Of course it’s a huge decision whether to send your child to nursery or not and yes, they’re your little treasures, but a high-quality preschool is designed to set young minds up for future academic, emotional, and social success.
According to Edward Melhuish, Professor of human development, University of Oxford, “it’s clear that nurseries benefit the majority of children, regardless of background.”
Read on to hear about some of the benefits of sending your child to nursery:
Children need to be able to develop their independence, confidence and problem-solving skills, as well as their feelings of security, comfort and belonging. Researchers from Sorbonne University in Paris said: “Access to high quality childcare in the first years of life may improve children’s emotional and cognitive development, prevent later emotional difficulties and promote pro-social behaviours.”
Nurseries offer a good early years language development programme that supports every child. These enjoyable programmes are built and designed to nurture attentive listeners and excellent speakers. Age-appropriate games, songs, books and other activities are used to provide children with the confidence to experiment with speaking and listening.
At St. Georges Nursery School, we encourage our children to foster self-respect and a positive self-image so that they are confident and assured in their abilities and skills. We support them to make independent choices, for example in managing their own hygiene and by making equipment, resources and supplies easy for them to access. We teach children to understand their feelings and emotions and manage their behaviour appropriately. We promote valuing and respecting others and we encourage relationship building with both staff and other children through helping them to develop strong social skills.
New blog coming soon on “How attending nursery helps to set your child up for success in the next stage of their life – school” for more on this!
Early years childcare offers a great opportunity for children to socialise at a young age, and in turn, it can help them learn communication skills as well. According to the Telegraph, a study found that young children who are looked after by their parents or grandparents are worse behaved than those sent to nursery. The study found that children who attend a nursery or creche staffed by professionals are less likely to have poor social skills, difficult relationships with peers, or behavioural issues – particularly if attendance lasts a year or more.
Children attending nursery school have the chance to play with both other children and staff members. As well as giving children the opportunity to have fun, play is crucial when it comes to a child’s well-being and development. An active lifestyle is fundamental in helping children to develop healthy habits to last a lifetime and children require a variety of play as a part of their growth and development.
In the digital age we live in in front of iPads, phones and TVs, we want our children to still be able appreciate and enjoy the great outdoors. Thought it may be tempting at home to switch off and put on the TV, one thing you don’t see at St. George’s is a television. Play is vitally important as your children will develop muscle control and strength, balance and coordination, and research shows that play helps cognitive development enabling children to retain more information.
The variety of activities at nursery are usually greater than what can be offered at home, including dress up and role play, sports singing and dance classes and messy play using paint, water, sand, and glue.
It is suggested that when children begin walking by themselves, it is beneficial for them to be outdoors for at least three hours each day enjoying some physical activity. Outdoor play means that children receive a range of settings and environments for learning.
For further information on children’s health and fitness, please see our blog ‘Health and Fitness in the Early Years’
Although there aren’t lots of rules and staff controlling children’s every move or activity, at St. George’s we have a structured routine (thought it may not always seem that way!). A planned and controlled environment encourages children to make friends, share and play amicably with their peers and staff. The organisation of our classrooms is often invisible to children, but it is effectively ordered to inspire communication and collaboration, and to minimise clashes or congestion.
Take caring of both ourselves and others helps us to develop our sense of competence and self-confidence. We encourage our children to help at nursery by putting toys away, keeping things tidy, by laying the table at meal times or looking after the classroom pet. We also teach our children to become an asset for their peers, to help them assist other children in areas they may not be confident in or to help and welcome newcomers.
The children’s thoughts, ideas and interests are used to create various activities which fosters the children’s interest and motivation to learn. During activities, teachers monitor, question and listen to the children in order to provoke further ideas and inspiration (the ‘right’ answer is not the goal).
Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge” and children have the most active imaginations. It opens the door to many possibilities, and it can fuel learning. It builds social and cognitive development. We nurture our children’s creativity by spending lots of time outdoors, and participating in activities such as riddles, singing rhymes, art, inventing scenarios, storytelling as well as many more.