Thursday 2 May 2019

Visiting Norfolk House Nursery, Harborne Road

I'm over halfway through my maternity leave and so my thoughts are having to turn towards going back to work and childcare provision. I recently visited Norfolk House Nursery, at their first address, Norfolk Road, in Edgbaston, Birmingham, last month and fell in love with the whole ethos, and wanted to go and see their second nursery, on Harborne Road, minutes from where I used to work in the city centre.

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Offering a blend of what your child needs and what you as a parent require from childcare (they offer 7am starts and 7pm finishes, which is the most extensive and supportive programme I have come across), and I have been impressed with Norfolk House - and Sullivan has been pretty chilled and at home on our visits too!

This is what Norfolk House Nursery is all about:

"Norfolk House Nursery is one of the foremost providers of early education and care in Birmingham.  We occupy two settings in Edgbaston where we strive to provide each child with the very best start in life.  At the heart of our philosophy is the child as an individual, possessed of a unique blend of talents, interests and needs.

"We aim to maximise a child’s development by gaining a full understanding of their individuality and tailoring our approach accordingly."

I went along to visit 28 Harborne Road to have a good look around and see what this second, well-established location for Norfolk House location has to offer little ones.

Touring the beautiful, engaging and homely rooms at Harborne Road, and hearing about a typical day and everything the team works hard to do for the children in their care, one word really cane to mind - involved.

Parents are involved at every stage of their child’s time at the nursery. And to as much an extent as they wish, as the team is all about establishing a meaningful relationship with parents, with a parent representative and even regular social events available for parents and children to get together. This is such a good idea and something I really feel is important as it can be hard to meet other mums and dads and it can make all the difference building a support network. Watch this space too, as the new nursery manager for Harborne Road has lots of ideas, and some pretty brilliant ones relating to this area in particular.

Children are also involved in their learning as they can express themselves, choose what they play with and influence the topics the nursery explore - all whilst there being structure behind everything they do (increasingly so as they get older, to prepare them for school).

The nursery believes strongly in the social, educational and emotional development of the children in their care and they have made strong connections with the local community as another way to nurture them and aid their progress. For instance, there are regular trips out on the bus or to local attractions like the Botanical Gardens arranged and last year they even put on a show for Christmas that was actually performed by the children at a nearby care home, which proved to be a huge success and a special event for everyone.

When you are thinking about childcare options, it can seem daunting and there may even be some degree of guilt when it comes to making a decision. I do understand how hard it can be and also appreciate that different options suit different families, as we all have different needs and have to choose what is best for us and our children. But having seen both Norfolk House nurseries recently and from talking with the team and observing the children, I can confidently say that your questions will be answered, concerns addressed and requirements discussed. I found both locations to be warm and stimulating and the nursery does so much for the children; never have I heard of preschool children learning and putting on a Shakespeare production, but they have at Norfolk House!

The Harborne Road nursery makes great use of space and has a fantastic garden too, considering it's in a business area so close to the city - and if the manager's child has been there since a baby, and is happy as I saw them, then you can't really say much more than that.

If you’d like to find out more for yourself, you can visit the Norfolk House Harborne or Norfolk House Norfolk Road websites, plus they’ll be at The Baby Show at the NEC, 17th-19th May 2019.


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