As a registered charity (we are not a private company), we obtained lottery funding in 2005 to provide a new childcare centre in Saltdean for children aged 0-11yrs. We raised over £1 million to renovate the old derelict barn in the park and were delighted to be fully booked before we opened.
The setting has transformed over the last 10 years, our front garden this is based on the children’s story book, Going on a Bear Hunt, and in our large back garden, as well as space to ride bikes, run and use their imagination, play in the ‘mud kitchen’ and explore. There is also the opportunity for children to plant their own vegetables and flowers in the garden. We extended in 2010 to double the capacity and a baby room was added by popular demand.
In our staff team we have many long serving staff, some have been with us for over 10 years, giving us breadth and depth of experience in working with children. Some staff came to us as students’ placement and all have relevant qualifications to their roles.
We promote an ethos of personal development, education and high quality care. We provide a flexible approach to childcare, in partnership with parents, to provide outstanding childcare for their children. This has been highlighted by our last 3 Outstanding OFSTED reports (since 2007).
We have around 50 children transferring to schools each year, the large percentage transfer to Saltdean Primary and other local schools in Rottingdean, Telscombe and Peachaven. We have a photo wall of ex-pupils which is 500+.
They may leave but they often return to our after-school or holiday club, hence the name “Boomerang Kids”; they keep coming back and long may it continue!
The barn is my life-time achievement and I was so proud when I was nominated as a community hero. Mary, my deputy, and I visited 10 Downing Street to meet the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown and his wife for drinks. A fantastic experience!
It is truly an exceptional setting and I am so proud of what has been achieved by the staff and most importantly, giving the parents and families of Saltdean the support they need and their children the very best possible start.