Our own nursery, run by The Balsam Centre's Early Years staff, is a natural progression from the high quality services we have provided since becoming a Children's Centre in 2007. A new Balsam Centre project, it is a chance to provide a full-time service that children can access daily, or as required.
We are able to offer flexible childcare for 50 weeks of the year, with funded places for 3 to 4 year olds and eligible 2 year olds. We also offer places for babies from 3 months.
Based on the lower floor of Churchfields, the District Council Offices, we have sole use of a large nursery room which has free flow access to the secure outdoor play area.
To gain access to the nursery there is an audio entry system and as an additional security measure when children are outside, a member of staff will greet you at the gate.
They spend their time developing theories which they test, evaluate, retest and confirm. ("This lady is smiling at me; I wonder what happens if I smile back? Aha, she is talking to me now - I wonder if I can make my mouth into that shape? I wonder if this will work with other people?")
These are life skills really: curiosity, willingness to have a go at something new, getting involved and concentrating, having the confidence to keep trying even when it gets tricky, or choosing a different way of doing something, even setting up your own challenges and recognising your own achievements. Every child who develops each of these characteristics builds the resilience to overcome the challenges of everyday living and succeed in what they choose to do.
As every child is unique, we have a flexible settling in period. Some children settle very quickly and others take a little longer, so we tailor it to meet your needs. Once settled each child will be allocated a Key Person. We wait until children have settled in before allocating a permanent Key Person to see if they build a bond with a particular member of staff.
We like to celebrate children's achievements and share them with you, so we have parents' meetings twice a year as well as daily "handover" contact with your child's Key Person. We are required to keep formal records of every child's achievements in the EYFS, which follow the child to school and remain with them until the end of the first year. Please feel free to come and see your child's Learning Journey.
Frances is our outdoors "champion" and Forest School Leader. She brings with her all her 22 years experience in Early Years Education, as a class teacher, a Special Educational Needs coordinator (SENco) and as an Assistant Head Teacher, along with being an Early Years Advisor for Dorset County Council - and as our very own Children's Centre Teacher here at the Balsam Centre, leading the "Play and Learn" philosophy.
Her enthusiasm for exploring coupled with her curiosity and imagination have always made Frances' groups very popular with children, and it is this "Play and Learn" philosophy that Frances will continue at Conkers.
Tina brings 22 years of experience in Early Years Provision, having spent 8 years as a manager of a nursery before becoming a Family Support Worker at The Balsam Centre. She has her City and Guilds Level 3 "Working with Families" and her Diploma in Pre-School Practice.
It is Tina's zeal for working with families and her talent for listening and encouraging that has inspired many families to come into the centre and get involved in the groups she has set up.
Nicky has a wealth of experience in all aspects of childcare - 23 years of it, including 17 as a childminder. On paper, she has a Diploma in Pre-School Practice and an NVQ in Early Years Childcare and Education.
Nicky cares deeply about children and has been a foster parent for several years, a Family Support Worker and the Lead Centre Officer at Castle Cary's Children's Centre - she's a star at building confidence.
Suzi has 12 years experience working in two very different nurseries, and as a Family Support Worker at The Balsam Centre with her NVQ Level 3 qualification in Early Years.
Suzi's warm and friendly demeanor has nurtured both adults and children in the groups she worked with, encouraging them all to enjoy new learning activities. Her space-hopping skills are second to none!
If you have any questions, whether it's about EYFS or how you can register your child, contact us and talk to a member of staff. (If you are unable to reach us on the phone, call The Balsam Centre).
Address: Conkers Community Nursery, Council Offices, Churchfields, Wincanton, BA9 9AG
Telephone: 01963 31882 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are open from 8am to 5.30pm Mondays to Fridays.
We close for the period between Christmas and New Year and Bank Holidays. In addition, the nursery is closed for three staff training days, which we plan to coincide (as far as possible) with other local providers' training days. We give at least one month's notice and our aim is to provide the three dates for the school year in September.
Recommended start times are 8am, 9am and 1pm but we are flexible so please come and talk to us.
Fees are payable monthly in advance. Arrangements can be made for weekly payment in advance. Please see our Fees Policy.
Children under 2 years £4.50 per hour
Children 2 - 4 years £4.30 per hour
We offer year round and term time only contracts
Parents of children who are in receipt of government funding (3-4 year olds and eligible 2 year olds) can choose to spread the 570 funded hours over 12 months rather than having a term time only contract. This would enable your child to attend nursery for 11.4 hours per week for 50 weeks
We do not charge for the period between Christmas and New Year, Bank Holidays or staff training days.
Children attending on a year round contract may take 2 full weeks as holiday during the year at a 50% discount. These must be taken as a full week (child's usual attendance hours) and a month's notice is required.
Parents need to provide their own nappies, wipes, and suncream.
Click on any of the following to open the document in a new tab. Other policy documents are available to read through at the nursery.
The Balsam Centre is an independent charity set up by local people for local people.
Whilst the work of the Centre is long term, funding for its projects and services is all too frequently short term.
It is largely thanks to help from a fund created by a legacy left by one person, that the Balsam Centre has been able to continue its mental health work over the last few years. The help that this has given hundreds of people is a permanent and living memorial to that person’s generosity.
If you are thinking of donating, have you considered becoming a Friend of the Balsam Centre? This is a commitment to regular giving of any amount, at any interval, by standing order, and even better, if you are a UK tax payer and you ‘tick’ to say so, we can claim another 25% on top of your donation to support the work of the Centre. Become a Friend here!
We now have a Virgin Giving charity page where you can donate directly, and Virgin will collect the tax for us! Just click on the button below.