Choosing a childcare provider is always a difficult and emotive decision, as a mum of 3, having used both private and work-based nurseries and a childminder, moving to Woodlesford shortly before the arrival of my youngest and too far away from my previous providers meant looking for someone to trust with our precious bundle all over again.
At Jollys I found a setting where they love and care for my baby, and where my baby would love her carers, but not quite as much as she loved me and her daddy. That was very important!
From the moment we arrived for our first visit, the staffs’ delight in my little bundle was genuine, and felt very natural, and this has continued throughout the 3 years we have been at Jollys. They clearly all enjoy working with children and adore their individual personalities and quirks adapting their style to bring out the best in each. In return my daughter feels confident with the staff, genuinely likes them naming several amongst her “best friends”. One thing which gave me confidence is how long each staff member remains as part of the team, clocking up years in the nursery rather than a fast turn over. Of those who have left since we came, I’m hard pushed to think of one who didn’t leave to take up a teaching/ teaching assistant role. Showing the culture of child care and development throughout the nursery.
The setting is more homely than other nurseries I had visited, and this suited us. Slightly chaotic in appearance, it has a feel of being busy and fun all the time. The staff were all very passionate about their roles, and about the activities they were doing, but most of all about the children.
Social life was important too. My little one is naturally quite shy, but at Jollys she runs in to see her best friends happily and enjoys playing with all the other children too, often greeted at the door to her room by her besties and that’s the last I’ll see of her until home time.
Like many couples who work full time, we are quite time poor, and especially during winter, getting outside can be difficult. Jollys takes care of this too, with daily outdoor play and activities, so little one doesn’t miss out.
Messy play! I did a lot of messy play at home with my two sons when they were young. Hand painting, play dough, sensory bins, mud, sand, water are all vital experiences in developing the pathways in small brains, and helping strengthen little hand muscles and fine and gross motor skills and co-ordination to help us throughout life. I have also learnt that “child safe” paint from well known providers isn’t joking when it says “this paint may stain!” and one pale pink carpet turned into a dusky rose colour later (the red doesn’t just stain, it stains and spreads no matter what you do) I can only say, that as much as I love these activities, I love to do them outside far more than inside! Even plastic sheets just don’t seem to be enough protection. Fortunately Jollys does loads of this, so I don’t have to, I do it when I choose to and when I have the time to protect the carpets properly before starting.
Food. For one thing, it smells good when you walk through the door, and my daughter eats all sorts at Jollys. When she’s been fussy about food, her carers have observed the situation, and found ways of encouraging her to tuck in, with great success. Annabel Karmel and The Dinner Lady recipes are just some of the offerings on the menu and she really enjoys her food here
But mostly care and fun. My daughter learns much at Jollys, and has fun doing so, she dances, sings, plays, climbs, reads, tries to write, paints, has messy play, dressing up, outdoor trips and loads loads more, she has lots of friends and looks forward to coming every day. And as a parent, I feel I can trust all the staff, they know and understand my child, how to get the best out of her, and genuinely care about her safety, happiness and well being.
That’s what suited us and what we were looking for, but as I said, it’s a very personal decision, and trusting your instincts it vital in making the right choice for you.