Nicola FreemanNursery Manager, Watford
Nicola Freeman is the Nursery Manager of Bright Little Stars Watford and has over 20 years’ experience in the Early Years industry, qualifying with her NNEB diploma in 1995. Nicola has worked in a variety of roles, with over 12 years being in a managerial role and has always had a passion for caring for children and helping them in the first years of their lives. Nicola has been involved in the setup of various nurseries and has led her team to achieve outstanding practice. Nicola regularly attends Ofsted approved courses to update her knowledge and to develop her team further as well as benefiting the nursery to make it a special place for everyone.
Nicola believes in promoting a high quality Early Years experience and ensuring that every child is treated as an individual enabling them to develop to their full potential. Nicola’s office door is always open and she prides herself on being flexible and welcoming.
To find out more about Watford, please visit our Watford page.
Bright Little Stars Nursery in Watford opened in March 2016. It is situated on a residential road on Sheepcot Lane and features a newly renovated, purpose built, castle themed, gated property with a multi-colour fence making this an exciting, safe and secure environment for you and your little one. They will enjoy the highest standards of childcare in which to develop and gain their early years’ experience in a stimulating home from home environment. Our nursery has good access to motorways and other main routes and are close to local schools and amenities.
We have specially designed three bright learning rooms for each of our age groups of babies, toddlers and pre-school featuring plenty of natural light, dual air-conditioning/heating systems and modern interactive LCD computer screens and technology. We have carefully selected and are well equipped with high quality resources and equipment to meet all of our individual children’s needs which will ensure your children have the best care and learning facilities possible.
Our large outdoor gardens and sheltered areas give each room direct access to the outdoors encouraging children to explore their physical potential and integrates all of the other areas of learning offered indoors thus promoting the free flow of learning and children’s ability to develop their exploration skills. We are also within walking distance of local parks, providing the children with extra outdoor opportunities. The Bright Little Stars All-Inclusive Unique Learning Programme suits children aged between 6 months to 5 years old and incorporates the EYFS, Mathematics, Literacy, Science and Botany, Culture and Geography, ICT, Ben & Betty and an exciting range of Extra-Curricular Clubs.
NurseryCam offers our parents additional peace of mind and allows them to be more involved in their children’s learning. Our staff team pride themselves in creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere and are dedicated and passionate in delivering high standards of childcare and continually strive to promote the partnership with you as parents. Our on-site chef freshly prepares healthy and nutritious meals and snacks in our kitchen, to give your little ones all the energy they need for a busy day of play and learning.
Our Nursery in Watford also features a full security system using the latest CCTV and a secure entry/exit system with a direct link to the police and is monitored in case of other emergencies. For your convenience, there is also on-site parking and a separate buggy and car seat storage area.
Come and see all that we have to offer, meet our team and answer any questions you may have by simply completing our ‘Request A Viewing’ online form and a member of our team will be in touch with you soon. Alternatively, if you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to call us or pop in for a chat.
Please come and visit us at BLS Watford during our next Open Day, on Saturday 28th April 2018.
We will be delighted to welcome you to the Nursery so you can see the excellent facilities we have to offer and we would love for you to meet our fantastic staff team.
Please contact us via Request A Viewing online to book your appointment. We look forward to seeing you.
We have specially designed three bright learning rooms with your child’s best interests at heart, each tailored to one of our particular age groups of babies, toddlers and pre-school complete with carefully selected sophisticated resources, facilities and modern technology suited to encourage children’s exploration for plentiful learning opportunities. Each room has direct access to outdoor space allowing the free flow of learning and playing both indoors and out.
Milky Way Room: Under 2 years old
A warm welcome to the Milky Way room where we accommodate babies and pre-toddlers. We have created a safe, caring and stimulating play area which is bright and spacious to welcome all our little ones as they move around safely in a clean and caring environment. We operate a strict no outdoor shoes policy in this room. We have also incorporated a separate sleep area so all our babies can get the rest they need in a peaceful and calming atmosphere. We endeavour to mirror the care routines you give your child; through regular contact with your key person we can help ensure your child’s feeding, nappy changes and sleep routines are synchronised with those you use at home.
Our passionate and caring staff provide an array of activities to stimulate each and every child and through the use of movement, sound, colour and touch, the children are encouraged to explore, develop, make independent choices and above all feel settled and comfortable in their nursery environment where a home from home environment is incorporated. Practitioners within this room understand sensitive care giving which is needed to support babies’ early development and understanding their emotional needs. This helps build attachments which is vital for children in the early years and gives them a sense of belonging.
The daily routine is tailored around the children’s individual needs and abilities to help support their growth and development. The younger children have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities, planned to create a balance between stimulating discovery play and adult led opportunities such as music and singing, creative and craft play such as painting, sticking and cooking. We also introduce children to colours, shapes and counting in accordance with the EYFS. Opportunities for exploring the outdoors are incorporated daily with free-flow access to the outdoor play area and regular walks.
As the children get older and begin to explore and gain confidence, they are given the opportunities to participate in a wide range of educational and fun activities that will be planned around play and learning. Outside play once again forms a large part of their day where a wide range of toys and play equipment are available helping develop their balance, co-ordination and physical strength. At this age, children also begin to take in interest in books and nursery rhymes and we have a designated cosy corner to encourage this. Group activities are gradually introduced which helps develop the children’s concentration and language skills and enables your child to experience a wide range of new emotions. We work very closely with you as parents to help and encourage all of these new skills that the children are learning.
Orion: 2-3¼ years old
Our Orion room is for children aged between 2 and 3¼ years old and each child will be assigned a new key-worker when they make the transition into this room. They will ensure that the children’s individual needs are met and will continue to help each and every child develop to their full potential working in partnership with you as parents to discuss their progress.
The friendly and caring staff in the Orion room aim to create a fun, relaxed and stimulating atmosphere that begins to incorporate more structure with a familiar routine for the children to develop their physical, intellectual, language, emotional and social skills.
Every activity in the Orion room is a learning opportunity and your child will enjoy a huge and diverse range of activities which are fun and stimulating. The children are able to explore new experiences with the freedom to start making their own choices, developing their independence and expressing themselves in their own way. This helps them become confident learners. All of the toys and resources are set out for easy access by all the children to enhance and develop their play experiences.
Group activities are implemented into the daily routine which include pretend play, to better understand other people’s feelings and to continue to learn how to co-operate with others. To develop the children’s independence further, basic self-care skills are encouraged and supported to put their coats and shoes on when playing in the garden and using a knife and fork at meal times and washing their hands before meals.
Supernova Room: Over 3+ years old
Our aim within the Supernova room is to ensure that your child is ready and eager to start mainstream school and with a more structured programme of play and learning, which is based on pre-school activities in preparation for the transition from nursery to school.
Following the key areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage and led by committed and qualified practitioners, the structured programme of activities is rich and varied. All of these EYFS areas are reflected in the learning rooms and outdoor area and include maths, discovery, environment, role-play, construction, creative play and ICT. There is always a variety of interesting materials and toys available. All of the resources are labelled to ensure stability and continuity. The children are able to participate in a wide range of activities which includes music, science experiments, geography, creative play, cooking and gardening. The childcare provided is enriched with plenty of learning experiences and opportunities.
The type of teaching is enormously varied. We combine both adult led and child-initiated activities to encourage independent learning and motivate children to link together the areas of development. Children are encouraged to choose toys from different areas and have continual access to ICT toys, sand, water, home and cosy corners and books. We also support and encourage children in areas such as eating, dressing and toileting and helping adults in everyday tasks such as preparing tables at meal times and helping clear up after meals. At this stage children are becoming more aware of their place in a community. Literacy and numeracy can develop rapidly with the support of a wide range of interesting materials and activities. Children’s language is now much more complex longer sentences are being used. Conversations with adults become a more important source of information, guidance and reassurance.
At Bright Little Stars Nursery, for your convenience, unlike many other nurseries our fees include an exciting range of extra-curricular clubs, freshly prepared meals and snacks cooked by our on-site chef and milk (excluding formula milk).
We are open Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 6:00pm, 50 weeks per year excluding Bank Holidays for children aged 6 months to 5 years. Our sessions comprise of a choice between part-time or full-time discounted care. Morning sessions run from 8:00am to 1:00pm and afternoon sessions from 1:00pm to 6:00pm. Children can be dropped off and/or picked up anytime within their relevant session time. Fees are charged on a monthly basis.
In the best interests of each child, for private care, we ask you to commit to a minimum of 4 single sessions per week. This ensures that each child is well settled and is able to participate fully within the curriculum at Nursery.
For further detailed information about our fees or any discounts we are offering please see below or contact our Nursery Manager who will be more than happy to answer any queries you may have.
Session Fees: 1st January – 31st December 2018
The full-day and full-week sessions are priced at a discounted rate compared to the equivalent single sessions. Please remember when comparing our fees that, unlike many other nurseries our fees include extra-curricular clubs, meals and snacks cooked by our on-site chef and milk (excluding formula milk).Under 2 years old
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Full Week Full Day £69.73 £77.48 £77.48 £77.48 69.73 £330.60 Discounted Rate
(average £33.06 per session)
Morning (AM) £40.59 £45.10 £45.10 £45.10 £40.59 £194.81 Discounted Rate
(average £38.96 per session)
Afternoon (PM) £36.90 £41.00 £41.00 £41.00 £36.90 £177.10 Discounted Rate
(average £35.42 per session)
Swipe left to see all of the table2 – 3 years old
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Full Week Full Day £64.04 £71.16 £71.16 £71.16 £64.04 £303.63 Discounted Rate
(average £30.36 per session)
Morning (AM) £37.27 £41.42 £41.42 £41.42 £37.27 £178.92 Discounted Rate
(average £35.78 per session)
Afternoon (PM) £33.89 £37.65 £37.65 £37.65 £33.89 £162.65 Discounted Rate
(average £32.53 per session)
Swipe left to see all of the tableOver 3 years old
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Full Week Full Day £62.58 £69.53 £69.53 £69.53 £62.58 £296.67 Discounted Rate
(average £29.67 per session)
Morning (AM) £36.42 £40.47 £40.47 £40.47 £36.42 £174.82 Discounted Rate
(average £34.96 per session)
Afternoon (PM) £33.11 £36.79 £36.79 £36.79 £33.11 £158.92 Discounted Rate
(average £31.78 per session)
Swipe left to see all of the table
* For over 3 year olds, 15 and 30 hours Funded Early Education entitlement is available, which will reduce the 3 + fees table above accordingly (30 hours is subject to eligibility).
* Hours indicated are maximum extremes, children can be dropped off and/or picked up anytime within the relevant session time.
* Parents can combine Full-Week AM or Full-Week PM with extra sessions at the single session rates.
* At present, the daily and weekly rates incorporate a discount. This is subject to change at our discretion.
* We may increase our fees once per year with one month’s notice. This is typically in January but not exclusively.
* For Over 3 years old Funded: Each child will be entitled to receive either 15 or 30 hours Funded Childcare per week, during term time only (38 weeks a year) commencing the term after their third birthday.
For 15 hours Funding: Parents may choose to have these three sessions (up to 5 hours each) on either the morning or afternoon on a Monday or Friday; one of these sessions (5 hours) can take place in the afternoon on either a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday (we will not be offering Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday morning as a funded session).
For 30 hours Funding: Parents can only choose one funded session out of the Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday mornings. The additional five sessions can be chosen out of the Monday or Friday morning or afternoon sessions and Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday afternoons.
The funded entitlement does not include food or other additional services which all our privately funded sessions receive. However, we are pleased to be able to provide these additional services to your child at the following subsidised cost:
AM Session Meals: £3.00 PM Session Meals: £2.50 Additional Services: £2.50
Registration, Offers/Discounts and Additional Charges
Please note parents are expected to provide nappies, wipes and formula milk.
Registration Fee: £50.00 non-refundable Deposit: £200.00 refundable subject to Terms and Conditions Late Collection Charge: £10.00 for every 15 minutes Nursery Outings: As and when they take place
Funding, Tax-Free Childcare and Vouchers
The Government funds Local Authorities to offer subsidised early education places in settings inspected by Ofsted. All 3 and 4 year olds become eligible for the Funded Early Education entitlement the term after their third birthday and are entitled to 570 hours of childcare which is 15 hours per week for 38 weeks out of the 52 week year. In addition, 3 and 4 year olds of qualifying, working parents in England may also be able to access a further 570 hours of funded childcare; this means 3 and 4 year olds could receive a total of 30 hours funded childcare per week over for 38 weeks out of the 52 week year, providing they meet the government eligibility.
To qualify, each parent (or the sole parent in a lone parent family) will need to earn, on average, at least the equivalent of 16 hours on the national minimum wage per week and no more than £100,000 per year. Self-employed parents and parents on zero-hours contracts will be eligible if they meet the average earnings criteria. Families where one parent is not in paid employment (or neither parent works) will usually not be eligible for the additional 15 hours. There are exceptions for parents who are on parental, maternity, paternity, adoption or sick leave. Parents who are studying or in training will not be eligible unless this is combined with paid work which meets the minimum average earnings threshold.
To find out more please visit the Childcare Choices website.
Please note: Whilst we participate in 15 and 30 hours funded entitlement to Early Years Education for 3 and 4 year olds this does not guarantee the availability of a place. In addition, parents’ must adhere to the Bright Little Stars session choices.
All BLS Nurseries are registered and accept payments from Tax-Free Childcare accounts. Tax-Free Childcare is a more accessible alternative to the Employer Childcare Voucher scheme offering tax efficient savings when paying for your nursery fees. Tax-Free Childcare will be open to all qualifying parents, unlike childcare vouchers which can only be bought by people whose employer offers the scheme. It is a scheme by which the government will top up a designated childcare bank account by 20p for every 80p deposited, up to a maximum of £2,000 per child per year. It is the responsibility of the parent to ensure the Tax-Free Childcare payments are set up in line with the terms of the Bright Little Stars Contract.
Tax-Free Childcare can be used alongside the 15 and 30 hours funded entitlement to Early Years Education for 3 and 4 year olds and will support families with their childcare costs.
To find out if you are eligible or for more detailed information and how to register, please visit the Government Childcare Service website. Please also see the Frequently Asked Questions in our Parent Information for further terms and conditions.
We accept Childcare Vouchers from employers who offer this benefit to their eligible employees as an e-voucher. Vouchers are non-taxable and exempt from NI contributions for employees, whilst offering NI savings for employers. Both parents are eligible to claim as long as they are both in employment. Nevertheless, the Childcare Voucher scheme will be closed to new users from October 2018 and replaced by Tax-Free Childcare.
We are eagerly anticipating our inspection by Ofsted at our Watford Nursery.
In the meantime, you are welcome to download a copy of our latest Ofsted Inspection Report for our Mill Hill Nursery:
Mill Hill Key Highlights:
“The views of children, staff, parents and other professionals are meticulously considered to improve practice.”
“Children spontaneously share resources and skilfully share ideas; for example, as they enthusiastically tell one another about how they made purple playdough.”
“All children take part in highly exciting physical activities that are targeted to their interests.”
“All staff build extremely strong bonds with the children, who show they feel safe, secure and exceedingly happy.”
“All children, without exception, make rapid progress from their starting points. For example, children who have any emerging special educational needs are extremely well supported.”
“Staff encourage children’s creative skills extremely well; for example, as they create stamps to put on letters, weigh parcels and make marks on forms in their role-play post office.”
“Children develop exceptional early literacy skills. Older children read and write their names and are beginning to read simple words.”
“Children have impressive mathematical skills and express themselves confidently, even when English is not their first language.”
“Staff provide an exceptionally well-tailored and stimulating learning environment through highly focussed planning … staff listen to children, encourage them to predict outcomes and to think critically. For example, they incorporated children’s suggestions, linked to letter sounds, to feature their words in songs.”
“Senior staff are exceptional leaders. They are extremely ambitious and continually improve the provision.”