At Canopy, we love trees!
You will notice that trees, branches and leaves appear regularly around our nurseries and in our communications.
We love them so much that we have partnered with Ecologi to plant a tree per month for every child who attends a Canopy Children’s nursery. We think that this is the perfect way for Canopy to contribute to a healthier planet.
These trees will grow and make a positive impact on the world in the same way as the children on whose behalf they have been planted.
Click on the link below to see how many trees we have planted so far in the Canopy forest:
We love trees because they are such an important part of the natural world around us which we explore and celebrate with the children
They also represent how we view the development of babies and young children; they must start with strong roots in their personal, social and emotional development. Only when they feel settled, secure and bonded with their carers will they be ready to learn.
The trunk or stem of learning is provided by the Early Years Foundation stage, a strong, mutually supportive combination of the seven key areas of learning.
The branches mirror how we take these areas and build on them to follow a rich and ever-changing curriculum which can grow in different directions depending upon the influences of the individual children and their families. Children are empowered to follow their own interests and so each child’s learning will develop in its own unique way.
Each leaf which unfurls represents knowledge or skills that a child achieves, resulting in a broad, lush tapestry of knowledge.
We look forward to supporting our children and our forest to thrive together.
Canopy Wembley Park throws a party
Canopy Nursery Wembley Park Celebrate One Year
As children and parents are welcomed to their birthday party, Sagar and Rinu reflect on the community and the business they have built over the last 12 months.
“We now have the nursery of our dreams – a beautiful environment for young children in the heart of this busy, diverse community. Supporting our talented team of staff as they nurture and educate the children and building relationships with their families is so satisfying – we love it!”
So, what was it about Canopy that made Sagar and Rinu feel so confident that this was the right franchise for them?
Firstly, the Canopy brand, values and ethos resonated with them.
We have developed Canopy Children’s Nurseries as a fresh, new nursery concept which nurtures a unique ecosystem for babies and young children to grow, learn and thrive.
Our child-led approach to early years education creates rich environments where our unique pedagogy, ‘The Canopy Code’ can be delivered in a highly engaging way.
Curious explorers, confident communicators, independent learners and inquisitive thinkers are the life skills, attitudes and behaviours we want to nurture in our children, alongside the core EYFS curriculum.
Whilst each nursery is an entirely child-centred environment, Canopy has been developed with the needs of parents at the forefront of our minds; We listen to our customers and understand the many challenges facing today’s parents as they juggle the many demands on their time.
We work to build strong relationships with parents where they are involved and listened to. Not only is this fundamental in understanding their children but it also brings more harmony to family life.
This leads us on to the second important reassuring factor; the credentials of the franchisor.
The Canopy team bring a wealth of experience to the business, having run both nurseries and a franchise network.
I have a long career as a childcare provider, still owning a successful, highly regarded nursery in Solihull, and founded Fun Fest Holiday Club in 2014 which I subsequently franchised in 2017. Since then Fun Fest has grown steadily into a network of more than 30 clubs across the country.
Canopy was developed during lockdown, combining my team’s nursery and franchising experience with a desire to build an exciting and aspirational new brand in the nursery market.
Parents need different things from a nursery now from when I started in this business 17 years ago. Parents today work more remotely and autonomously which results in a demand for more convenient and flexible childcare to fit around their lifestyle. They expect state of the art security systems and digital technology which facilitates instant two-way communication with their child’s carers and educators. They prioritise nutrition, natural resources and outdoor play, seeking calm, natural environments where their children will be nurtured as individuals to reach their potential.
It is also encouraging to see the growing importance of ethical considerations in parents’ decision-making and this is the area where we are currently focusing our attention, developing a sustainability policy which will embed sustainable practices in all our settings and teach our children how to respect the natural world and each other.
The success of our first franchisees is crucial to demonstrate the strength of the brand and the business model. As Canopy Wembley Park exceeds performance expectations at the end of its first operating year, the mutually supportive relationship between us continues to strengthen.
What a pleasure it was to arrive at the nursery on a dark, wet Autumnal morning to see all the lovely plants thriving in their environment. They literally lift my spirits just looking at them!
Plants are nature’s anti-stressors, and not only do they look beautiful, they clean our air and bring a sense of calm and serenity to our busy nursery environment. Working with plants is proven to lower our cortisol levels and promotes the well-being of the staff and children.
Personally, I love to stroke the plants although the nursery practitioners think that’s very strange; I tell them to try it; its calming and relaxing to feel connected to nature.
If this is the effect that plants have on me, then surely they have the same impact on our children who intuitively love to explore their natural environment. It’s so important for children to learn to respect our plants and trees from an early age and it is an integral part of the Canopy pedagogy. Simple tasks such as watering the plants reminds us of our connection to nature and teaches children that we have a responsibility to care for our plants and our environment. You’re never too young to learn about sustainability and caring for plants links with many of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
It is especially important at this time of year to bring plants into the indoor environment as we inevitably cannot get outside as much as during the Summer months. The plants not only provide a focus and talking point for the children to begin conversations about nature, conservation and where food comes from, but literally touching the soil can release serotonin and dopamine in our brains, promoting wellness and reducing stress. Plants, particularly those with large leaves help to reduce background noise; an essential requirement in a busy nursery!
My personal favourite is the ever serine fern. Their hushed tones and elegant fronds remind me of my happy place; walking my dogs in the woods and sitting amongst the canopy of trees.
So strange as it may seem; I will continue inviting busy parents, staff and children to stroke the plants, joining in my plant therapy.
Ofsted Guides for Parents
Guides for parents: how early years settings are inspected
View the Ofsted guides for parents about different types of early years settings and how they are inspected. These include information on why Ofsted inspects each setting, what happens on an inspection and the judgements we make following an inspection.
Introducing Canopy St Albans
Why did you want to run a nursery?
Teaching is my vocation. It’s not just a job. And it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, ever since volunteering in a local Primary School during my own education, and helping my younger cousins with their studies. Fast Forward 15 years, a BSC in Business and Maths and a PGCE from the Institute of Education, 7 years’ experience teaching EYFS in primary schools, private nurseries and then managing a nursery and here I am. Turning 30 and ready to start my very own nursery – it really is a dream come true and I’m incredibly excited!
I can’t wait to welcome you into the beautiful environment which we have designed to become a home from home for your children where they will feel inspired to develop their own unique skills as explorers, thinkers, communicators and learners.
My vision is for Canopy to be a force for good in Bricket Wood where we foster a life-long love for learning in our children, contribute to a supportive community for young families and have a positive impact on our local environment.
Two Years of Canopy
2022 marks the second year of our Canopy Children’s Nurseries franchise. Founded by Sarah Beattie, owner and founder of ‘Day Care at St. Martins’ an Ofsted rated ‘outstanding’ day nursery in Solihull and the Fun Fest Franchise. Canopy nurseries nurture a unique environment for children from birth to pre-school to grow and learn. They capture and celebrate ‘magic’ moments and milestones in a child’s early years and give them the confidence to explore their own interests through child-led play.
Our Canopy business launched as the world emerged from the first lockdown (a milestone for so many) with our Wembley Park nursery. Since then, we’ve launched our second franchise in Shrewsbury this year and have two more ready to lay down roots in the months ahead.
Choosing your child’s nursery
Quick 5 step guide to choosing your child’s nursery
Well done for finding us, it shows that you already understand the importance of finding the right nursery and are willing to devote some time and attention to making the best decision for your family.
Your objective is to find a trusted partner that works in harmony with your family to ensure that your child thrives. This guide has been written to help you to find that partner.
1. Define exactly what childcare you need
- What age is your child?
- Do they have any specific care needs?
- Where do you live/work and how far can you travel?
- When do you want your children to start?
- On what days & times?
- Do you have any flexibility on this?
- What areas are of high importance to you in raising your child? Do you, for example, prioritise organic meals or outside play?
- What is your budget?
2. Research to compile a shortlist of possible nurseries
- Google to see a map of providers who have registered on Google My Business in your area
- Visit local authorities/Family Information Services websites for a full list of Ofsted registered providers
- Ofsted for past inspection reports: https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/
- Listing sites such as childcare.co.uk and daynurseries.co.uk
- Ask others for recommendations; family, friends, colleagues or local residents via social media groups
3. Make contact with possible nurseries
- Call, email or submit an enquiry via their website
- Ask about availability
- Nurseries are busy places so don’t be put off if you do have to leave a message to start with. However, they should respond to you within a day or two so that you can arrange step 4!
4. Visit the nurseries that can accommodate you
This step is crucial to get a real feel for the nursery and whether you are happy that it is the right environment for your child.
Visiting a number of nurseries helps to highlight their different strengths and weaknesses.
Pay attention to:
- Children: who should be relaxed and engaged
- Staff: who should be welcoming, caring and responsive to the children
- Daily routines: such as sociable meal times, quiet rest times, regular nappy changes
- Activities: which should be fun, engaging and age-appropriate
- Environment: which should be clean, safe, well equipped and with access outside
- Communication with parents: which should be regular and facilitated via a nursery system or app
5. Check details
Ask plenty of questions to management, staff and customers to make sure that you understand exactly what to expect in terms of deposits, fees and payments and do not be afraid to ask for evidence via references, reviews or customer satisfaction surveys.
You should now be in a great position to make your final decision.
If you are still struggling then try revisiting step 1 to broaden your search criteria.
To find out more about Canopy Children’s Nurseries and whether there is one near you, please go to our home page at canopynurseries.co.uk
What should I see and how should I feel?
A visit is the most important stage in deciding whether a nursery is going to be best possible choice for your child so here is a short guide to what you should look for:
1. A professional and well-run business which responds positively to its customers
Were you able to contact the nursery, speak to a friendly and helpful member of staff, discuss your needs and arrange your visit?
On arrival, were you and your child given a warm welcome? Was the entrance to the nursery secure and organised?
Were you given a clear understanding of the enrolment process, fee structure, nursery policies & systems?
Does the nursery follow up and keep in touch with you after the visit?
You should feel: Valued as a potential customer
2. A passionate team of educators
What is the staffing structure of the nursery and what qualifications and experience does each member of staff have?
Will your child be assigned a key worker and how many children will they be responsible for?
Can you see the staff fully engaging with the children, enabling their learning and responding to their needs?
You should feel: Convinced that staff are well-qualified and passionate about doing the best for the children in their care
3. Happy, purposeful children
Do the children seem relaxed at the same time as being busy as they discover and play?
Are upset children being comforted? Are grumpy children being encouraged to find new stimulations?
Is there a stable group of children attending so that they can build friendships?
You should feel: Impressed that the children are so engaged in their activities
4. A comfortable, enabling environment with interesting opportunities for play
Is the premises clean, bright and airy with easy access to outside?
Is there a range of safe equipment and interesting resources for the children to access and use in different ways?
Is there plenty of opportunity for the children to test themselves and learn new skills?
Do the activities seem age appropriate and become more challenging for older children?
You should feel: Fascinated by the variety of stimuli the children are exposed to
5. Well-structured daily routines
Are meal times sociable and relaxed and can children have drinks and snacks throughout the day?
Are the menus nutritious and appealing and can they cater for different dietary requirements?
Are there times for exercise as well as quiet times to relax? Can your child’s routines be incorporated into the day?
Are extra activities offered during the week?
You should feel: Reassured that children are encouraged to have a healthy lifestyle
Every nursery has its own unique culture and ethos which needs to fit with your own values and priorities. By visiting a number of different nurseries, you will get a better awareness of their relative strengths and weaknesses.
The best nursery for you is the one where you feel most confident leaving your child. They have shown that they are committed to doing what is best for your child and you feel happy that you can relate to and interact well with the team on a daily basis.