Tops Musgrove participates in National Storytelling Week

Rebecca Pow, MP, joined Cheryl Hadland, Managing Director of Tops Day Nurseries to participate in National Storytelling Week and spend time reading and interacting with the children as well as having a discussion on the importance of the Early Years sector and the issues it faces.

Tops Day Nurseries Musgrove, onsite at the Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, have spent the last week promoting the importance of reading in the Early Years by inviting local MP Rebecca Pow to read a story to the children at Tops Musgrove.   

Tops Day Nurseries, a nursery chain with over 30 nurseries across the Southwest, actively encourage reading in the Early Years and understand the value of reading at a young age. To spread this message further they invited Rebecca Pow MP, MP for Taunton Deane, to visit the nursery. During her visit, Rebecca read ‘A Squash and a Squeeze. The children thoroughly enjoyed it and were very good at listening.

National Storytelling Week takes place every year and is a celebration of the power of sharing stories. Stories teach us about the world, they allow us to step into someone else’s shoes and feel empathy, they help us to relax and they can help develop essential literacy skills.

During Rebecca’s visit, refreshments, prepared by the Tops Catering team, were provided. All ingredients were fresh from a local farm in Bournemouth, Harvest farm, and were taken from the no-added-sugar menus provided to the children across Tops Day Nurseries,

“Making childcare more affordable for parents and paying early years staff more can only be good for everyone, even short term more parents and grandparents could return to work thus paying more tax/receiving fewer benefits and taking pressure off employers with vacancies. Long term the benefits are vast through the children flourishing with a good start.”

Cheryl Hadland, Tops Managing director

Topics Discussed

  • Tops Day Nurseries Queens Award for Enterprise (Sustainable Development).
  • The underfunding of early years provision and parents by the government, which was about half what it should be (The government’s own figures) and has failed to keep up this year again despite living wage, national insurance, health insurance, inflation and utilities all increasing again this April.
  • One of the results of the underfunding is not being able to pay for and retain the top-quality nursery teachers that the children deserve, which is the best investment this country can make.  There is now a national shortage of nursery teachers which is reducing the availability of nursery places and damaging the quality of education.
  • The importance of apprenticeships from starting to degree level for early years staff.
  • Immigration and requirements for opening up the workforce for skilled migrants which is currently difficult due to DofE processes for checking foreign qualifications and very slow processing at the Home Office.
  • Means testing for funding for early years places and funding to enable all children to attend for 30 hours.
  • The local authorities not applying for relief on business rates for day nurseries despite notice to do this from the Department for Education and other local authorities now doing this.  Wales and Scotland already refunding business rates, and schools have rates refunded.
  • The land and water pollution being caused by water companies allowing sewage into the environment, and the one-use plastic and microplastics now in our food chain causing infertility and disease in humans and injuring and killing birds, whales, turtles, and dolphins.
  • The nurseries use bamboo toothbrushes and washable nappies.
  • Air pollution, which is causing asthma and lung disease in small children. 
  • The nursery EV and charging points.
  • Dairy milk provision for early years children is unsustainable, whereas fruit and vegetables would be more universally beneficial in terms of the children’s health, would reduce obesity and discrimination against those in the population who are milk intolerant
  • Waste costs of disposable nappies are 4% of the domestic rates bill for everyone plus £1000 per nursery p.a.
  • The positive impact that Tops Day Nurseries has on children and their families’ lives in Bournemouth, good and outstanding teaching, healthy safe environments.

“The early years of a child’s life are absolutely critical to their development and nurseries like Tops Musgrove are so valuable not just in terms of the essential care service they provide for working parents but also for the input to the children themselves. On my visit I was delighted to see the superb attention given to environmental issues including gardening with the children, using washable nappies and even the staff making their own wet wipes. Their recent Queens Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development is well deserved.”

Rebecca Pow, MP

Tops Day Nurseries, providing happy, nurturing childcare for the hours you need, across over 30 nursery settings in: BabbacombePlymouthBournemouthCharminsterCopnorFawleyGillinghamCorfe MullenHavantLakesideLymingtonTauntonNewportPoolePortsmouthSalisburySouthseaWarehamWimborneWinchester and Yeovil.

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