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Michael Tomlinson, MP joined Cheryl Hadland, Founder of Tops Day Nurseries, to celebrate share a story month and promote the importance of reading in the early years. Michael spent time interacting with the children by reading ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’, the children thoroughly enjoyed it and loved using the props.

Michael also had some very important discussions with Cheryl and the staff at Tops Wareham, focusing on the importance of the Early Years sector and expansion of the funded spaces for children being rolled out from April 2024, and the benefits of EOTs.

Cheryl and Michael discussed:

How day nurseries and parents can help with financial and environmental sustainability as well as provide significant developmental support through supporting children to be nappy free earlier.
There is now a national shortage of nursery staff which is reducing availability of nursery places, and damaging the quality of education.
Means testing for funding for early years places and funding could enable all children to attend for 30 hours instead of just those whose parents are working.
The very heavy load of paying business rates.

The land and water pollution being caused by water companies allowing sewage into the environment, causing sickness, and stopping children’s access to the seas, and the one use plastic and micro plastics now in our food chain causing infertility and disease in humans and injuring and killing birds, whales, turtles, dolphins.
Air pollution, which is causing asthma and lung disease in small children.

The lack of option to choose oat milk, fruit and vegetables instead of dairy milk in English nurseries, despite some children being dairy intolerant, and obesity being a major problem for increasing numbers of children.

Waste costs of disposable nappies being 4% of the domestic rates bill for everyone plus £1000 per nursery p.a. Should have a washable nappy programme for all day nurseries in Dorset – funding available from the EU.

The positive impact that Tops Day Nurseries (Queens Award) has on children and their families lives in Dorset, good and outstanding teaching, healthy, safe environments.
Speaking after the official opening event, Cheryl Hadland said: “Children do not have a vote, and need us all to represent them and their needs for the future, so it was great to be able to share our concerns for them with Michael”.

Michael Tomlinson commented: “It is always a pleasure to meet the children and staff of Tops Wareham. Education of the youngest children in our community is of vital importance to us all, as they are the future, whether they become lawyers, farmers, NHS staff or even politicians! Giving children the best start possible is one of the best investments we can make in our community and country”.

Tops Day Nurseries provides eco-sustainable Early Education and Care for children aged 3 months to school age. They have over 30-day nurseries across the South and Southwest. Tops also offer before, after-school and Hi5 holiday clubs for children up to the age of 11.

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