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Our Ethos and Practice

The Best Possible Care

At Carousel Nursery we believe every child should receive the best possible care and education to support their holistic development and future learning.  We achieve this by providing high quality staff, environments, resources and experiences to nurture growing children and their minds. 

Comments from Oftsed (2015):

  • Children and babies thrive in this lively and stimulating learning environment
  • Staff precisely home into children's individuality
  • Children and babies enjoy freshly cooked nutritious meals and snacks
  • Staff teach children well about safety, which promotes their well-being
  • Children's behaviour is exceptional.  This is because staff involve children in making decisions and praise them for their contributions
  • Effective partnerships between the nursery, parents and other outside agencies fully support children's welfare and learning needs

We aim to keep children safe, happy and healthy as they explore and learn through individualised teaching and care.

Our ethos and philosophy of care are based on the principles and guidance of The Early Years Foundation Stage (2016), The Childcare Act (2006) and The Children Act/Every Child Matters (2004).  We practise Safe Recruitment alongside stringent Safeguarding and Health & Safety Policies and Procedures.


The Early Years Foundation Stage (2012)

Carousel nurseries work under the umbrella of the national Early Years Foundation Satge (2016), which is guided by four themes:

  • A UNIQUE CHILD - every child is a unique, competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
  • POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS - Children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a key person.
  • ENABLING ENVIRONMENTS - The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children's development and learning.
  • CHILDREN LEARN AND DEVELOP IN DIFFERENT WAYS AND AT DIFFERENT RATES - The EYFS framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special education needs and disabilities (see our Local Offer).


The EYFS (2016) curriculum is based around seven areas of learning and development.  For children under two, we concentrate on three Prime Areas:

  • Communication and Language
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development

These areas cover the knowledge and skills required to create the foundations of formal learning.  The Prime Areas develop through effective relationships and experiences, supporting learning in all other areas and remain fundamental throughout the EYFS.

The four Specific Areas of learning and development grow from the Prime Areas and provide important opportunities for extending knowledge:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

The quality of teaching across all areas is consistently high.  Staff precisely home in to children's individuality and identify areas for development (Ofsted, 2015)


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The Key Person

We understand the importance of children settling and feeling safe in a new environment.  We work closely with parents/carers and provide every child with a key person to support settling and initial provision.  Key persons develop positive, working relationships with parents and families as well as taking the lead in caring for, planning, assessing and monitoring a child's progress and needs.  Staff have exceptional bonds with babies and children to give them security (Ofsted, 2015).

Key persons and parents will regularly share information and feedback through daily hand-overs and review meetings - it is important for children to witness the good relationships between their parents and practitioners.  From settling and day-to-day care to planning and assessing, we include and value parental input. 


Settling Your Child

We see settling as an individual process and appreciate that everyone is different.  We work together with families to devise a settling programme that caters for their needs.  All About Me booklets help practitioners and parents to share information such as comfort strategies, interests, feeding or sleeping routines, to support initial planning and resourcing.

Each child is assigned a key person who will have the main responsibility of caring for and settling them.  We strive to make our nurseries as homely as possible to promote comfort and security together with a sense of belonging and trust for each and every child and their family. 

Parents are very welcome to call the nursery at any time to check on their child and reassure themselves that they are happy and settled.

Observation, Planning and Assessment

At Carousel nurseries we use regular observations of children as they play, learn and socialise to highlight their current interests and learning or developmental needs.  These observations inform the children's individual planning and help us to track their progress as well as identify specific needs. 

Assessment is guided by the Early Years Foundation Stage (2016) and children's progress is tracked on local authority Early Years Outcomes sheets every six weeks.  These sheets provide guidance of what a child is expected to achieve within age/stage brackets.

Staff plan well to meet the individual needs of children.  They carry out regular good quality observations, which they evaluate to provide stimulating, suitably challenging activities.  As a result, children make good progress (Ofsted, 2015).

Planning is displayed both inside and outside the playrooms, keeping parents informed and promoting discourse/home learning ideas.  We have several strategies, as well as daily conversations, to enable parents and families to contribute to their child's learning, experiences and assessment.

Children's learning journeys are recorded in their own profile folder, which contains photographs, observations, 'work', information from home, reports, tracking and Individual Development Plans.  These are available for parents to view and contribute to at any time.  As well as regular review meetings and reports, we write a statutory Two-Year Progress Report between the ages of 24-36 months, to compliment a child's two-year health check. Parents' views are including in this report and it serves as a detailed, holistic overview of a child's devlopment at the age of two.

Parent Partnerships

At Carousel we respect parents as their child's first and most enduring care-givers and educators.  From settling and day-to-day care, to assessing, planning or behaviour, we include  and value parents' input. It is important for children to witness the good relationships between their parents and practitioners. 

For younger children we complete Day Sheets each session to provide parents with detailed information about their child's time at nursery and facitlitate a two-way communication channel between the children's worlds.  This is reinforced with Bear Diaries, Month at Home sheets and regular parental feedback opportunities. 

Staff keep parents informed of children's progress and provide good ways for them to support their learning at home (Ofsted, 2015).

As well as daily hand-overs and our open door policy, parents are invited for regular reviews, to help monitor their child's progress and contribute to Individual Development Plans.  There is also a Home Learning section on all reports and Individual Development Plans to support each child's next steps.

We welcome parents to share stories, cultural cooking/celebrations, interesting pets, hobbies or careers with the children through safe, informal presentations.

Effective partnerships between nursery, parents and other outside agencies fully support children's welfare and learning needs (Ofsted, 2015)

British Values


Rule of Law

This focuses on managing feelings and behaviour.  Children learn about right and wrong along with consequences for the choices we make and the impact on others.


This focuses on children's personal, social and emotional development.  They learn to value other people's views and feelings and to share ideas, respecting differences of opinion.  Turn-taking, sharing and collaboration are fundamental to this British value.

Individual Liberty

This focuses on promoting positive self-esteem, self-worth, self-awareness and self-confidence.  Children are encouraged to make choices and take risks.

Mutual Respect and Tolerance

This focuses on people and communities, managing behaviour, making relationships and understanding the world.  Children learn to respect other people, including their faith, opinions and culture and to engage with the wider community and the world they live in.

What's Happening @ Carousel

Latest update:


Funding Date:

Summer Term 2019:

23rd April - 24th May

3rd June - 12th July

Useful links

Download our prospectus pack →

Get in contact with us →

View our Ofsted reports →

Local Offer for Carousel Nursery →

Carousel day Nursery is an Ofsted Outstanding graded early years provider