Teddy's Garden Day Nursery

Teddy’s Garden Day Nursery innovates early years learning with Interactive Touchscreen Tables from Sharp

Set in over an acre of beautiful rural woodland, Teddy’s Garden Day Nursery is truly unique. The nursery’s 16 qualified staff cater to around 56 families every day, providing wrap around care to children between the ages of 0 – 8. A main consideration for Teddy’s Garden is remaining abreast of innovations that can enhance teaching and learning in order to sustain its outstanding Ofsted grading. With the early years sector being so underfunded, maintaining a high quality of care can be difficult, so Teddy’s Garden needed a solution that was affordable, while also addressing each area of the EYFS curriculum.

The Challenge

• Remaining ahead of developments in education tech.
• Ensuring children are fully prepared for school.
• Sustaining high levels of care with reduced funding.
• Not having the children’s timetable centred around tech.

Limited funding for vital innovations
A constant challenge for Teddy’s Garden is ensuring they remain innovative to provide the best level of care possible. Managing Director of Early Stages Ltd and Teddy’s Garden Day Nursery, Justine Cope says: “We’re always looking for the next big thing. For us it’s about what resources we make available and what learning opportunities they can provide, while also keeping the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum in mind.”

A second challenge is making sure that the children in the nursery “have the very best possible start in life”, says Justine. “That means experiencing everything they possibly can, from nature, wider world, and technology, to building friendships and the importance of teamwork. Our aim is to lay these foundations so that they can hit the ground running and do their very best when they go to school.”

When commenting on the difficulties of early years care, Justine says: “Ofsted have graded us outstanding for the last 10 years, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to sustain our high standards of care because of a major lack of funding, which continues to decrease. That’s why we really have to think carefully about what purchases to make as a business and what to prioritise. We’d rather invest in something all singing all dancing than multiple bits of tech that do different things.”

A final challenge for Teddy’s Garden was to remain innovative, but not have the children’s timetable “consist of always being in front of the touchscreen”, says Justine. “So we were looking for something that the children were able to use collectively, that enhanced rather than take away from what we already provide.”

Teddy's Garden Day Nursery playground

“The children were really positive, they got to grips with the technology far quicker than we thought that they would, the response has been amazing.”

Justine Cope, Managing Director, Early Stages Ltd

The Solution

• The Interactive Touchscreen Table: Early Years Edition.
• Applications mapped against the EYFS curriculum.
• A multi-purpose, financially viable device.
• A highly mobile solution.

The Interactive Touchscreen Table: Early Years Edition
Firstly, a grading criteria from Oftsed says that children should be introduced to a breadth of things they’ll experience in later life, including technology, in the EYFS of their academic lives. Today, primary and secondary schools use technology such as tablets during lessons, and technology is increasingly integrating with daily life. With this and Teddy’s Garden Day Nursery’s drive to innovate in mind, Sharp’s solution was to install the Interactive Touchscreen Table: Early Years Edition.

The Touchscreen Table would also help Teddy’s Garden ensure that the children in their care are fully prepared for advancing to school at age 5. Mapped against the EYFS curriculum, the device comes with a wealth of apps that help early years teaching and learning. Apps from Yellow Door would not only develop literacy and numeracy skills, but because of their social aspect, develop teamwork and communication skills.

To address Justine’s concerns around sustaining high levels of care and education with reduced funding, Sharp proposed
installing the Interactive Touchscreen Table on an affordable leasing plan. Paid in bite-size monthly instalments, Teddy’s
Garden would be able to invest limited resources into one piece of technology capable of doing everything the nursery needed, as opposed to investing more money into multiple pieces of disparate technology.

Lastly, the Touchscreen Table would also allow staff at Teddy’s Garden to limit screen time. A fully mobile solution, the device is available with a battery pack, capable of providing 8 hours of wireless use. Also mounted on a lightweight wheeled frame and base, the device can be easily moved around the home based on need, keeping staff in full control at any given time.

Happy child using Sharp's touchscreen table

 “Sharp are very attentive, they’ve been very helpful with the device and suggesting ways in which it can be used.”

Justine Cope, Managing Director, Early Stages Ltd

The Results

• Opportunities for innovative education.
• Intuitive app reward system keeps learning on track.
• A cost-effective one-off investment.
• Device manoeuvrability lets staff control screen time.

Innovative teaching and learning
When talking about her initial thoughts on the device, Justine says: “We were so impressed with the touchscreen that we signed up on the day! Sharp’s representative gave a demonstration and it was so easy, everyone picked it up very quickly, including the children. It’s so innovative, there are apps for every part of the EYFS curriculum, it really allows us to proactive in our care.”

The early years table also ensures each child is fully prepared for school. Justin says: “To be totally honest we wanted something that would help our children get the best start in life, and for the type of technology we were after there was no competition at all, Sharp came out on top. Technology is so integrated within schools nowadays, we want our children to be prepared for that, and the table lets us do that. It lets them consolidate what they’ve learned, and it provides a visual reward or lets them know when they’ve got something wrong and why it’s wrong, so it’s a very valuable resource.”

Furthermore, “we’re always tight for funding here at Teddy’s Garden, so we want to introduce technology that’s all singing and dancing” says Justine. “And it really is because we use it in multiple ways. It can be used with all age groups, it can be used upright for one-to-one learning, or in table mode for group work. We’re much better off investing in that single piece of technology than lots of devices.”

Justine concludes: “I spoke to the representative about my over-use reservations, but I was immediately put at ease. The educational games typically last for 20 minutes which is perfect for us. One of my favourite things is its transportable. That was one of the big ways it was different from other products, they were all stationary, but Sharp’s table is on wheels so we can take it to the children or move it around the nursery. We wanted whatever we brought in to enhance what we already offered, and it excels at that, and so does Sharp. We hope that each time something new comes out, they’ll come and give us a demonstration.

Children enjoying Sharp's touchscreen table

“Sharp are very attentive, they’ve been very helpful with the device and suggesting ways in which it can be used.”

Justine Cope, Managing Director, Early Stages Ltd

Check out the video

Check out the video