Little Acorns is a wonderful nursery and pre-school in Padiham, on the site of the former Adventure Tots childcare service. Under new ownership and a top-notch management team, we aim to provide the best weekday childcare for babies (3m+) and children under five in Lancashire. With outstanding, award-winning nurseries already under our management, Little Acorns Nursery in Padiham represents a great opportunity for parents who want the very best start for their little ones.
Our high-calibre childcare team provides both structured play and child-led free play opportunities for the children in tandem with a high quality ‘early years’ curriculum, continuous assessment to optimise learning and very close cooperation with parents. This powerful combination provides the very best way for children to learn and, indeed, to absolutely thrive.
Each age group is given the support, activities, guidance and tools to optimally learn, discover, be creative and develop a thirst for knowledge. In so doing, they are primed and ready at each stage to move to the next — ultimately able to hit the ground running when they leave to start school at age 5.
Childcare for Babies
Babies aged 3 months to 2 years have their own self-contained Baby Room that’s warm, homely and calm. All facilities there are specifically designed for their young age and this includes a quiet area that’s set aside for sleeping, toys and equipment that are stimulating and everything possible to nurture their early learning and development. Babies will have creative, sensory and messy play opportunities, we’ll show them books with bright, captivating imagery, they’ll listen to songs and rhymes, play with sand and water plus lots more.
The minimum staff-to-baby ratio is very high at 1 to 3 and this allows babies to get all the love and attention that they need from high quality, extremely caring staff.
Childcare for Toddlers
The toddlers’ area, for children aged between 2 and 3, is in a specially designated part of what’s commonly referred to as ‘The Big Room’ (and it is big!). Here, we structure their day specifically for their particular age group, with carefully planned activities and toys and equipment that are designed to maximise their learning and development.
Free play opportunities will allow toddlers to choose their own preferred activities, for example using climbing equipment, playing with friends, looking at books or playing with toys.
Toddlers also take part in more structured activities including messy play, sand play, role play and creative tasks. They can play and create with materials like paint, play dough, coloured papers for collages and even bubbles. Number, colour and shape recognition activities are also part of the mix and learning such skills will be important as they progress towards pre-school.
With such a range of opportunities, toddlers will learn new skills, hone fine motor skills like pencil control and discover new knowledge about the world around them. They will also become more independent, improving social skills, listening skills and concentration levels. They will also develop an eagerness to learn more as they prepare to move to the preschoolers’ area when they turn 3.
Toddlers benefit from a high staff-to-toddler ratio of at least 1 qualified staff member for every 4 toddlers.
Childcare for Preschoolers
Preschoolers are our children aged 3 and 4 up to 5, the age they will leave us to start school. They have their own designated area at the nursery, where they mostly stay within their own pre-school group. Here, we help them put the final finishing touches to their early years education, working through any remaining areas of [the EYFS curriculum] so they achieve personal bests in every area, in readiness for starting school. Indeed, the pre-school area is sometimes referred to as the School Readiness Room.
The new management team are introducing outings to this age group, for example to farms, parks, libraries and the countryside. This is to help expand their early years education and knowledge of the world. It’s also great fun for them, of course, and another way for them to bond with each other. Socialising, social skills and forming friendships are important — a friendly face when starting school will help them settle in more easily once the time comes.
When our preschoolers finally leave us, they will be well-rounded individuals, capable in all areas, having reached their fullest potential in all [seven areas of the EYFS curriculum]. They will be confident, independent, able and knowledgeable. Their skills of communication will be significantly enhanced and they should now be self-sufficient in terms of self-care and much more. When they have such tools at their disposal, they are prepared to absolutely thrive from the moment they begin school.
The staff-to-preschooler ratio is 1 to 8 and this reflects the fact that children are now far more self-confident, able and independent. Their journey throughout their time at Little Acorns is recorded in a personal journal that’s also available for parents to view and contribute to at any time.