We are delighted that so many of the settings we work with have decided to share their EYNP stories with us on our website this year! Every setting that shares their experience helps to inspire other settings to join the EYNP movement, and so we want to say a big thank you to anybody who has contributed in this way. With the year coming to a close, let’s have a quick recap of what we have learned during 2018.
One of the things we have heard time and again from settings is how useful our face to face training is.
Fledglings Day Nursery and Pre-School in Greater Manchester told us how they found their healthy eating mojo when they had their team training workshop with Nicola Calder, their Registered Nutrition Professional. A team approach was really important to Fledglings and Deputy Principle, Hannah Little, told us, “The team is confident now explaining to parents why the menus are constructed the way they are …It’s important when you make changes to be able to talk about them and justify them to parents, and that’s something that the training has given us.”
Lynne Daniel, Manager at Tiddlywinks Nursery in Redhill, Surrey, also believes they reaped the benefits from the team training session, “We did the modules over two days, and eight of us attended; it was a brilliant experience for bringing the team along all together.” They also found that having their Registered Nutrition Professional, Catherine Lippe behind them gave them more credibility with parents, who now “take us seriously and can see that what we are doing is based in evidence and science.”
We love hearing about how much our settings appreciate working with our Registered Nutrition Professionals. Their dedicated support makes it so much easier for a setting to make changes, having somebody on the end of a phone to answer questions is very useful! We have also been interested to hear how settings have found their expertise useful when explaining changes to parents.
Sunbeams Day Nursery in Bristol are big fans of their Registered Nutrition Professional Alison Preston, as owner Jacqui Offer told us, “She’s so supportive and it’s made all the difference to the attitude of the team too. I finally feel like I have some weight behind what I was trying to achieve.” Jacqui believes that being part of the EYN Partnership has enabled Sunbeams to make healthy choices part of their everyday routine at the nursery they now integrate healthy eating and drinking into everything they do.
Kathryn Munden from Rainbows Nursery said, “The support you get is amazing and it is so accessible and so easy to make changes because of the support of the nutritionist.” They worked very hard as a team and felt that Nicola really helped them by setting targets and keeping them on track. Kathryn is another practitioner who is really passionate about the face to face training “It brought a group of us together. Nobody was working alone, and there was no pressure on one person to come and feed back to everybody else. Because three of us did it, we were all on the same page and we had enough momentum to come away and make changes.”
Maria Garrido from Aberdeen Park described how their work with the EYNP has helped them more than they had ever imagined as it has led to a wider focus on health and happiness. “We’ve taken real inspiration from our work with the EYNP and extended our approach to healthy living. We’ve trained all our staff on the importance of good oral hygiene, prompted by our learnings on the Level 3 course about the sugar content of food and drink.” We were really interested to hear from Maria and her team about how they feel EYNP works well alongside the local Healthy Eating London programme that they participate in.
We love that we have heard about how the EYNP has inspired big changes like at Aberdeen Park, and how we are hearing about hugely important smaller changes too!
Brambles Day Nursery in Solihull was really pleased about, “Going squash-free with EYNP!” With the help of their Registered Nutrition Professional Gill Kelsall, they devised a plan for finally ridding the nursery of squash, something they had been trying and not quite managing to achieve for a long time. They learned that hydration is key for growing children but that water is best! Now every member of the team regularly encourages the children to drink plenty of water, and even remind each other too! Karen Nash, Childcare Manager, told us “The fact that we have now been awarded the EYNP Quality Mark shows the progress we have made, and we are proud of what it says about us. Our first year with EYNP has been so successful that we have now signed-up for a second year. We want to work towards the Advanced Quality Mark!”
Brambles isn’t the only setting that has noticed positive changes in their own team’s approach to healthiness! Sadie Hopley, Education Director at Rosebank Nurseries told us “The team have definitely adopted healthier attitudes. I think that stems from realising they are role models for the children, but also just increasing knowledge about nutrition.” The team at Rosebank are keen for other settings to understand what an impact working with the EYNP can have. Sadie said “It has given us the tools, as individual practitioners and as a company to offer the right things for our children and for our parents. It’s given us accurate knowledge, and as professionals we are often bombarded with an expanse of mixed messages. Our work with EYNP has helped us channel healthy changes for our whole community, children, parents, and staff. Unless you can hit all those three, there’s no point as changes aren’t sustainable. That was the idea and it’s worked. We’ve hit all three because of EYNP.”
Becky Sanders, who is a Manager at the Jancett Group of Day Nurseries Surrey feels much the same way. “One of the things I would say to other owners and managers who aren’t sure if this is for them is you have to think about all the rewards, you get so much out of it in every area. I think it has helped our relationships with our parents, a lot of them come in and say lovely things about the menus! And then there are all the benefits to the team, how we are eating and feeling better. And obviously the children, I feel as though they are actually quite knowledgeable, and we are going to be do cooking with them for three hours every day, which should ensure they have a real love of food! It’s all because of EYNP.”.
Congratulations to all of our settings for a brilliant 2018 and we look forward to hearing and learning more about their EYN Partnership journeys in 2019.