The Acorn Ethos

‘Putting children first’ is the best way to sum up our ethos and everything we do. With a strong ethic of care, we prioritise building caring relations and a responsive approach in our dealing with everybody; in doing so, we are nurturing the social and emotional wellbeing of children and helping to build a more caring and connected society. 

By developing an ethical, innovative and sustainable model of early years care and education, we aim to lead and inspire the sector, particularly in regards to outdoor play and learning, and staff professional development. 

Our Values

  • Personal - in that we communicate informally and at a personal level and strive to avoid bureaucratic processes. We treat children and staff as individuals and develop caring and supportive relationships with families, and aim to create homely environments. Personalised care and education is at the heart of our provision, and we believe that the children’s happiness, fun and laughter are key ingredients for successful provision.

  • Professional - in that we continually seek to develop the knowledge, skills and qualifications of our staff team. We are a learning organisation that is at the forefront of improving the quality of our childcare practice, through training and development of our people and through action research. We set high standards for professional conduct and practice and aim to achieve excellence in all areas.

  • Nurturing - children’s development and wellbeing as individuals is our primary focus, taking a holistic approach, putting children’s needs first, and employing staff who genuinely love working with children. Our food is freshly prepared, locally sourced where possible, and healthy eating is a key part of our focus on wellbeing for children and staff. We provide children the opportunity to learn through first-hand experiences wherever possible.

  • Outdoor - learning and play in natural environments is promoted as an essential part of our provision, through Forest Schools and the unique provisions at each site. We encourage the use of natural materials and resources, aim to adopt green practices throughout the organisation, encouraging each site to grow their own fruit and vegetables, and to experience the natural world all year round.

  • Ethical - as a charitable organisation which puts children before profit and aims to be inclusive and sustainable, both environmentally and financially. We seek excellence, honesty and integrity in all aspects of our work.