2023 Roundup

Little Hands have some amazing memories of 2023! We are forever grateful to our incredible staff teams who share our ethos and drive for high quality childcare and education. The team are instrumental in delivering this each day to children and their families, during internal spot checks, Ofsted inspections and beyond. Our teams identify training opportunities and develop professionally to increase their skill level and share vital information with our wider teams. Because of our teams, and other professionals who share this attitude; the standard of care and education is exceptional at Little Hands and we can continue to aim for the stars and keep it that way. 

 

 

Throughout 2023, our Amblecote and Stourbridge branch received recognition accreditations for our high quality standards in Paediatric First Aid. Millie’s Mark is a Nationally recognised programme, awarded only to early years providers who uphold the highest standards in relation to staff training, risk assessment and safety management for the children in their care. This was an important recognition of our expectations and a great opportunity to consider additional learning opportunities in this field. 

 

 

Amblecote and Stourbridge branches also completed their Eco Schools Green Flag award, raising awareness of sustainable practices in a range of areas including energy conservation, water usage and community litter management. Our teams enjoyed this process so much, they have decided to continue the Eco Schools renewal process throughout 2024! Little Hands hold a range of accreditations which align with our ethos and ensure that existing quality is recognised or new standards can be reached which link to our passions and the current needs of our families. 

 

 

Little Hands continued to make commitments which uphold our ethos for high quality care and education (you will read this phrase a lot within this round up!) through the continued evaluation and development of our New Employee Training programme, ongoing professional development opportunities for our existing staff team and continued forward thinking in relation to the best opportunities for children and families.

Little Hands has embraced and found success using the latest revision of the Development Matters, Early Years Curriculum since its release in 2021. However, it was clear to us that gaps were present in relation to supporting children with additional learning and development needs. Therefore, our experienced Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinators (SENCOs) collaborated to develop a bespoke SEND curriculum for Little Hands. Throughout 2023 our teams used the curriculum, evaluated and made updates as necessary and have given incredible feedback from the support this document provides. We are proud to showcase the high levels of practice present at Little Hands which can be inclusive to children with a wide range of individual learning styles. The next step is making sure that Local Authority and government funding aligns with what children actually need to thrive…but our team is already working on that too. 

 

 

Little Hands has been searching for our next branch, behind the scenes for a number of years! Elated doesn’t quite cover our excitement at finding our third branch in Bromsgrove; located within the old Sunday School building in the centre of Bromsgrove town! What an amazing opportunity to venture into a new local authority, with an incredible new staff team and meeting lots of new families throughout our first months of opening. 

Little Hands Daycare, Bromsgrove opened 18th September 2023!

 

 

 

For our Stourbridge branch of ‘Little Hands Daycare’ it had been 6 years since their last Ofsted inspection. We recently registered our company under a slightly new name, ‘Little Hands Daycare Group Limited’ meaning that our Ofsted inspections would start from scratch and we would probably trigger an inspection soon. Sure enough, on Monday 4th September 2023, we got the notification call. We were filled with excitement, and of course some slight nerves as we were apprehensive about the day ahead! Here’s hoping for another Outstanding judgement (spoiler alert…we did it!!). 

Read more about the day of inspection here: https://littlehandsdaycare.co.uk/2023/12/18/outstanding-ofsted-inspection-for-stourbridge/

 

 

Amblecote and Stourbridge both received their first Outstanding judgement from Ofsted at their second inspections during 2016 and 2017. At their subsequent inspections in 2022 and 2023, both branches upheld this Outstanding judgement with so much of our ethos and priorities being recognised by the inspector and reflected within the reports. 

 

Whilst recruitment can be such a difficult element of our daily practices, Little Hands met countless outstanding practitioners during our search for team members to work within our newest Bromsgrove branch. This led to 2 Managers, 2 Deputies and a Third in Charge all being appointed before our Bromsgrove branch was open and while our Heart of Worcestershire College (HoW), Bromsgrove branch was still a whisper between only our staff teams! This also meant that our newest leaders could receive the most thorough induction to Little Hands including incredibly high levels of supervision and training from our senior leadership teams and countless hours of coaching and mentoring with our experienced, existing branch leadership teams. Because of this, our teams have reported feelings of extreme preparedness and confidence in opening our new branches alongside our wider teams. 

This all greatly supports our HoW College branch which is scheduled to open in February 2024! We look forward to showing you more and meeting even more families within Worcestershire. 

 

 

Little Hands spent time in 2023 beginning to navigate and prepare for the extended funding opportunities proposed to families from 2024. This meant a lot of research into what sessions our families want, how funding is currently being used, how the experts are suggesting it should be used moving forward and most importantly; how this can still be a sustainable business model to ensure we can uphold the highest quality care and education for children at Little Hands! Our 2024 funding model (V1) is now available for families to request through their nursery manager. If you would like to know more about the future of funded childcare, please discuss this with your nursery leadership team. 

Partnerships with parents and wider family members is always a high priority for Little Hands and in 2023 we developed our ‘Let’s Talk’ monthly parent workshops and webinars. Each month there is a new focus to support parents and families to better understand elements of their child’s development and needs throughout their early years. Our virtual sessions which launched in December 2023 have been an absolute success; discussing Safer sleep and Meaningful interactions! Thanks so much to each parent who has attended so far and to anyone who would like to access recordings of these events, you can check them out on our Youtube channel: @LittleHandsSocial

The list of planned Let’s Talk sessions are on display at your nursery, or these can be emailed to you by request to your nursery leadership team…we look forward to having you with us! 

 

 

Our Amblecote branch, based within Amblecote Christian Centre has been in operation since 2011 but that isn’t stopping them from expanding and remaining flexible to the needs of their local community! In 2023, Amblecote added another room to their first floor occupancy, allowing an additional place for all children to play and explore as well as increasing the overall setting occupancy for their branch! 

Speaking of our local community…did you hear about Amblecote’s 2023 Halesowen College Employer Award? We did shout about it pretty loud at the time! The team at our Amblecote branch work closely with Halesowen College to support the next generation of Early Years Educators through providing high quality placements for those studying their Level 2 and 3 qualifications and also through supporting the role out of Halesowen’s newest Apprenticeship opportunities. It is now possible to complete an Early Years Educator Apprenticeship directly through Halesowen College and our teams have begun to welcome and support some students through this journey to a successful Early Years career. 

 

 

Whilst Amblecote are in the spotlight, let’s discuss renovations! Little Hands is committed to providing high quality practices with our amazing staff teams, and to make their job even more successful; we also make a commitment to keep our environments as fresh, clean and well resources as possible. On this journey, Amblecote received a full garden renovation in 2023 taking their large outdoor space from in need of some TLC to…let’s adventure all day! 

Whilst every early years provider will tell you what an issue recruitment can be (the words recruitment crisis are still thrown around a lot in the news!) Little Hands does have a lot to celebrate! In 2023, one of our staff members celebrated their 12th year of employment with us! Others celebrated their 10th, lots celebrated over 5 years employment and we can’t wait to see this keep climbing in 2024! Our staff teams get additional rewards for length of service including an enhanced annual leave entitlement and we are happy to keep handing these out. 

 

There are countless other things that we are proud of throughout 2023 including supporting the largest number of successful EHCP applications in the Dudley borough and receiving some incredible feedback from the Local Authority around the quality of our applications across both Amblecote and Stourbridge. We have tons of incredible stories shared by parents of those children who began their school journeys in September 2023 and more! 

 

But for now, it’s time to take everything we learned in 2023 and use it for 2024 and beyond. Thanks 2023 and HELLO 2024!

 

Locations

102-104 Brettell Lane, Amblecote, West Midlands, DY8 4BS

T: 01384 441441
E: amblecote@littlehandsdaycare.co.uk

Nursery Manager: Lara Owen & Bev Ramsell

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little hands amblecote map

The Sunday School, 2 Chapel Street, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, B60 2BQ

T: 0121 820 7119
E: bromsgrove@littlehandsdaycare.co.uk

Nursery Manager: Emma Gerrish

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Nursery Block Heart Of Worcestershire College School Drive Bromsgrove Worcestershire B60 1PQ


E: howcollegebromsgrove@littlehandsdaycare.co.uk

Nursery Manager: Clare Fereday

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16-18 Hagley Road, Stourbridge, West Midlands, DY8 1PS

T: 01384 396920
E: stourbridge@littlehandsdaycare.co.uk

Nursery Manager: Lara Owen & Lucy Brettle

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little hands Stourbridge map