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Each and every day we dedicate ourselves to ensuring that our children receive high quality learning experiences that meet their own specific interests and very diverse needs.  But every now and then things happen outside of the box to remind us how fortunate we are to work with such a fantastic group of children and families and a team who put our children and their families at the heart of everything that they do.

On Tuesday 13 June our Quality Manager responsible for Teaching, Learning and Staff Development participated in a joint venture between The Literacy Trust and Starting Life Well, the Early Years Support Team at Salford City Council.  The event set out the Vision for Literacy and incorporated education providers from early years up to Further Education. This workshop was just a small part of our ongoing commitment to further developing literacy opportunities within our settings.

On Saturday, 17 June we were delighted to announce that Nicola Fleury, Founding Director of The Kidzrus Nursery Group has been recognised in King Charles III first Official Birthday Honours for services to Early Years Education and to the community in Salford.  She is to attend a ceremony in the coming months to be invested as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by a senior member of the Royal Family.

On receiving her official notification of the honour Nicola commented “I am deeply humbled and extremely proud to be nominated for Services to Early Years Education and to the community in Salford. Who would have thought from my humble beginnings in Lower Broughton, Salford to receive such an honour is truly remarkable.  I only hope it really inspires many others to work hard, have a vision and be totally determined despite the many setbacks.  We are very fortunate to have met and cared for so many lovely children and families since setting up the first Kidzrus Nursery in 2010, many of which are in touch today.  However, our greatest asset is our team, and we would like to thank every one of them as they have all made a significant contribution.”

On Tuesday, 20 June our children at Swinton Forest School and Nursery hosted the first citizen of the City of Salford, The Right Worshipful Mayor of our great city, Councillor Gina Reynolds for a special visit.  Natalie Jones, Manager and Darren Matthews, Quality Manager were delighted to offer her a tour of our Outstanding graded award-winning facilities where she took a great deal of time to meet with our children and colleagues in each room and posing for photographs that our children will treasure before being presented with a card, chocolates and flowers as a token of our appreciation.  We would like to wish Councillor Reynolds all the very best for her tenure in office.

On Wednesday, 28 June, Natalie Jones, Manager at Kidzrus Forest School and Nursery attended a session ‘Are You Ready for Inspection?’ facilitated by Mary Lestrange and Rececca Hughes from Starting Life Well at Salford City Council. 

Inspections are an important way to demonstrate the quality of our service and our plans for continuous improvement, and we are aware that the outcome of our inspection will reflect the high quality of our service.

This session has helped them to further understand the process of inspection, preparing mandatory information, how it is carried out, and what we should expect at the time of our inspection.  It allowed them an opportunity to gain an improved knowledge and understanding of inspection processes, helped to support a positive attitude towards inspection, improved our knowledge and understanding of self-evaluation and secured our understanding of Ofsted grade descriptors and how they are implemented.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Rebecca and Mary for facilitating a really informative and insightful session and to the SLW Team for their continued support in driving forwards high quality early years education in the City.

Barely one week on from our Mayoral visit; on Thursday, 29 June our Swinton Forest School and Nursery was visited by two more civic VIP’s in the form of Councillor Jim Cammell, Lead Member for Children’s Services and Cllr Teresa Pepper, Executive Support for Education and Learning.  They met with our children and staff team and took great interest in our curriculum and facilities and spoke in detail with our Quality Manager, Darren Matthews about the importance of being outdoors, how literacy in the early years can support children to become successful throughout the various stages of their education and also impact on lives as an adult.  They discussed a number of initiatives that the City of Salford are involved in currently and that we will be able to work on together to extend learning opportunities for our children going forwards.  They have requested that they visit again alongside Ward Councillors Heather Fletcher and Stuart Dickman in the near future to see how our work develops.  In recognition of their visit the Councillors accepted a card, a bottle of wine and chocolates. We look forward to working in close collaboration with our local Councillors and The Starting Life Well Team at Salford City Council as we continually strive to review and improve our service.

Over the weekend Friday 30 June and Saturday 1 July our Director, Nicola Fleury, Gemma Fletcher, Area Manager and Natalie Jones, Swinton Forest School and Nursery and Olivia Young, Manager at Monton were pleased to attend the annual Nursery Management Today Show at The National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.  They participated in a Question and Answer Session on the challenges and successes of the Early Years Sector with television personality Davina McCall (who coincidentally has been recognised with an MBE in this years Kings Birthday Honours.  Many congratulations on your honour Davina!) before delivering an informative professional development session based on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion alongside Vanessa Chandler from Polylino.  

The weekend wasn’t all work.  They took the opportunity to network with other sector professionals and view the many exhibits on show as well as being entertained by Boyzlife, aka Keith Duffy from Boyzone and Brian McFadden from Westlife; two of the biggest bands in the 90’s and noughties.  As well as new music, they belted out some of the classics from Boyzone and Westlife into the setlist. We would like to thank the NMT team for hosting us and to those that attended and participated in our session.  We hope that you enjoyed the event as much as we did and very much look forward to extending our professional partnership in the near future.

July was just as busy; our team members participated in training focused on 2 year checks delivered by Jackie and Mary from the Early Years Team at Salford City Council, Starting Life Well.  They were able to become more familiar with the Integrated Development Review with Settings in Salford and look at the guidance for completion of revised checks.  This means that they can implement the most up to date and high quality practice that we and you expect for your children, liaise with our Inclusion Co-Ordinator, health professionals and family members to put in place strategies to develop and stretch and challenge children so that they make progress and achieve their potential.

Pre-school children in all Kidzrus settings celebrated their Graduation from nursery as they will be moving on to ‘big school’ in September.  Our team members organised parties that our children attended wearing their finest party clothes and were awarded certificates and goodie bags, ate lovely party food provided by our nursery cooks.  They were entertained by Barry and his tea, Louby Lou and Gerry as well as having time to sing, dance and have together. Although the weather changed and it rained at some of the events, it really didn’t dampen the spirits or affect the enjoyment of our children.  We would like to thank parents and family members for your lovely cards and comments and most generous gifts in recognition of our efforts.  We can honestly say that it has been our absolute pleasure to care for and educate these children – we have loved watching them grow and develop, to gain self-awareness and become the confident, considerate and happy little people that they are.  Who knows what they will go on to do in future? We may have a scientist, doctor, fireman, binman or amazing mother… we could even have a future Prime Minister.  They can go on to become whatever they want to be as the world is at their feet!

Colleagues in each of our settings attended staff meetings with training around specific areas for professional development and also contributed to our quality improvement plan; what’s is working well now?, what can we do to make it better and how can we do that?  Our visions and inspirations for continued improvement are as a result of considered reflection with input from our staff members, children and parents.  “You said – We did!” has been a really useful tool for us to make changes, develop practice and support our colleagues, children and family members and it is our intention to continue in this regard going forwards.

Our team meetings are also an opportunity to reflect, recognise and reward our lovely team members who have gone above and beyond, made a great impact or contribution to improve practice within the setting, in the progress of a child or group of children.  The recipients of these awards are nominated by colleagues, from observation of their work by setting managers and often based on testimonials by parents and carers.  We would like to thank our team members for their commitment to caring for and educating our cohort children, and congratulate the individuals and room staff that were, on this occasion recipients of awards.  

Three colleagues have recently graduated from University with accredited qualifications in early years education, following extended periods of detailed study whilst at the same time working in settings.  We would like to congratulate Courtney Pears, Manager at Irlam, Jennifer Armstrong, Senior Practitioner at Media City and Rebecca Rebecca Parry from our Pre-School at The Lodge on your achievements and very much look forward to supporting you in your continued professional development within the Kidzrus Group.

Megan Crook, Deputy Manager at Irlam recently started maternity leave and colleagues at Irlam marked that event with a baby shower and lunch.  Anna Sharples, Deputy Manager at Swinton Forest School and Nursery also recently left for maternity leave and we would like to take this opportunity to congratulate both her and husband Lee on the safe arrival of their beautiful little boy, Charlie Anthony Sharples, born on 1st July. 

Our settings have recently held Open Days where managers and team members welcomed new and perspective parents, gave them tours of our award winning facilities and answered questions that they may have regarding their own unique childcare needs.  We would like to thank them for taking the time to visit and we very much look forward to caring for your little ones as and when they are enrolled.  With that in mind, we would also welcome enquiries and visits from anybody looking for childcare in the September term and going forwards and would invite you to contact setting managers at your earliest convenience. 

On 24 July Nicola Fleury, Director spent the morning filming with the BBC Breakfast News team at The Lodge for bulletins throughout the day to discuss the Government proposals and increase in funded hours for working parents.  Our children did exceptionally well with positive comments from the BBC Producer.  We would like to thank those parents who kindly gave permission for their children and also the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) for promoting our participation.  Filming was lengthy but their behaviour was impeccable and we are so very proud of them.

A note of thanks also goes to you, our fabulous parents, carers and significant family members for your invaluable input and support in allowing us to provide the education and care for our lovely children.  We will continue to offer ‘Every Child Every Chance’ to have fun, make great friendships and memories during their time at Kidzrus and look forward to continue doing that in close partnership with you all!

Please feel free to continue sharing with your child’s Key Worker what you have been up to at home and what your child’s current interest and fascination is so that our inspirational team can incorporate that into our planning of exciting and innovative learning experiences.  This is especially important as children make internal transitions from Babies to Tots, Tots to Toddlers and Toddlers to Pre-School.  Anything that we can do together to allay fears and help them settle in undoubtedly pay benefits.  

Also, if you have any questions regarding entitlement to funding, please follow the links on the Parents Page of our website.  The deadline for simmer tem funding is 31 August 2023.  Simirlarly, if you want to enquire about availability of sessions etc., please do not hesitate to contact your setting managers direct at your earliest convenience.

We would like to confirm that funded children return to their nursery in the week commencing Monday, 4 September.  All settings will be closed on Wednesday, 6 September for staff training and development.

To enable us to become familiar with new concepts, guidelines and developments in practice all of the settings within the Kidzrus Group will be closed on Wednesday, 6 September so that team members may participate in training sessions.

Whilst we acknowledge that you may need to make alternative arrangements for care of your child on that day, we believe that these training sessions are extremely important and will allow is to further improve the care and education of our cohort children on a daily basis.

Thanking you in anticipation for your support and understanding in this matter.

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