Over the summer, three University nurseries received ‘Outstanding’ ratings from Ofsted. Following this news, Jo Mason, Head of Wellbeing and Childcare Services, shares an update on the childcare provision available to staff and students.
Childcare Services are proud to deliver excellent early years education to the children of the staff and students of the collegiate University. We have five University-owned nurseries, and work with 11 community nurseries, to provide over 445 FTE workplace nursery places to families. There are currently 515 families benefiting from University childcare across all 16 nurseries.
In July 2021, Kids Planet, the UK's third largest childcare provider, acquired the contract to operate the University nurseries. We are delighted to announce that over the summer, our Jack Straws Lane, Mansion House and Bradmore Road nurseries all received Outstanding ratings at their first Ofsted inspections under Kids Planet. This is a direct result of the commitment staff show to making the nursery experience the best it possibly can be for all children, and we thank Kids Planet and the nursery teams for their continued hard work.
All our nurseries provide a nurturing and supportive environment for children, and many have fantastic outdoor learning spaces which enhance children's learning across a broad curriculum. We work closely with our nursery providers to ensure that children are at the heart of everything they do, and this can be seen in the feedback that we receive from parents. One parent at Jack Straws Lane recently said:
I love the neutral but very warm and welcoming rooms with various activities in which children play and learn to their heart's content. A huge thank you for making our work life something to not have to worry about.
All the nurseries we work with provide excellent care for children under five years old, allowing parents to have peace of mind whilst at work. Our fees are extremely competitive and we offer several schemes to assist with paying for childcare, which offer considerable savings, subject to eligibility.
Demand for childcare at the University nurseries is high and we do operate a waiting list, therefore, if you are thinking of applying for a nursery place, we would urge you to put your name on the list as soon as you possibly can. You can apply for a nursery place as soon as you know you are expecting a baby or have a child, through our website: Home | Childcare Services (ox.ac.uk).
We also offer support for families through our staff support services Work and Family Space and our newly launched Health Assured Employee Assistance Programme. More information on these can be found here: Looking after you - services | Staff Gateway (ox.ac.uk)