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!
“Being a mother comes with a lot of things; responsibilities, constant learning but most of all emotions. Every day we go through a whirlwind of emotions with our little people. From feeling loved up to moments of frustration due to exhaustion. All these feelings are valid and normal. We can’t always be super happy and it can be difficult to constantly know what to do and what is right.
Guilt. This is a feeling that reoccurs on a daily basis for me. When I was pregnant, I felt guilty because I felt rubbish from the constant sickness and nausea when I had hoped so hard that I would become pregnant. Guilt because I didn’t attend any pre-natal exercise classes to bond with my baby because I was managing a service alone and was left so tired that at the end of a working day, all I wanted to do was sleep. Guilt, because I didn’t go out to make friends with other pregnant women because I wanted to organise myself to start my own business.
After little man arrived, this feeling continued. Guilt that I felt overwhelmed with the 10 hours plus of cluster feeding every day. Guilt that I wasn’t producing enough milk for my baby which was why he was constantly feeding. Guilt that I wasn’t looking forward to breastfeeding because it was painful with sitting as my coccyx had moved during birth. Guilt that I didn’t get out in the early months because I was constantly feeding and the only position I could do it in comfortably was laying down. So on and so on.
It’s hard to come to terms with the reasons behind feeling guilty, and there will always be something that affects us. My recent feeling of guilt has come from the idea of returning to work.
I always knew I wanted to go back to work because I love what I do. Helping others achieve positive experiences gives me a sense of achievement and being. I am passionate about what I do and I love to see the difference I bring to other mothers and their relationships with their babies. This being said, I love seeing my son grow and develop and feel so fortunate to have had spent the last 13 months with him. Unfortunately, however, due to change in circumstance, I have had to re- evaluate my work/ home balance. Before going off on maternity I had planned to go back to work 3 days a week, spend 2 days with my son at home, manage my business 1 day and to spent 1 day as family.
Life had different plans for me and in actual fact I now have to work full time. I sat deliberating with my husband on what was best for us and what was best for me. I knew if I was going back to work, it would have to be to a job I loved and with the niche that I work in, that wouldn’t be easy. Work have offered me some flexibility but I still have to put in the 37.5 hours. I still want to continue supporting women with positive birth experiences and teaching hypnobirthing so it all came down to weighing the importance of each aspect of my life.
I have taken the role and will continue my business too. This has built so much guilt as I know I will only spend 1 hour an evening with my son and will miss 1 weekend a month with him, but what I also know it that this is an opportunity to grow, learn and make the most of the time we have together. I’ll pre plan the night before so I can enjoy that hour with him, playing and bonding. The 3 weekends a month I have with him will be for us. We will make the most of doing things together and enjoying every moment I have with him. I have left the feeling of guilt for holding my son whilst he naps and co- sleeps at night because that is my quality time with him. If things don’t work out at work and it means I have to give it up, we will deal with that at another time. But for now, I acknowledge I will miss some time with my son, but what I will do is make the most of the time I do have with him.
It’s not easy being a parent, not knowing if you are making the right decisions for you and your baby. Regardless of whether you choose to be a stay- at- home mum or a working mum, you have made that decision with good reason. Remember in each case though- make the most of the time with your little person. The house can wait, other people can wait. Do what is right for you and enjoy the precious moments you have together.”
Mental health problems affect roughly 1 in 10 children and young people. The most common mental health problems seen in children are anxiety, ADHD, conduct disorders or learning disabilities.
Alarmingly, 70% of children and young people who experience mental health problems have no had appropriate interventions at the right age.
The emotional well-being of children and young people is just as important as their physical health. Most children can start to show signs of mental health difficulties from a young age but often times these are misdiagnosed or ignored.
Because young people process information, events and emotions differently, nurturing children’s health is influential on their mental health as adults.
Teaching children and young people healthy coping mechanisms, how to regulate strong emotions, how to create a safe space which is welcome to emotional and physical expression are all ways we can try to promote good mental health in children.
The start of good mental health in children leads to the development of well-round and resilient adults. Additionally promoting good mental health helps lead children into dealing with daily struggles and adversities much better in adulthood and helps them grow into strong self-confident individuals.
Head over to the http://www.theminddoc.co.uk/ for more on mental health.
At St. George’s we take pride in the fact that we have such dedicated long-term staff, who are passionate about both childcare as well as St. George’s.
Every single one of our staff makes each child and their families feel welcome, ensuring that all children are safe, happy and learning. They go above and beyond to foster an environment where our children, their families and our fellow colleagues feel a part of the family.
Many of the team members in the list below started with us in their teens! They are constantly building on their knowledge and skills and their passion for what they do continues to grow stronger and stronger.
Below is a list of our long-term employees (10+ years with St. George’s), and how long they have been a part of the St. George’s family. We are grateful to each and every one of the employees below, for their hard work over the years as well as their commitment, loyalty and dedication.
Encouraging good mental health for children starts from the reflection of good self-care implemented by the people around them. Caregivers & parents are great role models to teach children the importance of self-care and encouraging good mental health habits, here are some simple ways we can implement good self-care and mental health within children:
🏡 Creating a safe, welcoming, and non-judgemental space where children are allowed the freedom of their emotional expression
👩🏽🤝👨🏾 Encourage them to attend social groups/activities that promote their self-confidence and give them a sense of belonging
❤️ Accept who they are & recognise what they are good at.
🥰 Make them feel loved, trusted, understood and more importantly that their feelings are valued
😐 Help them articulate emotions they may have difficulty understanding
🗣 SHARE YOUR OWN FEELINGS in order to help them normalise some of their own.
There are many ways in which we can encourage children and young people to be more self-aware, expressive and understanding of their emotions. Sharing our own emotions may leave us vulnerable but at the same time sharing what we are feeling gives our children permission to do the same, if you can’t implement all of these ways I encourage you to start by simply sharing your emotions with your children.
Check out @theminddoc for more!!
“Nursery schools present “very little risk” and are Covid-safe, vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi has said, as he defended keeping them open.
Mr Zahawi contrasted nurseries with schools, which were closed because they had been “vectors for the new variant”.” – BBC News
Mr Williamson said evidence from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) found that early years education had a very small impact on transmission rates.
The health, safety and well-being of every child, employee and all of their families is our priority. Throughout this pandemic, we have taken practical steps, and implemented robust measures, to ensure the welfare of the whole St. George’s family.
This ranges from more rigorous and more frequent cleaning and hygiene practices to pick-up and drop-off changes and controlled and strict access to our nurseries. We have been helping to manage any anxiety they may be feeling by explaining Covid and encouraging them to be open about their feelings and worries.
Some of the measures we have put in place include:
All children must be dropped and collected at the front door of the nursery. No one is permitted into the nursery other than the children and staff, and no one is allowed into the nursery if they (or a member of their household) show Covid-19 symptoms (until they have completed their self-isolation period).
Regular risk assessments are carried out and updated following any new rules, regulation or government announcements.
Hands must be regularly washed and sanitized throughout the day and the correct hand washing procedures must be followed. Frequently touched items including surfaces are cleaned and disinfected regularly and deep cleaning occurs each day including the use of antiviral fogging machines in each room.
Furthermore, our nurseries are fitted with air exchange systems. This acts as an air filtration system that continuously allows fresh air into the rooms and extracts stale air from the rooms.
Windows are also kept open for the majority of the day for further ventilation (weather permitting).
Outdoor play will also be staggered and equipment cleaned after a group has used it. Staff and children will have their own stationary, and the use of activities which could pose a risk of cross contamination (e.g. play dough / sand) will not be allowed. All children and staff must bring a pair of indoor and outdoor shoes. Indoor shoes must remain at the nursery and as soon as the child/staff arrives, shoes must be changed to these.
We also have various protocols in place should anyone develop symptoms whilst at nursery. If you would like to know more about any of the changes we have made, please refer to our Covid risk assessment or call / email your nursery manager who will be able to provide you with more information.
Thanks again for your continued support and cooperation.
We will sustain the present efforts in protecting everyone in our St. George’s family, as well as continuing to provide the highest possible care for our children. We have an ‘open door’ policy here at St. George’s Nursery, so if you have any questions or queries, please don’t hesitate to contact your site manager.
Through a parent link app, parents are able to access information about their child’s day at a suitable and convenient time for them. Using the First Steps platform, we are able to increase our partnership with parents by allowing two-way communication between our parents/carers and St. George’s Nursery, including their child’s key worker.
Ideally every day at pick up time, every parent and key worker would talk and discuss in depth their child’s growth and development, but as you know this is not always possible – especially now since parents are no longer permitted to enter the building due to Covid safety regulations. We want to ensure that parents are still updated so that they don’t miss a moment of their child’s progress and wow moments!
This is why we use a Parent Link app, which allows parents to remain informed with events at the nursery throughout the day. Parents are able to log in to the app and observe their child’s activities at a time that suits them. Furthermore, parents are encouraged to add to their child’s learning journey and contribute notes and observations for their key worker to read. This in turn helps the key worker to create a more bespoke learning plan for each child and also improves and strengthens their relationship and bond with the parent. Even parents who are unable to collect their children themselves, they can continue to maintain good communication with their child’s setting.
From engaging with you in your child’s learning journal, to viewing daily activity, meals, nappy change and bottle change and sleep notes, we want to ensure that parents have strong connections to their settings and involve themselves in each stage of their child’s learning.
For more information on how to access the app, please see the link below:
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.