A warm welcome to Fennies Day Nursery and Pre-School

We’re delighted to announce that Fennies, a day nursery and pre-school chain based in South West London, Kent and Surrey, has signed up all of their 11 settings to the EYN Partnership.

Fennies will be working their way through the EYN Partnership journey to achieve our Quality Mark for their settings with two of our Registered Nutrition Professionals!

They will be working with Catherine Lippe and Janet Aylott, who will provide tailored support and training to their staff in each of their different settings.

Catherine and Janet will be helping the Fennies team to build on the great work they are already doing to focus on nutrition. They will be providing specific support in areas such as menu planning and supporting children with special dietary requirements and allergies.

The team at Fennies is absolutely committed to healthy eating and clearly raring to go! We spoke to some of the staff at the Epsom, Horley and Beckenham sites, to find out why they think early years nutrition is important and to learn more about how things are going!

Mariella Wilkinson is Nursery Manager in Beckenham. She told us why she and all the team feel so strongly about getting nutrition right. “At Fennies, we know that nutrition is a key component to supporting children’s development and well-being. Nutrition frames children’s concentration levels and therefore provides a key tool to help with their holistic development.

We believe it’s also vital that children, educators and families have a core understanding of what good nutrition is and the benefits it provides in terms of children’s health and well-being.”

Cara Munnery who is the Nursery Manager at the Epsom branch of Fennies told us how they were working hard with nutrition even before the EYN Partnership came along but that they really recognise the value of the programme. “We had a wide range of healthy snacks and incorporated healthy cooking into some of our activities.But we recognise that we can improve the mealtime experience for the children, and that there is scope for us to get some new ideas for healthy cooking activities from the nutritionists who are here to support us as part of the EYNP programme.”

Fay Ackfield-Case is Deputy Manager in Horley agrees with Cara that Fennies was already committed to healthy menus. “The menus in place before we signed up to the EYN Partnership were created in collaboration by the Fennies chefs, and they were always based upon healthy eating guidance and government advice on nutritional needs for children and carefully reviewed. But there is always scope to learn more and we are really keen that our teams gain and even better understanding of the nutritional needs of young children. We feel they will get that now that we have nutritionists on board. We also really want to build better relationship with parents when it comes to talking about meals and nutrition.”

Mariella told us how the team have found working with the EYN Partnership so far. “Working alongside Janet has been a lovely informative experience. Janet has provided us with key information around nutrition and has helped us see what it will mean to us in our setting when we have completed the Early Years Nutrition Partnership programme.

“An email has been sent out detailing about the Early Years Nutrition Programme. We have also met with our parent representatives to explain in detail our choice in deciding to work alongside the partnership and the long-term outcome for families, children and our early years educators.

It’s lovely to be able to work in partnership with Janet to build robust knowledge for educators and families around nutrition!”

Fay confirmed that things are already going well! “The new winter menus have been compiled using the support of the EYN Partnership recommendations, and they are going down very well so far!”

The EYN Partnership is delighted to be working with Fennies and congratulate them on making their commitment to early years nutrition. We are enjoying getting to know the teams and look forward to seeing the fruits of their labour! Congratulations Fennies!