At Spring by Action for Children, we have a large holistic focus on health and wellbeing of children, families and staff. We make nutrition and physical activity part of each day at both our Spring Nurseries and Spring Oscars Out of School Club settings to give all children a healthy start. Our health and wellbeing approach feeds into the children’s learning so we are also able to educate children on looking after themselves and one another.
At all of our Spring Nurseries and Spring Oscars settings, we have a large focus on outdoor play. We do this through using our outdoor spaces to explore, create and investigate and also through our Forest Schools. We like to keep children active and exploring the natural environment around them. Many of our settings also take children on walks to learn about the world around them such as to the beach, post box, park and so on. Through these short trips, children get to take in their surroundings and learn about important things such as road safety and how to behave appropriately in different environments. Children really enjoy these visits and it helps them to get exercise.
As part of our commitment to healthy lifestyles, Spring have partnered up with PurpleBee Learning to upskill our staff for a PANCo qualification. The Physical Activity and Nutrition Coordinator (PANCo) is a new role for Early Years Staff and the aim is for Spring Nurseries and Spring Oscars to have a PANCo within each setting. The PANCo champions best practice in physical activity and nutrition and acts as the agent for change. They lead positive change to ensure an environment and ethos that supports the prevention of obesity and positive health and well-being of children, families, and staff.
Our PANCO’s are able to apply practical knowledge and skills to lead and support positive change within the settings whilst role-modelling best practice for the nursery teams. This means they can support when planning activities and educating children on health. They are able to provide advice and information for parents and carers and contribute to Ofsted.
By having PANCo’s, we are proud that many of our settings have achieved the Start Life Well Award that recognises our commitment to actively working to improve the wellbeing of everyone in our settings.
Within all our Spring by Action for Children settings, we follow Eat Better Start Better guidelines and have accredited menus indicating high-quality and nutritious food served to all children. This is part of our ongoing commitment to ensuring good health and wellbeing. We believe good nutrition and physical activity contributes to a healthy start to life and a positive mental and physical health.
Our Eat Better Start Better accredited menus meet national best practice guidelines and offer children the nutrients and energy they need to thrive. Healthy eating habits in the years before school are very important because they influence a range of health and development outcomes in later life.
Good nutrition is important for children aged under five to:
We are proud to offer our Eat Better Start Better menus in Spring settings to provide all children with a healthy start in life through a well-balanced diet. Mealtimes are a key part of the day at Spring as we teach children table manners, develop their fine motor skills teaching them to hold cutlery and as they get older, children get involved by pouring their own drinks and collecting their own plates.
Our Spring Oscars settings offer breakfast and snack in line with Eat Better Start Better guidelines.
To see our latest Eat Better Start Better Menu at Spring Nurseries, click here .
We believe it’s important children understand where their food comes from and the nutritional benefits of different food groups so we educate Spring children and involve them in growing vegetables and fruits at our settings, whilst often allowing them to help us prepare foods.
All of our Spring Nursery Managers are Mental Health First Aid trained, meaning they have an in-depth understanding of mental health and the factors that can affect wellbeing. They have the practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of mental health issues, with the confidence to step in, reassure and support a person in distress. Our Nursery Managers have enhanced interpersonal skills such as non-judgemental listening and hold the knowledge to help someone recover their health by guiding them to further support whether that’s self-help resources, through their employer or through the NHS.