An educational facility in south east Northumberland that aims to provide creative and positive experiences for young children has received praise from Ofsted.
Naomi Harling formed her first out of school club in 2001 and she now has six Chill Out Time Childcare centres.
The ones in Seaton Valley and Chillingham Road, Sacred Heart and Stocksfield Avenue in Newcastle were recently given a good rating by the national inspectors.
Each centre uses the philosophy of giving parents the opportunity to do something when their child is in care with the centre. At the same time, it is also an opportunity for the child to develop their confidence, self-esteem and their independent thinking.
The approach was developed following a working visit to observe a forest school system in Denmark where children are encouraged to learn through play by using nature and natural objects rather than building blocks or plastic toys.
Naomi, from North Tyneside, said: “Children are strong, resilient and can be trusted to manage their own risks.
“Obviously we carry out stringent risk assessments, but it’s not uncommon to see our children enjoying and learning through digging with spades, or climbing in a controlled environment.
“It is about following their interests and ideas rather than making them follow an adult focused curriculum.
“The outcomes for both the adults and children are enriched, and learning is much deeper.”