Spotlight on...Elena McKay and Rachel Munroe-Peebles

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Co-creators of Fount Nursery, part of the Westgate Street community in East London


Elena McKay and Rachel Munroe-Peebles

What inspired you to open Fount Nursery?

We wanted to create something urban, cool and bespoke, and knew with a mix of psychology and interior design we could create something very unique for parents who live locally. Our space is designed to positively influence all areas of children’s development: physical, social, emotional and cognitive.

How would you describe the environment?

It’s a mix of neutral colours, antique objects, retro clothes and toys for the children to enjoy – it’s an adult’s world in mini, just for them! An art environment where the children create the art, filling the coloramas, art walls and vintage frames throughout the nursery. There are plenty of drawings and paintings that the children have done themselves and these are proudly presented on our walls, showing how their creativity is valued. They also love dressing up in vintage outfits, like becoming a princess in our vintage Victorian robe. There’s also a calming/relaxation area – the environment is so important because it creates the basis of the day; we don’t do plastic and we don’t do bright colours.

What else makes the setting unique?

We also work with Artburst, which integrates drama, music and movement, leading interactive storytelling, parachute games and art on our huge black-and-white coloramas. The programme develops confidence and a passion for literature. Our award-winning outside garden is a natural wood environment made by Cool Canvas, and we also make daily visits to our local park, London Fields. We work with Tatty Bumpkin, which provides yoga-inspired classes for babies and children.

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