National Storytelling Week

National Storytelling

In the enchanting world of childhood, stories are the keys to unlocking imagination, fostering connection, and sparking a love of learning. Let’s dive into the joy of reading with our little ones this week. Share a cherished tale, embark on literacy adventures and watch as the pages of storytelling paint vibrant pictures in their minds.

The first Canopy Conference – In a Wood!

Canopy Conference

Not the usual setting for a conference but for Canopy it was perfect! Franchisees were welcomed to a unique outdoor nursery to discover how you can harness the benefits of the natural world for young children.  This was such an inspiring session as everyone witnessed the children take ownership of their space and listened to Rachel’s impassioned explanation of how and why her setting works for them.

Spending time outdoors offers numerous benefits for children’s physical, mental, and emotional development and it is an essential part of the Canopy ethos to encourage and facilitate outdoor experiences for children to help them reap these benefits.

Rachel will visit every Canopy nursery over the coming weeks to assess their outdoor provision and to advise how it can be maximised for the benefit of the children. Following a warming lunch, the group headed back inside for a Leadership and Management session which focussed on building confidence in their ability to ace them their first Ofsted inspection.

The Reggio Emilia approach

Educational Philosophy

Reggio Emilia is an educational philosophy and approach to teaching young children that originated in the town of Reggio Emilia in Italy after World War II. It is based on the idea that children are capable of constructing their own learning and that they learn best through exploration and discovery in a supportive and nurturing environment


This approach emphasizes the importance of collaboration between teachers, parents, and the community in providing a rich learning environment for children. Teachers act as facilitators, observing children’s interests and providing them with opportunities to explore and learn in a way that is meaningful and relevant to them.


The Reggio Emilia approach also values the role of the environment in learning. Classroom spaces are carefully designed to be visually appealing, with natural materials and open spaces that encourage exploration and creativity.

Avoiding the Storms

Self Regulation in Children

Self-regulation in children refers to their ability to control their emotions, impulses, and adapt behaviour to different situations. It is a fundamental skill that gives children confidence to embrace challenges, make considerate decisions, and build resilience as they grow and learn.

Sweet Dreams

A consistent bedtime routine

Creating a predictable bedtime routine helps signal to your little one’s body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Establish a soothing routine that includes activities like a sleepy snack and/or milk, a warm bath, story time and cuddles. Little ones thrive on consistency, so stick to the same routine every night.

Think about their sleeping environment

Make sure your little one’s bedroom – or yours if they are under six months – is quiet, cool and dark. You can use blackout curtains or blinds to make it nice and dark. It’s good to make sure it’s dark at nap time too. Consider using a pure white noise – on all night and for naps – if you have a noisy household or neighbours! 

Consider how much day time sleep your little one is having

Little one’s day time needs vary by child but pay attention to age-appropriate nap needs and awake windows – and these change regularly from 4-8 months. A four-month-old would typically need around 3.5-4 hours or daytime sleep whereas an 8-month-old around 2-2.5 hours. Bear in mind this is the average, and some little ones will need more or less than this, plus it depends on how much overnight sleep they are having. Avoid danger naps – even a few minutes – or too close to bedtime, as this can interfere with falling asleep at night.

Activity, exercise and outdoor time

Getting outside can help expend your little one’s energy and promote better sleep. Encourage active playtime during the day, but make sure you avoid any that are too close to bedtime. Engaging in calming activities before their bedtime routine, can help your little one relax before they go to bed.

All of these pointers will help your little one when it comes to early morning waking too. 

Make sure:

    • It’s not too light in their bedroom. 
    • That they have a good nap routine with the right amount of day time sleep for them.
    • They are not going to bed under or over tired – as this will impact what time they wake in the morning. 
    • Be patient and persistent. 
    • Be consistent.

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Oral Health Guidance

Promoting good oral health

Ensuring good oral hygiene practices in childhood sets the foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles. As parents, caregivers, and educators, we play a crucial role in teaching children the importance of taking care of their teeth and gums. Here are a few key points:

  • Start teaching them early
  • Brush twice a day
  • Make it fun
  • Promote healthy eating habits
  • Regular check ups at the dentist

Areas of Learning


Encourage your child to use her imagination and creativity to tell a story. This can be done verbally or through drawings. Ask them questions about the characters and prompt them to develop their stories.


Turn up the music and have a dance with your child. Let them choose their favourite songs and encourage them to dance and move freely. This is a great way form of exercise made fun!


Set up a designated area in your home for your child to create art. Provide a variety of materials such as paints, crayons, and paper. Encourage your child to experiment with different colours and techniques, and let him express himself freely.


Numbers are essential for everyday life such as counting, measuring, telling time and understanding money. Understanding numbers helps children communicate effectively to describe quantities, shapes and patterns. Numbers can help children participate in games and activities, such as counting or playing with money.


Recalled toys being sold online

Dodgy Dealer or Safe Seller

In recent years, there have been numerous cases of dodgy recalled children’s toys being sold online, which poses a serious risk to the safety of children. These toys may have been recalled by manufacturers due to defects that can cause injury or harm to children, but they still make their way into the market through third-party sellers.

The problem is particularly prevalent on online marketplaces, where sellers can easily create listings for products without proper scrutiny or regulation.



These recalled toys are often sold at discounted prices, making them attractive to unsuspecting buyers who are unaware of the dangers they pose.

It is important to be vigilant when purchasing toys for children, especially online. Always check the product’s safety record and look for any recalls or warnings from the manufacturer. If you have any doubts or concerns, it is best to err on the side of caution and avoid purchasing the product altogether.

By staying informed and taking proactive measures, we can ensure that our children can play safely and enjoy their childhood without any unnecessary risks.

Safer Sleep Week

Safer Sleep Week

The Safer Sleep guidelines were developed by the Lullaby Trust, a UK-based charity that promotes safe sleeping practices for babies to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Online Safety for Parents and Children

Keeping your Child safe online

Keeping your child safe online is an increasingly important concern for parents. The internet is a vast and ever-growing resource than can be both educational and entertaining, but it also poses certain risks to children. Here are some tips to keep your child safe while there’re online.

By following these tips, you can help keep your child safe while there’re online, and give them the tools they need to navigate the internet responsibly.

Bird Watching Early Years

Free interactive workbook to educate children about birds in fun and creative ways.

Birdwatching is a fun and exciting hobby, that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, including children!

Not only is it a great way to spend time outdoors, but it also allows children to learn about different types of birds and their habitats.



When out birdwatching, children can learn about the different behaviours of birds. They can observe how birds fly, feed and interact with each other. Children can also learn about the different sounds that birds make and what they might mean.

In addition to observing birds in the wild, children can also create a bird-friendly environment in their own backyard by putting up a bird feeder or birdhouse.

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.

Child on leaf

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.