Snapdragons Nurseries, which has two settings in the city of Bath and four in Wiltshire, has invested in Apple iPads for its threeand four-year-olds. Five of the high-tech devices have been provided for three nurseries and the chain plans to have iPads in all of its settings by the summer.
To protect the iPad screens, the chain has also bought sturdy plastic reinforced cases.
James Collard, manager of Snapdragons nursery in Weston, Bath, said, 'Many of the children have access to touchscreen devices at home already and therefore have the skills needed to make the most of the iPads.
'We have introduced the iPads because they are so child-friendly and easy to use. The touchscreen technology is ideal for young children's hands and the small size and portability make them perfect for sharing and using in different areas of the nursery. The parents are very impressed by it and they are amazed at how quickly the children learn to use them. The children have had great fun communicating with each other between rooms and other nurseries in the group using FaceTime video chat.'
Mr Collard said he thinks the potential and possibilities for using ICT in the Early Years Foundation Stage are extremely exciting.
Snapdragons has selected apps for the iPads to encourage a broad and balanced range of skills, including learning the basics about letters, numbers, shapes and colours, as well as drawing and even composing music.
'At Snapdragons we encourage children to enjoy learning from their interactions with resources drawn from as many sources as possible in both the natural and man-made environment,' he said.