Weaning and meal times:
At the Mulberry Bush the quality of food provided to children is of utmost importance. This starts with their very first experiences of solid food. All of our meals are freshly prepared in our kitchen using the very best ingredients. Please click on our Healthy Choices section for further information.
In Blueberries the babies are seated in low level seats for meal times, in small, sociable groups. Their meals are adapted to their stage of development.
Blueberries: 3 Months to 1 Year (approximately)
The Blueberries is a calm, intimate and welcoming space specifically designed for our very smallest babies, offering them a gentle start to life at the Mulberry Bush. With a minimum ratio of one adult to every three babies, there is always lots of support for each child whatever their needs. We invest in specifically selected toys and facilities that are ideal for encouraging the children of this age group to develop physically, mentally and socially.
Blueberries growing and developing:
The Blueberries room a warm, rich and inviting environment for even the youngest babies. There is a general consensus that young babies are able to see simple black and white images most clearly and that these help to stimulate the development of vision. It is also fun and satisfying for small babies to be able to take in these images, you will notice their fascination when presented with them. In order to support this area of development we have created a specific black and white area in our Blueberries room.
As the Blueberries start to become mobile they need and enjoy physical challenges. We have invested in a range of excellent ‘Toddle Boxes’ these versatile products provide the children with different textures and levels to climb, crawl and toddle on. These can also be literally turned upside down to become a whole new world of imaginary play, they can become rockers, ball pits and even cars!
Blueberries in the garden:
The Blueberries and Strawberries have their own garden space specifically designed for even the smallest children so that they can have plenty of fresh air and their own outdoor experience in safety, even when the more mobile children are out at play. The babies garden is partially sheltered meaning they can have outdoor access whatever the weather.The outdoor space is full of interesting challenges for the children and they are encouraged to be confident to access this area independently during periods of free flow play. Of course the Blueberries are not restricted to this space and are encouraged to use the larger garden area whenever they would like, but here they have a space all to themselves.
Blueberries in the sensory room:
Another important resource for the Blueberries is the sensory room. The babies love the different sounds, sights and sensations that the sensory room presents to them and because we are lucky enough to have a dedicated sensory room for each age group the facilities are specifically designed to meet their interests and needs.
Blueberries transition to Strawberries:
The Blueberries and Strawberries have separate spaces but often combine the groups at appropriate times of the day. It is very important that the younger babies are given access to the older children and vice versa. The little babies emulate the older children and the older learn to be gentle and kind to the younger children. It is a vital part of their social development. It also means that the babies are used to mixing with the older children and being in the Strawberries environment. This makes their process of transition between the age groups as smooth and stress free as possible. The transition between Blueberries and Strawberries takes place at approximately 1 year but, as with all other elements of their care, it is very much dependent on each child’s needs and is something that will be discussed with you as the time approaches. We will not move a child on until they are absolutely ready to do so.
Settling In and the Key Person System:
We know that leaving your precious baby for the first time can be an anxious time. It is important for us to help you and your child to feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible throughout. We achieve this through a settling in process guided by your child’s key person. Please see our Inductions and Key Person section to learn more about this process.
The Blueberries and Strawberries have their own peaceful sleep room. This has air conditioning for the summer months. The sleep room has a glass panel in the door so that, as well as regular checks on the children, staff can keep a constant eye on the babies as they rest. We provide fresh linen daily for each child although you are welcome to supplement that with any individual sleeping items, sleeping bags, comforters etc that are helpful for your child.