3 months to 5 years
Children’s Day Nursery
Hertfordshire, AL2 1BG
Telephone (01727) 827533
Fax (01727) 827543
Little Nightingales is a small, friendly, home-from-home day nursery. We provide places for 40 children
and are located in the lovely conservation area of London Colney with its traditional village sense of
community. The nursery itself is a carefully converted 200-year-old cottage, where the layout reflects and
retains the warm homely atmosphere of its former existence and our magnificent skylight daily floods our
main area with natural sunlight.
We’re lucky enough to be within walking distance of the River Colne where our own Little Nightingales
have great fun feeding the ever-hungry ducks at the same time as learning about, interacting with and
experiencing nature. Willows Farm is a close neighbour and there are frequent visits for the children to
learn about the animals. As you’ll gather, there’s rarely a dull moment at Little Nightingales, which means
you take home a cheerful child, stimulated daily by new sights and sounds and eager to return the next
We warmly welcome children from 3 months to 5 years and by offering a range of different sessions and
providing an all-inclusive package, we aim to make your life simpler by eliminating many of the day-to-day
childcare stresses and concerns.
Just to give you a brief idea of the way we think and how we run our nursery:
We provide a warm and welcoming, home-from-home, caring environment where all our babies
feel happy, secure and relaxed while our older children can’t wait to come in each day.
We recognise, respect and enjoy the individual personalities of all our children from the
youngest to the eldest and believe in giving them the space they need to develop and grow.
Our aim is to help each child learn to be strong and confident within a secure and social setting.
We work with the speech and vocabulary development so vital for future learning and are
delighted to welcome all children from lookers and communicators to talkers and performers.
Our carefully selected and caring staff play a vital role in encouraging every child’s individuality.
We believe we can never spend too much time listening to them, valuing their thoughts and
feelings and helping them learn to value those of their classmates.
We’re very firm on good habits of hygiene and health and on teaching respect and consideration
We actively encourage you as parents to include us in any issues that may be affecting your
Provided by Little Nightingales:
Staff to child ratios of at least 1:3 for under two years old. 1:4 for children aged between two
and three years; 1:8 for children over three.
A nominated key-worker who will liaise with you and be responsible for monitoring every aspect
of your child’s care.
All meals, snacks and drinks, including formula milk for babies. We cater carefully for dietary
requirements and allergies. All meals are freshly prepared every morning in our own kitchens.
Nappies and wipes are included within the price.
All bedding, blankets, towels and flannels, which are laundered daily on the premises.
Sanitation units inside and outside all rooms.
Parents Forum at which all issues can be raised and freely discussed.
What your child should bring to Little Nightingales:
Two full sets of spare clothes. Please ensure each item is clearly marked with your child’s name.
We cannot be held responsible for loss of clothing.
Outdoor boots/wellingtons and a suitable coat.
Seasonal requirements, for example, sun cream and a sunhat in the summer months, gloves
and hat in the winter.
A comforter if required (we do appreciate the importance of these and take very good care of
Nappy cream if required.
We have an airy open-plan kitchen which has been cleverly brought into the twenty-first century, whilst
still retaining much of the earlier hand-made, solid wood and stainless steel. Here our children are given
the opportunity to learn about and observe daily preparation of fresh food and tasty, healthy, home-
cooking, all taught by an important member of our team – our resident chef.
Meals are enjoyed in the dining area, which is located at the end of our kitchen. There is a completely
separate milk kitchen situated in the baby room. We also have a dedicated laundry room.
Baby Unit – ‘The Nest’
Formerly the family music and playroom, this now provides spacious, safe, soft and stimulating
surroundings for babies from three months old. There is an additional, sectioned-off, sensory area full of
cushions and gently twinkling lights for them to enjoy. Our staff to baby ratio is one adult to three babies
with no more than six babies in the room at one time.
Baby Room – ‘Sparrows’
Previously used by the family as a living room and featuring a grand old open fireplace, the Baby Room is
overflowing with a variety of playing and learning activities and experiences. We liked to keep all the
equipment out, so the children have the widest choice of things to explore. Our staff to baby ratio is one
adult to three babies with no more than six babies in the room at one time.
Toddler Room – ‘Woodpeckers’
Located at the heart of the nursery, flooded with natural light from the skylight above, this is where
children are encouraged to make individual choices of play which are carefully supervised and combined
with the EYFS curriculum. Ratio here is one adult to four toddlers.
Pre-school – ‘Nightingales’
The pre-school for our older pupils is situated upstairs and consists of two large rooms both of which
provide a wide range of activities including sensory play (sand, water, dough, jelly, corn-flour, dried pulses
and pasta, the messier the better). We also have a spacious acting area where the children are given the
chance to express themselves by throwing themselves (often literally) into enthusiastic role-play.
Our Nightingales at this stage also start exploring the world of technology which will be so much a part of
their future education and they all enjoy the opportunity to use our computers which, it probably won’t
surprise you to know, they take to like ducks to water. In this pre-school we aim to give our children all
the support they need to prepare them for their step up to ‘big school’. Our ratio here is one to eight.
Little Nightingales has its own securely enclosed garden, offering safe play areas and decking. There is a
choice of activities including water and sand play and a wide range of toys to push, pull or climb on. We
have a musical sensory section and are very proud of our seasonal growing patch.
What was previously the back garden of the house is now our parking area from which there’s a
convenient path leading directly to the nursery front entrance. This doubles up as a secure play area for
Nursery uniform is compulsory for all pre-school children 3 to 5 years old. We believe the uniform
reinforces our sense of identity. We’re very proud of all our children and for them to be recognised as Little
Nightingales when out in public.
We hope every parent will support our nursery in maintaining its smart and clearly identifiable appearance
by ensuring that your child is in the correct uniform.
Logo polo shirt
Grey shorts (Summer)
Summer dress (Purple Gingham)
White plain polo
A Typical Day at Little Nightingales
7.30 – 8.45 Sunrise/BREAKFAST
9.00 – 9.30 Register & circle time
9.30 – 10.30 Adult initiated activities
10.30 – 10.45 Snack
10.45 – 11.15 Outdoor activities
11.15 – 11.30 Quiet time
11.30 – 12.00 LUNCH
12.00 – 2.00 Sleep & rest time
1.45 – 2.00 Wakey, wakey & snack time
2.00 – 3.00 Adult initiated activities
3.00 – 3.30 Music time
3.30 – 4.00 TEA TIME
4.30 – 5.30 Music & Circle time
5.30 – 6.30 Sunset
Children under two follow a flexible version of this routine, with their individual sleep patterns and nappy
We follow the highly-rated EYFS Programme which focuses on the development of each individual. It
identifies six areas of learning, which specifically encourage and enhance the natural skills and
competence of babies from birth onward. It particularly highlights the relationship between growth,
learning, development and the environment in which the child is nurtured and educated.
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING OF THE WORLD
Babies and children learn about the world through exploration as well as from their family, teachers and
friends, they need regular opportunities to learn about different ways of life, to be given accurate
information and to develop positive and caring attitudes towards others. Children should be helped to
learn respect by valuing everyone, avoiding misapprehensions and negative attitudes as they develop
understanding of the world. They should be involved in the practical application of their knowledge and
skills which in turn will promote self-esteem by allowing them to make decisions about what to investigate
and how to do it.
Aspects of Knowledge and Understanding of the World include:
Exploration & Investigation
Designing & Making
PERSONAL, SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
For children, being special to someone and well cared for is vital to their physical, social and emotional
well-being. Being acknowledged and affirmed by key people in their lives leads to them gaining confidence
and inner strength through secure personal attachments. Close relationships lead to the growth of self-
assurance, promoting a sense of belonging which allows the children to investigate the world from a
secure base. Children need a good example from adults so they can learn about positive interaction. If
they’re given the freedom to express ideas and feelings such as joy, sadness, frustration and fear, they’re
given a solid base from which to develop coping strategies when faced with new or challenging situations.
Aspects Of Personal Social and Emotional Development include:
Dispositions & Attitudes
Self confidence & Self-esteem
Behaviour & Self-control
Sense of Community
Babies and children learn by being physically as well as mentally active and Physical Development takes
place across all areas of learning, establishing self-confidence alongside good health and activity. Early
good health safeguards well-being with children learning about food and exercise. All of this leads to
appropriate weight gain in the first years and guards against obesity later in life.
Aspects of Physical Development include:
Movement & Space
Health & Bodily Awareness
Using Equipment & Materials
PROBLEM SOLVING, REASONING AND NUMERACY
For babies and children, mathematical development occurs as they seek patterns and make connections.
They recognise relationships as they work with numbers and counting, with sorting and matching and with
shape, space and measures. Children use their acquired knowledge and skills in these areas to solve
problems, generate new questions and make essential connections across other areas of learning and
Aspects of Mathematical Development include:
Numbers & Labels & Counting
Shape Space & Measures
Creativity is about taking risk and making connections and is strongly linked to play. Creativity emerges as
children become absorbed in action and exploration of their own ideas, expressing them through
movement, making and transforming things with crayons, paints, scissors, words, sounds, movement,
props and make-believe. Each child’s response to what they see and hear is individual, as is the way they
reproduce those experiences. Being creative enables babies and children to explore different processes,
media and materials and make new things emerge as a result.
Aspects of Creative Development include:
Being Creative – Responding to Experiences, Expressing & Communicating Ideas
Exploring Media & Materials
Creating Music & Dance
Development of Imagination & Imaginative Play
COMMUNICATION. LANGUAGE AND LITERACY
To become skilful communicators, babies and children need to be surrounded by warm and loving
relationships or be in a group situation with a key person who they know and trust. Babies respond
differently to different sounds and from an early age are able to distinguish sound patterns. They use their
voices to make contact and to make known their needs. All children learn best through activities and
experiences that engage all their senses - music, dance, rhymes and songs all support language
development. As children develop speaking and listening skills they are making sense of visual and verbal
signs, building sound foundations for later literacy. Children need interaction with others and a variety of
resources for expressing their understanding including mark-making, drawing, modelling, reading and
Aspects of Communication, Language and Literacy include:
Language for Communication
Language for Thinking
Linking Sounds & Letters
EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
Also available at Little Nightingales is a range of popular extra-curricular activities including French and
Tiny Mites Music Sessions. Details on these can be found in our newsletter; or give us a call in the office to
discuss which might be most suitable for your child.