Emma Van Rooyen is Nursery Manager at Bright Horizons Heron Quays Day Nursery and Preschool, located on Canary Wharf. We caught up with Emma to find out more about nursery life at Heron Quays Day Nursery and Preschool.
Emma, tell us a little about you.
Early years education is my passion and I have worked in nursery management for 15 years, predominately in the area of Tower Hamlets, and I have worked at Heron Quays for 10 months. I have an NNEB and Level 4 in Management and Childcare. I also hold a paediatric first aid certificate and first aid at work qualification.
I have four grandchildren who are my world and in my spare time I like to spend time with them. I am also a passionate lover of animals.
Tell us a little about your nursery environment
Heron Quays has 10 bespoke home bases tailored to the needs of children of different aged. We have a beautiful outdoor space and the children thoroughly enjoy exploring the indoor and outdoor learning environments.
In addition to our home rooms, we also have a children’s hairdressing salon, complete with race car seats which our children and families really love! We have a Growing Room where our different Growing Enhancement activities take place, including Growing Readers, Writers, Mathematicians, Artists and Scientists.
In addition to our outdoor space, we also take the children out for walks along the river bank to see the boats and local wildlife. We also go on walks to the local park at Westferry Circus and the children love to see the cranes and the construction taking place.
What activities take place at Heron Quays Day Nursery and Preschool?
We are very proud to offer several weekly extra-curricular activities at Heron Quays, including music lessons and Spanish and Mandarin language classes.
We know your partnerships with your nursery families is very important to you. Do families visit the nursery often?
We operate an open door policy at Heron Quays and our nursery families are very welcome to visit at any time during the day for a chat or advice, or even just a cup of tea! We really enjoy spending time with our families and our families appreciate being able to pop in at any point – especially if they have a little one who is just beginning nursery and settling in. We also provide refreshments, hot drinks and bottles of water which parents can enjoy at the nursery or on the move.
We send a weekly memo to parents with information on the children’s activities during the week and what they have been learning. This helps our families to continue to extend their children’s learning at home and in our Parents Room we have lots of information about the EYFS and our Growing Enhancements, including our Play and Learning at Home activities. In our weekly memo we also share updates on policies and upcoming events – such as our regular breakfast clubs and afternoon teas.
We are also launching a new parent committee. The committee will meet termly to discuss child development, share practical advice and information about the nursery.
Are there transport links to and from the nursery?
The nursery is conveniently located near to Canary Wharf and many of our families live and work locally. The children, particularly our older children, are very aware of this and often talk excitedly about what their mummies and daddies are doing during the working day. We also have a buggy park and valet which is fantastic during the busy pick-up and drop-off times!
What has been your favourite memory so far at Heron Quays?
My favourite memory at Heron Quays has been all our breakfast clubs and afternoon teas which we have held for our nursery families. Hosting these events is a wonderful opportunity to get to know our families on a personal level and create strong partnerships. It also goes without saying that a favourite experience is watching our children grow and develop and I feel very lucky to witness this every day.
What is your favourite nursery meal?
Our nursery meals are delicious and the children thoroughly enjoy each one but as a self-confessed pasta lover my favourite is lasagne or spaghetti bolognese.