About The Ark Private Day Nursery

Our Philosophy

Our philosophy is happy and healthy children. We want children to have a fulfilled and adventurous day at The Ark, whether it’s their first small steps as a toddler or as they practice their football skills in the garden after a day in the classroom.

The philosophy of the nursery is inspired by several theoretical approaches, such as Steiner, Bowlby and Pikler.  The combination of these approaches enables us to look at the holistic development of each child.

We believe that early relationships between children and carers play a huge role in each child’s development and will influence their relationships throughout life.  Therefore we recognise the importance of providing supportive relationships, guidance, warmth and appropriate role modelling to the children in our care.  We endeavour to provide respectful care, continuity and stability throughout the nursery.

The first three years of a child’s life are vital as they are laying the foundations for later life.  We aim to give each child a positive experience of childcare.  A child will always feel more secure when they are aware of their daily routine, for that reason we ensure there is a steady rhythm to each day and transitions are managed smoothly.

Every child has the right to a healthy life and the nursery aims to promote child led and independent activity. We want children to be enthusiastic and imaginative during their play experiences. In addition to the wide range of activities on offer each day we ensure that the children have access to a healthy diet, opportunities for rest, access to nature and lots of physical activity.  Direct experiences of practical tasks, risk taking and challenges all help children to build a positive self image and to develop empathy and acceptance toward others.

At The Ark every child will be treated as an individual, encouraged and guided to develop in a safe, caring and stimulating environment. We want children to have fun and learn, with staff who are motivated and dedicated to caring for them and parents who are confident that their children are in good hands and having a great day.

Our Services

Healthy children need the right levels of exercise and nutrition. At The Ark all our meals will be freshly prepared on site by our cook, using locally sourced ingredients where possible.

We encourage children to try foods from around the world and these are incorporated into our menu at all times. Our menus change seasonally so we can make the most of fresh local produce.

Our menus change with each season and are planned on a four week rotation. We will always strive to meet any dietary requirements and staff have completed allergy training. Our meat and chicken produce is supplied by Hoys Butchers.

We offer five meals per day, which are breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack and a light evening tea. You can rest assured that your child will be well fed at The Ark.

Fresh drinking water is available at all times in each room.

At The Ark the security and well-being of your children are our number one priority.

We have a number of security measures in place, including a buzzer entry system and CCTV in our play rooms.

All our staff go through a rigorous vetting process which consists of an enhanced access NI check, medical check, satisfactory references and a social services check.

All staff receive a thorough induction prior to commencing work.


We follow the Curricular Guidance for Pre-School Education in Northern Ireland, and Early Years Foundation Stage. These cover 6 areas of learning:

• Personal, Social and Emotional Development
• Physical Development and Movement
• The Arts
• Language Development
• Early Mathematical Experiences
• The World Around Us

Although these are specifically geared towards pre-school, we apply these across the nursery to all our planning and activities. We have also researched other curriculum models and applied best practice to our setting.

Our staff have specific training in relation to the age groups and needs of the children they care for, for example our staff in the baby rooms have a working knowledge of Makaton, an effective language learning programme that offers a structured multi-modal approach to teaching communication, language and literacy skills through the use of vocabulary and gestures.


Throughout the year we introduce a range of themes for each room. These include:
The Seasons
Under The Sea
People Who Help Us
All About Me
Fairy Tales


Every day there are a wide range of activities taking place within each room. These include:
Sand and water play
Role play
Small world play
Arts and crafts
Sensory play
Messy time
Outdoor games… the list goes on!