At Folly Farm Day Nursery, we have a Baby Barn which takes children from 6 months up until 2 years of age and is ran by Charlotte the Deputy Head Manager of Folly Farm Day Nursery. Children then
transition to Orchard which is our 2 years to 5 year old room after or just before their 2nd birthday. Our Baby Barn is upstairs where babies have their own pegs, welcome board and self-registration
to enable confidence and self-identity. Baby Barn has a carpeted area and a vinyl area making the room open planned for various activities supporting all areas of development. Baby Barn also have
their own sensory safety surfaced garden space with shelter, allowing their garden to be an all-weather area along with the fields and large open space in all gardens to use. Babies and the team are
outside all together at least once a day whether this may be in the Folly Farm fields, walks or in the babies garden. The Baby Barn team often take babies out on woodland walks where nature becomes
their thriving learning environment. Folly Farm follow a welly boot culture, where we encourage all children to enjoy and explore our extensive outside space in all weathers.
The Baby Barn offers a home from home environment for children, with only taking 9 children at any one time we can offer a very personalised childcare and educational service. We have a highly qualified and dedicated team throughout our nursery with many members of the team holding a Degree qualification in Early years and Education. We value each family that come to us and are happy to help at any time. Baby Barn children have a day book that Folly Farm have created allowing parents to take home each day. This allows parents/ carers to revise their routine of the day such as sleeps and feeds along with a personal statement about what their child engaged with that day.
Before children start with us at the Baby Barn we hold a meet and greet session. During the meet and greet session we chat about your child, their likes and interests as well as your routine at home. We also cover where they are best fitting in their development and the approaches taken to weaning/eating. We like to know as much as possible, so we can follow your home routine making happy children and happy parents! Each child will have a key person who will make personal relationships with the child allowing them to feel safe and secure in a new environment. The key person role is also to make relationships with the child’s family where support and advice is always given along with supporting the child to reach their milestones throughout their time here with us at Folly Farm. Prior to children’s start date, they will have settling in sessions allowing them to get used to their surroundings and the team, where their key person will start to make relationships with the child, making them feel secure when left without their main carers. Parents are given a welcome pack when their child starts with us, going into more depth about the team, what you need to bring in for your child’s day and the routine we have.
We look at different characteristics of learning in each child to be able to plan activities that will keep the children engaged. Children’s development is recorded by their key person who focuses
on their learning and abilities, planning activities for their key children, supporting their next steps and taking observations through many methods. Observations are recorded in each child’s
learning diary which is able for parents to view.
Our routine at Baby Barn is flexible to suit individual children’s needs. We have snacks in the morning at around 9.30am and in the afternoon and at around 3pm. Lunch is served at 12noon and Tea is served at 5pm. All meals are cooked on the premises by our dedicated cook.
Snack and meal times are an important and valued part of Folly Farms routine. At morning snack, babies are given fresh fruits, meeting each child’s individual needs, along with an afternoon snack of vegetables, fresh fruits and a savoury or sweet snack. Cow’s milk is provided for children over 1 years of age at snack times. Children have snacks sat all together in highchairs, low level chairs with a supported fitted table, or captain chairs that are cushioned to support seating when sat at the table. All of these chairs are dependant on the individual child, supporting social interactions with one another relating to the Italian Reggio Emilia approach of family experiences. Water is always available in beakers with pictures of themselves supporting self-identity.
Story time and singing are part of our daily routine, where circle time becomes a time for children to express themselves freely supporting their developmental areas through Makaton, puppets, signs and actions. Sensory play is a big part of Baby Barn’s routine where children’s senses come to life through engaging in activities such as treasure baskets, sensory boards, mirrors and touchy-feely objects. Messy play is also an important part of Baby Barns day where foam, paint, glitter, water, sand, playdough, fresh flowers and leaves and scented objects all support their areas of development. Home resource ideas and activities for parents are in drawstring bags at the front door of baby barn for parents to take home at their pleasure.
Baby Barn pride themselves on being inclusive and being a part of each child’s family. Baby Barn often hold parties throughout the year, celebrating festivals, charity events, birthdays and special occasions where parents are invited to join in on the fun and engage in activities, enabling parents to meet new parents, as well as Baby Barn team being available to speak to.