There is a brand new nursery for two to five-year-olds called Little Keys Nursery, opening at Caius House (pronounced Keys), a short 10 minute walk from Clapham Junction. We got a chance to take a tour before it opens.
Caius House is a youth centre which has been serving the community of Battersea for over a century. The youth centre has excellent facilities including a sports hall, dance studio, art room, media room, and cafe that will be open in May.
The nursery is located on the ground floor of Caius House- there is a separate entrance, and arrangements are underway to have a buggy park near the entrance. We were shown around by nursery manager Rohays Von Mitzinger, who has more than sever years experience in Early Years childcare. The nursery has outdoor space that is alongside the park, which is ideal for children to play. The nursery can make use of the youth centre facilities with prior booking. Rohays pointed out “there are very few nurseries that have access to such facilities”. She envisions having sport days and concerts in the large sports hall or getting the children ready for school by introducing computers in the media room.
The nursery follows six simple rules: be kind to each other, share and take turns, use quiet and calm voices, listen to each other, have kind and sharing hands, and have walking feet. The nursery adheres to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) standards- the children learn essential skills needed to become strong, confident individuals who are capable of learning and achieving through seven areas of learning and development, which they call their seven little keys. The little keys include personal, social and emotional development; physical development; communication and language; literacy; mathematics; understanding the world; and expressive art and design. The nursery room is well laid out with lots of natural light, there is room for messy play and the activity areas that are divided in accordance with the seven keys- for example, there are puzzle boards and board games in the mathematics section; crayons, scissors, buttons, and crayons in the expressive art and design section. They have clearly spent a lot of time and effort in setting up their play areas, ensuring that children have an engaging environment that stimulates their curiosity and allows them to be creative and marvel at the world around them. One of our favourite sections was the elaborate model of the fire station meant to build awareness of the world around the children!
The nursery will be open for two sessions: morning from 9am-12pm and afternoon from 12.30pm-3.30pm. Full day session runs from 9-3.30pm with lunch break from 12pm to 12.30pm. The nursery will accept children between the ages of 2 years and 5 years, they will be separated by age groups. Each child is allocated a Key Person,who is responsible for overseeing their development and keeping their records up to date. There are no meals at nursery, parents will need to supply a packed lunch. The nursery uses an online portal Blossom Education where all the children’s tracking and pictures will be available.
We were impressed with the outdoor facilities and the nursery room at Little Keys nursery; what makes them unique is the Caius House facilities which they have access to. Don’t just take our word for it, go and see for yourself! Contact Rohays at Rohays@caiushouse.org to schedule a visit.
Little Keys Nursery, Caius House, Holman Road, 2 Holman Road, Battersea, London SW11 3RL