Aims, Values & Principles Policy

'Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their true potential. Children develop quickly in the early ears and a child's experiences between birth and five have a major impact on their future life' (EYFS, 2021)

At Footsteps our aims & objectives are to create & maintain a stimulating & caring environment for all the children who attend. Following the Early Years Foundation Stage to make sure all children receive a play based approach through both adult led and child initiated activities. We want to create a caring, fun, safe, educational & nurturing environment supporting any special educational needs. We embrace the four themes of the EYFS. This is how we make it come alive at Footsteps.

A Unique Child

  • Making all visitors to the nursery feel welcome regardless of gender, race, religion, colour, creed, disability, special educational needs, language, family structure, ethnic or national origin, marital status, sexuality or political beliefs.
  • We challenge any remarks or behaviour which is deemed discriminatory or oppressive. We have an equalities rep and an assistant who have attended appropriate training. They ensure we have resources and activities to reflect the diverse community we live in. Such as celebrating relevant festivals or borrowing resources to reflect the children in our care. Please refer to our Valuing Diversity & Promoting Equality policy.
  • We ensure that children are safe and secure with daily risk assessments, regular fire drills, staff training and good maintenance of both the building & the equipment. Please refer to our H & S policy.
  • We take the safeguarding of children very seriously. We ensure that all staff receive child protection training which is updated every 2 years. All staff are DBS and reference checked. We have a safeguarding officer and an assistant who have received the advanced training. We hold a staff meeting around safeguarding at least once a year. We also have an intimate care policy, nappy changing risk assessment, whistle blowing & Prevent Duty policies. Please refer to our Safeguarding policy.
  • We ensure that we monitor children’s development and well being by regularly observing children to feed into the curriculum plans or to go into the children's on-line learning journals. Please see our Observation, Assessment & Planning policy (OAP) & Tapestry policies
  • We work closely with the Brighton & Hove Inclusion Support Service (BHISS) and we can, after discussion with the parents, refer children to this service for extra support if needed. We have a special educational needs coordinator and an assistant who have attended appropriate training. Please refer to our SEND policy. We follow the SEND Code Of Practice 2014.
  • We work closely with the Ethnic Minority Achievement Service (EMAS) to support any children with English as an additional language (EAL)

Positive relationships

  • Excellent staff recruitment & ongoing training for all staff, to ensure high child-staff ratios and low staff turnover. Through regular staff meetings, supervision & appraisal. Supporting staff to achieve higher qualifications. We have 1 Early Years Professional (EYP) who leads practice in the setting. Please refer to our Recruitment policy
  • Strong upheld policies & procedures following the safeguarding & welfare requirements of the EYFS, these will be reviewed annually by parents, staff & where appropriate, children.
  • Treating parents as partners by sending home regular newsletters and holding regular social events, formal parent days and helper slots. Please refer to our Parents as Partner’s policy.
  • We have a key person system in place. This person builds bonds with a child & their family through settling sessions and observing and planning for that child. Please refer to our Key Person policy.
  • Supporting the future childcare industry by supporting students, volunteers & work experience students.
  • The adults in the setting speak to each other with respect acting as good role models for the children
  • We have developed a range of home learning resources for the children to engage with in their home learning environment.

Enabling Environments

  • We plan for the 3 Prime & 4 Specific areas of learning in both the indoor & outdoor learning environments. Practitioners use their observations & knowledge of the children to plan exciting and stimulating activities. All activities are differentiated to help those more & less able. Please refer to our Play & Learning policies.
  • The key person spends time with the child and updates planning on a daily basis to support each child’s learning & development.
  • All observations are sent home via Tapestry include home learning ideas.
  • We send home regular curriculum newsletters outlining upcoming projects, visits & visitors. They also provide parents with song words, activities & ideas to help parents support their child’s learning at home.
  • We make good links with other local settings. We attend network meetings.
  • We support children who attend other settings by making a visit each term and sharing the termly update forms.
  • We follow Government frameworks ‘Development Matters' and 'Birth to Five Matters’ and we are registered for both the Early Years Free Entitlement and the funded 2 year old scheme. We also offer the 30 hours entitlement.
  • we send home a 'home interest sheet' each term. These help us to make links in the children's learning between home & nursery. We use them to plan meaningful & exciting activities and experiences.

Learning & development

  • We provide well maintained, age appropriate toys & resources. These are sterilised on a rolling 4 week rota. We also borrow from the Early Childhood Project, local libraries, toy libraries and EMAS
  • We use a secure on-line system called Tapestry for recording children's development. This can be shared immediately with the parent, and parents can be involved in the process. Please refer to the Tapestry policy.
  • We monitor progress by individual children.
  • We have a number of books / home learning resources that can be borrowed by parents to support their children’s learning at home.
  • Practitioners have attended training on promoting positive behaviour across the ages in the setting. Please refer to our Behaviour Management policy.
  • We have regular visitors to the nursery to enhance the children’s learning. These include the Fire Service and St John’s Ambulance.
  • We take the children on local outings to enhance their learning. We have visited the Booth Museum, Toy Museum, Pizza Express & Bear factory. We also take children every year on an educational outing out of the area.
  • We have treasure baskets full of natural materials for the children to explore.
  • We monitor both how children are doing developmentally but also how the group as a whole are getting on in the EYFS and plan for gaps.
  • To ensure all the children reach their full potential we monitor venerable groups and put support into place if needed.
  • We take part in the book start rhyme challenge.
  • We worked with movement charity Jabadao to create indoor movement areas on each floor of the nursery.
  • We have created story sacks for each age group in the nursery.
  • We support and plan for the areas of learning both with adult led and child initiated activities both in the indoor and outdoor environments.
  • We monitor the use of EYPP money to support individuals progress.