At Nurture Outdoor Kindergarten, we offer a warm welcome to visitors. The nurturing and openness of our setting extends beyond our walls to include not just our current community of children, families, and staff, but our past families and extended community as well. Current families are encouraged to take their time in the morning at drop off (not always possible, we know), invited to our monthly shared family breakfasts, and all (past and present) are invited to the Gather in the Garden and other events. At Nurture Outdoor Kindergarten, everyone belongs and is appreciated for who they are – something that is a key element of Nurture Outdoor Kindergarten culture. Once you are part of the Nurture community, you are part of the family.
Our Community Rules
At Nurture Outdoor Kindergarten we place a great deal of emphasis on community. We have worked hard to create the community that we have today, and are constantly striving to develop and strengthen our community further for the benefit of all of our members.
We believe that relationships come first – both with the children, and between ourselves as adults – and should be at the heart of all that we do. Most importantly we believe in respectful relationships, and it is on this principle that our whole ethos is built. We are passionate about respectful caregiving, respecting you as parents and carers, respecting our staff team, and respecting ourselves. Through respect we enable each person to be seen and heard.
We want to work with you all so that we can do our best for the children. They are the reason that we do what we do, and we love that you are here with us and sharing in all that we do. We ask that you help us to keep this community a safe, supportive one for the benefit of all of our members, and adhere to our community rules:
1. Respect Our Children
First and foremost we are here to promote and protect all of our children, and as part of our approach we urge adults to reframe all behaviours and scenarios so that the child’s perspective is represented. Our children are entitled to the same rights as our adults, and we believe that respect for them should take priority because it is within these relationships that it is most easily overlooked.
We ask that conversations about children do not take place in front of them unless they are involved too, whatever their age. This may be a simple acknowledgement to them such as “We’re talking about when…” All sensitive conversations should take place out of hearing and sight of children.
Every child deserves respect, no matter their age, ability, or behaviour which they display. Children who exhibit challenging or inappropriate behaviour are still worthy of respect, and need respectful support and limits rather than disapproval or judgement. Children do well when they can, not when they choose, and it’s important to remember that all of our children are learning how to control their emotions and impulses, how to engage with others, and what the social rules are, and will be for many years to come. Our job is to help them in a way which takes into consideration their individual needs and abilities, and their developmental stage.
2. Respect Yourself
You are the most important person in your child’s life! Please let us know if you need our support - particularly if you are going through a challenging time. It’s helpful for us to know about anything which might have an impact on a child so that we can be mindful of that when we are caring for them, and we may be able to signpost you to other services or networks. We also have a fantastic range of books on respectful parenting in our library which you are welcome to borrow.
3. Respect Other Parents & Carers
Please remember that all parents and carers have their own challenges to deal with, and we do our best for the children when we work together. We ask that you support each other in a respectful way, and that you keep any information shared by another parent confidential. Sharing information about another person or their child without their knowledge and consent can cause significant harm and upset to any persons involved, and compromises the safety of the group and the wellbeing of its members. If you have an issue or concern about another parent we ask that you raise this with them directly, or raise it with our manager if this is not appropriate.
4. Respect Our Staff
We understand that there may be issues that you wish to raise from time to time, and we welcome this as we are always keen to receive feedback and hear about how we can improve the service we offer. We also ask that you bear in mind that every member of our staff team goes above and beyond to do the best for our children and families – there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes in order to offer you and your children the best experience possible. Caring for children in a group setting is a highly rewarding, highly demanding job, and working in the way that we do at Kindergarten is particularly demanding because of our focus on emotional attunement, containment and support. We care very much about you and your child(ren), and do our utmost to ensure that everyone’s needs are met to the best of our abilities.
5. Respect Our Kindergarten
We understand that what we do here is very different to what goes on in many other early years settings. We know that that can be both exciting and daunting, and that our approach will be more familiar for some families than for others. Please do ask if you do not understand why we do something the way that we do – our approach is based on a variety of research and well established theories surrounding early child development, and we have a wealth of resources which we love to share with parents.
6. Respect For Differences
Each child and adult is a valued member of our community and we respect and celebrate difference including those based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, and nationality.
7. Respect For All
We have a zero tolerance policy on aggressive, threatening and bullying behaviour directed towards any child, parent/carer or member of staff, and ask that any issues or concerns you may have are raised in a non-confrontational manner.