April 2015

Our son Archie is quite a seasoned nursery goer, having now attended no less than 4 nurseries.  I would like to take you briefly on his journey, and explain why I think HFH is truly a special place that has towered above the others like the shining star of excellence that it is.

Archie, now 4, joined HFH from when he was 1.  However he had also been at another nursery for a few days a week from 6 months old.  I was not happy with the feel of this other nursery so went to have a look at HFH on the recommendation of my sister, as my niece had attended some years earlier.  Both nurseries were Ofsted outstanding but from the moment I was shown around HFH, I knew that it was worlds apart from the other one.  There was something about the atmosphere of the place, which genuinely did feel so much like a home from home.  Some months in, due to my changeable work schedule i needed to increase Archie’s days at nursery from 2 to 4, but alas there was no space at all at HFH so i had to find another nursery for Archie to attend for these 2 days.  This new nursery had some good points, like communal eating, but it soon become apparent that staff morale was not good and indeed, there was such a high turnover of staff that Archie lacked any continuity of care and my happy boy became increasingly unhappy about attending.  I decided to find yet another nursery.  This turned out to be very short lived thankfully as space was found at HFH oh joy!  Archie is now so happy in the mornings and eager to get there!  So as mum, I have had experience of 4 nurseries, 3 of which were Ofsted outstanding but completely different from one another in atmosphere and those crucial qualities that are unquantifiable. 

HFH stands out for me because it is run like a tight ship, whilst also maintaining its heart and soul.  It has a good balance between structured activity and free play, has an amazing garden and even more amazing staff, who really care about the kids.  The staff also clearly get on with each other really well –  this is crucial in creating a great atmosphere for the kids.  Staff are also nurtured by management, so morale is good and turnover is low, which provides great continuity.  They are a fun bunch too!  They don’t just oversee the activities.

but properly interact with the kids.  Archie views his keyworker as one of his best friends – I think that is very telling.  Last summer during the really hot spell, we were asked to put some swimming clothes into the day bag as they were filling lots of bucket of water for the kids to play with – just like you would in your own back garden.  Things like that stand out for me.  HFH has given me complete piece of mind that my child is in the very best of nurturing hands, and that he is having great fun.

Archie will be leaving nursery for bigger things come September, and i am so pleased to be able to say, with complete conviction and from the bottom of my heart, that Archie has spent his oh so crucial formative years at a very special place indeed.  My niece, now 9, still has very fond memories of her time spent at HFH.  The proof is in the pudding.  And this one has a cherry on the top.

Ali (Hove)