As home-based childcarers, the thing we love most about what we do, is the level of flexibility we have in the learning opportunities and experiences we provide for the children and the way in which we are able to bring our learning experiences to life for the children; providing them with hands-on, learning experiences relevant to their own lives.
We love utilising the local outdoor environment and similarly, we adore visiting new places with the children and partaking in different activities. Recently, we have begun to incorporate other local businesses into our adventures, utilising their skills and facilities in order to support and develop the children’s current learning topic.
In the past fortnight we have been lucky enough to work in partnership with two local establishments as part of ongoing topics we have been working on within the setting.
To launch our “Summer Holiday” topic and as an extension to our visit to an ice-cream van owned by one of the children’s grandparent’s; we spent the morning at a traditional Italian ice cream parlour, Giuseppe’s Lite, learning how ice cream is made, watching the different stages of the ice cream making process, whilst also being lucky enough to sample different flavours of ice cream on offer, all of this within a traditional ice cream parlour environment.
We believe that by providing the children with real-life experiences such as this visit, that the children learn first-hand about different cultures and traditions through active participation, cementing their learning.
Similarly, as Wimbledon season descended upon us; we arranged a visit to the prestigious West Worthing Tennis Club to have a tennis lesson from our resident tennis player (Bridgit’s partner) Tom. Not only were the children provided with the opportunity to learn how to hold and use a tennis racket, how to serve and some basic tennis rules, but they were able to do so on a real-life grass tennis court, surrounded by people playing the game for them to watch and imitate.
We feel so lucky to be able to provide the children with activities and experiences such as these, and truly feel that these experiences are difficult to replicate outside of a home-based childcare setting.
Early Years author and president of the PACEY (Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years) Penny Tassoni says “Children need to have the opportunity to visit different places in order to develop a sense of belonging and develop the understanding that ‘this is somewhere I can go. If I want to, I can come here.’ Children who are exposed to rich experiences and opportunities and get to visit a range of places develop that understanding, those are lucky children.”
These activities and experiences are not only beneficial to the children and their learning and development, but making links and working in partnership with other local businesses, is hugely beneficial for us as business too, in addition to the businesses we connect with and make links with. We believe that when small businesses work together, this produces incredible results for all involved and we are keen to make as many links within our local community as possible in order to continue to provide these real-life experiences for our children.
For ideas on how you can build links within your community, please get in touch.