Early Learning and Childcare

  • “The term Early Learning and Childcare emphasises the holistic and seamless provision of nurture, care and development of social, emotional, physical and cognitive skills, abilities and wellbeing”. Scottish Government 2014
    Mid-Annandale Playcare (M.A.P.) is in partnership with the Education Department of Dumfries & Galloway Council, providing Early Learning and Childcare, for children aged 2 (where eligible), 3 and 4 years. From August 2020, children can receive up to 1140 hours of funded childcare and this is available over 50 weeks of the year. M.A.P are fully flexible to parent’s needs and funded hours are available between 7.30am – 6.00pm. The staff: child ratio in this room is 1:8.

    Settling In

  • Mid Annandale Playcare recognises that positive transitions are important for children’s personal, social and emotional well-being. Effective transitions can provide opportunities to help children develop self-worth, confidence and the capacity to be resilient in the process of dealing with change. We will treat each child as an individual in order that the transition process is flexible and focussed on meeting the needs of children and families. We will work closely with all other adults who are involved with the child and ensuring that effective and ongoing communication takes place. Partnership working with parents is key to supporting effective transitions and staff will involve you as fully as possible.
    Prior to a child starting transition we will arrange short visits and identify a key worker with whom the child can develop a secure relationship.
    • 1st visit (1 hour timescale) the parent/carer and child will meet with their child’s keyworker. The keyworker will play alongside the child and complete a care plan with the parent/carer. This will enable our staff to begin developing an attachment with your child and allow us to gain prior knowledge and decide how best to support your child before attending. We invite parents to stay with the child as they adjust to the new environment.
    • 2nd visit (1 hour timescale) the parent and child will be invited to play alongside the child’s keyworker. Parent/carers can leave if they so wish.
    • 3rd visit (1 hour timescale) the parent and child will be invited to play alongside the child’s keyworker. Parent/carers will be encouraged to leave the child if the child is content and the parent/carer feels comfortable doing so.
    The above visits are a requirement to facilitate as smooth a transition as possible for all concerned. The settling in period however, is not specific; the parent/carer may attend for as long as it takes for them to be confident that their child is ready to be left. 
    The key worker will keep you regularly informed of your child’s progress. If your child uses a comforter at home or has a favourite toy, we are quite happy for them to bring it along. If a sibling also attends the setting, we will provide opportunities for them to see one another regularly throughout the day. Every effort will be made to ensure that the settling in period is enjoyable for the parent and the child.

    Meals and Snacks

  • Environment – MAP is a nut free zone
    Children receive two snacks during their stay, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. We only provide foods that give children lots of nutrients and are low in sugar or salt, for example bread, cereal (with little or no sugar), fruit, vegetables and milk products. The only drinks offered at snack time are water or full fat milk. When planning our snack menu we will consider the variety offered daily/weekly. Water will be available throughout the day and children will be encouraged to have drinks regularly. For the occasional special event/celebration children may receive other foods e.g. birthday cakes. 
    Staff will ensure the child’s care plan is followed for allergies and dietary requirements. 
    Mid Annandale Playcare make our own healthy, low sugar, low salt meals here on site. Our meal plans are based upon both ‘Setting the Table guidance and the Care Inspectorate’s Food Matters’ document. The recipes we have chosen have been created for children to ensure they are getting nutritious, tasty and child friendly meals to fuel their fun filled days. Any meats we use are purchased from our local butchers to ensure all meat we are using is fresh on the day and locally produced. We do not use any jarred sauces and all our meals are made with fresh ingredients. Children are also given opportunities to help the Nursery Cook prepare meals and are involved in collecting ingredients from local shops.
    Parents also have the option of providing a cold packed lunch from home. Should you wish to provide a packed lunch for your child, we ask for your co-operation and suggest that you do not send any chocolate, biscuits or food containing sugar, or drinks which are fizzy and contains sugar (see our packed lunch healthy eating leaflet). All food provided should be cold/ finger foods, we unfortunately cannot reheat foods.
    Mealtimes are a quiet and relaxed time. The staff will sit at the table with the children and talk with them. Children often take longer to eat and can become restless if sitting too long therefore we will ensure mealtimes are flexible and children are given time to eat their meal/snack. Staff will involve children in preparing the food for snack, setting tables etc.
    You can view our snack and lunch menus here.
  • Health and Wellbeing

  • “There is a growing body of research that shows that young children’s access to nature and outdoor play is positively associated with improved self-esteem, physical health, development of language skills and disposition  to learning.” (Davy, 2009 (57))(1)
    Mid Annandale Playcare value outdoor play as an intrinsic part of the curriculum. We have a natural grass outdoor area with trees (including fruit trees), wildlife and endless opportunities. Outdoor play is a necessary part of our daily routine and we always encourage a positive attitude to the outdoors to ensure the children have knowledge of the world around them. Simply being outside in fresh air is beneficial and practitioners provide active learning experiences which are essential for young children. Outdoor play gives children opportunities to practice their developing skills, make them feel good, explore nature and play collaboratively. We believe that children should begin to take risks, risk assess and face challenges outdoors in our natural environment. Practitioners working with children help children to develop their own free-flow play activities outdoors and learn through nature

    The outdoor area is resourced and available for the children to access freely on a daily basis. Children will need to have appropriate outdoor clothing for the weather in order to enable them to fully access our outdoor area. We access outdoors, rain, hail, sleet or shine so please plan ahead for your child. We will not exclude any child from our natural garden due to them not having welly boots as this is a valued part of your child’s learning experience. 

    Outings
    Outings provide children with a range of learning opportunities that are impossible to offer within the confines of a setting. Outings may represent part our everyday programme or they may be a special event. All children will be given opportunities to go on outings. We go on regular walks around Lockerbie visiting local residential homes, local shops, the library and local parks etc. Children will have a chance to learn about the outing beforehand and discuss it afterwards. The visit may fit in with curriculum planning or it could be in response to something initiated by the children.

  • Learning and Development

  • Curriculum for Excellence
    Our Early Learning and Childcare provision follows the Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence. The Curriculum for Excellence helps children and young people gain the knowledge, skills and attributes needed for life in the 21st century. The curriculum refers to the activities and experiences, planned and unplanned, and offers a broad and balanced approach to the learning opportunities necessary to promote and support children’s learning and development.
    Mid Annandale Playcare recognises the importance of quality care and education for young children. We are committed to providing a stimulating and challenging environment which will develop and broaden children’s learning experiences, leaving them confident, eager and highly motivated to learn more. We also value play as a life-enhancing daily experience for all our children and young people and provide opportunities for children to learn through play. Children have the freedom to choose how and when they play. Play allows children to experience and make sense of their world, to challenge themselves, practise skills and manage their emotions, interact with others or enjoy time alone.
    Personal Learning Plan (P.L.P)
    A P.L.P is an information booklet about your child’s life in nursery and at home. This is a shared document between your child, you and ourselves and we welcome your comments from home on your child’s achievements. The personal learning plan reflects the uniqueness of the child and shows evidence of learning and achievements, through observations, children’s comments, photographs and examples of work. It also includes next steps for learning and development which are identified through child centred observations.
    Each child is appointed a key worker who is responsible for liaising with you, monitoring their development and updating their P.L.P. Children and their parents or carers are encouraged to contribute to its content along with the staff.
  • Partnership with Parents

    Our staff value and respect parent/carers and their role. We recognise that parents are the prime educators of their children and we respect their knowledge, skills and experience. All forms of parental involvement will be welcomed and encouraged.
    Mid Annandale Playcare will provide opportunities for parents / carers to participate in the settings activities, to learn about the curriculum and the importance of play in the child’s development both in the setting and at home, therefore ensuring a joint approach to planning, assessing and recording.
    We hold regular parent/information evenings so that you can come along and experience some of the activities we provide for your child and what they learn from particular types of activities. You will also be able to talk to staff and discuss your queries, suggestions or concerns and have a closer look at your child’s profile. We strive to develop effective links between the home and setting to ensure consistency of care for babies and young children.