Nursery World Awards 15: Initiatives - Provision for two-year-olds

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Winner - Kidspiration Childcare & Education, Leeds

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Established in January 2014, Kidspiration provides sessional care to children aged two to three, including those eligible for the two-year-old offer.

Rated outstanding by Ofsted, it is the only private provider in Leeds to solely offer two-year-old provision within the grounds of a primary school. Kidspiration is located on the same site as Cobden Primary School in Farnley, an area with high pockets of deprivation – last term 45 per cent of children attending Kidspiration had been, or were known to social care.

The nursery offers up to 22 places each for the morning and afternoon sessions. The setting is operating at 100 per cent occupancy with 47 children on roll. A large number of children claim the free entitlement. The setting has a waiting list in place for the next two years.

Practitioners at Kidspiration are highly qualified, skilled and knowledgeable. They all have a sound understanding of how two-year-olds learn and develop. Of the nursery’s eight staff, two, including Kidspiration’s owner, hold degrees and have achieved Early Years Professional Status. A further three have a foundation degree.

Staff spend a significant amount of time settling children in and getting to know parents, including visiting families in their homes prior to their children starting at the setting. During the home visit, they carry out a baseline assessment of learning and development, while parents are encouraged to ask any questions. 

The nursery prides itself on helping children make good progress. The majority of children who attend Kidspiration are achieving lower than expected for their age group. This means intervention needs to be immediate and timely in some cases, says owner Rebecca Elliott.

The nursery carries out thorough progress checks and every month, a health visiting team from a local medical centre visit. Children who may need a little bit of extra support with speech and language are identified by staff using a traffic light system and then given additional support at home. This approach has reduced the number of speech and language referrals made by the nursery.

Kidspiration also works closely with the local children’s centre, sharing information and ensuring children are kept safe, something the setting has been praised for by Social Care.
Kidspiration’s owner Rebecca Elliott is now sharing her experience and expertise with
others in the sector. She was recently invited by the local authority to sit on its steering group for two-year-olds, and has delivered presentations at seminars across Leeds to other providers.

The nursery was also asked by Leeds City Council and the Children and Families Trust to take part in a DVD called Being Me, Being Two.

Finalists

Hungry Caterpillar Day Nurseries,
Yeading
Swineshead Pre-School,
Lincolnshire

Criterion
Open to early years settings, schools and childminders offering funded places for two-year-olds under the Government’s programme

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