At Paradise Park Children's Centre we see play as a way for children to learn and express themselves as well as having fun. There are currently 15 regular staff working with in our nursery and of these 1/3 have or are studying for an Early Years Degree. The rest of our staff have or are studying for their NVQ 3 in Education and Care in Early Childhood, this is a vocational qualification equivalent to A level. Staffing ratios meet national requirements of 1-3 for under twos, 1-4 for 2-3s and 1-8 for over 3s.
At Paradise Park we plan for children according to what they show and tell us they want to do and we consult parents about what they're interested in at home. We use our knowledge of children's development in planning but also provide open-ended resources and loose parts so children can create their own play. Children get uninterrupted time for play and we work with them as they play to promote the learning they need. Children from 6 months choose whether to play outside in our garden and staff who are trained Forest School leaders take the older children to play and explore a local wood every week.
Our ethos is very inclusive. We aim to get to know families really well through our key person system and consistent staff team and place a strong emphasis on positive and supportive relationships. Our wider team includes Family Support workers, a psychologist, a speech therapist and health staff and our centre includes a community café, drop-ins, toy library and many fun events for families.
The centre is on the corner of Mackenzie Road and Liverpool Road in Islington and is open from 8am to 6pm.