Age 2 years +

About the Dolphin room

There are four members of staff in the Dolphin room making the ration of adults to children 1:4.

We have purpose made furniture that is suitable for 2+ year old children and our resources are carefully chosen to suit the needs and interests of children in this age group.

We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS) which encourages all learning to take place through play. You can get more information of the EYFS by visiting the internet site


When you child first joins there will be a settling in period which ensures the settling in process is smooth and as stress free as possible.

We also have a daily routine that we try very hard to stick to as this helps the children feel more secure as they get to know what is happening throughout the day without any upsetting surprises.

We have a separate room where our children eat lunch together. Then after lunch they go back to the room to have a sleep. They are checked regularly while they are sleeping and staff stay in the room during this period.

When the time is right we will support your child with toilet training and if you need it we will give you advice and support too.         Our policy is inclusive: We cater for all children and their needs

This is a brilliant age group where children are beginning to show awareness of being social with others outside of their family and also begin to show their independence. This sometimes leads to frustration and some tricky feelings that 2 year olds find hard to deal with. That is where we come in. We are here to support and guide them through this phase. Children of this age are sometimes not able to express their needs and feelings by talking to us which can lead to them using other methods to get their views across!

Biting, scratching and pushing can sometimes be the only way that a child can express themselves. This can be a very upsetting time for everybody. The child, their parent and of course the parents/carers of the child who may have been bitten etc….

It is important to realise this is a normal reaction to often stressful situations for some children and they do eventually ‘grow’ out of it.

We try our best to support everybody involved in this often upsetting period. We spend a lot of our day speaking to the children about appropriate ways of playing with other children, helping them to use other methods of showing they are upset or angry and helping them to share their space and resources.

We have to remember also that to a 2 year old their parents and carers are the most important people in the world to them. When they are separated from their close family it can be the most upsetting thing that has ever happened to them. They have not got much of a concept of time so are unsure when a parent leaves that they will come back to collect them. For even the most confident of children this can be a very upsetting time. This is why we insist on a settling in period right from the beginning.

It is really important for parents/carers to arrive on time when bringing a child to nursery or when picking them up. Late children often miss out on the fun activities planned for the morning and may even miss an activity that has especially set up for them. It is just as important for children to be picked up on time as they are often tired and missing their parents after a long day playing.

When a child is aged between two and three, the key person will be required to review their progress, and provide parents and /or carers with a short written summary of their child’s development in the areas of Personal, social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language and Physical Development. These are known as the ‘Prime’ areas. These areas are crucial for all children’s learning and underpin their ability to learn in all the other ‘specific’ areas of the Early Years curriculum, literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive arts and design.

The key person will write a summary of the child’s progress so far and this will be shared with the parent and/or the carers as well as the health visitor when the child’s health development is assessed as part of the Healthy child Programme.

It is very important that all parties involved with the development of the child have a chance to add their views and comments to the summary as this is kept in the child’s Red Book as a record. Any concerns or worries can be discussed further and with parents and/or carers permission other agencies can support the child’s needs as required.

Parent/Carer Partnership

At Minik Kardes, we believe that it is very important for us to form a partnership with parents and carers.  Creating genuine partnerships is a fundamental part of our practice.  This partnership is at its best when each partner respects and values the other’s knowledge, expertise and experiences, contributing these for the benefit of the child. Partnership is therefore vital in a child’s educational life. The more we work together and share information about your child, the happier they will be and the more progress they will be able to make.

The Progress Check at Age Two and the EYFS

Please remember to bring:

Spare Clothes: we do get mess and wet sometimes!

Nappies and creams for sore bottoms

Special comfort items (especially for sleep time) i.e a dummy, a cloth they like to hold on to or a special toy.

Please ask your child’s key person if you think of anything else that your child might find useful.
Also, speak to the key person about any medications your child may be taking or creams for eczema that might need rubbing onto their skin during the day.

The Settling In Process

The settling in process is a very important time for your child. Most children feel a sense of loss and separation when they enter day       care. A well-planned settling-in period minimizes the distress of the child by helping them to start to make new attachments to the key person while gradually separating from their parent/carers over a period of time.

For the first week parents/carers are asked to come along at 9.30 am. and leave by 12 pm. For the first few days we ask that parents/carers stay in the room with their child and alongside their key person help them to get to know where things are. During this time the routines and how we plan for the children and assess their development are explained. Parents/Carers can ask questions too.

By day 4 and 5 if the child is happy to be left, we ask parents/carers to wait in the staff room for up to 20 minutes while their child becomes familiar with being alone with the key person and the other staff and children. If the child becomes upset we will call the parent/carer to the room to show the child that this person hasn’t gone too far. If all is well on day 5, the child can stay for lunch before going home.

During the second week the child can be left all day…..if they are feeling confident to leave their parent/carer. It may take a little longer for a child to settle without tears when their parent/carer leaves and the key person will be there to support your child through this period. We usually ask parents/carers to come back to collect children around 3 pm on the second week as the long day can be tiring for them.

By week 3 onwards most children are settled and can do the requested hours they were given.

In the Dolphin Room we encourage children to build relationships with special people.

Routines This is a guide to how our day operates. Depending on the needs and interests of the children it can be a little more flexible.

We open at 8 am. All children come together in the lower rooms

9-9.30 Breakfast. Dolphins go to the dining area

9.30-9.45 Dolphins come together with dinosaurs for singing

9.45-10.00 Dolphins go to their room for free play/focus activity

(a focused activity is centred around a child’s needs or interest and is usually observed by an adult. It can happen either inside or outside and could be a visit somewhere local)

10-10.30 Snack time in dining area

10.30-11.15 Main messy activity/free choice/focus child observations

(Each week we focus on different children and watch what and who they like to play with. If a child needs some extra support in an area this is where we might notice it and then plan an activity to develop their skills or understanding)

11.15 Tidy up/Story/Music and Movement/Garden time

11.45 Wash hands for lunch. 2 children will help set up with an adult.

12.-12.30 Lunch

12.30 Wash hands and face/remove shoes and warm clothing to settle down for sleep time.

2.30-3.00 Dress for tea time

3-5.30 Free choice/focus activity/observation of children both inside or outside

5.30-600 Get ready to go home

Key Person System

In the Dolphin Room each child has a key person who is responsible for settling them in and maintaining their development during the time they spend in the room. It is a very important role and is mentioned in the EYFS ‘The key person must help ensure that every child’s learning and care is tailored to meet their individual needs’ (page 7, Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, DFE)

You and your child will be introduced to your child’s key person before your child starts their time in the room.

If your child is already at Minik Kardes in another room, the key person will visit that room getting to know the child and will work with the present key person handing over information to ensure a smooth transition into the new environment.

Once settled the key person will plan, observe and assess your child’s development. They will record their findings in a booklet with photos and pieces of work your child has produced. They will set a time for you to meet together to discuss your child’s development and to discuss any observations, worries or concerns you may have about your child and their progress. You are, of course, welcome to talk informally with your child’s key person any time you wish although before and after sessions is the most convenient time due to staffing ratios which could affect the safety of the children.

be creative, using all their senses to express themselves follow their own interests, explore and have fun!