Daisy Chain Crawley
We create a home-from-home environment which is stimulating, friendly and safe. Rooms and areas are segmented by age group and as the children get older, we begin to introduce new concepts and apparatus as they transition from one area to another. These include having specific areas, such as ‘role play’ area, a ‘sensory room’ and a ‘creative’ area.
Inspiration, Support and Encouragement
We make sure the children are continually engaged with our highly trained team who introduce activities that stimulate exploration and learning for each child’s individual developmental stage. When we think they are ready for a move, we will discuss this with you and plan a range of visits to help your child settle into their new room.
At all stages we encourage the children’s independence and self-choice. This can be seen from how the equipment is accessed, to being able to self-serve during meals.
Flexibility is very important to ensure your child has the best day possible and whilst integration is important, we are very happy to work with you and any existing routine you might have. As your child grows, they will progress through a variety of gently changing environments suited to their age and needs, with the aim of preparing them for a stress-free progression into formal education. The children are split into three main age groups:
Snowdrops and Buttercups
(from 3 months to 18 months)
The babies are offered a range of sensory equipment aimed at stimulating their curiosity and interest. The activities are changed frequently during the day as we truly believe that busy babies are happy babies. We also have a milk kitchen with all the equipment for your children.
A Typical Day for Snowdrops and Buttercups
We believe it’s important to structure the day around the needs and existing routines of your child. Each day they will be offered a range of activities, including outdoor play, creative activities, story and song times, and access to a range of equipment for them to explore. The timing of these activities is never set, because it is in direct response to how the children are on each day and what they are interested in.
The children have a separate area to sleep and we promote meal times as an opportunity for quality time with each other and the adults.
(from 18 months to 39 months)
Poppies have 4 exciting play areas available to them, used flexibly throughout the day. The sensory room offers a space to excite and stimulate the children’s senses and expressive skills. The creative room and garden allow the children to explore a range of different equipment using their natural curiosity and interest in the world around them. We aim for the equipment to be authentic, so include fresh food in the role play area and pots and pans in the outdoor mud kitchen.
(from 39 months to school age)
The Daisy room is a large, open planned play area that enables the children to move around freely. It is laid out in different ‘learning areas’ such as the creative area and role play area, encouraging the children to be focussed on their learning. They also enjoy additional spaces in the outdoor classroom, sensory room, and art studio. Children are encouraged to become independent and are learning essential skills in readiness for school.
A Typical Day for Poppies and Daisies
The only routines that are ‘set’ are the 12.00 midday meal, and 4.00pm tea. Everything else is completely flexible to allow your child to access things at a time most appropriate to them. The room is laid out in learning areas, such as the creative area; role play area; construction and small world area and outdoor classroom. We also have access to a separate art studio and sensory room for the children to expand their experiences and develop creative skills.
The children have small group times with their key-person, enjoying various activities including stories and songs, ‘show and tell’ which are all planned to suit the individual children in the group at that time. The children are encouraged to be independent, whether that be from taking themselves to the toilet area, serving themselves with their snack, or making their own choices as to what they would like to be enjoying.
Learning Through Play
All children are individual and progress at their own pace. For this reason, the Daisy Chain environment includes a range of equipment and activities that may be interesting to the children. We tend to plan activities in direct response to what we observe the children doing. Some children require extra help in some areas of their development and we work closely with parents to ensure we are doing the best for your child. The environment and progression through the rooms allows the children to develop their skills in readiness for school.
At Daisy Chain we are passionate about providing exciting outdoor play areas that are freely accessible to the children. We aim for children to gain skills by hands-on experiences, so these include a wide range of equipment in the outdoor space such as the climbing equipment, bug hotel, mud kitchens, and spare parts area. The children are able to have free-flow into the outdoor areas to allow them to make the choice of when they want to go outside. This will include experiencing all weathers as the learning opportunities of puddle jumping and breaking ice are endless!
Our indoor space is organised to offer the children a wide range of different activities and learning opportunities. We aim for the learning to be hands-on, so children are fully engrossed in their learning and able to make choices about what they do during the day. Staff observe the children’s learning and plan to extend this on the basis of ‘in the moment planning’ so that we capture the children’s interests. We use a lot of ‘natural’ materials, such as real food in the role play area, pots and pans in the mud kitchen and we aim to inspire children with interesting mixes of artistic and creative materials and sensory equipment for the children to enjoy.