Little Dragons Day Nursery is Funcare’s newest nursery which opened in January 2013.
Conveniently located in Harrogate town centre, near both the bus and train stations, it is the ideal locations for town centre working!
The nursery is based in a converted Salvation Army Hall and has been designed by Josy and Ian Thompson to the highest standards with top quality equipment and under floor heating for our tiniest children.
Having over 17 years experience of running Harrogate’s highest quality nurseries, we have set up Little Dragons to benefit from a town centre location, but with the happiest of atmospheres and varied and challenging learning experiences for all the children. We pride ourselves on our warm and happy nurseries, which are staffed by the nicest people who love children and are highly motivated and qualified.
Read what OFSTED had to say about us in our most recent inspection – Read Inspection Report
We have a lovely big airy baby room with underfloor heating which provides a lovely cosy place for our tiniest people. The room is separated by dividing doors which enables us to use two different rooms to provide a range of play experiences for the babies. We love messy play and this allows us to have a different play space for our older babies, whilst our smaller babies prefer the security of their own play area. We have delightful sleep coracles which provide cosy sleeping spaces on the floor that the babies can crawl into themselves when they feel like taking a nap. We also have cots available for those babies who are used to a more structured sleep routine.
We pride ourselves on our positive relationships with our parents and work closely with them to ensure that we maintain their baby’s routine at nursery. All information is recorded during the day and written up in our home-to-nursery diaries for their information. As forming positive attachments is an important part of settling in to a new nursery environment our key person system enforces this and firm relationships are formed between our key people and their children. Key people are responsible for meeting their children’s needs throughout the day – this happens in all the sections of the nursery. All nappies and formula milk are provided.
Our lovely big hall provides age appropriate play rooms for our toddlers and pre-school children. This room is also separated by dividing doors enabling the toddlers and pre-school children to have their own learning areas. Transitions to the toddler and pre-school rooms are carried out according to each child’s individual needs and key people work closely with parents to ensure transitions run smoothly and are a positive experience for the children.
The toddler area has a large play space with an activity centre which enables the 2 year olds to climb, crawl and slide while indoors providing opportunities for their physical development at all times. Toddlers are busy little people whose curiosity is stimulated by open-ended resources to encourage children’s learning, exploration and discovery. There are traditional activities too such as puzzles, building blocks and small world resources. Our toddlers enjoy exploring messy play and textures which are provided in a separate messy area. There is a full size couch to snuggle into for story time or a bit of quiet time with key people when needed. Baby signing is used to encourage children to communicate when they do not yet have the verbal skills to do so – this is used throughout the nursery from babies to pre-school.
Our pre-school room is a little more structured to meet the needs of our older children. Resources are set up in specific areas and children have access to everything. Our well-stocked mark making area enables the children to choose from a wide variety of exciting papers, sparkles, paints, crayons, glue and scissors to create their own masterpieces. A lovely role play area provides on-going opportunities for children to act out their own games and interests as well as dressing up. The raised stage at the end of the room has become our quiet area where the children gather for special key worker time, stories, talk time and music makers. The comfy sofas provide a relaxing, homely environment for the pre-school children to share their thoughts, ideas and experiences, thereby encouraging the development of those all-important communication skills and confidence.
Children learn ‘golden rules’ to help them develop positive relationships, respect and good manners. They are guided to manage their own behaviour in preparation for the challenges of big school. The children have a letters and sounds programme which lays the foundation for reading and literacy and this includes a sound of the week. A varied programme consolidates the sound through fun activities and games throughout the week. There is a number of the week too which helps the children develop a knowledge of numbers and their values alongside other fun activities and games. In pre-school our aim is to develop our children into confident, articulate little people who have the personal and social skills to form friendships, ask questions, behave well and be independent in their self care when they move to big school.
All meals are freshly cooked on the premises by our nursery cook. We pride ourselves on ensuring all snacks and meals are well balanced and nutritious. We serve breakfast from 7am – 8am and then provide a hot two course main meal for lunch, a mid afternoon snack and a light tea.
When your baby is ready to start weaning, we will follow your lead and provide babies with the equivalent baby food, starting with pureed simple foods and building up to a full and varied diet.
We can cater for vegetarians and children with special dietary requirements but regretfully not for vegans. We are very skilled at dealing with allergies and intolerances, and can adapt our menus to suit your child’s individual needs.
Our menu changes weekly on a four week rotation, it is updated regularly and copies can be seen on each room’s notice board. Menus are planned with a strong emphasis on healthy eating and to ensure good eating habits are set from an early age. We aim to provide the majority of your child’s recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables.
Roast chicken, mashed potato, cabbage and carrots
Mackerel pate on toast
Drinks are provided throughout the day for all children. Babies are provided with formula milk, cows milk or water and older children are provided with milk at snack times and have free access to water all day long.
At Little Dragons we believe that outdoor play is a very important part of a child’s learning and development and aim to include the outdoors in 50% of our day. This can be in the form of playing and exploring outdoors, visits to the train station, games on the stray, time in Valley Gardens or just going for a walk. We have a selection of double and single buggies for our babies and younger toddlers so that we can ensure everyone gets the opportunity to go for walks and on visits.
We have two outdoor areas at nursery for play. One large play area to the front of the building for our toddlers and pre-schoolers and a smaller, more secluded area at the back for the babies.
The baby play area is enclosed by fencing and a gate and has astra turf lawn. There is easy access to this area from the baby room. This provides a soft and safe area for our babies to explore. Dens and canopies provide man-made shady areas but natural shade is provided by the large trees and buildings surrounding nursery too. A variety of herbs planted in between the fencing provide a sensory experience for the babies and stimulates their learning through their senses. A variety of push-along and ride on toys are available to encourage taking steps and water and sand play is a definite ‘must have’ when playing outside.
Our larger play area at the front provides many different learning experiences for our older children. There is an activity centre with a slide and rope rings as well as a spinning see-saw to encourage large muscle development and co-ordination. The see-saw creates its own circle pattern in the grass which is the subject of much discussion and thought among the children. There is also a more natural shady, woodchip area and a willow dome. These areas provide hidey holes, balancing opportunities and the ideal chance to explore mini-beasts. One side of the play area is covered with astra turf and the other remains more natural. Flower beds provide ideal areas for planting flowers and vegetables as well as a mud kitchen for making scrumptious mud pies and leafy soup!!
All weather suits are provided for the children so that they can experience the outdoors during all weathers. Rain and snow does not stop us!
Emma is our manager who has a BA (Hons) Degree in Young Children’s Learning and Development. Emma is super-organised and professional and always ensures that every part of the nursery is up-to-date and running just as it should be. We always hear Emma’s happy voice all around the nursery and the children love having her visit them in their rooms. When not at work, her time is spent with her daughter and fiancé and she will soon become Mrs Dickinson in the not too distant future. Emma has been with FunCare for 11 years and has experience of working in all of our 3 nurseries, and with all age groups!
Please click on the link for our fees
4 WEEKS’ NOTICE OR FEES IN LIEU ARE REQUIRED FOR ANY CHANGES TO OR THE CANCELLATION OF A BOOKED PLACE.
Please note that you will be charged a late pick up fee if you arrive after 6pm, which is payable directly to the staff who have stayed after hours.
What we ask of you:
• To trust & respect us as professional child carers
• To keep us informed of any changes to your contact details or your circumstances which may affect your child
• To keep your child at home if they are poorly or infectious
• To pay your fees on the first of each month on time and in full, in order to minimise any admin or cash flow difficulties.
We would be delighted if you decide to entrust us with your child. In order to reserve a place, please return an enrolment form to us, together with your £40 registration fee and a deposit of £150 which will be refunded when your child leaves the nursery providing that all terms and conditions have been met.
Please ensure the form has a requested start date and if your baby is not yet born, an expected date of delivery!
Read what OFSTED had to say about us in our most recent inspection – Read Inspection Report
Tax Free Childcare Information (please click on link):
The government currently allows you to take a portion of your monthly wages from your employer in childcare vouchers in order to save you money when paying childcare fees. Up to £243 per month, per parent, can currently be deducted from your wages and paid by voucher directly to us. This deduction allows you to save basic rate tax and National Insurance on that portion of your wages and can therefore represent a very significant saving to you.
We can accept payment from most voucher companies (Computershare Vouchers Ltd, Accor, You at Work, Care 4, Kiddivouchers, Fideliti, Faircare and many more), so please do ask your employer if they have a scheme and try to persuade them to set one up if not, as so much money can be saved for you.
Voucher hints and tips
If the company you are with does e-vouchers or direct payments we would be grateful if you could set this up as it saves a lot of admin time. Some companies allow you to set up a ‘standing order’ with others you must remember to release the money each month. We can of course accept paper vouchers if this is necessary but this does cause us extra work and a delay in payment. Please remember that all vouchers taken from your wage are not paid to us until the following month. This means you will need to settle your nursery bill by cheque or bank transfer for the first month otherwise you will be in arrears and it can get very complicated reconciling which voucher belongs to which month.
Vouchers need to be with us on the first of each month, as do any other balancing payments.
If you decided to leave the scheme or the nursery you will need to cancel them the month before your child leaves otherwise the money will still come out of your wages.
Any changes to the amount on the voucher will also take a month to come into effect, so please do remember this if your fees change for any reason.
Please make sure that you give us a reference of your child’s name, and not yours, so that we know who the voucher is from.
We cannot refund fees paid by voucher, as this would be fraudulent. It is therefore very important that you do not build up a large credit either with us or with your voucher company which you then cannot use.
15 or 30 hours per week funded for 3 & 4 year olds (& a restricted number of 2 year olds)
As we are OFSTED registered and inspected and we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, we are able to claim for up to 15/30 hours per week funding from the government for your child. These hours are term time only and are available for children in the term AFTER they turn 3 years old. (ie Jan-March Birthdays, available after Easter holidays, April to August Birthdays,available from September, Sept-Dec Birthdays, available from January). As the government have placed a few restrictions on how the hours can be used for your child, if your child is eligible for these funded hours, please contact us for further details as to how you can use them at our nurseries. Please ask for more details of funding for 2 year olds if you think you may be eligible.
At Funcare we believe that each child has the right to reach their full potential and therefore each setting employs a Special educational needs and Disabilities coordinator who has knowledge and experience in care and assessment. They assess each child’s specific needs and adapt our facilities where appropriate. We ensure that all children are treated as equals, and encouraged to take part in every aspect of the nursery.
Through regular training and supervision, practitioners will support the holistic integration of all children and acknowledge the diversity of special educational needs, religious practice, customs and festivals and to endeavour to include these in the curriculum wherever possible.
We provide quality care for all children encouraging overall language development and the learning of English as an additional language. We will work with parents and carers to provide a supportive environment, ensuring children are given time and space to express themselves to communicate English, and plan activities for the whole group which would help the child develop their spoken English.
We believe parents are the most important people in a child’s life and welcome their knowledge and involvement. By working in partnership with parents/carers we aim to meet the needs of individual children, at all times sharing information with parents/carers and encouraging them to participate in their child’s learning and development. We understand that the parents are the child’s primary educators and it is important to offer information and share their expertise, to continue learning experiences within the home/nursery environment.
We are open Monday to Friday from 7.00am until 6pm all year except bank holidays.