Stanmore Nursery Scheme breaks £2million mark


BOLTON-BASED Stanmore Insurance Brokers are celebrating after breaking the £2million mark in premiums for their specialist nursery insurance scheme dot2dot.

The firm launched the enterprise back in 2003 to provide comprehensive cover and bespoke packages to the childcare sector.

Since then dot2dot has grown into one of the UK’s leading insurers for the sector covering 70,000 children in more than 1,700 nurseries throughout the UK and protecting in excess of£1.7bn in assets.

Healthy eating starts with you – how to be a positive food role model for your child

One of the biggest challenges many parents face is having a picky eater in the family. Many children become fussy with food around the age of 18-24 months, often forming the start of a long term battle for many parents.

The Government recommends that all children eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, but research suggests that only 1 in 5 children achieve this - with many pre-schoolers often having days where they eat no fruit or vegetables at all. In contrast, the average child consumes more than three times the maximum amount of processed sugar recommended.

6 Exciting Games To Play In Your Sandtable


Sand is an incredibly versatile substance. It can be manipulated into almost any form, making it ideal for use in outdoor play. If your nursery has a sandtable, then it’s important that each activity is planned with a learning objective. With so much potential for fun and sensory stimulation, introducing games that get your child thinking and creating will significantly improve their development.

Since trips to the beach are both unpredictable and uncontrollable, sand play can be the next best thing. Finding time to include some of these activities in your children’s playtime will help them get to grips with a tactile material, without the unexpected incidents of the great outdoors.

5 Playground Games To Inspire Your Little Olympians

The Olympics are just around the corner and Rio is set to unveil one of the biggest playgrounds in the world. With so much activity and athleticism on display, now could be the opportune time to inspire your own Olympic-themed outdoor games.

Even without the resources on offer in Brazil, nurseries can still use the occasion to encourage physical and motor skill development in early-years learners. Children will hop, skip and jump at the chance to recreate their favourite Olympic moments.

The benefits of men in childcare

In many ways, we are living in an enlightened age. Diversity and equality are taken seriously and enshrined in law, and women are able to aspire to careers and opportunities that they just wouldn’t have had a hundred years ago. But even in our progressive times, male childcare professionals are a rare sight, accounting for just 2% of the workforce. And this is a shame, because there are solid, valuable benefits to be gained by recruiting more male workers into the early years sector. Here are four ways in which introducing more men into childcare roles would bring positive results for children, parents and childcare professionals alike.

Male role models

Improving school-to-home communications with Apps Central’s Day Nursery App

Lisa Bennet, managing director of the four Cherrytrees Nurseries sites in Scotland, explains the nursery-to-parent communications challenges they faced and how Apps Central’s Day Nursery App improved engagement.

About the Nurseries

Cherrytrees Nurseries was formed in 2000, with its first nursery in Melrose in the Scottish Borders. Three more followed, in Dunbar, Edinburgh and Hawick. These four geographically diverse sites currently provide childcare to over 700 children.

Cherrytrees Nurseries have been awarded either ‘Good’ or ‘Very Good’ in their latest Care Inspectorate reports.

The Benefits Of Musical Play In Your Nursery Playground

Music is always present in one form or another throughout our lives. Even as babies, we’re influenced by the music our parents choose to play at home. Music also promotes self-expression and can be an incredible tool for learning. For toddlers and preschoolers, it can be the perfect accompaniment to active play and has many uses both inside and outside the classroom.

The Wonders Of Water Play

Not only is water an abundant natural resource, it is also a great resource for learning too. Although it may seem like all that splashing around is for nothing, there are a lot of valuable lessons that young children can learn from quality water play. Introducing water tables to your nursery can help children develop much needed motor and cognitive skills in a fun and changing environment.

Developing Problem Solving Skills Through Experimentation

Bringing Literacy To Life In The Playground

Sometimes children need a little extra stimulation to get them thinking and responding. Whilst classrooms can be great spaces for quiet, concentrated learning, they don’t offer the same opportunities as the outdoors. Taking lessons outside not only allows children to let off steam, but also encourages them to be more engaged in their learning.

Communication and Literacy are subjects that many young children find difficult to grasp at first because the idea of words and sentences is completely foreign to them. Rather than sitting them down in front of a book and hoping for the best, children can benefit from games and activities which allow them to actively engage with the material.

The Importance of First Aid Training in Early Years

Training Manager Fay Gibbin at Busy Bees Training, part of the Busy Bees nursery group, currently oversees over 700 childcare, management and catering apprenticeships as well as 20 short courses delivered at each of the 12 venues throughout the country. Here, Fay offers her views on the importance of Paediatric First Aid training and how the childcare sector needs to champion an increase in qualified first aid practitioners.

Every childcare professional feels the weight of responsibility on their shoulders. After all, they have been entrusted with a parent’s most precious possession; their child. While a child is in their care, they are responsible for not only their day-to-day welfare and development, but more vitally, their safety.

4 Ways Building Dens Can Encourage Child Development

Outdoor play can benefit children of all ages and no activity is more beneficial (or quite as much fun) as building dens. The creative and cognitive juice that goes into putting together a den is often more profitable than simply copying letters from a whiteboard. When children participate in this activity, they are not only building dens, but they are also building the key skills they need for growing up.


Creativity And Problem Solving

The Best Outdoor Equipment For Imaginative Play

Playing outdoors is not just about keeping kids active. Many vital social and emotional skills can be learnt through creative and imaginative exercises. The outdoors is great for this purpose, because it provides children with a ready-made world to explore together. By engaging their imaginations, children can discover more about the world around them, solving problems with creative thought and building relationships through social mimicry.

Introducing equipment and activities that encourage this kind of play can enrich your pupil’s development. There are many types of imaginative play, but the following tend to make the most of your outdoor area.

Vinnie’s Story

Within weeks of Vinnie being born and diagnosed with Peter’s Plus Syndrome, Vinnie’s family knew that they would need specialist help for his eye condition and additional complex needs, so his grandmother got in touch with Blind Children UK.

Wendy Sainsbury, the charity’s Family Support Manager, came to the rescue and, in the words of the family, became their “Fairy Godmother”, making light of the mass of information that Vinnie’s mother, Megan, had to deal with.

Creating an Outdoor Environment for Unstructured Play

There is far more to play time than well-known ball games and carefully thought-out rules. In order to truly get the most out of their play, children need time to think and learn for themselves.

Unstructured play has an important role in a child’s life, because it allows them to experiment and grow independently. Setting up an environment that enables a child to explore and create, without external influences or pressures, can be extremely beneficial to their development.

Bush hog tails book

I am very passionate and dedicated in trying to raise as much awareness as I can.  Along with helping animals I also really want to inspire as many children to enjoy reading books as I possibly can and to understand the importance of looking after our wildlife

It had always been my dream to write a book. Finally years later I achieved my dream. I focus on using my spare time to create stories that involve magic and adventure. A little creature that more and more people are falling in love with is raising awareness for other real life wildlife and encouraging reading.