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 the children may be feeling by explaining what Covid is and encouraging them to be open about their feelings and any 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.
The British Red Cross states that first aid is giving assistance to someone hurt or ill, before expert medical help is given. Not only does first aid help in everyday accidents and illnesses but can also save lives.
Current guidance from the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) states that only one person with a paediatric first aid certificate needs to be on site and available within a childcare setting. However, at St. George’s Nursery, we go above and beyond these minimum requirements. Each and every one of our staff is trained in paediatric first aid and each of our sites has been accredited the Millie’s Mark award*.
We strongly believe that following a medical emergency, the ability and confidence to administer timely and suitable first aid is a vital skill for those looking after others. Therefore, we made the decision to ensure that all of our 100% of our staff are fully aware of what to do in a paediatric emergency first aid situation and provide reassurance to parents that their children and happy and learning, but above all – safe.
* Millie’s Mark will be awarded as a special endorsement to childcare providers that go above and beyond these minimum requirements by having 100% of staff trained in paediatric first aid, and also ensuring that everything learned during the course is kept alive and in the forefront of practitioners’ minds so that they are confident, ready and capable. It acknowledges that children’s safety is at the forefront of the provider’s mind when they care for your child.
See more pictures from the paediatric first aid training course in August 2020 here – https://stgeorgesnursery.com/News/paediatric-first-aid-course-leicester-childcare/
What a better place to learn and develop than in the wonderful outdoors, admiring and appreciating the nature surrounding us? At St. George’s, we take every opportunity to take our learning outdoors and to teach our children to respect and understand the world around us.
Especially now more than ever, the Government is urging nurseries to use outdoor spaces where possible. Our staff have been making even more use of our outdoor areas and constantly cleaning everything (to find out more about our new cleaning and safety policies, please email or call us). Even though there is little evidence of Coronavirus being transmitted in schools + nurseries, we continue to do our best to keep our children and staff safe at all times.
All of our nurseries have an enclosed and secure outdoor play area for older children and a separate outdoor area for younger children, where they can play safely. Children laugh and squeal with delight as they make “mud pies” in our well-resourced mud kitchens, or as they build dens and play hide and seek. They enjoy splashing in muddy puddles or just putting their feet up and relaxing with a good book
We believe that anything you can teach in an indoor classroom can be taught outdoors, often in ways that are more enjoyable for children
There are numerous benefits to learning outside of the traditional classroom setting. Children often feel less restricted to express themselves outdoors and there are less space constraints enabling children to explore more freely. This freedom is excellent for both a child’s physical development as well as mental development.
Here are some of the benefits of high-quality outdoor learning experiences:
It will help children develop an understanding and appreciation of the environment and the world in which we live, including awareness of the different plants, animals and other species around us. It will help them to respect and care for the earth, and understand the ‘interrelationships among humans and the habitat. As the world becomes more populated and polluted, and as some animal and plant life becomes endangered and extinct, the role that we all play in protecting or destroying the earth can be reinforced. Through nature study, children can learn how they affect the environment as well as how the environment affects them.’
Children who play outdoors from an early age are more likely to enjoy exercising and carrying out other activities outside as they get older. Studies have shown that children who engage in a minimum of 2 hours of physical activity rather than those who sit in front of the television or video games all day are more active in the later years of their lives.
Children feel more freedom to discover new things when they are used to spending time outdoors. They learn to invent new games, create new activities and develop their own ideas, which in turn helps them acquire a risk-taking, self-sufficient, ‘can do’ attitude. This forms the basis of a strong foundation for not only future learning but also their future working lives.
Whilst being indoors often leads children to feel intimidated and stuck to confined spaces, being outdoors often helps children to express themselves more freely and become more outgoing and sociable.
Children are faced with increased opportunities to take risks whilst being outdoors. “Is that tree safe to climb?” “Can I jump off this log?”
“The more risks you allow children to take, the better they learn to take care of themselves.” – Roald Dahl
A strong focus on learning outside teaches children to not allow challenges get them down and to not give up easily. In turn, they build strong skills such as determination, ambition, as well as resilience.
News about the Coronavirus pandemic is everywhere.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to control the news that we consume, or to shield children from upsetting information.
What you can do is to help minimise the negative impact it has on your children.
You can do this through open and honest conversations at home.
Here are some top tips:
In a world where children are spending more time staring at screens and less time being physically active and playing outdoors, childhood obesity is an increasingly growing issue. It is therefore vital that we decrease inactivity and encourage and promote a wholesome, healthy and active lifestyle in children. At St. George’s, we recognise that our values and culture can influence the health and well-being of our children and the probability that they choose healthier options later in life.
Professor Judy Buttriss, Director General of the British Nutrition Foundation, said “it’s vitally important that children eat well in early life, not only to provide them with the nutrients they need to grow and develop but also for their lifelong health. With almost a quarter of children starting school overweight or obese, children’s health in the early years needs to be a key focus in tackling the obesity epidemic.”
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), the statutory framework that sets standards that all nurseries must follow, states that ‘where children are provided with meals, snacks and drinks, these must be healthy, balanced and nutritious’ and ‘fresh drinking water must be available and accessible at all times’.
At St. George’s Nursery, we plan menus in advance so that our children receive three balanced meals throughout the day, including a wide variety of healthy ingredients from the following food groups: starchy foods, fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, eggs and beans and milk and dairy. We have a strict no-nuts policy and we offer alternatives to children who are not able to have certain meals due to various dietary requirements.
We have a rotating menu in place, made up of dishes such as chicken/ quorn jambalaya, salmon/ quorn risotto and lamb/ soya curry. A well-balanced, wholesome and nutritious menu means our children eat fantastic and nourishing meals, encouraging them to develop wholesome eating habits and a healthy relationship with food.
We are fortunate to have talented and enthusiastic people working with us to create these delicious meals for the children. Our cooks enjoy creating exciting and innovative ways the children can appreciate food and build a healthy relationship with it.
Furthermore, daily physical activity is vital for the healthy growth and development of children. Not only do we love spending time outdoors in our big beautiful outdoor gardens, we also provide Music & Movement classes, Yoga classes and Sports classes.
Babies (under 1 year)
We encourage our babies to be physically active throughout the day in a variety of different ways, such as crawling. If they are still unable to crawl, we encourage them to be active by reaching, sitting up and grasping.
Whilst babies are awake, they should get at least 30 minutes of tummy time throughout the day to help them to practise lifting their heads and to develop strong muscles.
Toddlers (aged 1 to 2)
The more physically active toddlers are, the better. However, they should be physically active for a minimum of three hours every day, including both indoor and outdoor play. This can range from light activities to more energetic activities such as jumping, skipping, dancing and ball games.
Pre-schoolers (aged 3 to 4)
Again, this age group should spend at least 3 hours a day doing a range of physical activities including at least one hour of moderate to vigorous activity.
Except whilst they’re sleeping, children under 5 should not be inactive for long periods, and behaviours such as watching TV or being strapped in a pushchair for long period of time are not good for a child’s wellbeing and development.
The Minister for Children and Families Robert Goodwill said, “A good early education is vital to set every child on the path to fulfilling their full potential, and getting healthy, balanced food during the day is an important part of high-quality childcare.”
So let’s get our children following healthy, nourishing diets and hopping, skipping and jumping away!