However unlikely it may seem to be, we’re suddenly in August drawing the year to a close! Although I usually leave the blogging to others, I’ve decided to proffer this in addition.
Firstly, I’d like to start by congratulating our four fantastic settings and their Managers on what has been an amazing first year to our new and improved Company. We’ve seen an abundance of visitors into nursery, trips out for the children, workshops which lots of our current families will have participated in and enriching extra-curricular events such as Zoolab, Mini Movez and pottery painting. We’ve introduced our Facebook pages which have had a brilliant reception across the board, particularly in terms of keeping parents informed of upcoming occasions and being able to see photos in a timelier fashion. We’ve also, obviously, released our new website with this blog feature!
A year ago, the owner made the decision to employ me as an Area Manager – I am the person who monitors progress in all our branches and provides support to the Managers in all areas of administration, staffing and the general running of the settings. Together, we then decided to employ an overarching Special Educational Needs Coordinator to support the many children we cater for with additional needs – we found Clare Hough who slotted in so perfectly and is now considered invaluable. Next on the agenda in our bid to boost our quality was to find a Quality Practice Manager to spend time in each of the branches evaluating the environments we have on offer and the practice of our staff – Anna Cam came onboard and superseded our hopes and expectations. She does all of what we wanted as well as supporting staff with feedback, targets and tailored training, making her priceless.
We’ve presented a multitude of enriching aspects to how we run our settings over the year – the majority of parents now take advantage of being able to pay their monthly fees by BACS transfer; a termly newsletter is now sent out keeping the information streamlined, more relevant and up to date; ‘Fresh Fruit Friday’ is on offer in each branch on the last Friday of each month providing a tasty, free snack and a great opportunity to model healthy eating choices; a lending library is in operation in each of our settings encouraging children and parents to share literary opportunities together at home; the nursery menus had a huge overhaul which gave the children the chance to experiment with lots of new and exciting dishes that all take into account the recommended nutritional values and portion sizes; we’ve extended our opening hours to 7am-7pm Mon-Fri assisting greatly with many of our working families’ needs; last but by no means least, we’ve undertaken an enormous amount of maintenance and improvements across all four of our branches to ensure the environment is kept to a high standard for each and every one of the children we care for.
There’s been a definite move towards striving for quality and, in that vein, we’ve been making conscious efforts to let our staff know just how valued they are. We’ve introduced Room Coordinators to enable people who’d like to progress in their career with us; several staff incentives to boost morale and keep motivation high have been introduced; and an amazing Christmas celebration which ended 2017 beautifully. Perhaps best of all, July saw the EYCE staff team embark on a ‘seaside jolly’ to Scarborough for the day! The trip was a treat from the owner to thank us all for an extremely successful year and to celebrate a year of the newly branded Company. It was a really lovely day with gorgeous sunshine, beautiful scenery and a relaxing boat trip, all perfectly topped off with an amazing fish and chip lunch!
As I look forward to the new academic year, and more success for Early Years Care and Education Ltd, I’d like to say a huge thank you to all our wonderful employees and to all our existing families for their continued support.
Lisa Mapley – Area Manager