Our story and values
The early years are fundamental for your child’s development. Learning and playing with other children of a similar age and enjoying nutritious, tasty food gives them a great start in life. Sadly not every child gets the start they need.
St George’s gives children from all walks of life, the loving, expert care they need to develop healthy relationships and valuable life skills. In fact, we are the only childcare provider in Tunbridge Wells that offers subsidised or sometimes even completely free places for children in vulnerable circumstances.
We work closely with local authorities, social services and other organisations, who let us know of children that would especially benefit, but we can only offer this service with the help of our supporters. With your continued support, we can give even more children the start they need in life.
To provide an exceptional level of childcare to children irrespective of their ethnic, social or financial backgrounds.
To give all children the opportunity to develop socially, emotionally, cognitively and physically within a safe and secure environment.
As far back as 1905, the premises were used by St George’s Home for Boys to care for orphaned children and those from low-income families. In 1951, services were extended to include a nursery, and in 1981, St George’s Community Children’s Project was founded as an independent charity. In Autumn 2017, we changed our name to St George’s Childcare.
Outstanding childcare for everyone
St George’s is an ‘Outstanding’ early years provider, as rated by Ofsted. We are proud to be able to offer this level of childcare to everyone, no matter their background or circumstances.
We work closely with social services, health visitors and the women’s refuge to support children who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford nursery education. Many children come to us from unstable homes where parents are dealing with difficult issues. While the children are in our care, their families have the time and space to get the help they need to move on in their lives.
Our experienced and long-serving staff follow a clear development programme to help each child with their social, emotional and physical growth.
Our spacious nursery offers a nurturing environment with fantastic play areas and a large garden, all designed with fun and safety in mind.
Through group work, open play and one-to-one sessions, we help our children reach development targets for numeracy, literacy and social skills. Find out more about learning through play.
Our kitchen provides a variety of tasty, age-related, seasonal meals and snacks, freshly prepared on-site from locally sourced produce. Every child receives at least one tasty and nutritious hot meal each session, as well as healthy snacks and drinks.
Liaison with health visitors and social workers
Our senior childcare team attend meetings with social workers and health visitors as part of our ‘Early Help’ programme. Whenever you need us, we’re here to support you and your family and to ensure continuity of care for your child.
Who we support through assisted places
Although Tunbridge Wells may appear to be affluent, like all communities, there are pockets of deprivation. Through our assisted places scheme, we support children who are vulnerable in different ways:
Children considered at risk
Many children live in unstable homes where there is a concern over substance, alcohol or psychological abuse or violence. These children often lack structure and stability and so benefit greatly from the consistency and support we provide.
Children with delayed social or intellectual development
Children who show signs of delayed development, whatever the reason, often fall behind socially and educationally. With early intervention, we can give them the help they need to catch up.
Children whose parents or carers have mental and/or physical difficulties
Adults who struggle to support themselves also struggle to support their children. While their children are with us, they have the time to get the professional advice and support they need.
Children in emotional, stressful or abusive circumstances
A child’s home life directly affects their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive life choices. Our staff receive regular safeguarding training and know how to provide a stable foundation.
Our Impact on children and their families
The children we care for benefit immensely from being in a safe, nurturing environment. They develop their social and mental skills by playing with other children and a wonderful selection of toys, books, musical instruments and art and craft materials. They can play indoors or in our garden and they all receive at least one nutritious hot meal and healthy snacks per session, and of course lots of TLC.
But it’s not just the children who benefit. Parents and carers are happy to drop their children off at St George’s, because they know that they are receiving the very best possible care in a loving and safe environment.
St George’s gives family members facing challenges at home, the space they need to meet with social care professionals or attend counselling or support networks. With children at St George’s, parents and carers can return to work, attend interviews and even retrain.
The Manager of the local women’s refuge commented, “One thing that they all need (residents who arrive at the refuge) is to feel some normality in their lives. …St George’s offers an opportunity for children to play with other children and to be away from the refuge for a few hours.
“St Georges also gives the mums time to attend counselling sessions which helps to build their self-esteem and come to terms with what has happened to them. We would really miss this resource for our residents and their children and the support that St George’s offers our families.”
To track the impact of subsidised places, our Childcare Team use the EYFS standards to chart every child’s progress in their ‘Learning Journal’. This measures social, communication and motor skills, recognition of shapes, letters and numbers and their creativity and behaviour. It provides a detailed record of their journey and development during their time with us.
We also meet with social workers and health visitors, and organise questionnaires and interviews with family members, so that they can tell us about the behaviour of their children and how their family life is improving.