Three nursery teachers from Romania spent a day looking at British style early years care and education at an ‘outstanding’ Steeple Bumpstead nursery.
Blois Meadow Day Nursery hosted the group from Acorns British Style Nursery in Bucharest.
The visitors met parents, played with the children, discussed practice and training with staff and enjoyed Cozonak, a spiced Romanian cake specially prepared by Jo Kenyon, the nursery chef.
Fiona Dutu, Acorns’ head teacher, said: “UK nursery education has a good image in Romania, being seen as somewhere between the very strict, Victorian style Romanian state system and the American system, which is seen as too relaxed and lacking structure.
“We chose to visit Blois Meadow because of its outstanding Ofsted report and its reputation. It was an inspirational day and we have come away with lots of ideas.”
Acorns was set up in Bucharest ten years ago by Valentina Secara and has grown to encompass two nurseries and a training centre. Staff and children all speak English, which is popular with parents as it creates opportunities to study or work abroad in future.
Alison Midgley from Hempstead, who owns and manages the nursery, said: “It was fascinating to exchange information with fellow professionals from another country, especially with a group whose excellent English means that there are no communication barriers.
“We hope that the visit may lead to a future exchange programme between Blois Meadow and Acorns, which will broaden staff horizons and enable them to share ideas.”
She added “It’s ironic that, at a time when our government is trying to force two year olds into schools, other countries regard the UK’s play based learning as the model to emulate.”