The Co-operative Childcare nursery in Cainscross is embracing a greener future after installing solar panels. The decision to opt for the renewable energy source follows the nursery adopting a more sustainable approach, and incorporating this policy in to its learning and play activities for children.

As a part of the solar panel installation, an interactive TV is situated in one of the nursery pre-school play rooms, which shows how much power the solar panels are generating. The screen enables the children to see how much electricity is being produced and what is being powered by this electricity around the nursery.

Georgina Hampstead, manager at The Co-operative Childcare Cainscross said: “We’re taking up a range of greener behaviours at our nursery because, as a co-operative, we’re committed to preserving our environment for future generations. But what is really great about our latest initiative, is how we’ve been able to involve the children with the technology and the science of capturing energy from the sun.

“Being able to visualise the process for the children has really peaked their interest. It’s given our pre-schoolers a terrific opportunity to learn about the power of the sun and renewable energy sources in a fun and engaging way.”

The nursery at Cainscross already has a well-established recycling programme in place, in which the children play a big part. Incorporating social responsibility-based learning and play into the daily routine at the nursery is an important part of the Co-operative Childcare approach.

The Co-operative Childcare, a part of The Midcounties Co-operative, embraces the co-operative “DOES” values of Democracy, Openess, Equality and Social responsibility. To bring these values to life, pre-schoolers from across its nurseries have worked with children’s author Pippa Pixley to create a book series, the ‘Little Pioneers’, which tell the stories of characters that embody these values.

Ebo, one of the ‘Little Pioneers’ book characters, represents social responsibility and the story follows him and his friends as they look after the planet by recycling their rubbish.  

Georgina Hampstead concludes: “Ebo brings learning about the environment to life through fun adventures with his friends. Parents like how we apply this to our own development programs and create ways for children to interactively learn about important things like social responsibility.”

For more information about The Co-operative Childcare, Cainscross, please visit;

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