involving disabled children and those with SEN and their parents, and disabled young people and those with SEN, and service providers in its development and review.

The Local Offer shows families what they can expect from a range of local agencies including education, health and social care, for children and young people who have Special Educational Need (SEN) or are disabled. This includes those who do not have Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans. Many parents and carers will have concerns about the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Every Local Authority must work with children and young people, parent/carers and professionals to make sure that everything that’s included on the Local Offer website makes sense and is helpful and relevant. This is an on-going process so things will change again over time as needed.

The Local Offer must include, amongst other information, the following:
• Special educational, health and social care provision for children and young people with SEN or disabilities.
• Arrangements for identifying and assessing children and young people’s SEN – this should include arrangements for EHC needs assessments, and how parents and young people can request an assessment for an EHC plan.
• Other educational provision, for example sports or arts provision.
• Arrangements for resolving disagreements and for mediation, and details about making complaints.
• Arrangements for travel to and from early years providers.
• Support to help children and young people move between phases of education (for example from early years to school, from primary to secondary)
• Childcare, including suitable provision for disabled children and those with SEN.
You can find out about resources, services, support, activities and events here. www.worcestershire.gov.uk/sendlocaloffer

SEND Services
If you have any questions about Education, Health and Care Plans you can contact Worcestershire County Council’s SEND Services:
Call the SEND Services helpline: 01905 845579
If you want to send us your thoughts and feedback on the Local Offer please email localoffer@worcschildrenfirst.org.uk


Designated Safeguarding Lead & Nursery Manager: Lynsey Abbotts

lynsey.abbotts@ymcaworcestershire.org.uk – 01527 60981

Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead & Nursery Deputy Manager: Caroline Prentice

caroline.prentice@ymcaworcestershire.org.uk – 01527 60981


Registered Provider: Simon Hill

Family Front Door (Children’s Social Care in Worcestershire):

01905 822666 Monday to Thursday 9am to 4.00pm, Friday (9am-4:30am)

01905 768020 (evenings and weekends)

Police: Call 999 in an emergency, e.g. when a crime is in progress, when there is danger to life or when violence is being used or threatened.  For less urgent issues call local police on 101.

Ofsted: 0300 123 1231

NSPCC Helpline: 0808 800 5000 (Mon-Fri 8am-10pm, weekends 9am-6pm)

West Mercia Prevent Team: 01386 591825/ 591835 / 591816


NSPCC FGM Helpline: 0800 028 3550


Our OFSTED report is available either via the OFSTED website: https://files.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/2684783

Quotes from our most recent OFSTED in February 2023:
– ” Children arrive happy and eager to begin their play. They are greeted by the caring and friendly staff team”
– “ Children benefit from an ambitious curriculum”
– “Children access a wide range of good-quality toys and resources”
– “Babies are settled and content. Staff are tuned into their individual needs.”
– ” Babies receive lots of cuddles from the staff throughout the day”.
– “Staff offer lots of encouragement and reassurance.”