When we opened in 1983, there were few childcare options available in Brockley. The Minister of St Andrew’s Church, Barry Carter, decided to change this by persuading Lewisham council to help fund the establishment of a nursery. To this day, our aim is still to provide good quality, affordable childcare for local families.

We offer places to the children of working parents.Whatever a child’s situation, we aim to provide them with the stimulation, warmth and security that they need to develop to their full potential. We are committed to including children with special needs into mainstream nursery and focus on each child’s ability rather than disability.

Each child has a key person, and each key person is particularly responsible for six children of different ages. The children spend a lot of time initially with their keyworker during the settling-in period. Once a child is confident she/he is free to play wherever they choose, and will come together with the rest of their group at regular points during the day, for example mealtimes.

The Early Years Foundation Stage provides the basis for our work. The four themes link to four principles to which we are strongly committed:

  1. A unique child: Every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
  2. Positive relationships: Children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a key person.
  3. Enabling environments: The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.
  4. Learning and development: Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected.

Our children and families come from different cultures, backgrounds and religions and we share their festivals with them. As the nursery is based on church premises, we plan activities to celebrate Harvest, Christmas and Easter, for example our Christmas nativity play. Throughout the year we celebrate many other festivals such as Diwali and Chinese New Year. We expect all children to take part in all our celebrations as a way of finding out about the world they live in.

St Andrew’s Centre has a Management Committee which includes parent representatives from the nursery. All parents are invited to participate and the chair of the committee is Jackie Heath. We are a non-profit making organisation and now have a charity number, if there is money left at the end of the financial year then it is put back into the centre and helps towards maintenance and upkeep.