UCSP’s Early Years Education Service opens state of the art outside play area

Collaborative project results in huge improvements to the Plymouth University based nursery setting.

·        New outside play space enhances a well-established and much loved early years setting.

·        This development represents continual improvement of the service in line with up to date educational thinking and research.

018 The 10th March saw the official opening of a new outside play area in Freshlings Nursery, a sector leading early year’s education facility in the heart of Plymouth University.

The opening represents the culmination of a collaborative project involving the UCSP Early Education team, Plymouth University Architecture Students, Cornwall Based company Earth Wrights and the children of Freshlings Nursery. As early year’s manager, Vicky Smith explained;

“It is vitally important that our children have the opportunity to play, learn and develop in a safe outdoor setting. It was therefore fantastic to be able to involve them in the design process in order to ensure that the space, activities and play areas are exactly what will excite and inspire them.”

The project involved designing and building interactive play areas in a downstairs space, which is open to the air. In parallel, a cohort of Architecture students from Plymouth University conceptualised, designed and constructed an interactive outside area in the adjacent space. The funding for the project came from a Plymouth City Council Grant, matched by investment by UCSP ltd and supported by Plymouth University.012

Matt Hodson, UCSP’s Commercial Service Director said; “As a customer focussed organisation, we take huge amount of pride in the service that we offer and that extends to our very smallest customers. Seeing the children happy, relaxed, and engaged as they enjoy the new space is incredibly rewarding and gives our parents confidence that their sons and daughters are having the very best experiences on a daily basis.”

The nursery has been providing quality, OFSTED approved, childcare to the staff and students of Plymouth University for over 25 years and this development represents an ongoing commitment to the continual improvement of the service.

Chloe Rowland, a parent of one the nursery’s pre-school children said “My son and I have been watching the building progress with great interest and he is so excited at all the new things he can see have gone in down there. He’s really looking forward to being able to go in and have a play and regularly asks me when it will be finished. I think it all looks absolutely brilliant and it’s full of really interesting things for the kids to explore. I love the ‘natural’ look that comes with the use of the tree trunks, rope and sand and the inclusion of everyday objects like the milk cartons and the coloured wool in different contexts will fire the children’s imaginations. I think you’ve managed to totally transform the play area and maximise its potential on what was, let’s face it, a rather limited budget! 10 out of 10 from us!”

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