22nd January 2020 All Posts

First Place Nurseries make employee engagement and mental wellbeing key priorities.

Customer Spotlight: First Place Nurseries

Successful organisations perform well because they make employee engagement and mental wellbeing key priorities.

First Place Nurseries are a friendly company with three nurseries in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. They opened their doors in 2005 and since then they have strived to give the children in their care the best possible start. They recognise that in order to do that they need to recruit the best staff possible and look after their wellbeing while they are on the job.

First Place Nurseries believe that their staff are their greatest asset and they aim to nurture and support them every step of the way. They empower their staff to show initiative, creativity and innovation throughout their settings.

Staff Wellbeing is becoming more of a focus for the Early Years sector, and rightly so. Under the 2019 Ofsted Inspection Framework, Inspectors are looking for settings where;

“Leaders engage with their staff and are aware of the main pressures on them. They are realistic and constructive in the way they manage staff, including their workload.”

We heard from Donna Shadbolt who is on the Management Team for First Place Nurseries. Donna is a qualified Mental Health First Aider for all 3 nurseries in Radlett, Bushey & Beaconsfield so she is super passionate about looking after her staff’s wellbeing. 

Donna wanted to share with our readers a wonderful idea which she and Sue Littler, Operations Director, have introduced to their settings to improve the wellbeing of their Early Years team.

Introducing SSASS Magazine

First Place Nurseries have introduced an internal magazine which they publish every term to each individual employee. They have called this the ‘Sunny Spells and Scattered Showers’ magazine (or SSASS for short).

Before they created the magazine they spoke to their teams to understand their pressures in both the workplace and at home to find out what type of content would support them with their wellbeing. This led them to create their first issue which includes some useful information on:

  • The Importance of Exercise, Fresh Air, Sleep and You time!
  • Useful Contacts for Different Aspects of Mental Health
  • Looking after yourself during pregnancy (including some information for Dads!)
  • The Menopause

Staff have found this a really useful resource and it has been a great talking point throughout the nurseries, bringing the teams together and allowing them to discuss their own health and wellbeing.

Read their first issue here:

SSASS Mag Issue 1

For more ideas for promoting Staff Wellbeing in the Early Years read our eBooks here:

Wellbeing for Early Years Staff  Wellbeing for Nursery Practitioners

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About the Author

Marketing Lead at Connect Childcare