Our dedicated baby unit is on Ehad Ha'am Street, right by Shenkin. The unit provides a nurturing environment for our very youngest children. We take children from 6 weeks old and upwards. From 12 months until around 16 months children are usually ready to transition up to our Toddler provision (in the same building)
Our basic hours are Sunday to Thursday, from 7:30am until 4:30pm, with the option of a 5:30 finish. Fridays from 8am until 1pm is also optional. Click here to see attendance options and prices. Our dedicated staff are early years trained and provide a 1:5 ratio, with additional staff available when required, such as during settling-in periods.
The right time to start
At Rainbow - everyday is a 'start' day. We have children joining us all year round, providing there is space available. Different families choose to start daycare at different times during a child's early years. For some parents, they have limited (or not) paternity/maternity leave and so are very keen to take advantage of our 6-week start option. For other parents, they prefer to stay home with their child until they reach 6 months, or even a year. At Rainbow, you can join us whenever feels right for you, and your family!
We have two baby groups; B1, and B2. Within B1 our spaces are deigned for the very youngest children, with specialist areas for those children who do not yet move independently. B2 provides a more challenging early years environment for children who are already crawling and even starting to walk.
What happens in B1
In B1, there are up to 12 children. The space includes a large play room, with clear zones to meet the different children's needs. There is a separate eating area (joint with B2) for children who are already sitting up, and eating solid foods. There is also a large dedicated dedicated sleep room with a play corner for children to sleep in whenever they need.
In B1 - there is no routine that we follow. We are completely dedicated to meeting each child's individual needs, and so every one of the children is on their own daily cycle, which includes carefully monitored eating, sleeping and play time. Parents tell us the routines, times and preferences for the day, and we follow them! This means that children are sleeping and eating on their own cycles, rather than at 'imposed' times, and is a much more natural and nurturing way to provide high quality early years care. As part of the day, we provide two adult initiated activities each morning and each afternoon that we encourage and support the children to take part in, around their care routines. Click here for our weekly timetable!
B2 opens into a large garden area, which is shared with B1... the staff in B1 take the children out in groups to spend time in the garden and enjoy the outside space. We carefully monitor the temperature and environment outside to ensure its suitability at all times for our very youngest children.
Children in B1 are usually under 9 months, and from 7 month to 9 or 10 months, will transition into B2. However - the baby unit is ONE unit - so children in both B1 and B2 will be familiar with the environment in both group rooms, and will know the staff across the whole baby unit, this means that transitions from one room to the next, will be seamless for the children!
What happens in B2
The children are already crawling when they reach B2, and some will already be standing, and whilst they are with is in B2, most children will develop their early walking skills; but not all of them. The space is well designed to support crawlers and encourage children to stand and take their first steps, and progress to become confident walkers. Lots of play happens on our carefully designed play spaces on the floor, we also have a ball pool, and have introduced some small tables, where children can begin exploring table top activities.
We support the Children in B2 to start to develop a degree of independence and start to participate in some structured activities such as circle time, music sessions and other group activities. The whole day is based on free play, and exploring the meaningful environments that we create each day, our adult initiated activities provide extra support and challenge for those children who are ready! Language begins to develop in B2, and the children start to form and use their their words in a more meaningful way.
There are carefully designed play zones, whcih provide activity rugs for floor play, and the and incorporates the book corner, role play area and construction area, and meaningful play materials that children have free access to. The space and opens out onto the large outside space, shared with B1. There is a dedicated sleep room for naps, afternoon sleep. Most (but not all) children in B2 sleep for 30 - 45 minutes in the morning, and again after their lunch. Some children have an extra sleep in the afternoon, or skip the morning sleep, we are completely focused on supporting children and families needs and preferences and so supporting sleeping time according to your wishes!
The day in B2 has more structure than in B1, and includes a circle time, activity sessions and planned times for snack and meals.
Most children will be on baby milk when they first join us! This may be breast milk or formula. Up to 6 months, nursing mothers can come in and breast feed if they wish to during the day, or as is more common (and for children older than 6 months) milk is expressed and provided to us in pouches, which we provide to the children in bottles. If your child is on formula milk, you provide us with the tins (we let you know when they are running down) and we make up feeds according to your child's agreed eating routines.
We start to support the move to solid foods as and when you are ready; we can provide foods in different consistencies for you, for example we can mash, puree or liquidise food, or provide food in whole pieces for children to handle. We prepare food as per your preferences. All food is cooked in our kitchen, fresh on a daily basis by our chef and then prepared in the baby kitchenette according to your wishes. When children start eating, we introduce them (in partnership with you!) to cooked vegetables at first, and slowly wean them on to a wider range of solid foods from our menu.
Getting settled with us...
First and foremost, your needs as a family are MOST important to us. We want to ensure that we are doing things right - by you! This means we need to get to know you and get to know your family. So... on the first day of nursery the keyworker for your child, will come to visit you at home and get to you know, find out what's important to you, who the key people are in your child's life and understand what you need and want from us! This will provide you with an opportunity to build a first bond with the team members and clearly set your expectations, and find out more about how we run! The second day, we will invite one parent to come and spend an hour in the nursery with your child. This will give you an opportunity to 'feel' the space as your child begins to adapt to their new surroundings. The next day in the nursery will be for 2-3 hours, where we invite the parent to leave in the middle for coffee... and so it goes on - so that soon, you will be leaving your child with us for the full day! Obviously... settling in is different for each family - depending on your needs... but we usually follow a 5 - 7 day settling plan. This will be discussed and agreed at your home visit.