With a simple but focused goal of providing outstanding childcare in a loving and nurturing environment, Juice is owned and run by parents, Mike & Sarah Leary, together with Nursery Manager, Lesley Wilson.
Celebrating our 10th anniversary this year, Juice has gone from strength to strength since our doors opened in September 2007, however our goal and ethos steadfastly remains the same - that Juice MUST feel like a 'home from home'.
Like other early years settings, we work within guidelines set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage however, we also have a deep appreciation of what a huge responsibility it is to look after another person’s child. It is fundamental to us that children here at Juice not only feel safe, secure and happy, but are also excited to come to nursery, with their parents seeing their attendance as a positive and valuable part of their growing up.
Our Key person system helps us achieve this, as we believe children thrive when supported by a familiar adult with whom they will feel safe and secure with whilst at nursery. From their very first visit, each child has a member of staff allocated to them as their Key person. This Key person will develop a close relationship with them, getting to know their likes, dislikes and daily routines etc, so providing them with the security they need to explore freely, whilst having a caring figure to turn to should they need reassurance or comfort.
It’s not just the children that benefit though, having a Key person is valuable to parents too, as someone that they can share their child’s growth and development with, or express concerns to. A familiar, smiling face can make the introduction to, and transition through, nursery a much more relaxed experience for both children and their parents.
Building on this, we aim to work in partnership with our parents in a variety of ways, during their child’s time with us, from sending out regular e-newsletters and Blogs, to posting useful information on Facebook and Twitter, to inviting parents to join us for monthly Stay & Play sessions, annual Parent’s Evenings, Family Fun Days, as well as a whole range of other events throughout the year, including Mother’s and Father’s Day celebrations, Graduation for our Preschooler, and Christmas celebrations.
We encourage parents to follow their child's development via specifically designed software, ORBIT, designed to provide information on how a child is progressing in their learning on a real time basis and give a complete picture of their learning journey.
Clearly, we couldn’t do what we do without our fabulous team, and we work hard to ensure the highest possible qualities in our staff, believing that a motivated, and loyal staff, are vital to the overall success of the nursery. Testament to this is that many of our team, including all our Room Leaders, have been with us for over 7 years.
We promote the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle here at Juice, and were very proud to be awarded a Trafford Early Years Healthy Setting Award in 2016, which paid particular attention to Healthy Eating, Health & Safety, Physical Play Activity and Emotional Well-being.
We believe that children learn through play and having fun. Within the nursery we promote positive behaviour and British Values in all that we do, through our Golden Rules, ensuring that children feel that they are valued, heard and respected as individuals. Here is just a taster of some of the things that our children enjoy on a weekly basis:
• Stretch-n-Grow and Music classes for all children, plus the introduction of our Muddy Morning programme for our Preschool.
• Physical play programmes, including both indoor and outdoor activitites, designed to keep our children moving, in addition to garden time & regular trips to the local parks & town centre
• Access to our award-winning, interactive Sensory Room, which is particularly popular with the children in our Pink & Purple Rooms
• Baking activities, with children having access to our Mobile Cookery Centre
Juice has become well known for being hugely supportive of children with additional needs, with staff being trained to cope with any additional requirements. Over the years we have built strong working relationships with outside agencies and professionals, such as speech therapists and physiotherapists, who work closely with our staff to help support children’s needs
We are very proud of Juice and the work that we do however be assured, we never rest on our laurels. Every day we are reflecting on our practice, thinking of ways that we can make Juice a better, and more rewarding place, for us all to be.
We take nutrition very seriously at Juice, whether your child is 4 months or 4 years old. It is well documented that up to the age of 4 is a crucial time for children, both to ensure that they get the important nutrients to help them grow, but also for learning good dietary habits, that will lay the foundations for their future health.
We have a full-time qualified Chef, who works incredibly hard to produce a variety of interesting and tasty menus throughout the year, which are devised in conjunction with a qualified dietician. The menus are planned to give a varied choice, to be nutritionally balanced as well as allowing the odd treat now and then!
For those children being weaned, all purees are home-made, either from simple foods such as carrots, sweet potato etc for early weaning, right through to a pureed meal for those close to moving on to solid foods.
We focus on high quality produce that is fresh and locally sourced. All our meat is supplied by Taylors of Sale, a highly regarded local butcher, fresh fish comes from our local Altrincham market, as do our fruit and vegetables.
Naturally, specific dietary requests are always taken into account. So, don’t worry, should your child have any specific needs, such as vegetarian, religious or food intolerances, these will be taken into account and tasty, suitable alternatives provided.
Healthy body, healthy mind! This mantra may be as old as the day is long but few would dispute that it is perhaps more relevant now than it has ever been. What you may be less aware of is how important exercise is even for very young children. Not only has it been proven that regular exercise is imperative to improve bone health, muscle strength and flexibility in children, but also that it is important that young children get into the habit of regular physical activity as early as possible, to reinforce positive associations with exercise through to later life.
Children throughout the nursery all enjoy weekly Stretch-n-Grow classes - a world-leading health & fitness programme for young children, closely linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) that we follow here at Juice. Classes are a great blend of exercise, education and, very importantly, fun! Under the guidance of qualified instructors, focusing on a different topic each week, the children learn the importance of exercise and nutrition.
With the aim of keeping the children moving as much as possible, our Blue, Orange and Green Room children visit the Town Hall during the week for additional PE sessions, tailored by our staff, to the children's particular age and stage.
In addition, rain or shine, children have regular access to the Juice Nursery garden, complete with mud kitchen, and also get out and about, exploring Altrincham Town Centre, including trips to the library and local parks. Keep in eye out for us - we are easily recognisable, with the children in their high-vis yellow vests , or you may see them around town in our Kindervans, Juice 1 and Juice 2!
February 2017 also saw us launch our own Muddy Morning programme for our Preschoolers who, kitted out in their PuddleSuits, head off to Stamford Park once a week for a morning of adventure, exploring the outdoor environment, which as well as simply being good fun, is very important for their learning and development. To date, the children have been working together to build dens, have searched for mini beasts and bugs, have been hunting high and low on scavenger hunts, have been mark making, creating rubbings using different textures they have found as well as painting mud pictures!
Children learn through play and here at Juice we make learning fun. Whilst following the EYFS, all our activities encourage the children to reach their developmental milestones. Our plentiful resources and high quality teaching together give the children the foundations needed to make the most of their abilities as they grow up.
Each child has their own individually tailored development plan which focuses on their specific needs and which ensures that everyone progresses and that nobody gets left behind.
At the end of the day, however, whilst everything mentioned above is important, let us not forget that the most important thing is that the children at Juice feel happy, loved and that they have fun! We make sure that all the children at Juice have fun - we all get paint on our hands, splash in the puddles, and enjoy playing with shaving foam, Rice Krispies or anything we can get our hands on that makes a mess!
The children arrive in the morning with an excited smile on their face and go home in the evening happy and tired. We know our aims have been achieved when, in the nicest possible way, once parents have dropped off their most treasured possession, they can forget about them until they collect them at the end of the day!
We believe, and parents continually remind us, that staff are the lifeblood of a truly excellent nursery, and consequently our recruitment and training policies are of the highest standards.
We follow carefully structured recruitment and selection procedures to ensure that new staff members understand our requirements and are equipped to meet them. All new staff are subject to a range of stringent security checks, which include criminal record disclosures, reference and qualification checks. Only then are they accepted at the nursery, and initially only on a three month probationary period to ensure we are entirely satisfied that they are suitable and will fit in with our ethos.
Once on board, we train our staff to the highest possible levels to provide inclusive play and learning opportunities, in accordance with EYFS requirements. All staff members have the opportunity to train and qualify to Level 3 (NVQ3 or equivalent) with the majority of our senior staff holding a Level 4 qualification. Three members of our team are currently studying for a Foundation Degree in Early Years, with an additional three members of our managment team working towards a Level 5 qualification in Management.
All staff members are required to complete mandatory training courses in Paediatric First Aid, Child Protection and Safeguarding as well as Food Hygience, Healthy & Safety and Fire Safety Awareness - all above normal nursery requirements. In addition to this, we provide specialist training, over and above the norm, to ensure the highest standards of quality within the nursery, such as courses covering Characteristics of Effective Learning, Communication, Speech and Language and Physical Development.
Since becoming parents ourselves, we have increasingly realised the importance of being part of a local community, and how this can add to your general happiness and well being.
Nurseries, like schools, are often where it starts, for parents and children alike, and we make a particular effort to support and be part of our local community here in Altrincham and the surrounding areas.
This is done in a number of ways, including:
|•||Community Events – historically we have organised The Hale & Altrincham Baby & Children's Fair, helping to showcase other small, local businesses & we currently hold weekly Parent & Baby Groups in Altrincham Town Hall|
|•||Charitable events – such as raising money to support The Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital ( RMCH ) The Children's Adventure Farm Trust ( CAFT ) Wood Street Mission, Meningitis Trust, Macmillan Cancer Support, to name but a few|
|•||Local businesses – where possible we always look to source food and items in the nursery from local businesses|
|•||Parent benefits – we have a number of specially agreed benefits negotiated with local businesses for the parents of all the children at Juice|
At the end of the day, we get a lot of fun and satisfaction from everything we do within the community and hope that our parents and children do too. We are always looking for new ideas though, so put your thinking hats on and let us know what else you think we could be doing.