Little Elms Daycare & Pre-School was established in 2009 by brothers Matthew and Spencer Lancaster, driven by their personal experiences as parents. Recognising the challenges of finding suitable childcare, they embarked on creating their own service that would align with their vision. They crafted an environment that not only met their own standards for their children but also provided a sense of comfort to other parents entrusting their little ones in their care.
Being a family-run business, Little Elms believes that a fun and caring environment is crucial to the happy and healthy development of children. With state-of-the-art facilities combining bright and spacious rooms and great outdoor spaces, in addition to an experienced and motivated team, children are provided a stimulating yet safe environment for creative play.
The nursery’s layout, staffing, and activity planning are all structured around the different needs of babies, toddlers, and pre-schoolers. This way, it is sure to meet each child’s physical, emotional, and developmental needs, while encouraging them to achieve their full potential during their precious pre-school years.
Each child is assigned a qualified keyworker who is responsible for the emotional wellbeing and development of a small group of children. This system allows the keyworker to understand each child’s individual needs, build a special relationship with them, and give them a sense of security. The keyworker will provide parents with daily feedback, such as activities, nappy changes and food eaten, as well as regular updates on each child’s progress.
When it comes to food, Little Elms provides breakfast, lunch and tea, along with two snacks throughout the day. This includes five servings of fresh fruit and vegetables, and drinking water is constantly available. Each meal is carefully planned and freshly prepared by the nursery’s trained chefs, using only the best locally-sourced ingredients (which are organic where possible) and ensuring a balanced and nutritious diet. Herbs and produce grown by the children in the nursery’s garden are also used, urging them to try new tastes and textures.
At meal times, children are encouraged to be sociable and the team helps them to learn table manners and eat tidily, too – although it all takes time and they don’t mind a bit of mess! The nursery is happy to accommodate to any special dietary needs, as well, such as food intolerances or requiring a vegetarian menu.
Ultimately, families can’t get enough of Little Elms, and it’s easy to see how the nursery has come to achieve such success within the Family Business Awards 2022. A couple of parents have shared their favourite things about Little Elms, with the first delighted parent commenting, “My nearly three-year-old has been going to this nursery for 18 months and absolutely loves it there. There’s a wide range of activities, an amazing food menu, and incredibly friendly/professional staff members! At first, I was a bit concerned as it’s smaller than other nurseries, but actually I have found it to be a bonus – You get to know the other parents and the kids for a close bond! They accept 30 free hours and are open 7.30am-6pm, only closing on bank holidays, so ideal for working parents. I would highly recommend this nursery.”
Another happy parent says, “We are lucky to have such a well-rounded group of carers and management; the staff are very friendly and approachable but more importantly very supportive. The team are very family-orientated which makes it easy to meet the families our children spend most of their time with. This will be our fourth year as my son has now left; he had a fantastic time bonding and learning skills, and has come away gaining some wonderful friends. It was only natural our daughter attended. Overall, we are very pleased with the nursery.”