Baby massage

Recently Jo came to visit some of our nursery settings, in order to guide our practitioners on how to perform a baby massage safely and to make it an enjoyable experience for both the babies and practitioners. Overall everyone had a great time and even some of the older children wanted to join in with their own toy babies!

Our poems have been published!📚

Congratulations to Clystheath on the publication of their poems! This is a remarkable achievement that showcases the creativity, dedication, and ability to capture the wonder and joy of childhood through words. The vibrant imagery and engaging rhythm of your work will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on little minds, sparking their imaginations and encouraging their own creative expressions. Celebrating this milestone with you for all your talent and hard work—well done! 🌟

School Readiness

Nurturing School Readiness in Preschool Children

The transition from nursery to primary school is a monumental step in a child’s educational journey. As parents and caregivers, it’s natural to want to ensure that your little one is well-prepared for this exciting transition. This blog explores the concept of school readiness and offers practical tips to foster the development of essential skills in nursery children.

Understanding School Readiness:

School readiness encompasses a range of physical, social, emotional, and cognitive skills that equip children for the formal learning environment of primary school. While academic skills are important, school readiness goes beyond letters and numbers. It involves cultivating a well-rounded set of abilities that empower children to thrive in a structured educational setting.

Key Components of School Readiness:

  1. Social Skills:
    • Encourage sharing, taking turns, and playing cooperatively with peers.
    • Develop basic social manners, such as saying “please” and “thank you.”
  2. Emotional Well-being:
    • Foster emotional resilience by helping children express their feelings.
    • Teach problem-solving skills to navigate challenges independently.
  3. Independence:
    • Encourage self-help skills like dressing and undressing, using the toilet independently, and managing personal belongings.
    • Promote a sense of responsibility for personal belongings and tidying up after activities.
  4. Communication and Language:
    • Develop listening and speaking skills through conversations, storytelling, and group activities.
    • Expand vocabulary and encourage clear communication.
  5. Early Literacy and Numeracy:
    • Introduce basic pre-reading and pre-math skills through storytelling, counting games, and exposure to letters and numbers.
    • Foster a love for books and reading through regular storytime sessions.
  6. Fine and Gross Motor Skills:
    • Refine fine motor skills through activities like drawing, cutting, and threading beads.
    • Promote physical activity to enhance gross motor skills and overall physical health.
  7. Curiosity and Exploration:
    • Encourage curiosity and a love for learning through hands-on exploration and discovery.
    • Support children in asking questions and seeking answers independently.

Practical Tips for Fostering School Readiness:

  1. Establish Routines:
    • Create consistent daily routines to instill a sense of structure and predictability.
  2. Visit the School:
    • Familiarise your child with the school environment by visiting the premises and attending any introductory sessions offered.
  3. Encourage Independence:
    • Provide opportunities for your child to complete tasks independently, fostering a sense of autonomy.
  4. Promote Social Interaction:
    • Arrange playdates or attend social events to help your child develop and practice social skills.
  5. Celebrate Achievements:
    • Acknowledge and celebrate your child’s milestones and achievements to boost confidence and self-esteem.
  6. Read Together:
    • Share books regularly, discussing the story, characters, and encouraging your child to express their thoughts.
  7. Provide Learning Resources:
    • Offer age-appropriate educational toys, games, and activities that stimulate cognitive development.

Keep an open line of communication with your child’s nursery or early years setting. Regular updates and discussions about your child’s development will provide insights into areas of strength and areas that may need additional support.

Preparing nursery children for the transition to primary school is a collaborative effort between parents, caregivers, and educators. By focusing on a holistic approach that encompasses social, emotional, and cognitive development, we can nurture well-rounded individuals ready to embrace the exciting journey of formal education.

Safer Internet Day!

Tuesday the 6th of February 2024 is Safer Internet Day, for Top Tips on keeping under 5s safe online, click keeping-under-fives-safe-online2 !

Language Development in Young Children

Language development is a fascinating journey that begins in the earliest years of a child’s life. As caregivers and educators, understanding the milestones and fostering an enriching environment for language growth is paramount. This blog aims to provide insights into the various facets of language development in nursery children and offers practical tips to support this crucial stage.

Stages of Language Development

  1. Prelinguistic Stage (0-12 months):
    • Babbling and cooing.
    • Responsive gestures like pointing and waving.
    • Developing recognition of familiar voices.
  2. Single Word or Holophrastic Stage (12-18 months):
    • Uttering single words to express needs or desires.
    • Understanding simple instructions.
    • Engaging in early turn-taking during communication.
  3. Two-Word Stage (18-24 months):
    • Combining two words to form simple phrases.
    • Expanding vocabulary rapidly.
    • Beginning to use pronouns.
  4. Early Multiword Stage (24-30 months):
    • Forming basic sentences.
    • Asking simple questions.
    • Demonstrating an understanding of basic grammar rules.
  5. Later Multiword Stage (30+ months):
    • Expanding vocabulary further.
    • Constructing more complex sentences.
    • Engaging in conversations and storytelling.

Promoting Language Development:

  1. Read Aloud:
    • Regularly read age-appropriate books to nursery children.
    • Discuss stories, characters, and events to enhance comprehension.
  2. Engage in Conversations:
    • Encourage verbal communication through open-ended questions.
    • Be an active listener and respond appropriately to what the child says.
  3. Expand Vocabulary:
    • Introduce new words during daily activities.
    • Use descriptive language to explain concepts and objects.
  4. Sing and Rhyme:
    • Incorporate songs and rhymes into daily routines.
    • This aids in rhythm, memory, and language pattern recognition.
  5. Play and Pretend:
    • Encourage imaginative play with dolls, action figures, or role-playing.
    • This fosters creativity and language expression.
  6. Limit Screen Time:
    • Minimize exposure to screens and prioritize interactive activities.
    • Face-to-face interactions are crucial for language development.
  7. Provide a Language-Rich Environment:
    • Surround children with words – labels, signs, and verbal descriptions.
    • Create opportunities for language exploration in various settings.

Language development in nursery children is a dynamic process that requires patience, encouragement, and a supportive environment. By actively participating in language-rich activities, caregivers and educators play a pivotal role in nurturing the linguistic skills that will empower children throughout their lives.

The Early Years Foundation Stage Conference!

We, Puffins, recently attended the annual Devon County Council Early Years Conference. The main objective was to explore how we can make a difference for all children in our settings to give them to best life chances!

There were nationally renowned speakers in the Early Years field and the day was a great opportunity to reflect and consider ways in which we can develop current practice and provision to enable children to thrive.

Five of our team were in attendance and returned even more enthused and ready to implement!

Picture (left to right) Chelsea Brown Manager of Puffins Sowton, Chantelle Connor Manager of Puffins Clystheath, Kara Trickey Manager of Puffins Southernhay and Hristina Morava Manager at Puffins Manston Terrace. Behind the camera and also in attendance was Sue Holding, Director of Operations.

Our 5 nurseries!

We have 5 nurseries that are based in and around Exeter, our locations are Manston Terrace, Mont Le Grand, Southernhay, Sowton and Clyst Heath.

Each of our settings differ from one another in layout and rooms for different ages, however they all share the same Puffins commitment to providing a high standard of care, where we put the care and education of children at the heart of everything we do.

To keep to our commitment of provide a high standard of care, our sister company Puffins Training Ltd runs apprenticeship programmes and higher level qualifications for all our staff such as Management and Lead Practitioner qualification. We raise qualification levels above the requirements of statutory guidelines and maintain a high ratio of staff.

To book a show around at any of our sites email us on or call us on 01392 496017

School Places 2023!

Starting Primary School – September 2023

Most children start school in the September after their 4th birthday. This means they’ll turn 5 during their first school year. The cut off date for applying for a Reception place is January 15th, you can find more information here –

If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) this information from I.P.S.E.A is helpful –

For children without an EHCP (but with identified SEND) this information is helpful –

NDNA The First Five Years

Our #firstfiveyearscount campaign has launched to celebrate the early years sector and all they do to make the first five years of a child’s life count. Follow the link to find out more information.

We are looking for Trainees!

We are looking for Trainees for our popular Traineeship Scheme.  It is a 6-8 week program, 2 days placement and 1 day training. 

This is an excellent progression opportunity to our successful Apprenticeship program. For further details contact Sue Holding – or call 01392 496017.