Frequently Asked Questions
We are big believers that what goes in your gut affects everything. The importance of good nutrition must not be underestimated. Our menus are designed in conjunction with an early years nutrition consultant so that we can provide nutritious, balanced food that is tasty, organic, locally sourced, freshly prepared and cooked on site. No additives, no flavourings, no colouring, no added salt, no added sugar… No way! As a result of the work that we do with our nutrition team, our menus are in accordance with the Children’s Food Trust guidelines and we are able to effectively cater for all allergies.
But we believe a healthy start to life is more than just what’s on the plate. We also want to teach children about what they need to know in order to make healthier decisions and develop independence. So we provide interactive opportunities for the children to cook, bake, serve, and even grow their own edible goodies within the allotment in our Little Wild Green; where they learn where our food comes from, how to eat healthily, exploring an exciting new pallet of flavours and how to look after our future world.
Breakfast: Whole fruit, toast and cereals
Morning Snack: Date and cranberry flapjacks / Grissini sticks and hummus dip
Lunch: Smoked haddock and spinach pie with peas / Sweet potato and pumpkin curry with pittas
Pudding: Natural yoghurt and fruit medley
Afternoon Snack: Fruit and/or vegetable sticks
Afternoon Tea: Coconut and cauliflower curry / Lightly spiced turkey and chilli bean quinoa
Water and fruit are always available, as are vegan and vegetarian options. If you have any concerns about what your child eats, whether it’s due to intolerances, allergies or fussy eating, please don’t hesitate to speak with us and we’ll cater to your needs.
“There is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing”.
We stick to the Scandinavian proverb that there’s no such thing as bad weather! At Little Wild Tribe, we encourage children to play outside all year round, regardless of the weather so it’s absolutely essential that we make sure all children are wearing suitable clothing that’s appropriate for the season to ensure they are comfortably warm, happy and dry at all times. The real key to being outside whatever the weather is being prepared. By dressing children appropriately, we mean clothing and footwear that are warm enough, windproof and, of course, waterproof, so that being outside is enjoyable. When children have the correct clothing, they are rarely fazed by the weather, and this should be embraced!
So, for example, in very cold winter weather, we stipulate that children must wear essential ‘outerwear’ such as an all-in-one thermal, insulated snowsuit in addition to the ‘layering’ principle – it’s much better to be too warm and remove some layers than to be too cold. In wet weather, we require that children wear waterproof/windproof rainsuits as well as of course wellies for keeping toes warm and dry. In hot weather, we require children to be suitably covered as well as wearing protective sunscreen so that our children can make the most of all of the world they live in – regardless of the weather!
But don’t worry, we provide our parents with detailed guidance about how to best dress your child, depending on the weather. Outerwear clothing such as rain and snow suits can be provided by us for a small charge (for you to keep) or you are welcome to source your own. We do also have a good selection of spares in all sizes, for all those oops moments!
And don’t forget, mud is a key part of a child’s outdoor experience so make sure you are prepared to let the children get dirty for their own sensory development as well as the development of their immune systems. Children are 100% washable so dress for mess is our motto!
Just like our Scandinavian counterparts, we believe that children should have access to outdoor play on a daily basis, regardless of the weather! Research shows there are many benefits to playing outside, in rain or shine.
So what do we do when it’s raining? Well, we know the UK weather can be unpredictable so we have a range of shelters depending on the weather. In Little Wild Wood, we set up a range of ‘bad weather’ provision – these include our giant parachute tent to shelter us from the rain, some lightweight tarps as wind-breaks, our supervised campfire and a number of tents and teepees to keep us cosy and warm. But the biggest problem we find on rainy days is encouraging the children to get under a shelter – there’s no better fun than splashing around in muddy puddles!
But what about in severe weather? We would never compromise on a child’s wellbeing and safety so if the weather is too extreme to continue our outdoor play, then we have a number of other locations that we can retreat to, in order to keep everyone safe. For example, in extremely windy weather where there is a risk of tree branches falling, we don’t take children to Little Wild Wood but would instead, take the children to in our ‘Plan B’ outdoor location that doesn’t require us to bring children through the woods so as to not restrict their outdoor play.
If, however, there was more severe weather such as a storm, we would return to, or remain at, our fully insulated log cabin back at basecamp as well as having access to a number of other indoor locations such as the roundhouse and the big room over by the Hadleigh Park offices. But even at these indoor locations, there is still plenty of potential to get some fresh air within their perimeter!
So what are the benefits of playing outside in rain or shine across all the seasons? See our blog post here for further details!
Is it safe? Absolutely!
The safety of children is always of the utmost importance. The Little Wild Lodge premises is accessed only via a locked gate once you are through the car registered, secure entrance barrier at Hadleigh Park. In addition, our outdoor area at basecamp is fully fenced in for our sole-use, with a camera-monitored security entrance and accessed only by buzzer. Our woodland site, Little Wild Wood, is a fully enclosed and secure woodland also for our sole-use. The fence boundary prevents dogs or members of the general public walking through and the gated entrance has a sign advising that this site is inaccessible to the public during our operating hours. Before we even set off for the day, we conduct a site risk assessment every single morning for the outdoor locations to be used that day to ensure there are no unexpected hazards upon arrival of the children.
To ensure safety at all times, we operate much higher than standard staff to children ratios to safeguard the highest standards of health and safety in all locations. Our staff work upon a strict ratio of AT LEAST one teacher to four children when out in the woodland and a ratio of 1:3 for the under 2s who remain within the secure boundary of basecamp at Little Wild Lodge. The older, confidently walking children who visit our woodland site are accompanied and observed at all times and we have a strict routine to ensure children are always within close proximity to a staff member when we are nomadic. The area boundaries are always visibly marked out and and we play regular safety games with children.
Our staff ratios, in addition to our health, safety and security measures ensure that children are safe at all times. All staff are fully trained in First Aid and hold the Paediatric First Aid certificate. We follow very strict health and safety procedures when lighting the campfire on colder days, and have a robust and meticulous system for transporting and serving food when in the woods.
But what about in the woods – do we let them climb trees? Well, yes! Age appropriate risk taking is encouraged in small, achievable steps as children learn to manage their own abilities when gauging physical, emotional, and social risks. As children succeed in increasingly risky challenges, they learn to self-regulate through increased self-awareness. “We can do it!” approaches help to build self esteem, independence and resilience but of course, it’s important to get the balance right so we provide appropriate adult supervision. As Tulley and Spiegler point out in ‘Fifty Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Children Do’, children who grow up as safe as humanly possible become adults who aren’t adventurous, resilient, or confident. They suggest that sometimes you have to fall out of a tree to figure out how to climb one the right way!
”If children are to be allowed the freedom to play outdoors again, and gain all the social, emotional and physical benefits this brings, then they need to learn how to take risks and keep themselves safe.”
(Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, UK)
Toileting: Basecamp at the lodge is fully kitted out with everything you could think of! In our Little Wild Wood, we have a sheltered and private compost toilet, potty facilities, as well as our nappy changing tent and hand washing station. We take hygiene very seriously and follow all sensible precautions.
Naps: The children and babies who regularly nap are given time and space to sleep, with a range of sleeping options being made available. These sleeping options are agreed with the parents to reflect the needs of the individual child at their stage of development. Examples might include a mother who wants the child rocked in a pushchair outdoors or another who wants a cot in a darkened area in the log cabin. In Little Wild Lodge, we have mattresses that are flexible and can be moved inside or out, depending on the weather. For those children who are get a bit sleepy while down in the woods, we provide cosy tents and sleeping bags for a blissful nap in the fresh air.
Operating hours and cost: Little Wild Tribe is open Monday to Friday across the calendar year for working parents (51 weeks) but we do also offer term time only options. Our standard day is 8am-6pm, and optional early starts (7am) or shorter ‘school’ days are also available. For full details of session times, fees and current availability, please contact us
Funded places: The government subsidises childcare for some eligible 2, 3 and 4 year olds and Little Wild Tribe offers this funded subsidy. For more information on the eligibility of the government funded educational entitlement, see here. For information on the availability of these places and our waiting list procedure, please contact us.
Settling your child into nursery: We have a strong attachment ethos and therefore understand how important it is to ensure a smooth transition to the new nursery environment for parents and child. We offer as many settling-in sessions as your child needs, providing a gradual approach and working closely with the family to understand more about the likes, dislikes, and specific needs of each individual child. We also recognise that not all children will at first be comfortable spending hours outside at a time so we introduce them at a gentle pace to extended time in the woods.
Client happiness policy: We are absolutely confident that you will love what we do, and we work hard to rectify any concerns as they arise. After all, the happiness of the children is our most important priority! If you ever have any concerns or worries about your child, whether it’s to do with fussy eating, potty training or something else, please don’t hesitate to speak with us and you can be confident that we will do everything we can to nurture your child’s happiness.
I’d like to book a tour: No problem! For safeguarding purposes, we don’t allow members of the public to just drop in. But please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll arrange a suitable time to visit, so that you can see what we do and where we do it!
I’ve read the information pack but still have more questions. Can I talk to you? Of course! If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help.
So what are you waiting for? If you’re craving a deeper, more meaningful, more adventurous childhood experience for your precious one, THIS IS IT.