Our Nursery Curriculum

At Dawn Till Dusk, children are at the heart of everything we do.

We firmly believe that Dawn till Dusk Childcare is...A place to learn, A place to play, A place to grow...

Our curriculum is of a high quality and highly ambitious, designed to engage and inspire young learners and make learning accessible for all. Our aim is to provide children with an adventurous start to each child’s learning journey, giving them all the foundations needed to grow into confident lifelong learners. We want all of our children to leave us as independent, confident, creative, resilient and happy learners who aim high to succeed in life.

Our focus on curriculum development and design has ensured coverage and progression, providing children with memorable experiences in addition to diverse and rich opportunities from which children can learn and develop a range of transferable skills. We want to develop children’s natural curiosity about the world around them whilst supporting them into becoming confident problem solvers who have the capacity to overcome any barriers they face. Our curriculum is designed to develop a child’s knowledge of themselves and their place within our setting, our local community and beyond.

We have 3 main curriculum focuses and objective’s at Dawn till Dusk:

  1. A place to learn. We firmly believe in the importance of the 3 following aims and know from experience that these 3 areas lay the foundations of all future learning to come. We aim to truly embed and implement these core areas in children throughout their time with us.* Develop strong relationships - The importance of attachment in children is most relevant in a child’s first three years of life. A strong bond at this stage with a “primary caregiver” is more likely to generate a happy, secure older child. This will impact their learning and development for years to come. Early childhood interactions with our parents or caretakers shape our attachment style in years to come. Children who experienced a secure attachment in their youngest years are better able to explore on their own. Secure toddlers are more independent and more curious and interested in exploring the world around them and are better able to master the environment using their senses. Secure children develop a sense that “I am a person” and “I can do.” Numerous studies have concluded a positive relationship exists between the development of secure attachment in the early years of life and later social competence. Toddlers who are secure demonstrate better social skills, school adjustment, attention and focus skills.

    * Develop effective communication skills - Communication and language skills are highly important. Children who are able to communicate effectively go on in life to form better relationships and have more successful carers. Language and communication development within our local area is of a low standard. Therefore we truly believe in the importance of communication rich environments, being positive language role models and communicators, encouraging and supporting speech and language development from the earliest of stages and identifying early intervention opportunities.

    * Develop a love of literature


  2. A place to play. Play is central to the development of children in their early years. It provides a platform through which children are able to learn about themselves and the world around them through interacting with it. It allows children to have fun while they are learning, and to engage with those around them as a part of the process.* Express awe, wonder and curiosity and use their senses to explore the world around them.

    *Develop a love of the outdoors and learn to take safe risks - know how to take appropriate, safe risks and to understand the consequences and dangers of their actions when necessary. A lot of our children live in very rural places, often growing up on farms. We need our children to grow up safely, knowing what their physical limits are but also how to carefully push those limits, developing their gross motor skills and confidence in a safe manner.

    * Be able to make choices

  3. A place to grow…* Develop the foundations for a healthy lifestyle - We want our children to live healthy lifestyles and firmly believe this is implanted and

    * Being confident in our own, unique bodies - We want our children to be confident in their own bodies and to appreciate that everyone is unique.

    * Establish strong community links and grow to be a helpful member of our rural community

The Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old. All Ofsted registered Early Years settings MUST follow the EYFS. The framework supports an integrated approach to early learning and care.

Four guiding principles should shape practice in Early Years settings.

These are:

  • every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
  • children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
  • children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
  • importance of learning and development. Children develop and learn at different rates. (See “the characteristics of effective teaching and learning”)

There are seven areas of learning and development within the EYFS:

Prime areas of learning:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development (Self-Regulation; Managing Self; Building Relationships)
  • Communication and Language (Listening, Attention and Understanding; Speaking)
  • Physical Development (Gross Motor Skills; Fine Motor Skills)

Specific areas of learning:

  • Literacy (Comprehension; Word Reading; Writing)
  • Mathematics (Number; Numerical Patterns)
  • Understanding The World (Past & Present; People, Culture & Communities; The Natural World
  • Expressive Arts & Design (Creating with Materials; Being Imaginative & Expressive)

The Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning

In planning for children, we consider the different ways in which children learn. The three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:

  • Playing and Exploring
  • Active Learning
  • Creating and Thinking Critically

Development Matters

We also use a non-statutory document called ‘Development Matters’ to inform our curriculum and practice. This document includes 7 key features of effective practice. These are:

  • The best for every child
  • High quality care
  • The Curriculum: what we want children to learn
  • Pedagogy: helping children to learn
  • Assessment: checking what children have learnt
  • Self-regulation and executive function
  • Partnership with parents


Assessment links our children’s learning to our curriculum.

Most of the assessments we do at Dawn Till Dusk Childcare are informal and in the moment so that it quickly helps us make a difference to children’s learning immediately. However, we also need to have an overview of children’s progress, so that we can take further actions where needed. We are very skilled at deciding when it will be helpful to step in and support children, and when it’s best to be encouraging but to hang back.

We complete:

  • A baseline assessment of the child’s development shortly after they start with us. This is completed in partnership with parents.
  • Termly summative assessments of where the child’s development is in relation to typical developmental milestones.
  • A 2-year old progress check for every child, in partnership with parents and the families Health Visitor.

Assessments help us to early identify any children who may need extra help and support in certain areas and any children who may have special educational needs. They allow us to check that individual children and groups of children are making progress and taking prompt action where this is not the case.

  • We check that our curriculum is meeting the needs of our children by:
  • Constantly reflecting and reviewing
  • Gathering feedback from the children, parents and other professionals
  • Reviewing the progress children are making and how they are accessing the learning environment
  • Discussing and sharing as a team and with the manager our observations

Nursery & Childcare Pricing

Nursery FAQ's

Please provide nappies and wipes (if needed), a change of clothes and appropriate outside wear (coat, gloves etc).

If you wish to provide a packed lunch for your child, you can. All snacks will be provided.

If your child uses a comforter - dummy, teddy, blanket etc., we do as you provide these, at least until your child settles in nursery.

All staff apply for a job at Dawn till Dusk using an application form. Upon a successful interview, they provide the names of 2 references, and copies of their qualifications and a DBS check is carried out. Dawn till Dusk carries out ID verification checks and ensures the new employee is allowed to work in the UK. A robust induction procedure is in place upon the commencement of employment.

Absolutely! We would like to ask that your baby is comfortable and will take expressed milk from a bottle.

Could you please label your breastmilk with your baby's name and the date it was expressed. This can be given to us frozen. It will be stored in our fridge and prepared per current guidance.


Children of any age, who require sleep after lunchtime, go into the quieter baby room where the curtains are drawn, fairy lights glow, and lullabies play.  We have a choice of cots or sleeping mats, and we provide each child with a bag of individual bedding clearly labeled with their name to avoid cross-infection.

Fees are paid a month in advance, so you will be issued an invoice at the end of the month to pay for the month ahead. 

You can then pay by bank transfer.

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