15-24 months

Discovering the world around us

The Caterpillars’ room has been designed as a safe but inspiring environment that little ones can explore at their own pace. Able to accommodate 17 toddlers, and with at least one qualified staff member to every three children, Caterpillars provides the ideal setting in which to release each child’s inner butterfly.

Located on the first floor, the Caterpillars room features an unusual layout, with secret nooks and even its own little ‘corridor’ set apart from the main space. It is, quite simply, a place for small people to explore. Kept warm in the winter and air-conditioned in summer, there’s a large carpeted area and dedicated space for messy play. There’s even a hidden book corner strewn with floor cushions, where staff read stories and sing songs, and where children can browse.

Toddlers can move from Ducklings to Caterpillars anytime from age 12-15 months, depending on the individual. Each child is allowed to develop at his or her own pace. (Parents who are concerned about the transition can watch their child without being seen, using a secret peephole in the door).

There are lots of toys and other interesting stimuli. A large mounted mirror often proves irresistible – especially when dressing up – while a home corner and permanent kitchen area help build social skills. As with all rooms, we encourage both in- and outdoor play all year round.

All activities are planned around Early Years Foundation Stage best practice, with daily record sheets kept and shared with parents (if requested). All supervisory staff are experienced and fully qualified, and are often assisted by trainees hand-picked from local colleges (although it should be noted that trainees are not counted in staff/child ratios). An intercom connects the room to the rest of the nursery, ensuring that additional help is always at hand.