“The nursery is in such a great community. The families here have been coming for years, so I’m now looking after siblings of children I looked after previously.”

The Kids Planet nursery at Lymm has a lot to be proud of, but the jewel in their crown has to be their continued commitment to the care and education of the children they look after, while serving the community they call home.

Since its establishment in 2009, Kids Planet Lymm has been a fixture of the community for more than a decade. Situated a two minute walk from the village and all its amenities, it is perfectly located to enjoy all that the area has to offer, developing relationships with the residents, as well as exploring the natural surroundings.

Recently they received their third Ofsted ruling in a row; a celebration of their dedication to providing high quality education and care, as well as a testament to the hard work of the staff. The report calls the nursery “inspirational” and especially cites the fact that “children develop a unique awareness of their role in society” through enrichment activities such as “visiting places of interest in the local community, and engaging with the older generation during visits to a local residential home and take donations to the local food bank.”

“Children and families are at the heart of absolutely everything that this inspirational nursery provides. Children are warmly greeted by friendly motivated and highly staff, who are eager to ensure that children make the most of their time at nursery. There is an infectious ‘buzz ‘ about the nursery. All children engage deeply in their meticulously planned learning,” the report reads.

“They are superbly supported by highly qualified and experienced staff who have immensely high expectations of each child. Children are exceptionally confident learners who play an active role in their own learning and in making decisions. They understand the exceptionally high expectations that staff have for their behaviour. They play together harmoniously and demonstrate a deep awareness of the feelings of those around them. Children of all ages feel happy and safe in this inspiring nursery.”

The recent Ofsted report described the nursery as “inspirational”

Annie, the Deputy Nursery Manager at Kids Planet Lymm, has been part of the Kids Planet team for nearly a decade herself, and worked her way through the various succession schemes the company offers staff to gain further qualifications. She began her career at the nursery in Lymm, and believes that the relationship that the nursery has fostered with the community helps make it a particularly special environment for the children.

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“Lymm village is lovely, it’s a nice community, everyone knows each other. They do lots of community things, especially in summer, where they can get everybody involved. The nursery is quite a big part of the events and the things they do,” she said.

“We try to get outdoors and into the community as much as possible; we’ll take the children for a walk, to go and feed the ducks, maybe visit Lymm Dam. The pre-schoolers love to go to the Sanctuary Cafe in the village, the ladies there absolutely love them there. They’ll give them biscuits and juice, and put on activities for them there.

“We get involved and sponsor a lot of things too. Lymm village has an event called the May Queen every year and we get involved with that – we decorated big floats to go through the parade with some of the children on them. We’re also doing a thing called ‘Lymm Rocks’ where the toddlers have collected rocks and stones when they’ve been out on their walk around the village and taken them back to the nursery to paint in the colors of the Union Jack, for the Queen’s Jubilee. We just try to get out into the local community as much as possible.”

The nursery takes inspiration from its natural surroundings
The nursery takes inspiration from its natural surroundings

Annie credits this ongoing relationship with the community, as well as the village itself, as providing such a picturesque backdrop for a child’s education, which has helped solidify its reputation and kept parents coming back.

“The nursery is in such a great community. The families here have been coming here for years. I’m now looking after siblings of children I looked after previously. Every day is different; you never get two days the same. We are slowly starting to get busier after Covid, all the rooms are starting to fill up, so we’re constantly on the go.

“We’ve got a lot of new starters, a lot of new babies which is nice as hopefully they’ll be with us until they go to school, which is always lovely to see. We do have some families that come all the way from Manchester to attend, so not everyone necessarily lives in the Lymm area but being in a village we have a lot of access to nature.”

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Located in Cheshire, Kids Planet Lymm really does have the best of both worlds. Lymm itself is somewhat of a historic gem, and not only boasts a history that includes a 240-million-year-old dinosaur’s footprint, but other traditional quirks such as a town crier, Grade One listed Lymm Cross and hosts many events such as Dickensian Day, all of which provide excellent learning opportunities for the children. By the same token, the surrounding scenery is nothing short of spectacular, with Lymm Dam, Slitten Gorge and Bridgewater Canal all at the nursery’s fingertips.

The village of Lymm has plenty of history to explore on day trips
The village of Lymm has plenty of history to explore on day trips

Nature is often incorporated in the education process, and plays a key part of Kids Planet Lymm’s ethos of “following the children’s interest” and allowing them to learn organically, through honing their skills in areas that excite them. Deputy Manager Annie has seen first-hand how the natural environment can help turn experiences into a spontaneous learning opportunity.

She added: “We have an allotment plot we can take the children to and our preschool lot went yesterday morning. One of the children actually found a carrot that had grown, pulled it out, washed it off and ate it! It was really nice for them to have that experience, and for them to get to do things they wouldn’t necessarily do at home.

“We’re trying to always enhance the children’s interests and there’s so many tools to do so; we want them to find the best fit for them, so we’re not all about hitting targets, more about giving the children the ability to find their own way in education.”

One increasingly popular outdoor activity is Forest School, at which Kids Planet Lymm aims to offer small groups of children once or twice a week the opportunity to visit Dunham Massey. This outdoor time allows children to learn how to ‘risk-take’ and learn within a safely controlled but fun environment. Children understand, through a variety of activities, how to self-assess safety as well as picking up key skills like teamwork and creativity in a natural setting.

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Forest Schools allows children to learn how to safely 'risk-take' and learn
Forest Schools allows children to learn how to safely ‘risk-take’ and learn

“It’s an outdoor learning opportunity for the children where they’re given free roam of the space they’re in, and can learn key skills while doing so. The children can learn how to use tools safely, and risk-take in a controlled We teach them about managing their own risks, so for example if we’re supervising them climbing on a tree, we’ll ask them if they feel safe, and if they don’t they can come down or ask for help, she said.

“Then we encourage them to find a way to do something a bit more safely. They know they have to wear gloves when they use tools, and then really listen to the Forest School Leader when they’re talking and explaining something, so it’s a really useful exercise.”

These sessions have been positively received by parents, who recognize the importance of allowing their children to be exposed to a variety of different experiences in their formative years.

“The parents are really passionate about the children going, so they’re always asking about when their children will be able to go next. The children absolutely love it too. They’re always asking ‘when can we go again?’ and they get so sad when they have to leave!” Ellie added.

“We have a minibus we go on, and they even get excited going on that, and being in a different area and different space. They can leave the nursery for the day and then come back and tell their friends all about it.”

Kids Planet nurseries encourage children to
Kids Planet nurseries encourage children to “follow their interests”

Kids Planet Lymm currently still has spaces available at the nursery, and offers other services such as before and after school clubs to help working parents. Their next open day is Saturday, July 2, and the team are encouraging prospective parents to attend, and fall in love with the village, the nursery and the community that is being nurtured for the children and their future.

Kids Planet Lymm has an open day Saturday July 2. To find out more about Kids Planet Lymm, visit their website here, or follow Kids Planet on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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