Today, St. George’s Nursery would like to say: 

To all emergency services workers, thank you. You’re tireless hard work has helped to keep us all safe, and for that we are grateful!

As a token of our appreciation, we would like to offer you a discount. Please contact your local St. George’s Nursery School to find out more: http://stgeorgesnursery.com/contact/

Whilst all our settings have toy animals, we believe there is no substitute for the real thing! Allowing children to interact with animals gives them the chance to learn in a greater, richer and in a more immersed way.

We love receiving visits from St. George’s Nursery’s super friendly dog – Julio. Previously we have also had visits from a range of different animals such as kittens, a barn owl, guinea pigs and chicks. We have and have had many ‘resident’ pets too at nursery, from snails and fish to caterpillars and rabbits!

It can be particularly beneficial for children with SEND but there are plenty of benefits that animals provide for all children – some are listed below!

Looking after pets and understanding and considering their needs is a huge building block to developing empathy. Pets teach children how to be gentle, compassionate and considerate, as well as to understand boundaries and the importance of caring for others, especially those that are unable to care for themselves. The children learn how to be patient with the animals and how to treat them kindly, which can in turn help them to understand to treat people in the same way.

By interacting with different animals, children are exposed to what else exists in the wider world, what their different needs are, and why we should care for them, all which links nicely with our curriculum.

We have found that many children, especially those that are usually more quiet, really come out of their shell. They are interested and intrigued and want to interact with the animal as well as with their peers.  

The task of looking after a pet, and all the responsibilities that come with it, can help children to develop certain habits such as self-discipline and punctuality as well as tidiness. All of these can help children both in their home lives, nursery lives and later on in their lives.

Having a pet around builds on a child’s natural curiosity and encourages them to be more inquisitive as well as to question and interact and connect more.

In particular, animals can help children’s reading skills. Research has shown that children who may be reluctant to read out loud feel more confident reading to animals as they see them as a non-judgemental companion!

Pets are known to have calming qualities and stroking their fur has been found to act a form of therapy, leading to lower blood pressure, which subsequently can lower anxiety levels.

Furthermore, pets provide a sense of security, comfort and companionship, which again in turn reduces anxiety, apprehension or worry.

Having a pet in the classroom brings high levels of enjoyment and joy. Moreover, playing with pets often encourages children to be active promoting a healthy lifestyle.

Talking about race with children may make you feel anxious but here’s how we can start…⁣

👶 Start early; by 6 months of age babies start to notice racial difference & by age 3-4 children have already begun to show signs of racial bias. Even before babies & children can talk they learn through behaviours & actions.⁣

🗣 When children grow older they become more vocal & it’s normal for them to start talking about skin colour. Don’t claim not to see colour, allow them to express their views, concerns & thoughts when it comes to their friends from different backgrounds & different cultures. Encourage open conversation; encourage children to ask questions, share observations & expose them to different cultural opportunities such as books, toys, films & cultural events. Try to choose books & toys that include people of different races & cultures & try to have a diverse friendship circle so they learn from their peers.⁣

📖 Educate Yourself; if you, yourself are not entirely sure about how to address race or confused on how to be “racially appropriate”, EDUCATE yourself before educating your children. This might be uncomfortable for many because you’ll have to acknowledge & face your own bias. This is really important because we’re more likely to pass on racial biases if we don’t identify & work to overcome them. Be open & honest, it’s okay to say “I’m not sure” or “Let’s learn about this together.” You’re not expected to know it all & race is a topic you should plan to revisit again & again in different ways over time.⁣

✊ EMPOWER them to make CHANGE! Be active—don’t be a “bystander” on race. Help your child understand what it means to be a “change agent”. It’s not always enough to speak up about racial inequalities, whenever possible, connect the conversations you have at home to the change you want you & your child to see & think together about how you can bring change into society!⁣

These are just a few simple ways we can teach our children about race & by doing so bring a generational change. ⁣

Following the impact of Covid-19, the world is having to adapt to “a new normal.” Many parents have had to adapt to working from home, and it is likely this will continue for months to come. Could this be the end of the world of ‘9-5’ working?

Juggling work commitments, home commitments as well as trying to fit in personal hobbies is not easy at the best of times, but it seems it’s getting harder and harder for most of us.

We’ve seen the funny WFH scenarios people have found themselves in… See some of the hilarious examples here.

We appreciate that these are challenging times and we understand that it can be frustrating and often distressing not knowing where to turn when in need of some certainty.

Whether it’s working from home, or whether you do shift work or teacher contracted hours, as your childcare provider, we want to let you know we are here to support you during these changes, and the changes yet to come.

Do an extra couple of hours to yourself in the mornings sound ideal to complete the house chores you always put off whilst the children are at home, or even fit in that exercise class? We’re here for you!

For both new and existing parents, we want to let you know are providing term-time only places, holiday clubs, the flexibility to add on additional hours if you are struggling with working from home as well as flexible childcare hours for shift workers.

We would like to remind you that our opening hours are 7.30am – 6pm. If you would like to discuss any of these options further, or would like any more information, please don’t hesitate to contact your site manager.

Weekly clapping will resume once again to show support and appreciation for all frontline workers.

We will be clapping for our incredible St. George’s team as well as all other nursery front line workers. They have been working tirelessly during challenging circumstances with continuous changes to government guidance and in turn continuous changes to ways of working.

Our team have remained positive throughout and have shown great creativity, innovation and an incredible willingness to support the children.

Here are some of our favourite quotes from what members of the community in the UK have had to say about childcare workers during this pandemic. We couldn’t agree with these more:

“Our nursery staff are playing a vital role in helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 and thus saving lives. They really are heroic, and it’s hard to find words to express how much I appreciate their efforts.”

“By looking after the children of key workers like our doctors and nurses, you are making a massive difference and you are helping to save lives.

Your kindness, gentleness and patience during these difficult times are a great example and a rainbow of hope to everyone looking to deal with this crisis. Thank you.”

“The Early Years practitioners are themselves critical workers. When we clap for carers, we should remember the work they are doing alongside all our other critical workers who are doing so much to provide key services for the people who need our support.”

“#StandUpForEarlyYears: NHS Doctor Says Childcarers Are ‘Unsung Heroes” – An NHS doctor says that support from her local nursery enabled her to save lives in the battle against COVID-19.

‘I cannot see how either my husband or I could have done our jobs without their help,’ she said.”

#NotAllHeroesWearCapes

In November, we asked parents to help us with our Big Collection by donating items such as warm clothing, unopened food tins and other dried food, hygiene items such as nappies and female sanitary products.

We would like to thank everyone who donated so generously and help us to support so many families in need across Leicestershire💛

Here is the link to our feature on BBC East Midlands today: https://fb.watch/2jcIbOlNMd/

 “To grow up healthy, children need to sit less and play more.”

Children under five must spend less time sitting watching screens, or restrained in prams and seats, get better quality sleep and have more time for active play if they are to grow up healthy” – World Health Organization (WHO).

Screen time is a sensitive subject at the best of times for most families. However, now in a world of virtual birthday parties, and Zoom classes and with both parents and children spending a lot more of their time at home, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to know when and how to put limits and restrictions on your child’s screen time.      

There are many benefits to reduced screen time including “improving physical activity, reducing sedentary time and ensuring quality sleep in young children which will improve their physical, mental health and wellbeing, and help prevent childhood obesity and associated diseases later in life,” says Dr Fiona Bull, programme manager for surveillance and population-based prevention of noncommunicable diseases, at WHO.

At St. George’s, we understand that it’s often difficult to limit screen time at home, that’s why at nursery, we plan a range of activities that don’t involve screens! We encourage children to play and learn outside in our beautiful large gardens, we encourage yoga, music, singing and dancing, we read and listen to stories from our teachers and peers and we do lots of sensory play including activities with water, play dough and sand. For more activities, please see http://stgeorgesnursery.com/age-group/.

The wide range of activities we do at St. George’s Nursery helps to keep the children active, fit and healthy, as well as to boost their imagination, creativity and enhance their motor and social skills.

Here are a few things you can do at home too…

Start by recognising that with so much more happening online nowadays, some screen time is inevitable. However, there are techniques you can use to limit this:

“When we tell kids not to do something, we almost always need to tell them what to be doing instead,” says Stephanie Lee, PsyD, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute.

Develop a non-screen activity menu with your children that includes their various other favourite activities, such as cooking and baking, arts & crafts or even teaching pets new tricks. This will help when they are feeling fed up or bored, they have a variety at options ready to go. 

Your children may try to reject your new system and act grumpy for the first couple of days. Children often try their luck with new restrictions and try to gauge how firm they really are. If you keep with the plan, rejection and push back are likely to disappear and your children will become accustomed to their new routines.

This definitely won’t be an easy one but it’s important to lead by example. Children are likely to replicate behaviours such as putting your screens away at certain times of time every day. Not only will this help your children decrease the time they spend on their screens, but could also help you control the amount of time you spend doing the same and could give you more valuable and mindful time with your children.

From brushing their first tooth to their first trip to the dentist, here’s how to take care of your children’s teeth.

A regular teeth-cleaning routine is essential for good dental health. Follow these tips and you can help keep your kids’ teeth decay-free.

Toothbrushing tips 

It’s important to use a fluoride toothpaste, as this helps prevent and control tooth decay.

Children aged up to 3 years

Children aged 3 to 6 years

How to help children brush their teeth properly

Taking your child to the dentist

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/taking-care-of-childrens-teeth/

The article states – “Kate said: “The science shows that the early years are more pivotal for future health and happiness than any other period in our lifetime. As many as 40% of our children will arrive at school with below the expected levels of development, and the social cost of late intervention has been estimated to be over £17bn a year.

“The early years are therefore not simply just about how we raise our children. They are, in fact, about how we raise the next generation of adults. They are about the society we will become.”

She said the report’s findings raised a number of questions, from how to address parental loneliness to how to raise awareness about the importance of early years, after the study found only a minority of people understood its relevance.

She added: “We must do all we can to tackle these issues and to elevate the importance of the early years, so that together we can build a more nurturing society. Because I believe the early years should be on par with the other great social challenges and opportunities of our time.”

The speech was hailed as a milestone for the duchess. Kensington Palace said it would shape her future focus on early years development, with plans next year for Kate to help elevate the importance of early childhood.

“At a time when many parents of young children have been cut off from their normal sources of help and can only seek limited support from family and friends, it is vital that the government recognises the value of the early years and ensures that the vital services that provide such important support to parents and families across the country are able to continue to do so.”

The report concluded that society as a whole needed to be more supportive of parents and families in the early years, with more done to promote its importance, and better support networks to improve parental mental health.”

Lockdown 2.0 is here… Does that mean you are back to working from home with the children around? Crying babies? Toddlers singing and dancing? Paperwork go missing? Zoom meetings with your boss whilst your children are doing a fashion show in the background? Yep you’re not the only ones!!

Check out some of the pictures below of some of the hilarious work from home situations some parents found themselves in!