This September marks a very special occasion for one of our Bramhall businesses: Fledglings Preschool and Nursery is celebrating a key anniversary, 25 years after first setting up to care for our village’s youngsters in 1993. I Love Bramhall met up with owner Julie Longbottom to discuss the exciting news and find out just how Fledglings has stood the test of time.
Attached to the rear of Moss Hey Primary School, Fledglings occupies a conveniently residential spot on Eskdale Avenue, not far from the village centre. Owner Julie, who lived locally for many years and is now based in Macclesfield, never imagined that when Fledglings initially set up with a handful of children that the nursery’s books would be filled with more than 100 youngsters years down the line.
Julie cites a commitment to quality and continued investment as key factors in Fledglings’ success to date. Twice rated Outstanding by Ofsted and dedicated to moving with the times, Fledglings prioritises child development in a supportive, creative environment in which youngsters flourish.
Entry to the nursery is gained via a secure entrance leading on to a corridor, off which is the baby room, preschool room, kitchen and more. Visitors are signed in and out and staff in the office are able to keep an eye on the entrance and outdoor areas via security cameras. Child protection is of increasing importance nationally and Fledglings has made sure that it’s covered all bases.
The building and outdoor area have been refurbished in recent years – both are spacious, airy and purposeful for play and learning. Inside the preschool room, where the walls bear the achievements of their young occupants, children can be found handling play-dough and role-playing – there’s a paint mixing station and all manner of early years resources, too. In the baby room, there’s a quiet area for napping and lots for little ones to see and do. Perhaps most surprising is how tranquil the setting is – it’s rare to find a nursery where the children are so engaged and happy.
Each room is overseen by several members of staff at a time, the longest-serving (not counting Julie herself) being deputy Angela, who has worked at Fledglings for a staggering 18 years. While it might seem like the children are just playing, activities are planned over a two weekly cycle in advance, providing structure each day and ensuring the nursery’s young charges have ample opportunity to meet their milestones.
Out of doors is a wonderful play area and nature garden where the children can play games and learn all about the outside world. There’s also a modern building that functions as an informal office area. Here we meet Natalie, a nursery teacher and former Fledgling herself! In fact, there are two – nursery practitioner Molly also attended Fledglings as a child.
Fledglings is committed to investing in its young charges; children have the freedom to explore different environments, enjoy varied activities including music, PE sessions and sports on the school field and spend time with other children at nearby Valley School. Pre-schoolers visit Valley school twice a week for shared activities, making new friends and experiencing the diversity of their peer group. Fledglings also cares for children with special needs, drawing up individual education plans and employing a specialist teacher for one-to-ones.
The nursery is equally dedicated to investment in its staff, employing 24 people in total, including five graduates. Employees have ongoing opportunities for professional development – all Key-people are all qualified to at least Level 3 in childcare and take extra courses to build on their skills, filtering their knowledge through to other members of staff.
“I’m so proud of what Fledglings has achieved. Each member of staff gives 110%, always putting the children in our care first,” Julie said. “We have an ethos of thinking like a parent: what would we want for our own children? Everyone here is positive about children and committed to their role.”
The nursery is committed to parent partnership “our parents are extremely supportive of everything we do and contribute to their children’s learning and development using ‘wow!’ slips and commenting in on-line Learning Journals.”
On September 8th, the nursery will throw open its doors to current and former Fledglings children, parents, staff, prospective parents and friends for a special celebration of its 25th anniversary. Between 10am and 2pm, the nursery will be a hub of activity, with a bouncy castle, face painting, pony rides and games in the school hall, nursery and on the field, weather permitting.
A great opportunity for a bit of family fun, the special event is also ideal for anyone who’d like to meet the staff and have a look round the preschool, which feeds all the local schools including Moss Hey, Pownall Green and Hursthead Infant School. There is a waiting list for a place at Fledglings, so don’t delay in getting your little ones signed up!
Find out more about Fledglings Pre School and Day Nursery using the links below:
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