Footprints Learning for Life Nursery in Hartlepool is nurturing young minds and strengthening communities
Footprints Learning for Life Nursery on Tees Street is not just a place where children spend their time - it’s a place which aims to offer a solution around busy family lives, has an innovative approach to learning and supports organisations within the community.
Owner Vivienne Dempsey and her team have core values at the heart of what they do.
Vivienne says: “We are simply passionate about early years’ education and care.”
It is their passion for caring and helping which sets Footprints apart and it is reflected in their mantra “little feet need firm foundations”.
Children have authentic resources to play with
Vivienne has been working in early years businesses for 40 years. And still, after all that time, she says “every day to me is a learning day. I constantly research, thinking how we can do things better”.
One way is by using the “The Curiosity Approach”. Vivienne explains: “We are passionate about inspiring our little ones to be the ‘thinkers & doers’ of the future.
“Instead of using plastic pretend, child-sized toys, we use the real thing. Resources which value children’s play.
“We have moved away from manufactured toys - which are miniature and child size. By giving children ‘real’ authentic resources to play with, it opens a wealth of opportunities for learning.”
Everything relates back to the community
Footprints uses “loose parts” such as buttons, pegs, pine cones, bottle tops and cardboard to create an environment in which the youngsters develop skills of problem solving and critical thinking.
This includes using real plants, flowers and water in the nursery’s special gardening area.
The business supports local sport and is a sponsor of Hartlepool United Women’s FC.
Vivienne adds: “We like to support things for future for the children of the town. I like to see it as paying it forward, investing in our futures. Everything for us, relates back to the community.”
Valuable support for busy mums, dads and carers
This can be seen very clearly in its provision of transport.
It has a fleet of minibuses which can collect Footprints’ youngsters and take them where they need to be – even to sport sessions and events which are not part of Footprints’ own timetable. , including the team they sponsor, the Huskies under 12 Basketball.
This can be a valuable support for busy mums, dads and carers.
Footprints has capacity for 115 children at Tees Street; as well as a holiday club with places at Stranton School on Southburn Terrace, Hartlepool.
How to find out more
It offers nursery placements for children aged up to five, and in the Holiday Club, Breakfast Club and After School Club, can accommodate ages up to 15 years. Footprints is open from 7am to 6pm Monday to Friday.
To find out more about Footprints go to their website at www.footprintslfl.co.uk/