How Happy Days Lets You Track Child Development

2 mins
Mar 27, 2024

As a parent, being able to see and track the development of your child while at nursery is key, as it not only shows the progress, they are making but also helps you feel more comfortable when they aren’t at home.

We use the ParentZone app to help facilitate communication between parents and the nursery and allow you to track your child’s development easily.

Read on to find out how it works!

How ParentZone can help you relax

ParentZone offers a wide range of functionalities to help parents understand and track the progress being made by their children. It allows our team to input weekly observations and 6 monthly assessments regarding your child’s progress.  

This way, you can see the activities your child has been participating in while at nursery, through professional observations, photos, and videos from our team. Meaning that you can gain an understanding of what your child is doing and rest easy knowing that they are being well kept care of.

Also, if you have multiple children or need to look back on an old update, you can filter your timeline so that it only shows information specific to what you need!

Happy Days are forward-thinking

Nursery is all about the development and growth of your child – learning new things, exploring new concepts, and finding out as much about the world as possible. Happy Days utilises a child centred learning model which encourages the children in our care to explore their education at their own pace while also setting them up for school effectively.

This involves using technology, music, sports and more to learn and discover in their own way, especially since these aspects play such a major role in modern society.

Happy Days Nurseries is proud to implement technology into our operations for the benefit of our children and parents, and we utilise the leading nursery app in the UK, ParentZone, to do that.

Two-way communication helps improve the nursery experience

ParentZone isn’t only used to keep you in the know, though. As a parent, you can also let us know when something has happened that may mean we need to change the way we care for them day-to-day.

The app also means that you don’t have to find your key person first thing in the morning when things are in a rush to tell them important information – you can simply upload the necessary information to the app and rest assured, knowing that they will receive it.

You can use any information given to you by your child’s key person to support your child’s learning at home, bringing in new concepts they’ve learned during family playtime. The reverse is also true, where you can upload photos or let us know of recent trips or activities that our staff can then talk to your child about, helping them grow communication skills and confidence.

See everything for yourself on our comprehensive user guide to ParentZone!

What do people think of ParentZone

Our ParentZone app is fully compliant with Ofsted requirements and is often a key consideration in the decision process for parents choosing between local nurseries. 

A quote from Laura, one of our parents:

“The ParentZone app is wonderful. It’s very easy to use, you can turn notifications on or off as you want, and it pretty much updates you during the day on what your child has done. It gives you an in-depth description and it uploads photos of your little one during the day. It’s so nice to see.”

Looking to make the most of expert Happy Days childcare at one of our specialist local nurseries? Find your closest branch using our dedicated search tool or reach out to our team directly – we are always happy to help!

Get in touch with Happy Days

Call our team on 0800 783 3431 or email enquiries@happydaysnurseries.com and ask any questions you may have.

How to prepare your child for nursery

3 mins
Feb 14, 2024

It’s almost here: your child’s first day of nursery! It is not uncommon for parents to feel a mix of excitement and nervousness as it approaches, and you may be thinking about how they’ll settle into their new environment.

Don’t worry, although it can seem daunting, there are several steps you can take to help your child transition to Nursery with as little difficulty as possible.

Read on to find out the top tips for helping your child get used to education!

Get to know your Key Person

The Happy Days Key Person approach ensures a tailored and highly personal experience for your child, and getting to know your Key Person early will help improve the process.

Your child will build relationships with and trust their Key Person who will give them consistent and continuous care and attention. That Key Person will be assigned before your child starts their nursery journey, so you and your child feels secure starting with one relationship already built.

Make use of our ‘settling in’ sessions

Happy Days are proud of our comprehensive and effective settling in sessions, they are designed to help both you and your child to feel comfortable in their new setting. These sessions take place before your child joins the nursery, allowing you and your child to meet your key person, and the wider team, and allows us to complete the necessary paperwork.

As these sessions continue, we will start to build up the time you are away from your child so that they can get used to being away from you. This helps to make their first full days much easier and leave your child feeling more comfortable.

During these periods apart, we also help your child experience all aspects of nursery life, including meal and nap times, outdoor play, structured activities, and more. By the time their first day rolls around, your child will be excited and ready to start their journey, and you can relax knowing that they will be carefully looked after and happy during their time with us.

Help your child get used to social activities

To help ease them into playing with other children, it could be worth organising or joining existing play groups.

These can be very beneficial for children and will help develop their social skills and understanding of concepts like sharing, while also making them more comfortable when meeting other children and new people. It could be especially useful if you can find others who are starting nursery at the same time, as you could help build relationships before starting at nursery.

Encourage some basic tasks at home

One of the best ways to help with the practical aspect of nursery is to encourage your child to practice some of the regular tasks that happen during your typical day at nursery. Encouraging positive characteristics such as sharing toys, playing games that take turns and putting things back.

To start with, you could ask them to put their toys in a toy box or to hang up their coat, developing good habits we can then build on once they join us!


Create a suitable morning routine

Getting your child ready for nursery while you’re also getting ready for work or trying to do essential tasks can often be a challenge. Before starting nursery, consider trying to create a consistent morning routine that you know won’t leave you rushing out the door.

By having a semi-regular time when your child should wake up, have breakfast, get dressed, and plan it around the time you have free to help them, you could help significantly reduce stress levels in the morning.

Practising this before nursery will also help your child to be more acclimatised to this by the time your child starts.

Find a local nursery for you!

Are you looking to find a nursery or preschool for your child? Looking for an Ofsted outstanding nursery or preschool to ensure your child is getting only the best early education possible? Use our Happy Days nursery finder today!

The minimum we strive for is an Ofsted good nursery, and we work diligently to ensure that our nurseries are rated as highly as possible for our children. We have locations throughout the southwest of England and Wales that are routinely inspected by relevant local bodies.

Get in touch with our team today on 0800 783 3431 or email enquiries@happydaysnurseries.com to find out more!

What to Pack for Day Nursery

3 mins
Oct 01, 2023

Your child’s first day of nursery is a wild mix of emotions. Pride, joy, anxiety, hope, and more: there’s so much to look forward to, but it’s only natural that there are some nerves to deal with as well.

You want to make sure they have the best day possible while also being worry-free yourself! As such, you might be wondering what they need to have packed to make the day the best it can be.

Read on to find out the essential items your child needs on their first day of nursery!

Don’t Forget Extra Clothing

Every parent wants their child’s first day to be exciting, so make sure you are as prepared as possible and send your child to nursery with all the clothing they could possibly need!

Sufficient and spare clothes
Nursery is a time for learning, exploration, and social activities, which means it can quite often get a little messy. On the first day, and every day afterward, please ensure your child has enough clothes to last the day, which includes a full outfit and a spare of everything.

This will guarantee that your child is happy and comfortable for the entire day, even if they get involved in some messy activities and need to change! It will also help keep them clean and hygienic in the event of inevitable “accidents”. 

Any clothes you send with your child should be clearly labelled with their full name so that we are able to easily identify and return misplaced or lost items by the end of the day. 

Also, if your child is not yet toilet trained, we ask that you please provide our staff with enough nappies to last the full day. 

Seasonal requirements
Don’t forget all the equipment your child might need depending on when they are starting! We have indoor and outdoor play areas in all weathers, so it is key that your child is safe and prepared for all situations.

In the summer, we ask that your child has a sunhat to help keep them safe in the sun. You may choose if you wish to give them sunglasses, though it is not essential. We provide suncream, but you can supply your own if you prefer.

In the winter, please ensure your child has a pair of wellies or other suitable footwear, warm socks, gloves, and outdoor clothing such as jacket, scarf and hat to allow them the opportunity to enjoy all outside learning areas.

You may want to bring a spare bag when you come to collect your child so you can keep any dirty clothes separate from the clean ones when it is time to leave!

Remember the Other Essentials 

Clothing will help keep your child safe and comfortable throughout the day, but everything else will help to make their experience the best it can be! Here are a few things to consider that you may need to put in their bag.

Baby formula and food
Please ensure your child has enough food to comfortably get through the day as we do not provide formula milk on site!

You should supply your child’s formula or breast milk in clearly labelled bottles with your child’s full name. 

Parents are requested not to bring into Nursery food from home with the exception of infant milk/powder/breast milk; this ensures that all children with allergies and intolerances are kept safe at all times.

Special comfort toys 
Sometimes your child has a very strong attachment to a particular toy or comforting device which may help them feel more secure. If this is the case, we urge you to keep the toy labelled if you can so our staff can give it back to your child if they lose it but be aware that the nursery cannot claim responsibility for any lost or damaged items.

Still got questions? Find FAQs page on our website!

Get in touch with Happy Days Nurseries for more information

Do you have questions on anything else you may want to prepare ahead of your child’s first day at Happy Days day nursery, or looking to find out more about the way we operate? Get in touch with our team today!

Call our team on 0800 783 3431 or email enquiries@happydaysnurseries.com and ask away – we are always happy to help!

Children stand outside with nursery staff admiring the views

5 Key Things to Look For in Nurseries and Pre-Schools

3 mins
Sep 01, 2023

As a parent, you are always trying to make the right choices for your children. One of the hardest choices to make, and one that could shape their educational journey, is deciding which nurseries or pre-schools to send them to. 

You want them to have the best experience possible, from a social and educational standpoint. If you’re looking to send your child to day nursery but you’re not sure where to start, here are some things to look out for when making your decision!

1. Positive Staff Interactions

When visiting a nursery or pre-school for the first time, you should pay attention to how the staff interact with you and your child and the other children who are there at the time. 

Nursery staff members should always be friendly, patient, and helpful to you and the children in their care, and they should adopt a teaching style that reflects those ideals. The children should have their needs carefully considered in any kind of structured learning environment, with clear support and encouragement. 

There should be a positive atmosphere and energy within the nursery, with laughter and happiness key to it all. 

Every child is unique and benefits from certain activities or teaching strategies more than others, which is why every Happy Days nursery school holds ‘settling in sessions’ for both parents and children.

This ensures that you get to meet the team at your local Happy Days nursery, understand how they work, and find out how your child will learn and play with us.

It also helps us understand your child’s needs, likes, and dislikes, while giving us the opportunity to work through several crucial security measures to ensure your child’s safety and your piece of mind.  

2. A Strong and Relevant Curriculum

Nurseries and pre-schools are a time for your child to learn the essentials and get ahead before attending school for the very first time. 

You want to ensure that they not only enjoy their time at nursery and pre-school, but they are also developing the earliest stages of key skills that will help them learn, communicate, and make friends right from their first day. 

We have a broad and balanced curriculum aptly named “Where Children Shine”, which focuses on the four fundamental skills we help to develop:

  • Strong and Confident Communicator
  • Inquisitive and Ambitious Thinker
  • Healthy and Independent Explorer
  • Resilient and Motivated Individual

No matter which Happy Days nursery your child attends, they will embark upon a specially crafted programme designed to help prepare them for school in the most effective way possible. 

3. Relevant Accreditations and Experience

Sometimes the deciding factor when choosing between nurseries is the amount of experience a particular nursery has. In that case, a trusted group or long-standing nursery may be your eventual choice. 

Happy Days nurseries has existed for more than 30 years, opening its first branch in Newquay, Cornwall, in 1991, and since expanding to more than 20 locations across England – and we’re not done there!

In 2022, Happy Days won a Top 20 nurseries award from Day Nurseries, reflecting our commitment and drive to be the best in the business.  

4. Useful and Functional Facilities

The facilities, furniture, and apparatus within a nursery should be both safe and useable by the children who play there. They should get fulfilment out of using the facilities that are available and be able to have a fun, varied experience throughout the day.

All the furniture at Happy Days nurseries are low-level to foster and encourage independence, and have been carefully researched and tested by our team to ensure that they are fit for purpose.

We also decorate all our nurseries to be neutral, to ensure that your child is fully focused on playing, learning, and their friends rather than being distracted by bright colours. 

5. Clean and Tidy Play and Learning Spaces

While it is natural for children to be messy players, a tidy space is a safe space, and encourages children to take responsibility for the things they are using. 

A nursery will never have every toy safely tucked away while the children are playing, but we ensure our nurseries have plenty of storage on site and that they are spotless every single morning. 

We also guarantee that every child will have access to the toys and learning materials they want, without hiding anything away. 

Get in touch with us today


Thinking of enrolling your child with Happy Days or thinking of visiting one of our nurseries for yourself? Reach out to our friendly team today to find out more or fill out an enrolment form today!

You can call us on 0800 783 3431 or email enquiries@happydaysnurseries.com and one of our staff will be in touch as soon as possible.