Welcome House day nursery celebrates 25th birthday

Staff and kids celebrating with tasty cake. Picture: Sam Stephenson
Staff and kids celebrating with tasty cake. Picture: Sam Stephenson

A day nursery has celebrated its 25th birthday.

Welcome House, in Grove Road, Chichester, opened its doors in October 1992. Run by a mother and daughter team, Barbara Stanley and Victoria Baldwin, the nursery has since grown into a successful business, employing 13 staff and caring for more than 90 children a week.

Barbara said: “When we first started, there was no Ofsted and no formal curriculum and we had the freedom to followour own learning journey with the children. We have seen so much change over the years in education and ideas have come and gone, and it is this constantly evolving process that makes working in the Early Years so interesting.”

The nursery has been consistently been rated as ‘good’ over the years and rated as ‘outstanding’ in its last three inspections. With an emphasis on outdoor learning, the children have the opportunity to attend Forest School sessions in Slindon woods, and more recently have started to explore the marine environment at Beach School.

The nursery also has a large allotment adjacent to the nursery, where the children grow, tend and harvest fruit and vegetables.

Victoria said: “With all the changes that we’ve experienced, the one thing that has remained constant is that children learn best as they play and need a fun, challenging and interesting environment in which to do so. We have always tried to create a happy and nurturing place for children to be and give them the freedom and time to explore and investigate the world around them”.

Over the years the pair haves and built close relationships with hundreds of children and their families.

Victoria said: “It is always lovely to hear from past pupils to know how they are getting on and to celebrate their successes. Our children have gone onto to be artists, firefighters, musicians, doctors and teachers for example and we’ve even had an Olympian and we like to think we may have played an early part in laying those foundations for success!”