Deputy Mayor of London Joanne McCartney visits Little Adventurers Nursery


Little Adventurers Nursery in Havering welcomed the Deputy Mayor for Education and Childcare, Joanne McCartney today in recognition of their Silver Healthy Early Years London Award (HEYL). The Deputy Mayor of London together with local officials from London Borough of Havering spent two hours at the setting on 12th March
observing the wonderful activities that the staff have put in place to support the children’s understanding of the need for healthy lifestyles.

This family run setting which opened just four years ago, is proud to be one of the first
nurseries to achieve this award which recognises achievement in promoting and
fostering highest levels of health, well-being and school readiness. This new award
scheme has been introduced by the Mayor of London to encourage healthy lifestyles
for young children and their families. For their Silver Award, Little Adventurers Nursery
developed an oral hygiene programme for all children who attend, from the age of 3
months to 5 years. A report issued by Public Health England in 2018 revealed that
12% of all 3 years old’s and almost 25% of all 5-year olds were found to have tooth
decay. It was statistics such as the above that led the staff team at Little Adventurers
to make oral hygiene a top priority and a focus for their award.

A very large sized model of a mouth, named ‘Mr. Teeth’ and a giant toothbrush have
proved both a great resource and fascination for the children of the nursery as they
learn about the correct techniques involved in tooth brushing. Staff supervise each
child with toothbrushing after their main lunchtime meal and advise on other aspects
of oral hygiene for example, teaching that it’s better not to rinse fluoride out with water.
The nursery appointed their own oral hygiene champion who visits all the nursery
rooms giving positive messages about the importance of looking after our teeth and
the need to eat calcium-rich foods to help our bodies.

The Early Years Team from London Borough of Havering worked in collaboration with
the nursery by providing the resources that the manager required for training the staff
team for this project which includes offering guidance and support to all families at the
nursery in a variety of ways. They share top tips with parents for example, promoting
drinking water and milk with their children as part of a healthy diet and to limit sugar

Ginny Andreas, Nursery Manager explained, “Our home from home ethos supports
the health and wellbeing of our children in so many different ways and the oral hygiene
project is an extension of existing established practice and promotions. The children
love learning about where foods come from and how they grow; they love helping to
plant, nurture and harvest vegetables in our nursery garden as well as helping our
nursery cook with unpacking the weekly shop. All the while our staff team chat with
the children about the different foods and what might contain calcium for example.
We’ve even made our own udders for the children to simulate what milking a cow may
be like and the children love playing with the role play dentist set with all the nursery
teddies! I am so proud of how the whole nursery – staff, children and parents have
come together on this project, the impact it is having is amazing! We hope that our
work now, in children’s early years, sets a precedent for life long awareness of the
need for strong oral hygiene.”

Nursery owner and director, Lee Stimpson commenting on the day said, “The vision
was always to create a home from home setting with an ethos that sets us apart and
shines through every aspect of our provision. Achieving this Silver Award is further
acknowledgment of the wonderful work of our whole team and I feel very proud of our
family run setting. We very much foster a family environment and we welcome
children, parents and staff to our ‘Little Adventurers family’ when they join us. I have
always wanted the nursery to leave a legacy of kindness and a love of learning in
every young child who attends and we want the learning to extend to promoting health,
wellbeing and social responsibility.”

Little Adventures considers that optimum nutrition is just as important as physical
activity. It is for this reason that they have a partnership with a nutritionist who helps
devise all of their nursery menus. The nursery has a Paddington Bear mascot which
helps them to promote healthy lifestyles throughout their setting.

“We are very proud of our Silver Award and all of our achievements so far; healthy
lifestyles are central to our ethos and this type of initiative is part of our growing
commitment to providing the best early years care and education as well as
encouraging social responsibility from a young age. This year our aims include
becoming a more environmentally friendly nursery, “ explained Chris Ford, Business
Development Manager at Little Adventurers Nursery. “We feel very honoured to host
this visit by the Deputy Mayor and it is fantastic to be recognised for the wonderful
difference we are making to our youngest children and their families.”