Quality Childcare

‘The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life’. (DfE, 2014)

At Lytchett Matravers Pre-school we aim to ensure that we provide children with a safe and stimulating environment in which they can grow, develop a sense of belonging and develop a life-long love for learning. We aim to educate and nurture the whole child, providing opportunities for each child to discover and develop their own unique talents.


Parents are encouraged to be involved in developing and implementing plans for the settings continual improvement which is fundamental in ensuring that we continue to provide high quality childcare. Being a non-profit making, registered charity, all monies raised through fees and fundraising are put back into the setting. Improvements are continually being made to both the indoor and outdoor environments, as well as high quality resources being sourced for the children. We have also been able to invest in continual professional development for practitioners, resulting in a highly skilled and dedicated team.

Our facilities include:

  • 3 well-resourced play rooms, one of which can be used as a sensory room.

  • A kitchen area for children to join in weekly cooking activities.

  • An interactive whiteboard to support children’s IT development.

  • Two covered outside play areas which provide a link between the inside and outside learning areas.

  • Large outside all-weather play area with purpose built, large play equipment and water-play trays.

  • A nature area, which incorporates, a willow den, wildlife pond, raised vegetable and sensory beds as well as a mud kitchen.

Safety and Security

The safety and security of the children is of paramount importance. Robust policies and procedures are put in place to ensure that:

  • All adults working at the setting as either a paid member of staff or as a volunteer are suitable to do so. Information on our safer recruitment procedures can be found in the child protection policy.

  • The environment and resources are safe for the children to use. Daily checks are carried out as well as on-going risk assessments to ensure that we minimise risk. There are secure boundaries around the setting and an intercom system on the main gate is used during sessions.

Health and Well-Being

We aim to ensure that our practice enables the child to develop a sense of well-being both physically and emotionally. We do this by:

  • Ensuring that every child has a key person who gets to know the individual child and their family. This enables the children to develop a sense of security whilst attending the setting.

  • Asking parents and children about their interests and ideas when planning activities or improving the environment. This way we show children that we value and respect their ideas,  which raises their self-esteem and confidence.

  • Helping children to develop independence and awareness in simple hygiene and self-care routines.

  • Providing children with daily opportunities for physical play in both the indoor and outdoor environments.

  • Promoting healthy eating, during cooking and gardening activities as well as by involving children in choosing what they would like for snack.  In 2010 the setting received the Gold Award in Healthy Eating by Dorset Healthy Early Years and Childcare.

Ensuring that settings comply with Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements forms part of the Oftsed inspections.

What Ofsted Say

Extracts from our July 2010 Ofsted Report

  • The excellent staffing ratio contributes to children’s development and safety.

  • Child protection procedures are thorough.

  • Resources are used imaginatively to create a welcoming and stimulating environment.

  • Children clearly enjoy their learning.


Our approach to learning and development and assessment

Play helps young children to learn and develop, through doing and talking, which research has shown to be the means by which young children learn to think and develop their understanding. Lytchett Matravers Pre-school uses the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS) to plan and provide a range of play activities which help children to make progress in each of the areas of learning and development. In some of these activities, children decide how they will use the activity and in others, an adult takes the lead in helping the children to take part in the activity.

The EYFS Framework describes how early years practitioners should work with children and their families to support their development and learning and is based on four guiding principles:

  • Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured;
  • Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships;
  • Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents.
  • Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.

Learning and development is broken down into 3 ‘Prime areas’:

  • Personal, social and emotional development. Children learn to form relationships; to work together; develop good attitudes towards their work and play.

  • Communication and Language. Children acquire language and later learn to communicate their ideas through early reading, writing and role play. They develop their listening, talking and thinking skills.

  • Physical development. Children develop the skills to use their bodies in a safe and healthy way, as they move in large and small spaces. They begin to use both small tools and apparatus with more control.

And 4 specific areas:

  • Literacy. Children are supported to develop early reading and writing skills through joining in with stories and rhymes and engaging in mark making activities.

  • Mathematics. Children are provided with opportunities to solve simple problems, use numbers and counting as they play. They begin to develop the language of shape, space and measures and early calculating skills.

  • Understanding of the world. Children are encouraged to find out about and explore the world around them often through their senses. To use technology and develop an understanding of different communities.

  • Expressive Arts and Design. Children have opportunities to express their ideas in a variety of ways and with a variety of materials. They use their imaginations through singing, dancing and pretend play; as well as painting, collage and model making.


Assessment and Learning Journeys

The setting keeps a Learning Journey for each child, which are made available for parents to view online. Staff and parents working together on their children’s Learning Journey is one of the ways in which the key person and parents work in partnership. A child’s ‘Learning Journey’ helps us to celebrate together their achievements and to work together to provide what each child needs for their well-being and to continue to make progress.

The child’s key person will work with parents to keep this document. To do this they each collect information about the child’s needs, activities, interests and achievements. This information enables the key person to identify the child’s stage of development. Parents and the key person will then decide on how to help the child to move on to the next stage. Each child will have their own individual learning/play plan which details a child’s next steps of learning.


As a setting, we adhere to the values and principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) which states that all children have rights and that everything we do should be in the best interest of the child (Article 1 and 3). In 2012 we were awarded the UNICEF Rights Respecting setting award in recognition of the work we do to promote children’s’ rights within our setting.
As a Rights Respecting Setting, we help children learn that they have rights, what these rights are and that rights are universal, so we need to learn how to respect the rights of others. More information on the UNCRC and how we help children learn about their rights (Articles) is available in a leaflet which is available from the pre-school.

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today

Stacia Tauscher

Our setting aims to:

  • provide high quality care and education for all children (Article 28);
  • create a developmentally appropriate curriculum which meets the needs of each individual child (Article 28);
  • provide a learning environment that values and promotes equality and the diversity of all children and their families (Article 29 and 30);
  • work in partnership with parents to help children to learn and develop (Article 5); and
  • add to the life and well-being of the local community (Article 29).

We aim to ensure that your child:

  • is in a stimulating environment where they feel valued and encouraged to grow and achieve their full potential (Article 29);
  • has fun and time to play and relax (Article 31);
  • can share their views and be involved in making decisions about their learning and the way the setting changes (Article 12);
  • is given care and attention which enables them to be healthy, safe and secure (Article 24);
  • has the chance to join with other children and adults to live, play, work and learn together (article 15);
  • has a key person who helps them progress in their learning and development by helping them to build on what they know and can do (Article 29).