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A new era of ‘outstanding learning and play’ has been heralded by owners of Lime Grove Day Nursery (Hemel Hempstead), in Hemel Hempstead, with the approval of local MP Mike Penning.
A seven-month refurbishment project culminated with the MP’s visit, who was impressed by the vision for outdoor learning and play that pre-school children can now benefit from and praised “the variety of equipment and opportunities available to the children in this marvellous nursery”.
The design makes the most of ‘special interest’ areas in order to support the development of a wide range of abilities, skills and knowledge. For example, children can learn in a designated construction area, while there are also role play and small world areas, sand and water play, and messy play.
A ‘Home Corner’ is ideal for helping children practice their speech, communication and listening skills, with Family Books there to encourage positive self-image and self-esteem, as the nursery looks to stimulate physical, intellectual, social and emotional development.
Manager Charlotte Lucas believes the nursery’s distinct vision has contributed to the service’s high standards, commenting: “Our nursery has been rated ‘Outstanding’ at the last two inspections because we are continually looking at ways to improve the opportunities available to our children. The emphasis is always on fun and learning through play whether it is at the very latest interactive smart board or at our growing beds where children can pick up ideas in maths, science and environmental messages as they plant, tend and harvest vegetables and herbs.”
Showcasing its innovative refurbishment, the nursery also welcomed special guests Claire Hobson, deputy director at the Government Department for Business Innovation and Skills, as well as her two daughters who attended Lime Grove.
Mrs Hobson spoke warmly of the nursery, saying: “I have often said that my eldest daughter would still be there if she had been offered the choice to stay. Both my daughters absolutely loved it and I never once worried or felt guilty about leaving them in such a high quality care environment, with people who clearly loved them.”
She continued, “I have always been struck by the focus on quality staff training and the commitment to full employee ownership. Staff are valued and this clearly results in a better quality of childcare.”