Tag Archive for: free childcare hours

Inspirational Quotes About Nature in Childhood

Inspirational Quotes about Nature in Childhood

While writing a recent post relating to the benefits of nature in childhood, we came across some profound quotations about the topic. Inspired and, at times, touched by some of these, we decided to gather some of our favourites together for today’s post. We therefore share with you today Inspirational Quotes About Nature in Childhood. We hope you, too, are inspired by them — perhaps enough that you encourage your little one(s) to spend even more time with you outdoors, closer to nature. It’s incredibly good for them. Take a look, bookmark the page, and perhaps even save the quote images to print and display at home.

TIP: Click Ctrl+D on your keyboard to bookmark this post

Some of the quotations are touching, aren’t they? Clearly, many of the great poets, scientists, educators, academics, and scholars recognised the hugely positive impact that nature has on children — and indeed people of all ages. And, as we head towards summer at the time of writing, the weather should soon allow families to spend more time outdoors, so they can reap the many important benefits that nature and outdoor play have to offer. Perhaps start by downloading our free posters for a bird spotting activity, a minibeast activity, or a butterfly spotting session. Children will love to see what (or rather who) they can find in the natural world!

We hope you enjoyed and were inspired by today’s batch of quotations. We’ll publish more quotes relating to childhood in due course, so perhaps click Ctrl+D on your keyboard to bookmark this post or our blog area.

Nature Education at Little Acorns Nursery, Hindley Green

Little Acorns Nursery & Pre-School in Hindley Green, near Wigan, Bolton & ManchesterLittle Acorns Nursery in Hindley Green is rated as a good childcare provider by Ofsted.Children at Little Acorns Nursery in Hindley Green are very fortunate to have access, when appropriate, to extensive grounds. These are subdivided into several zones, which include nature and wild areas as well as sensory zones, sand and water play and much, much more. The gardens and outdoor play zones are places where children can explore, discover, and learn in a highly stimulating environment, all under the safe supervision of our nursery practitioners.

Weekday Nursery & Preschool Places Near Wigan

If you would like to explore a possible childcare place in an exceptional Hindley Green nursery near Wigan, please get in touch using one of the options below. We support various Government-funded childcare schemes too, meaning free childcare hours are available for eligible families. Please choose an option to get started:

Little Acorns is a high-quality nursery & preschool in Hindley Green, near Wigan. As such, we may also suit families that require childcare services near Bickershaw, Leigh, Atherton, Westhoughton, Ince-in-Makerfield, Platt Bridge, Tyldesley, Bolton and Greater Manchester.

A Beautiful Make-Over for Little Acorns Nursery, Hindley Green

A Beautiful Make-Over for Little Acorns Nursery, Hindley Green

The start of 2024 saw the commencement of a wonderful new refurbishment at the nursery. Little Acorns Nursery’s owners and management organised some significant improvements, which are already well-progressed upstairs and will continue on the ground floor of this Hindley Green childcare setting. Today we take a closer look and share with you some images of the progress and remarkable facelift that’s taking place. We’ll update you again in later months when the work is complete. Enjoy!

Why the Refurbishment?

As many will know, we took on the existing premises fairly recently and, before that, it had not been significantly updated in probably 20 years or more. In view of this, a refurbishment project was designed to update the overall aesthetics of the setting, tidy things up, and give the nursery a more modern, fresh look. While doing so, lighting, storage, flooring and other facilities are also being improved.

Work Started Early in January

Following a thorough risk assessment, work began right at the start of January this year. Initially, the focus has been on the classrooms upstairs. The structure to the ceiling there was totally renewed to both improve it and create extra storage in the loft area above. A method of easy access was installed to facilitate the use of this new storage space by staff. While working on the new ceiling structure, downlighters were spaced around the new ceilings and these vastly improved the lighting. Walls have been freshly plastered, skirtings were renewed and all painted in a lovely, fresh white. The spaces now have a lovely light, spacious and open feel about them.

For the flooring, luxury vinyl tiling was laid and, as you can see in some of the photographs, this is a high-quality floor that gives the rooms a modern, warm, and spacious feel. It will also be easy to keep clean. We’re also aiming for the spaces upstairs to be clutter-free once complete.

As you can see, the upstairs classrooms are already looking calming and inviting. We’re sure it will look even more fabulous once it’s all decked out with new furniture. In addition, resources and other enhancements will be added for the children. These will be things that they will find exciting, engaging and, in turn, will promote development. We can’t wait to see it all finished and it’s going to be wonderful for the children!

New Bathroom, New Hallway

The bathroom for the children was also renewed completely to bring things up to date.

In addition, the hallway and stairwell were completely overhauled with a lovely new carpet to the stairs, newly plastered walls and fresh new paint on all surfaces.

Next Steps

We’re currently sourcing new furniture in readiness for the newly refurbished nursery, particularly now that the upstairs is so far advanced. Some of the photographs also hint at some of the lovely interior design elements that are already beginning to bring the spaces to life.

Next on the agenda is an equally thorough refurbishment of the downstairs areas. We will have new flooring, a lovely new downstairs bathroom, spotlights throughout, new plastering, fresh paint, and refreshed skirting boards.

The ‘archways’ will also be sealed off and essentially removed. This will minimise noise ingress from one room to another.

An existing flat roof will be completely taken down and replaced with a new one. That will occur during the forthcoming Easter break, so as to avoid disruption to the day-to-day workings of the nursery. We will also install modern bi-fold doors that will give flexible and free-flowing access to the outdoor areas when appropriate.

Eventually, we’ll also renew the external signage, although this is likely to follow after the more involved improvements to the interiors are complete.

The Nursery Remained Open Throughout!

Incredibly, the childcare nursery remained – and will continue to remain – open, right through the refurbishment process. That’s accomplished through careful planning, regular health and safety risk assessments with sign-off by all relevant parties, and careful control over which areas children and workmen have access to. It’s rather like conducting a well-practised orchestra! Families were and still are, of course, also kept informed via verbal communication, signage, and also through updates sent out to families via our “Famly” smartphone app. Rest assured, the health, safety and well-being of our children is our topmost priority throughout all changes occurring at Little Acorns Nursery in Hindley Green. Once complete, the day-to-day lives of both staff and children will be hugely enhanced.

We’ll publish updates on the further progress of the refurbishments over the coming months, so watch this space!

About Little Acorns Nursery School, Hindley Green, near Wigan

The best start for babies and children under 5 with a comprehensive Early Years education

Little Acorns Nursery & Preschool in Hindley Green, near Wigan, Bolton & ManchesterLittle Acorns Nursery in Hindley Green is rated as a good childcare provider by Ofsted.

At Little Acorns Nursery in Hindley Green, babies and children under five receive a high-quality early years education in a wonderful nursery and preschool. Here, they are nurtured, feel valued, and are exceptionally well cared for. The setting is warm and inviting too — a real home-from-home for little ones — with highly professional childcare practitioners on hand to bring out the very best in them. We have fabulous facilities and resources too, both inside and out, and are a ‘good provider‘ — and that’s official according to Ofsted. We also support many Government-funded childcare schemes, thereby being able to supply free childcare hours for eligible local families.

Contact Little Acorns Nursery today and we’ll be delighted to explore with you the opportunity for your child to attend the nursery:

As a nursery/preschool located in Hindley Green, Wigan, WN2, we may also suit families looking for childcare services conveniently close to Bickershaw, Leigh, Atherton, Westhoughton, Ince-in-Makerfield, Platt Bridge, Tyldesley, and Bolton.

 

Under-5 to Superchild — the Power of Reading With Your Child.

Under-5 to Superchild! The Power of Reading With Your Child

Reading with children is a powerful tool that supercharges learning, imagination and even life outcomes.In the journey of childhood development, there is a simple yet powerful tool that supercharges learning, imagination and even life outcomes: reading with your child. While a magical connection with books is a cherished tradition in many families, it is also a proven way to optimise a child’s cognitive and emotional development — and even to give some a social boost. With that in mind, we explore today the incredible benefits of reading with children in the early years and learn how study after study has proven how transformational it is to their lives.

Enhanced Cognitive Development

Numerous studies have demonstrated the profound impact of reading on cognitive development in young children. The studies found that reading with children between the ages of 3 and 5 results in significantly improved cognitive skills, including attention span, memory, language development, logical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

This cognitive enrichment is not just confined to early childhood. Long-term studies have revealed that children who are read to regularly during their early years are more likely to perform well academically throughout their school years. We’ll explore more about how reading in the early years prepares children for school later in this article.

Transformed Language, Vocabulary, Spelling & Literacy

Children who are exposed to a diverse range of words in books tend to perform better in language assessments, spelling, and overall literacy development.One of the most notable benefits of early reading is the rapid expansion of a child’s vocabulary. Indeed, research suggests that children who are exposed to a diverse range of words in books tend to perform better in language assessments, spelling, and overall literacy development. With reading to children opening up whole new worlds of information and vocabulary to them, this positive outcome makes total sense.

Academic Preparedness

Early reading provides a substantial head start in academics. A 40-year study by the Nuffield Foundation in the UK tracked the development of children from birth to age 7. Results revealed that children who were read to several times a week at a young age had a significant advantage in literacy skills when they started school.

The language skills of children aged just 3¼ years old were found to receive a 20% boost when they were regularly read to by a parent or carer. That’s an 8-month improvement!

Children who experience shared reading activities with their parents in their early years also tend to have a more positive attitude towards learning. They therefore perform better in school. Indeed, many enter formal education with increased confidence and a love for learning.

Advanced Emotional Intelligence

Reading with children also contributes to the development of enhanced empathy and emotional intelligence.Reading with children also contributes to the development of enhanced empathy and emotional intelligence. Stories often feature characters experiencing a variety of emotions, and by engaging with these stories, children learn to empathise and connect with the feelings of others. That’s because exposure to complex characters and their emotional experiences in books helps children better understand and relate to the emotions of people in their real lives.

Social Mobility

Remarkably, the benefits of reading with young children also have the potential to break the cycle of socio-economic disadvantage. Several studies have found a strong correlation between early reading habits and positive socio-economic outcomes later in life. Specifically, children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds were found to be more likely to surpass the usual limitations of their circumstances when exposed to regular reading sessions with adults at an early age. This positive effect was found to extend well into adulthood. Individuals who were avid readers during their childhood were found to be more likely to achieve higher levels of professional success, with better job prospects, higher incomes, and greater job stability.

Read our tips for effective reading sessions.

Tips for Effective Reading Sessions

Note that, at the start of this article and throughout, we have talked about reading with your child as opposed to simply reading to them. That’s an important differentiation because reading with children means involving them, so they’re fully engaged throughout. That’s another huge factor in unlocking the most potential for the child. So, how do we go about that?

Make it Fun!

Reading in a monotone voice is a sure way to get children to switch off and disengage from your reading sessions. Instead, make it fun by immersing yourself, as the reader, into the different characters and situations, using different volumes, voices, accents, cadences and tones as appropriate. This will naturally captivate your child, bring the story to life, and make it fun!

Encourage Interaction

Engage your child in the reading process. Ask your child questions about the storyline and characters. See if they can guess what happens next and discuss the story generally. This interaction enhances their attention, comprehension and critical thinking skills.

Encourage Questions

When your child asks questions or wants to talk about the story, embrace those moments. It shows their active engagement and curiosity. Encouraging discussions will help to deepen their understanding in so many ways.

Quality Time Spent Together

Reading is also about quality time spent together.Reading is not just about the words on the page; it’s also about the quality time you spend together. The connection you build during reading sessions is priceless, fostering stronger bonds between you and your child.

A Positive Example

Children often mimic their parents’ behaviour. By showing them that you value reading, they are more likely to embrace it as a positive and enjoyable activity. So, why not become a reading role model and let your child see your enthusiasm for books? It’ll not only be fun and engaging for them but is also likely to result in a love for learning and a huge number of profoundly positive benefits.

Quality Childcare & a Good Early Years Education at Little Acorns Nursery, Hindley Green

Little Acorns Nursery & Preschool in Hindley Green, near Wigan, Bolton & ManchesterLittle Acorns Nursery in Hindley Green is rated as a good childcare provider by Ofsted.As we’ve said before, parental engagement with children’s education is incredibly beneficial to little ones and that’s particularly true in the case of reading with them. So, we take every opportunity to read with children and encourage interaction at Little Acorns Nursery in Hindley Green. Reading with children is not only giving the gift of knowledge but also a key to unlocking future opportunities and even social mobility. As such, it is an incredibly powerful tool that effectively supercharges children’s education and future prospects. And don’t forget, of course — children simply love it!

If you are seeking the best childcare nursery in Hindley Green for your child, please get in touch. We offer a first-class weekday childcare service and early years education for babies and children under five. We also support all Government-funding childcare options, making childcare more affordable for eligible families. Please select an option below to further explore a place for your child at Little Acorns Nursery:

Little Acorns is a nursery near Wigan, Bickershaw, Leigh, Atherton, Westhoughton, Ince-in-Makerfield, Platt Bridge, Tyldesley, Bolton and Greater Manchester.

Discover Minibeasts – A Fun Nature Activity for Children

Discover Minibeasts – A Fun Nature-Based Activity for Children

Today's activity comes with a free A3 poster that families can download to help identify 30 types of creature.Today’s ‘Discover Minibeasts’ post is the third in our series of nature-based activities for children. And, as with the bird spotting and the butterfly spotting activities, this one also comes with a free A3 poster for families to download. Children will be able to use the poster to identify the 30 different species of minibeast that are featured. From ants and aphids to weevils, woodlice and worms, there are some fascinating critters for children to look out for.

Did you know? There are about 25,000 different types of minibeast in the UK!

Minibeast spotting is a great activity that will help to nurture children’s interest in outdoor play and nature — and that’s important. Study after study shows that spending time in nature is hugely beneficial to children of all ages. As well as helping children physically, emotionally and spiritually, nature and outdoor play help them learn new skills and can even improve grades (follow that last bold link for more details). What’s more, it can lead to a life-long love and appreciation of nature and The Great Outdoors, as well as encouraging children to learn about ecological issues like global warming, habitat loss and the need to protect the natural world. Such is the potential power of today’s humble minibeast-spotting activity! With that in mind, why not download our free poster today? It’s completely free and no sign-up of any kind is needed.

Preview of the Free Minibeasts Poster:

Preview of the A3 poster. Click to download it (full instructions can be found below the image).

How to Download the Poster

Simply click the large poster preview image or this link to view/download the high-resolution version (whether you left-click or right-click to download will depend upon your particular browser settings — try both if you’re unsure). The file is less than 3MB in size. You will need Acrobat Reader on your device, which is available free of charge here. When printing out, we recommend using full colour and high-quality settings and paper for the best results. You/your child can alternatively view the poster on screen, e.g. on an iPad or tablet, which will allow you/your child to zoom in for the highest detail.

Given that minibeasts are mostly found outdoors, it’s important for children, especially the very young, to be supervised, for safety purposes. There are many potential dangers outside, so parents or caregivers will need to be vigilant around these when supervising little ones.

Tips for Spotting Minibeasts

Once children are armed with handheld versions of their minibeast posters, they’ll need to work out where best to spot them. The good news is that minibeasts are almost everywhere there are plants, trees and soil. Children can look for the more visible minibeasts like bees, butterflies, caterpillars, moths, ladybirds, aphids and hoverflies simply by looking for flowers and plants, which are a food source for such critters. Other minibeasts like grubs and earthworms may be found within soil and compost, so a little (gentle) digging around may prove fruitful for them — but care will need to be taken not to harm the little creatures. Meanwhile, the best places to find creatures like beetles, woodlice, millipedes and centipedes are generally going to be under things. For example, they may have their homes under piles of leaves, under flower pots, under rotting logs and — the best place of all for minibeasts — in the compost heap!

Be Gentle — Encourage Empathy

When supervising children for this minibeast-spotting activity — or any other involving animals and insects — please be sure to teach children about gentleness and empathy. Minibeasts are small and fragile creatures, so ideally should be looked at but not touched or disturbed. Teach children that each is an individual, with its own life, needs and feelings. Minibeasts will also not want to be taken from their homes, wherever those may be. So, please do encourage children to be gentle and kind, just like they’d like to be treated themselves if it were the other way around. Thank you.

Is your toddler frightened of insects like spiders? If so, try naming them, for example, “Simon the Spider”. In this way, children will begin to associate each as an individual, rather than just a scary and nameless critter. This approach can really help!

Discover Minibeasts!

All in all, minibeast spotting is a fun and fascinating activity for children to take part in and is perfect for the spring, summer and autumn seasons. As well as being fun, educational and worthwhile it also raises children’s interest in ecological matters. For example, it may lead children to realise the need to nurture the natural world, the problems associated with harmful pesticides and weedkillers, and the need to leave natural, undisturbed areas for wildlife to flourish. Children will eventually become the stewards of our beloved Planet Earth, so educating them early about looking after the planet is crucial for the existence not only of the flora and fauna, but also for mankind itself.

A Focus on Nature at Little Acorns Nursery, Hindley Green

Little Acorns Nursery & Preschool in Hindley Green, near Wigan, Bolton & ManchesterLittle Acorns Nursery in Hindley Green is rated as a good childcare provider by Ofsted.The childcare professionals at Little Acorns Nursery know full well how important nature is to children as part of their early years learning and development. That’s why we’re adopting the ‘Hygge’ lifestyle at the setting and plan to introduce Forest School in the future. We ensure children get ample access to outdoor spaces to play, explore and learn in whenever possible. Even indoors, children get access to natural materials and resources.

Do you have a child under five and live in the Hindley Green area, near Wigan, or in a nearby location like Bickershaw, Leigh, Atherton, Westhoughton, Ince-in-Makerfield, Platt Bridge, Tyldesley, or Bolton? If so, Little Acorns Nursery offers a first-class early years education and weekday childcare service that’ll give your little one the very best start in life. We’ll nurture them and do everything we can to help them develop into the very best version of themselves so that they’re fully prepared and ready for school by the time they leave us as they approach the age of five. What’s more, we support Government funding including free childcare schemes for eligible families. Get in touch today to register your child for a nursery/preschool place, book a guided tour of the nursery or ask a question. We’re here to help!

Discover British Birds – A Fun Nature Activity for Children

Discover British Birds – A Fun Nature Activity for Children

Today's nature-based activity comes with a free poster download for children/families to print out and use as a checklist.Today, in a follow-up to the butterfly-spotting activity that we published in May, we bring you a matching bird-spotting activity for children to take part in. The activity will help to nurture children’s interest in birds and nature, which is beneficial to children in a myriad of different ways. It’ll also encourage them to recharge in the fresh air, outdoors, and escape from electronic screens and toys for a while. Outdoor play is important for little ones and many studies have backed this up.

Free Bird Poster

Like before, today’s article comes with a free reference poster for families to download and print out. The poster features 40 different species of bird that can be found in Britain. Most are fairly common, with just a handful that are more shy or seen more rarely. Children, including those under five, can display the A3 poster on their bedroom or nursery wall, or print it out as a smaller hand-out to use as reference when they’re outdoors. The visual reference will allow children to see how many different birds they can spot over the course of a year, we suggest. Supervising adults can help them to learn the bird names too, as we appreciate the youngest may not yet be able to read the names unaided. Take a look at the poster preview below and download it for your child today.

Preview of the Free Bird Poster:

Preview of the free poster download - click to view/download (see instructions panel).

Download Instructions

Depending on your settings, you can usually left- or right-click the image above (or this link) to either open it on screen or save it to your device. Once opened in Acrobat Reader , your child will also be able to view the images large, by zooming in, to get all the fine detail. If printing out, we recommend using high-quality printing paper and the finest colour settings for best results. Print at A3 to use as a poster or A4 to use as hand-outs for your children to take outdoors.

Tips for Spotting Birds

As well as being a fun, nature-based activity, bird spotting can teach children valuable skills like patience, stealth, observation, perseverance, critical thinking and empathy to name just a few. With that in mind, here are some tips that may help children to see more types of birds when taking part in this activity.

  • Try different locations and a variety of natural environments, including at different times of the year (spring to autumn). Your child will see different types of birds by using this approach. Please note, however, that we have not included waterfowl in our poster, although may keep that option up our sleeves for a future poster/activity.
  • Teach children to keep movements and sound minimal when they’re waiting for birds to come to a particular spot, so the birds are not frightened away.
  • If moving, for example through a forest, moving quietly and stealthily will ensure that children will see more types of birds. Care even over each footstep will help if it means that children will avoid making a ‘crack’ because they stepped on a twig. Such an approach will also help them hone their balance and gross motor skills, as well as make the activity feel more exciting.
  • Attracting birds with the right kinds of bird food will help with this activity. In gardens, ‘peanut cakes’, suet seed balls, sunflower ‘hearts’ (seeds with the outer husk removed) and, sparingly, grated Cheddar cheese are always popular.
  • The use of binoculars or monoculars will help spot birds further away. For safety, children should use them only under adult supervision and avoid pointing them towards the sun and other bright objects.
  • Teach children to also listen out for the various bird calls, as those can give away the location and even type of birds.
  • Encourage children to develop a ‘keen eye’, i.e. good observational skills that are proactive as well as reactive.

Why This Activity is Important

As well as being fun, educational and beneficial to children through time spent in nature, bird-spotting helps to draw children’s attention to the plight of birds, other wild creatures and the natural environment. Sadly, the number of birds has dropped by nearly 60% in the UK since 1979. The population of house sparrows alone has declined by almost 22 million in the last 57 years. The Chief Executive of the RSPB stated the following after 2023’s Big Garden Birdwatch:

“The numbers speak for themselves when it comes to the startling declines of some of our once common birds…
We are in a nature and climate emergency and we’ve lost 38 million birds from our skies in the last 50 years.”

Nature activities like butterfly-spotting, bird-spotting, country walks and outdoor play around nature will help foster children’s interest in the Great Outdoors and the simple pleasures associated with spending time in the natural environment. That alone is very good for both body and soul. In parallel, though, such activities are also likely to encourage an interest in ecology, conservation, reversing habitat loss, and eco-friendly lifestyles. All of these benefit the world itself. Moreover, such interests often last a lifetime. So, this simple type of children’s activity can have a real domino effect.

Nature-Based Activities for Under-5s at Little Acorns Nursery, Hindley Green

Little Acorns Nursery & Preschool in Hindley Green, near Wigan, Bolton & ManchesterLittle Acorns Nursery in Hindley Green is rated as a good childcare provider by Ofsted.Because spending time around nature is so important, the team at Little Acorns Nursery in Hindley Green ensure that children get good access to nature, nature-based activities and even natural materials. This approach is backed up by our adoption of Hygge’ at the setting and plans to introduce Forest School. These, together with our first-class approach to early years childcare, give babies, toddlers and preschoolers a great start in life, giving them all the tools to absolutely thrive. As well as that, we also support all Government-funded childcare places for eligible families.

Why not register your little one for a childcare place at Little Acorns Nursery in Hindley Green, near Wigan? Get in touch using a button below and we’ll be happy to show you and your little one around, answer questions and register them for a nursery place.

Little Acorns is a high-quality nursery & preschool in Hindley Green, near Wigan. We are also nearby to Bickershaw, Leigh, Atherton, Westhoughton, Ince-in-Makerfield, Platt Bridge, Tyldesley, Bolton and Greater Manchester, so may also suit families living or working in those locations.

Safety & Well-Being

Before we sign off from this post, we should mention the topic of safety and well-being for children. Vigilance around these is critical and seldom more crucial than when children are spending time outdoors. Children, especially the very young, should therefore be closely supervised by a responsible adult at all times, paying special attention to hazards including ponds and water sources of any kind, poisonous plants, toxic chemicals (weedkiller, pest killer etc.), trip hazards, nasty drops and uneven ground, sources of germs, barbed wire and other sharp objects, roads, railways and traffic, potential allergens, choking hazards, stranger danger, risks around becoming lost, and so on. Parents/adults will need to constantly watch out for potential risks and teach children to do so too. This list is not exhaustive, so do your research/assessments.

Ofsted Report: Little Acorns Nursery is a Good Childcare Provider

Ofsted Report: Little Acorns Nursery is a Good Childcare Provider
Little Acorns Nursery passed its first Ofsted Inspection with flying colours, following the inspection in April 2023.We’re delighted to announce that Little Acorns Nursery, Hindley Green, has passed its first Ofsted Inspection — and with flying colours! The Ofsted Report was published recently following the Ofsted inspection in late April this year. It is our first since we took over the nursery from Kate’s Kindergarten in 2022. So, it’s now official — Little Acorns Nursery is a ‘Good Provider’ of childcare and early-years education. Let’s take a look at the Inspector’s findings and some of her lovely comments. We’ll see why the nursery/preschool achieved such consistent, positive feedback and good ratings in every area. Doing so is incredibly important to the children under our care and, of course, to their parents and caregivers.

Great Ofsted Report Ratings for Little Acorns Nursery

Little Acorns Nursery was judged by Ofsted to be ‘Good’ in every category:

Little Acorns Nursery was judged by Ofsted to be ‘Good’ in every category.Overall effectiveness — Good
The quality of education — Good
Behaviour and attitudes — Good
Personal development — Good
Leadership and management — Good

We’ll cover some more detail and commentary from the Ofsted Inspector below.

Glowing Feedback About What it’s Like Attending the Nursery

We're way more than just a crèche, playgroup or a group of nannies or childminders.Opening comments in the Ofsted Report are particularly positive. Not only are the findings welcomed by nursery staff, who work so hard and so professionally — as evidenced in the report — but they’ll also be welcomed by parents/caregivers of children attending the setting. After all, it’s good to know children are in good hands and that their choice of childcare provider was a good one.

Our High-Quality Staff Positively Impact Children

Here are a few of the comments from the Ofsted Inspector, describing how professional staff are and what it’s like for children who attend the nursery:

“The stable and highly skilled staff team promotes children’s care and learning effectively. Many long-standing relationships help staff to know the needs of the children and their families very well.”

It’s good to note the words, “stable” and “highly skilled” in reference to the staff. Our staff are exactly that and it’s good to see those qualities recognised. More importantly, though, such qualities clearly benefit the children, their parents, and families as a whole.

The Ofsted Report then goes on to describe how, “Staff’s gentle, nurturing approaches” help children to “settle and fully engage in what the nursery has to offer.” That, too, is incredibly important.

“Children arrive confidently and they are ready to play and learn.”

The confidence and enthusiasm to learn extends to babies and toddlers too and Ofsted’s comments make the reason for this clear:

“Babies and toddlers explore with intrigue. They are inspired by items which stimulate their senses and are provided in response to things which specifically interest them. Staff build on children’s interests well to provide meaningful activities which enable them to practise their skills and extend learning further.”

Children are happy at Little Acorns Nursery, Hindley Green.As you can see from the comment above, staff are methodical and strategic in their approach to activities organised for the children. Activities are tailored to each child’s individual interests, making playing, development of skills and learning of new knowledge all come naturally.

Happy Children

The Ofsted inspector recognised that children are happy at the nursery. The nurturing of good social, communication and language skills clearly leads to deep friendships being formed and enjoyable play taking place.

“Children develop firm friendships. They collaborate and have fun together as they play.”

Good Progress for Children with SEND

Ofsted recognised the expertise of our Special Educational Needs Coordinator (‘SENCo’) and provisions for children with special educational needs and disabilities (‘SEND’) in their report:

“The special educational needs coordinator (SENCo) successfully uses her comprehensive knowledge of local arrangements for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). She links closely with other supporting professionals, accurately assesses need and identifies precise targets for learning. Through strong relationships with staff, children with SEND progress well”

Good Relationships with Parents

Ofsted recognised that staff have good relationships with children’s parents/caregivers and remarked, in their report, on the cooperation between them:

“Staff work closely with parents right from the start to assess and plan how to meet children’s individual needs.”

Ofsted said that this works particularly well when children have health or medical needs, commenting “Leaders use what parents know to establish specific care plans, training for staff and detailed risk assessments.”

Parents are also encouraged to come “into the nursery to experience the curriculum in action.”

“Parents speak highly of the staff at the nursery and develop high levels of trust.”

Effective Safeguarding Arrangements

Comments in the Ofsted report about safeguarding were particularly positive and confirmed that measures at the setting are effective ones.

“Leaders have ensured that staff are well trained and knowledgeable about matters relating to child protection. They have provided clear procedures for staff to report any concerns that they may have about children’s welfare.”

They went on to confirm that, “Leaders and staff use their strong relationships with parents and other professionals to help ensure that the children and families who need it, get the right support.”

Staff Plan Well for the Future

Staff are methodical and strategic in their approach and activities are tailored to each child's individual interests.Ofsted also recognised that leaders and staff plan improvements for the future. In their report, they describe how leaders “plan how they can make the quality of education even better […] working closely with staff to design building improvements that will have the most benefit for the children”.

They also ensure that they too are learning and improving all the time:

“The high priority given to continuing professional development has resulted in a team of many skilled and experienced staff. This has a positive impact on the quality of education for all children, including those who are disadvantaged.”

Full Marks for School Readiness

One of the key goals of any good nursery, preschool or childcare provider is to ensure that every child is prepared, equipped and ready to begin school by the time they leave the early years setting. Little Acorns Nursery’s approach to the curriculum, activities and tailored learning and development plans, ensure this outcome. Ofsted’s comments, in their latest report for Little Acorns Nursery, totally back this up:

“The carefully thought out curriculum helps children to gain the kinds of knowledge and skills they need in readiness for their future move to school.”

A Place for Your Child at our Hindley Green Nursery, near Wigan

Little Acorns Nursery & Pre-School in Hindley Green, near Wigan, Bolton & ManchesterLittle Acorns Nursery in Hindley Green is rated as a good childcare provider by Ofsted.If you have a young family that needs high-quality childcare in Hindley Green or close to Wigan and Greater Manchester, we’d love to hear from you. As you can see from the latest Ofsted Report, we offer a wonderful weekday childcare service for babies and children aged up to five. Come and take a look by arranging a free tour of the setting. We’ll show you around and answer any questions that you may have. Be sure to bring along your child and you’ll be able to see how well they fit in!

Little Acorns Nursery offers a great start for little ones and also supports free childcare through Government childcare funding schemes for those who are eligible. Please choose an option below to get started:

Little Acorns is now officially a good nursery & preschool in Hindley Green. We’re located near Wigan, Bickershaw, Leigh, Atherton, Westhoughton, Ince-in-Makerfield, Platt Bridge, Tyldesley, Bolton and Greater Manchester.

Discover British Butterflies: A Fun Nature Activity for Children

Discover British Butterflies: A Fun Nature Activity for Children

Nature is hugely beneficial for children, so it's good to encourage them to get outdoors and search out these incredibly beautiful creatures.Today’s exciting blog post encourages families to explore the wonders of nature and embark on a delightful butterfly-spotting adventure! Butterflies are simply beautiful creatures and their amazing colours and patterns are sure to appeal to little ones. With that in mind, we have prepared a visually appealing and informative A3 poster featuring 36 British butterflies, which you can download for free and print out. So, why not get the family ready to step outside, immerse yourselves in nature, and create cherished memories as you observe these enchanting creatures in their natural habitat? The poster gives visual reference and also ensures you have a lasting memento of this unique experience. Over time, this poster and nature-based activity will help you and your little one learn to identify these diverse and important little pollinators. As we reported before, nature is hugely beneficial for children, so it’s good to encourage them to get outdoors and search out these incredible little beings. Let’s take a look and dive into the fascinating world of butterflies together…

Butterfly Poster Preview:

Free A3 British Butterflies poster to download or print.

Download Instructions

Depending on your settings, left-clicking the image above — or this link — will usually open it directly on screen, where you can see the images and zoom in on all the lovely detail. Alternatively, try right-clicking to save the file to your hard drive and then open it manually in Acrobat Reader . Print out the file to good quality A3 paper or ‘reduce to fit’ to print at A4.

Explore the Great Outdoors With Respect

Now that you have your poster, it’s time to venture outdoors with your little ones and seek out these beautiful butterflies. Whether you have a garden, a local park, or access to nature reserves and countryside, these locations often provide excellent opportunities for butterfly sightings. Teach children to have keen eyes and perhaps take along a camera, smartphone or magnifying glass for a closer look. Encourage them to keep track of the butterflies they encounter by marking or ticking the corresponding species on their poster. Perhaps take note of the date and location of each sighting, so you can go back again if you find a busy butterfly spot.

Remember, though, that butterflies are incredibly fragile little individuals that are peacefully going about their business. So, teach your children to respect them and not to touch or attempt to catch them — encourage children to observe, appreciate and enjoy their unique beauty.

Why This Activity is Important

Butterflies and other pollinators have experienced a significant decline in the UK over recent years, highlighting the importance of encouraging children to appreciate and respect nature. According to studies, butterfly populations have declined by approximately 40% in the past four decades, with certain species facing an even more alarming decline. These statistics serve as a wake-up call that emphasises the urgent need to protect and restore habitats that support these beautiful creatures.

Children can be a part of that. Engaging children in nature not only benefits them directly, but it also nurtures their sense of wonder and curiosity. Importantly, though, it also instils in them a deep appreciation for the environment and its inhabitants. By embarking on butterfly-spotting adventures and immersing themselves in the natural world, children will develop a sense of empathy for other creatures. They will begin to understand the interconnectedness of ecosystems and recognise the importance of preserving habitats for the survival of butterflies and other wildlife. Let’s inspire a love for butterflies and the natural world and foster a generation that cherishes and safeguards the rich biodiversity that sustains us all.

Nature for Under-Fives at Little Acorns Nursery, Hindley Green

Little Acorns Nursery & Pre-School in Hindley Green, near Wigan, Bolton & ManchesterWe fully appreciate the importance and enormous benefits of introducing young children to nature at Little Acorns Nursery. Indeed, it’s one of the many reasons we’ve adopted the Hygge approach to early years childcare, and are introducing Forest School to the setting. So, if you would like your baby, toddler or preschooler to enjoy the very best childcare and early years education, register them for a childcare place at Little Acorns Nursery in Hindley Green, near Wigan. We’d be happy to show you around too, so you can see how well your child fits in. What’s more; we support free Government-funded childcare places for eligible families, so get in touch using an option below.

Little Acorns Nursery & Preschool is at Hindley Green, near Wigan, close to Bickershaw, Leigh, Atherton, Westhoughton, Ince-in-Makerfield, Platt Bridge, Tyldesley, Bolton and Greater Manchester.

The Benefits & Importance of Nature to Children in Early Childhood

The Benefits & Importance of Nature to Children in Early Childhood

Exposure to natural environments can have a profound impact on a child's physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development.As parents, we all want the best for our children. We strive to provide them with a nurturing and stimulating environment that supports their growth and development. However, in today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to overlook the importance of nature in our children’s lives.

Nature has long been recognised for its therapeutic and restorative effects on humans, and this is especially true for children in their early years. Exposure to natural environments can have a profound impact on a child’s physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development.

In this article today, we will explore the benefits of nature to children’s development, provide practical tips on how to incorporate nature into a child’s life and discuss the importance of nature education in early childhood. We hope to inspire parents and caregivers to embrace nature as a fundamental part of a child’s upbringing, and to recognise its immense value in shaping their future.

“Nature play in early childhood has been found to enhance the development of sensory, motor, and cognitive skills, as well as creativity and imagination.” (International Journal of Play)

The Benefits of Nature to Children’s Development

Nature and exposure to natural environments can have a significant and multifaceted range of benefits for children. This is particularly true when it’s introduced early in their lives, because research shows that early childhood is a critical period for brain development and learning. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the benefits that nature can bring to little ones.

There are many benefits of nature to children’s learning and development.

Improved Physical Health & Healthier Habits

Spending time in nature can promote physical activity and healthy habits, thereby reducing unhealthy sedentary behaviour and potentially even reducing the risk of obesity. Outdoor play and exploration can also help children to develop gross motor skills, coordination, balance, and agility. Exposure to natural light and fresh air is also known to boost the immune system and thereby help overall health.

Enhanced Cognitive Development

Nature can provide a rich sensory environment that stimulates the brain and enhances cognitive function. Studies show that exposure to natural settings has been shown to improve attention span, memory, and problem-solving skills as well as boost creativity, imagination, and curiosity. In addition, by learning about the natural world, children can develop a deeper understanding of science, maths, and other subjects.

Reduced Stress & Improved Emotional Well-Being

Spending time in natural environments can often reduce stress and anxiety in both children and adults. Nature provides a calming and soothing atmosphere that promotes a more positive mood. Self-esteem, confidence, and emotional regulation are also known to be improved by exposure to green spaces and natural settings.

Increased Creativity & Imagination

Outdoor exploration and discovery can foster a real sense of wonder and awe in children. The natural beauty and diversity of nature can also spark creativity and encourage artistic expression in children. Indeed, it can represent an endless source of inspiration for imaginative play.

Better Social Skills & Relationships

Nature is a wonderful setting for social interaction and play. It can provide many opportunities for children to learn new skills, including collaboration, cooperation, teamwork and communication. By encouraging critical thinking, outdoor activities also promote problem-solving skills. Exposure to nature can also improve empathy, compassion, and respect for others and the environment. It’s also a wonderful leveller.

Nature Education Fosters Environmental Awareness & Stewardship

By learning about the natural environment, children can develop a sense of environmental awareness and stewardship. This can encourage them to take action to protect the environment and promote sustainability.

“Exposure to nature has a restorative effect on cognitive function, particularly attention and memory. Children with ADHD have shown significant improvement in concentration after spending time in nature.” (Journal of Attention Disorders)

How to Incorporate Nature into Your Child’s Life

Integrating nature into your child’s life doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. There are many simple and practical ways to expose your child to the benefits of the natural world. Here are some ideas:

  • There are many simple and practical ways to expose your child to the benefits of the natural world.Make time for outdoor play — set aside regular time for outdoor play and exploration. This can include visits to local parks, nature reserves, or your own back garden.
  • Encourage outdoor activities — encourage your child to engage in outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, gardening, and camping (under suitable adult supervision, of course, especially when children are very young). Such activities can provide opportunities for physical activity, social interaction, and exposure to nature.
  • Take nature walks — go for walks with children in natural settings such as forests, beaches, or hills. Use this time to explore and learn about the natural environment and its wonderful inhabitants.
  • Plant a garden — planting a garden can provide a hands-on learning experience for children, as well as a sense of responsibility and accomplishment. It can also encourage healthy eating habits and an appreciation for nature’s beauty. If you have no garden, grow bags can be used on a patio, or pots can be used on balconies and windowsills.
  • Bring nature indoors — incorporate natural elements into your home, such as potted plants, natural materials like wood or stone, or even nature-themed murals and pictures. The Hygge lifestyle also embraces this approach, hence having adopted Hygge at Little Acorns Nursery.
  • Limit screen time — reduce the amount of time your child spends in front of electronic screens and encourage more outdoor activities and play, supervised as appropriate of course.
  • Get involved in nature-related organisations, clubs or groups — consider joining one of these or volunteering for environmental conservation or nature education projects. This can provide opportunities for your child to learn more about nature and develop a sense of environmental stewardship.

By incorporating nature into your child’s life in these and other ways, you can help them develop a lifelong love and appreciation for the natural world that will last a lifetime.

We hope that this article has inspired you to incorporate nature into your child’s life and consider the benefits of nature education in their early childhood.

“Nature exposure in early childhood is associated with multiple cognitive benefits including enhanced cognitive functioning, increased creativity, improved academic performance, and decreased attentional deficits.” (Frontiers in Psychology)

Our Approach to Nature Education at Little Acorns Nursery, Hindley Green

At Little Acorns Nursery, we believe in the importance of nature in children’s lives. So, we provide a rich and stimulating environment that includes plenty of opportunities for outdoor play and nature education. Our adoption of the Hygge lifestyle, extensive outdoor grounds with natural areas for children to explore, and plans to introduce Forest School in the future are all part of this. If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about our approach to education and how it embraces nature, please get in touch.

Weekday Nursery & Preschool Places in Hindley Green, near Wigan

Little Acorns Nursery & Pre-School in Hindley Green, near Wigan, Bolton & ManchesterLittle Acorns provides an exceptionally high standard of weekday childcare at our Hindley Green nursery and preschool, near Wigan. We support all Government childcare funding schemes, including free hours for eligible families. Do get in touch if you would like to register your child for a place, get a guided tour with your little one or if you have any questions.

Little Acorns Nursery & pre-school is located in Hindley Green, near Wigan, and may also be convenient to those in Bickershaw, Leigh, Atherton, Westhoughton, Ince-in-Makerfield, Platt Bridge, Tyldesley, Bolton and Greater Manchester.

The Benefits of Learning a Musical Instrument in the Early Years

The Benefits of Learning a Musical Instrument in the Early Years

Today, we look at the profound benefits of learning a musical instrument for young children.With free tutorials available on YouTube and inexpensive instruments available in charity shops, phone apps and online marketplaces, there has never been a better time for children to start learning a musical instrument. It’s something for every parent to consider because such a pastime will benefit their child in an incredible variety of ways. Not only will they learn a new skill that will stay with them for life, but their lives will be enriched in many additional ways too. So, today, we take a look at the often profound benefits of learning a musical instrument, especially for young children. We’ll start with the three most obvious benefits before coming to many others that may surprise you.

Playing Music is Great Fun

Firstly, let’s not forget the obvious: learning to play a musical instrument can be great fun. It’ll give children hours of entertainment and sensory enrichment. That’s a good enough reason to learn to play music all on its own!

More Opportunities

The ability to play music is also a skill that often stays with children for life. So, once they grow older, the skill may well lead to participation in bands, orchestras, theatrical performances or even a career in entertainment. Composers, stars of the screen, pop stars and theatrical entertainers all started somewhere. Indeed, many such careers will have roots in having learnt to play a musical instrument as a child.

Boosted Coordination & Fine Motor Skills

Playing notes, chords, rhythm and progressions will do wonders for a child's coordination and fine motor skills.Playing all these notes in a certain order, sometimes in isolation and at other times as chords and progressions, will do wonders for a child’s coordination and fine motor skills. Although perhaps tricky at first, with practice and ‘muscle memory’, children’s ability to master the playing of musical sequences, chords, melodies and rhythms will gradually become easier and easier. Before long, it’ll become second nature to them.

As well as those very obvious benefits to learning to play a musical instrument, children will benefit in other, perhaps less obvious, ways. We’ll take a look at those next.

Enhanced Maths Skills

Music, the structure of songs and rhythm are all rooted in mathematics. So, when learning to play music, children will give their brains a maths workout, ensuring that note length, tempo and rhythm all sound correct and combine correctly. It’s also a great way for children to learn real-world applications of things like fractions (for example, half notes, quarter notes, double note length and so on). At the same time, each musical bar usually remains the same length overall. There’s real-world addition in practice for you!

Enhanced Reading Skills

Learning to play music helps children improve reading and mathematics too.In a similar way, children who learn a musical instrument will usually, of course, also be learning to read printed music. While this comes in different forms, it all encourages children to concentrate on the reading process. Specifically, they’re learning to read from left to right, to analyse the printed music detail and to make sense of it. It’s another great workout for the brain, and we’ll say more about that next.

“…there is little doubt that regular exposure to music, and especially active participation in music, may stimulate development of many different areas of the brain. Takako Fujioka and her colleagues, for example, looking at children with a single year of violin training (compared to children with no training), recorded striking changes in activity in the brain’s left hemisphere. In terms of brain development, musical performance is every bit as important educationally as reading or writing.” (Oliver Sacks, Neurologist & Writer)

Boosted Cognitive Function

All this attention to detail, concentrated effort and intricate movement will also have a profound effect on the child’s developing brain. Reading and playing music is a complete, cognitive workout that’ll deeply exercise the brain, in particular boosting the development of the left side. This will spark the generation of millions of new neural connections, or ‘brain synapses’, which will permanently empower the child going forwards. With the left part of the brain also influencing skills like language and reasoning, these are also going to be boosted.

“Research shows that at least some musical education has a positive impact on [the] social and cognitive development of children. And these effects are long-lasting – better hearing, better motor skills, improved memory, better verbal and literacy skills.” (Alan Harvey, Musician and Neuroscientist)

A Boost for Social Skills

Collaboration instinctively comes from playing music, so it's a natural socialiser, bringing children of all ages together.Playing a musical instrument often goes hand-in-hand with collaboration. Whether it’s forming a band, taking part in a school orchestra, writing songs with friends or simply jamming out together, children of all ages will naturally play together given the opportunity. As such, it’s a natural socialiser and one that brings children of different ages together, with new friendships being formed through a common interest. That is a very healthy thing. It also teaches children a wide variety of social skills including communication (e.g. speaking and listening at appropriate times), collaboration, being mindful of the needs of others, waiting your turn and so on.

Creative Self-Expression

Playing a musical instrument is a wonderful outlet for children’s creativity. Give them just about any instrument and they’re sure to express themselves in some way. Their musical or rhythmic expression is also likely to vary depending upon the instrument being played, showing just how powerful a tool it is. Playing an instrument opens up all kinds of creative possibilities to children and they can experiment however they choose. It can also lift their mood or give them the means to express it. Creating music is hugely empowering.

Greater Self-Confidence

With abundant new skills and even new friendships forming because of their musical endeavours, children will naturally get a healthy boost of confidence. Praise and encouragement from adults and peers around them will naturally help boost their self-esteem too. That’s important, especially when they’re very young and unsure of themselves and their place in the world.

Improved Listening Skills

When children learn to play music on a musical instrument, they learn quickly the importance of listening intently at the right time. Through attentive listening, children will learn to compute and formulate the appropriate response to important information, instructions and requests. This is an essential skill and one that will benefit them at home, in nursery, preschool, at school and ultimately in the workplace. Indeed, knowing when to be quiet and listen is one of the key skills of any good consultant!

Enhanced Well-Being

Music is not only great fun but also a great antidote to stress and anxiety.Music itself is also a great antidote to stress and other emotions. Giving children the tools to appreciate music — and even involve themselves in it — will help with their mental well-being as it can calm them when they’re stressed, relax them when they’re tired or even give them an energy boost when they need to get active. Ask any runner! All they need is the right piece of music and half the mental battle is already complete.

Insights into Different Cultures

Music is the common language of the whole world and, as such, is a great bridge between different cultures. Hearing and playing different types of music, from different cultures, countries and even eras will give children an insight into those other people, places and beliefs. Different music genres (rock, blues, pop, etc.) will also be something they’ll find interesting as they grow older, teaching them even more about their own country. For example, the music history of Britain has been hugely influential over the fashion and culture of the nation and this influence is integral to our identity in the world — amazing when you think about it.

The Teaching of Life Lessons

Through learning to play a musical instrument, children learn so many important life lessons; the importance of persistence, for example, and the value of trial and error. Children learn about teamwork, leadership, critical thinking, collaboration and so much more. The following quotation brings the value of this into perspective:

“The things I learned from my experience in music in school are discipline, perseverance, dependability, composure, courage and pride in results… Not a bad preparation for the workforce!” (Gregory Anrig, President, Educational Testing Service)

It Supports Children’s Education

With all of the above benefits, learning to play a musical instrument is clearly going to help many areas of children’s education. For the youngest, all 7 key areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum will be supported through musical endeavours. For example, it’ll help boost creativity, communication, language, reading, maths, social development, personal development, physical coordination and so much more. This can only stand them in good stead as they progress from nursery, through preschool, into school and beyond. It’s amazing when you take a closer look like we have done today.

Starting Children Young

With so many benefits, it's worthwhile for children to start learning a musical instrument as young as possible.With all these benefits, it’s highly worthwhile for children to start learning a musical instrument as young as possible. It’s easy to start them, for example with simple instruments like drums, triangles, and tambourines initially. With these simple instruments, very young children can learn to keep time to music or a beat a rhythm demonstrated by adults. They can then progress to more advanced instruments such as recorders, keyboards, and stringed instruments. They have to start somewhere, though, but it’s never too early to start! Mozart was just 3 when he began to learn piano playing. By 5 he had composed a whole concerto! Who knows; perhaps your child could be a star in the making!

Your Nursery & Preschool in Hindley Green, near Wigan

Little Acorns Nursery & Pre-School in Hindley Green, near Wigan, Bolton & ManchesterIf you have a child under five and require weekday childcare in the Hindley Green area near Wigan, do consider Little Acorns Nursery. We give babies and under-fives the very best start in life. At Little Acorns, they’ll receive a wonderful early years education and a personalised learning and development programme that includes sensory and creative activities through music and rhythm. It’s a wonderful, safe, loving, home-from-home environment for little ones too. We also support a wide range of childcare funding options for those that are eligible. Get in touch to register your child for a place, arrange a guided tour or simply ask a question. We’ll be happy to assist.

Little Acorns is a wonderful nursery & preschool in Hindley Green near Wigan. We’re also suitably close to those in Bickershaw, Leigh, Atherton, Westhoughton, Ince-in-Makerfield, Platt Bridge, Tyldesley, Bolton and Greater Manchester.

Why Send Your Child to Nursery & Pre-School?

Little Acorns Nursery is far more than just a crèche, playgroup or a group of nannies or childminders.Some may be surprised to learn that nurseries/pre-schools like Little Acorns are not simply “childcare services”. We’re way more than just a crèche, playgroup or a group of nannies or childminders. In reality, our services extend way beyond simply looking after children while parents go to work, although of course we do that too. The truth is that we benefit little ones and their families in a whole range of additional, often profound, ways and that’s what we look at today.

So, if you’re not sure whether to send your baby, toddler or under-five to nursery/pre-school, or whether to send them to Little Acorns rather than somewhere else, do read on. Your choice for your little one’s childcare setting is incredibly important, for your child’s short-, medium- and long-term outcomes. The choice therefore needs to be right. Let’s set the record straight today and clarify some of the many benefits offered through childcare settings like Little Acorns Nursery, Hindley Green.

A Key Person for Your Child

The Key Person is a childcare professional that will look out for the child's wellbeing in all manner of different ways.First of all, a Key Person will be allocated to your child on Day 1 when they start at the nursery. The Key Person is a childcare professional that will look out for the child’s wellbeing in all manner of different ways. One of the most important is in the monitoring of the little one’s progress in terms of learning and development. From the day they help to settle the child into the nursery to the day they leave for school, the child’s Key Person will be there to ensure that all the child’s individual needs are being met and that they are fulfilling their fullest potential in every area. Part of that will be the oversight of the bespoke early years education programme, which we’ll come to next.

A Bespoke Early Years Education Programme for Each Child

A bespoke early years learning and development programme is tailored to suit the strengths and any challenges for each individual child.At Little Acorns Nursery, a bespoke early years learning and development programme will be designed and implemented to suit the strengths and any challenges for each individual child. This is orchestrated by the child’s Key Person and nursery staff and, where needed, through cooperation with any external professionals, e.g. for children that have any special educational or developmental needs. The learning and development programme is tailored to them and them only. Using this approach bolsters the child’s stronger areas, so they can be further strengthened, and addresses any weaker areas that may require extra focus. It is also adapted as time goes by, as progress is made by the child. In this way, every child gets to achieve personal bests and optimal outcomes in every area of their learning and development.

Our Full EYFS Curriculum, Covers, Well … Everything!

There is a whole early years education curriculum at Little Acorns Nursery. As we said before, we’re not just looking after them — we’re educating and nurturing children too. And what a comprehensive education it is! We use the ‘Early Years Foundation Stage’ (EYFS) framework as a basis for our curriculum (and much more). What that basically means is that all the important areas of learning and personal development are covered so that every child gets a good grounding in all topics and areas. It’s rather like setting up good foundations for them, both educationally and personally. The key areas covered include overall literacy, communication and language, physical development, personal, social and even emotional development, maths, self-expression through art and design, and understanding the world. As you can see, it covers everything they need to absolutely thrive as individuals.

We Prepare Children to Flourish When They Begin at School

A good early years education gives children all the tools needed to absolutely thrive once they start school.All of this nurturing, education and facilitation of their personal development does one other crucial thing too; it sets them up well for when they leave us around the age of five to start at primary school. By giving them the skills and tools they will need in every area, they are in a better position to absolutely thrive once they start school, right from day one. Indeed, many studies have shown that children who receive a good early years education go on to be higher achievers both at school and in their working lives. That’s gold dust, right there. Let’s take a closer look …

The Many Benefits That a Good Early Education Brings

Studies over the years have highlighted many profoundly important benefits that a good early years education will bring to both children and their families. In fact, even society as a whole has been shown to benefit. Just a few examples of the benefits of a good early years education include:

  • An greater number of GCSEs later attained by the child.
  • Improved exam grades, including in those all-important GCSEs.
  • Improved academic results in the crucial topics of maths and English.
  • An improvement in children’s behaviour.
  • A greater ability to appropriately self-regulate.
  • The nurturing of better, deeper friendships and relationships.
  • A reduced propensity for hyperactivity.
  • Improved likelihood of further learning via higher education courses.
  • Many benefits continuing into adulthood, including statistically higher incomes than those who didn’t receive a good early years education.
  • A more level playing field for disadvantaged children.
  • For society, studies have indicated lower levels of crime, prison rates, poverty, depression, child neglect and even substance abuse for children who received a good education in their early years. That is remarkable when you think about it.

Our sister nursery in Clayton-le-Woods, Chorley, Lancashire has more details about the various studies into the benefits of a good early years education, and their incredible findings.

All the Benefits of ‘Forest School’

One of the exciting things we have planned for Little Acorns Nursery in Hindley Green is the introduction of our own Forest School.One of the exciting things we have planned for Little Acorns Nursery in Hindley Green is the introduction soon of our own Forest School. Once up and running, it’ll give our nursery and pre-school children unparalleled access to nature and the natural world. They’ll be able to learn and benefit from nature in an incredible array of ways (and that’s important). So, watch this space for more details in due course.

A Homely ‘Hygge’ Environment

‘Hygge’ is another exciting initiative happening at Little Acorns Nursery in Hindley Green.‘Hygge’, pronounced ‘Hue-gah’, is another exciting initiative happening at Little Acorns Nursery in Hindley Green. If you’ve not heard of it, rest assured that it’s something that children will absolutely love and will benefit them in many ways. It’s also something that we’ll be pioneering in the area, so you may not find it in other nurseries and pre-schools around Wigan right now.

Hygge is a little bit like a lifestyle and will make the nursery and pre-school even more like a cosy home-from-home once fully implemented. It has been described as ‘a hug, except without the physical touch’ and involves warmth, cosiness and homeliness through the use of things like soft furnishings, cushions, rugs and music. It can also involve scents and often ‘mood’ lighting along with snug nooks for children to play or study in. There is also a focus on nature, natural materials, calmness and friendliness. Learn more about Hygge and its positive effects here.

A Purpose for Everything at the Nursery

Everything at Little Acorns Nursery is there for a reason and has been carefully pre-planned and implemented with utmost care.Everything at Little Acorns Nursery is there for a reason. It’s all been carefully brainstormed, pre-planned and implemented with utmost care. Whether it’s the introduction of Hygge, the opening of our Forest School, the addition of a new piece of equipment or the purchasing of a specific toy or learning device, everything at Little Acorns has a purpose and is there to benefit the children.

Outstanding Leadership

At Little Acorns Nursery in Hindley Green we, and the children we look after, are fortunate to have an outstanding management team and nursery owners. They’re perfectly adept at delivering outstanding levels of childcare provision and are professional in every sense. Having already achieved a National award and ‘outstanding’ Ofsted status at our sister nursery in Chorley, we look forward to welcoming Ofsted inspectors when the time comes for them to make their first visit to Little Acorns in Hindley Green.

What Other Parents Say

Parents of children at Little Acorns Nursery give us wonderful feedback about the childcare provision at the setting.Parents of children at Little Acorns Nursery also give us great feedback about the wonderful childcare provision at the setting. Browse the site for full examples of parent feedback received (it’s scattered around the site) but, to give you a taster, comments include, “My girls absolutely adore this nursery but most of all they adore the staff”, “thank-you for the bottom of my heart for what you have done for my girls”, “I couldn’t recommend this nursery enough, they care and love the children like their own and I couldn’t of ever felt more comfortable leaving my children with a nicer set of girls.”, “I would not hesitate to recommend this nursery to anyone!”, “You should all be very proud of the work you do. It really means so much to us every time we see those small steps forward and we appreciate it.”, and “If I ever had any more children, without a doubt they will be coming to this nursery even if I moved 500 miles away!”.

Still Not Sure? Come and Visit!

Little Acorns Nursery & Pre-School in Hindley Green, near Wigan, Bolton & ManchesterIf you’re still not convinced, why not come along with your baby or child and see the nursery in action for yourself. You can either book in for a specific date and time, or simply turn up during our working hours (we just ask that you please avoid the busy drop-off and pick-up times). We’ll give you a guided tour and you can see the setting running on a normal nursery day — and see how well your little one fits in. We can also arrange settling-in sessions should you decide you’d like to enrol your child and would like to help them ease in gently. Please arrange a guided visit below, ask any questions or register your child for a place using any of the buttons below. We’ll be happy to help and also offer a variety of childcare funding options for eligible families.

Little Acorns is a high quality nursery & pre-school in Hindley Green, near Wigan, Bickershaw, Leigh, Atherton, Westhoughton, Ince-in-Makerfield, Platt Bridge, Tyldesley, Bolton and Greater Manchester.