Bright Beginnings gets ready to shine
The new Bright Beginnings Childcare Centre is set to open in April this year, providing improved and enlarged childcare facilities for University staff and students.
The £3.6 million development is situated in the heart of the campus on Cromer Terrace and has places for 144 preschool children aged between three months to five years. It will also house the school holiday playscheme, which has places for 48 children. It will have convenient parking and drop-off and pick-up areas for people collecting and bringing their children by car.
The expansion of the nursery and childcare facilities will help the University to promote gender equality and lift barriers which have, in the past, inhibited the progression of female staff and the participation at University of some groups of students.
“This is a physical statement of our commitment to family-friendly policies and widening access for students and staff in support of our strategy,” said Professor Steve Scott, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Students and Staff and Chair of the Centre’s Board of Directors.
“Bright Beginnings has always been very popular with staff and students, and the new, two-storey building will mean that we can accommodate a greater number of children, meeting the needs of working and studying parents here at the University,” said Angela Foley, general manager of Bright Beginnings.
“Childcare staff and children have been part of the ongoing consultation in the design and development of their new setting. Space includes covered play areas that are open to the outdoors on lower and first floors, a natural garden, a heuristic sensory room, a meeting room for parents and staff training areas.
“The Centre offers outstanding provision to give all able children access to indoor and outdoor play experiences that ensure they have the opportunity to explore, discover and investigate the world around them.
“Each child is allocated a key person who’s responsible for recording their development and for planning according to the child’s changing needs, and all staff follow and implement the Early Years Foundation Stage framework.”