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Nursery Guide: should you send your child to nursery?

Sending your little one to nursery is a big step! Both for your child as well as yourself so it’s only natural to have concerns. And you’re not alone… Did you know that 9 in 10 parents feel anxious about putting their baby in a nursery?

So at this point, you may be wondering, is sending your little one to nursery the right decision?

We want to start this off by a quick disclaimer – as a nursery, we’re going to come off biased! There’s no hiding the fact that we want you to register your little one with us… but why? Let’s take a look.

But before we do, we want to be 100% transparent, so here are some negatives of sending your little one to a nursery:

· It’s costly

We can’t hide the fact that nursery can be quite costly. But here, we offer funding options like tax-free, 15 and 30 hours and more. Click here for more information and to see if you’re eligible.

· There are late fees

Life is full of unexpected events and when you get that flat tire or get stuck in traffic you may be hit with some late fees if you’re late picking up your little one.

· Your child will be sick more often

It’s no secret that the more people your child is around the more likely they are to get sick. Being exposed to more germs can be a negative but it also helps them build immunity over time in preparation for primary school.

· They will come home looking like a Persil advert

We mention this in our nursery descriptions. As a nursery, we want our little ones to have amazing education experiences. Not having to worry about (and sometimes even encouraging) them getting messy because mess = awesome memories!

Now onto some of the benefits of nursery

Many parents select a nursery as a practical solution for their return to work. But how many parents choose a nursery based on the learning opportunities and experiences they offer?

We’re here to tell you that nurseries offer more than just a base level of care.

They allow your little one to experience so much more than they can at home, from meeting new people, going to new places, making new friends, learning about and developing interests in new topics and so much more!

This results in increased confidence, further progress in their language and communication skills, the ability to socialise, increased independence as well as a greater understanding of rules and boundaries.

And of course, as a parent, you are your little one’s first educator. But nursery gives your child the opportunity to practice and develop skills outside the home. Which only helps them develop further and be better prepared for the start of primary school.

What will your little one do all day anyway?

The things your child will experience depend on your child’s age and developmental stage as well as the number of weekly sessions they attend.

For babies and very young children, it’s more about forming relationships that they use as a foundation for future experiences. Also, being introduced to different activities and topics that they will build on as they get older.

As your little one gets older, they will take part in more structured activities and sometimes nursery outings (dependent on nursery) to help them build core skills like language and communication and physical development.

Every activity your child takes part in will help them develop as well as learn more about the world around them.

Your little one will also advance practical skills like sitting down at a table to eat with other children, washing their hands independently, putting on coats and shoes, making choices and socialising.

To know what your little one gets up to on a daily basis, it’s important to understand the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which is the curriculum for children under 5. This framework summarises key learning areas and focuses on play-based learning. Click here for the full guide on this.

Nurseries place a focus on play-based learning because children learn at a much faster pace when they engage in activities that they’re actually interested in.

Parents often ask (especially once their child reaches 3 years old), if we start teaching in a more formalised way.

There is an expectation that young children should be writing, recognising letters and reading.

And while we know these skills are important, it’s important to remember that children have only a small window before going into formal education, where they will remain for the rest of their childhood.

This is why we encourage children to be curious, explore and grow through playtime. They should be allowed to follow their interests and be fully engaged in the experienced that are offered to them.

And in our nurseries, via our Famly app, our practitioners will update you on daily activities - from crafts to story-time and even awesome themed days like World Lion Day!

To conclude this post…

When and if you decide to send your little one to a nursery at whatever age that might be, the amount of time they will spend there and the type of nursery you choose will ultimately be your decision (and dependant on other factors like your and your child’s needs, affordability, etc.).

But we do recommend you at least explore the idea of joining a nursery - even if it's for a short time before starting primary school to help your child feel more confident about the upcoming transition.

Why not visit a nursery in person? Whether that’s ours or not, you’ll be able to see what children get up to first-hand and ask the practitioners about the real-life pros and cons of signing up!


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