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A brand-new children’s day nursery will open in September in an exciting and innovative collaboration between Seasons Children’s Nursery & Forest School and local award-winning charity supporting people with learning difficulties and autism, the Aldingbourne Trust.
Seasons Day Nursery will be housed in a newly refurbished detached building at the Trust’s Aldingbourne Country Centre near Chichester, complete with its own Children’s Garden, vegetable beds and access to the Open Farm, woodland walk and woodland Bothy.
Hannah Rosalie, founder of the nursery, said: “The new building will allow us to provide an additional 21 places and offer up to 30 hours of funded (‘free entitlement’) hours for two and three year old’s.”
The new nursery will be run by qualified teachers with a particular focus on outdoor learning. “I believe that the best place for children to grow and learn is in the real world. That’s why I love what we do here at Barn Cottage, our existing nursery near Pulborough. We feed the chickens, collect the eggs, bake, grow vegetables and have the freedom to go for country walks and wave to the postman. It’s real, calm and child-centred and when Ofsted rated us Outstanding, despite our creative take on the curriculum, it was a big credit to my small team”
Seasons will boast a Farm School (animal care, growing vegetables and more) and Forest School with direct access to a wide range of existing activities at the 15-acre Aldingbourne Country Centre. Nature and arts-based activities will be woven throughout the Early Years curriculum to provide a child centred holistic setting run by fully qualified Early years educators.
Michelle McKinley Bell, Head of Enterprise & Development at the Aldingbourne Trust says: “As well as offering visitors a Great Day Out with a wide range of activities including open farm, maze, ride on tractors, woodland walk, mini golf, sand, water and play areas at the Country Centre; we are a well-established charity supporting people with learning disabilities and autism to live independent lives and develop their skills within a variety of social enterprises to enable them to gain voluntary or paid employment within the community.”
“Our innovative approach has developed and grown over the past 44 years and continues to evolve with lots of exciting plans for the future. The Country Centre hosts a variety of social enterprises open to the public, including wood recycling, plant nursery, retail gift shop and café serving delicious homemade lunches, using locally sourced ingredients and it even boasts an indoor slide! The people we support are central to everything we do, and their skills and talents are showcased within each enterprise. ”
“A nursery on site to support working parents locally seemed an obvious addition to our portfolio of enterprises and we are very excited to welcome Seasons Day Nursery to our Country Centre in the Autumn” says Michelle.
Hannah continues, “Operating a small nursery within the confines of a safe community of like-minded people will allow us to continue to provide exceptional learning opportunities for children in a real-world environment. No strip lights, no plastic toys, no scratchy carpet tiles, just a beautiful well-designed space, quality wooden resources, exceptional educators and a whole load of love and nurturing in a real-life community with people who care.”
Seasons Day Nursery was established in 2016, originally as a childminding service. The business has grown to become a successful day care operation providing a high-quality service to families and children from three months to school age.
Seasons Day Nursery is due to open at the Aldingbourne Country Centre in September 2022, and will offer free entitlement places for 2–4-year-olds.
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Information on Aldingbourne Trust please visit www.aldingbournetrust.org