’18-’19 End of year review

Well there we go, somehow, we find ourselves in September & the next academic year! I’m finally convinced that my parents were actually telling me the truth all those years ago when they kept telling me that “the older you get; the quicker time goes”. Back in those days, the Summer holidays seemed to stretch out endlessly in front of us in July. Unfortunately, nowadays it feels like it’s gone in the blink of an eye!

So, here we are, looking back on the second year of our new and improved Company. At the risk of repeating what I certainly said in last year’s ‘end of year blog’, firstly, I’d like to start by congratulating our four fantastic settings and their Managers on what has been an amazing year. Along with the Director, myself, our Quality Practice Manager (Anna Cam) & our Company SENCo (Clare Hough) we are extremely rich as a Company in terms of enthusiasm, drive & commitment to striving for quality.

I’m always amazed, when I take stock, of just how much we manage to pack in for all the lovely families that attend out settings. In addition to the wealth of visitors into nursery & trips out of nursery, we’ve hosted a number of parent workshops & Stay & Play sessions as well as welcoming Mini Movez, Rhythm Time, Leanimals & Paint a Pot. We’ve held numerous charity fundraising days &, of course, our regular Parent’s Evenings, Transition Evenings for our school leavers &, my personal favourites, Graduations & Christmas Concerts & parties.

Our biggest development this year has been the investment into the nursery software package that we now use across the Company – eyLog. It’s changed the way we do a lot of the administration tasks but the most important aspect of it is that it’s enabled our parents to access their child’s development as & when it happens. We’ve had some great feedback comments but the running theme is that the photos are the most treasured aspect, along with being able to contribute themselves.

As always, throughout the year, we’ve undertaken a great deal of maintenance & improvements at each of the four branches to ensure the environment is kept to a high standard for each and every one of the children we care for.  We’ve re-structured our Manager & setting support package & placed a bigger emphasis on looking after our fantastic staff team; their health & wellbeing & continuous professional development. Our staff training programme has certainly been stepped up a notch this year; as well as our internal termly training sessions & numerous external & online courses that have been attended, I must take the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of Clare (Hough, Company SENCo) who was amongst the first cohort of only 20 people in the whole of Sheffield to take part in, & successfully complete, the very first ‘Early Years SENCo Award’, & also Emma (Wheelhouse, Oak Valley) who undertook a further management qualification – we’re very proud of their achievements. All this alongside a fabulous Christmas party to end 2018 & a wonderful day trip to Bridlington last month – it’s been another cracking year!

As I look forward to the rest of this new academic year, and more success for Early Years Care and Education Ltd, I’d like to say a huge thank you to all our wonderful employees and to all our existing families for their continued support.

Lisa Mapley – Area Manager