Chobham nursery is preparing children for responsibilities to the environment

A CHOBHAM nursery is on a mission to give children the best possible start in life.

The Pennypot Day Nursery, in Pennypot Lane, caters for children from six weeks to five years, providing care and offering imaginative learning opportunities using state-of-the-art equipment and resources.

Green Flag – Staff and children celebrated when Pennypot Nursery was awarded the Eco-Schools Green Flag for exceptional environmental awareness and conservation

“Confident, secure and happy children make friends easily and are open to new experiences,” said manager Carol McDonough,  who has 23 years’ experience in the early years sector.

“When you get that right, it is just a case of introducing as many different opportunities as possible to capture their imagination and see where their learning journey takes us.”

Alongside that commitment to excellence, Pennypot prides itself on preparing children for their responsibilities to the environment and the global community.

Bug hunting – Starting early at Pennypot Nursery

It is no surprise, then, that it has entered two categories in the CREST21 Business Awards: Efficiency Champion and Sustainability Impact.

The nursery cites a Native American proverb to illustrate its ethos, and is passionate in its efforts to live by it: We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.

From award-winning, ethically sourced home-cooked meals and snacks to a range of innovative eco-initiatives and a drive to be net-zero in their emissions by 2030, Pennypot aims to redefine excellence in every part of its operation.

It recognises that the approach to nutrition should go much farther than high-quality meals; children should also learn about the foods that support healthy growth and development.

A simple supply chain is favoured, so food can be traced and monitored from producer to nursery dining table.  Pennypot uses RSPCA Assured meats; fish from sustainable sources, free-range eggs and organic milk.

Nursery menus include meat-free days and a range of plant-based meals and snacks to support healthy development and reduce carbon emissions.

The Penny Pot Day Nursery garden

The nursery opened in 2004, powered by green electricity from renewable sources. It was among the first to join a disposable nappy waste collection and recycling service, and sends zero waste to landfill.

It was the first nursery group to sign up with Green Bottoms, the eco-friendly nappy collection and recycling service, and has diverted approximately 278,250 nappies away from landfill since the start in 2009.  That is more than 55 tonnes of disposable nappies that would otherwise have taken about 50 years to decompose.

To help understand the environment closer to home, the nursery garden plays host to a number of animal habitats, including a bug hotel and the children’s hand-made birdfeeders encourage biodiversity.

“All the children love the activities and are learning so much about maths, science and the environment as they go,” Carol added.

“We are excited about the levels of collaboration we are seeing between all the children and how responsible they are in looking after their plants and eco projects.

“The fact that our children understand the importance of protecting the environment bodes well for the future.”

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