An urge to hibernate can come across all of us at one time or another and perhaps even more so this winter. However tempting this may be, there is a real need to keep an eye on the future,so you are best prepared for when ‘normal’ life returns. None more so than when planning for your child’s development and learning.
If you haven’t yet registered your child for a nursery place, it is not too late.
But by not planning for the potential changes ahead you may runthe risk of being left with no options at all. What happens asrestrictions arerelaxed and your employer requests a return to working from the office rather than from home, leaving you with no childcare options? Or as more of your child’s peers enrol in early years settings, yours is left behind with no space available at your preferred nursery.
Early years (from birth to 5 years old) is one of the most critical time periods in child development and learning. During this period, parents, carers, and early years practitioners have a collective fundamental role in preparing children both for school and for life.
The value of interaction
Simple, fun activities like chat, play, and reading together help children to build their cognitive, social, and fine motor skills. A quality early years education, including home learning activities, supports a child’s progress in improving their early language skills and their understanding of the world. Human contact and interaction are crucial to early healthy development; remote contact and learning experiences cannot replace this.Where early gaps in school readiness develop, theycan continue to widen throughout the school years and those with quality early education experiences are more likely to achieve better academic outcomes compared with those who had not.
Struggling with the juggle?
Weaving chat, play and reading together into everyday tasks can turn the home into a learning environment and help set children up for school. The role of home learning has become ever more important over the last 12 months, but the capacity to engage in such activities understandably varies among families. If you are finding yourself struggling with juggling childcare and working from home, you are most certainly not alone. It is challenging to juggle childcare whist simultaneously fulfilling the commitments of your job. Some families are benefitting from using childcare outside of the home, whether for half or full days or in a flexible creche. More2 Parents have spoken for themselves around the positive impact their child attending nursery has had for the whole family during this time.
Funded childcare available for EVERY 3- and 4-year-old, regardless of income
In the UK, all 3- and 4-years olds are entitled to 15 hours of funded childcare each weekfrom an approved early years setting, which equates to 570 free hours per year. The funding is available from the school term after your child turns 3 and stops when your child enters Reception class in school. Your early years setting can guide you through the simple process of how to access the funding. You may also be entitled to claim for 30 hours of funded childcare each week, dependent upon your working hours, income, and circumstances.
Covid peace of mind
Early Years settings remain low-risk environments for young childrenand all settings are required to follow strict Covid-19 Government guidelines to keep children, parents and carers, and nursery staff safe and secure. This has required revisions to nursery operational procedures and our team is providing an exemplary practice in this area of which we are immensely proud.
The great outdoors
Playing outside has multiple benefits to children: it encourages an active lifestyle; gives an appreciation of nature and the environment; develops social skills; fosters independence; and helps understand risk and make calculated decisions.
We recognise not all children are fortunate enough to have regular access to outside space at home and that is why we are pleased both our Greenwich nursery sitescan offer this. Children enrolled with us have opportunities to benefit from a myriad of outside play activities such as gardening, forest school, role play, and sport.
Outside space in Greenwich nurseries is a rarity so we are incredibly proud of both our sites;our Ofsted Outstanding original Greenwich nursery based at the rear of the Forum benefits from two large outdoor playgrounds, whilst our Riverside Greenwich nursery has a large outside garden.
Choose a trusted nursery that is right for your family
It is important you choose a nursery that is right for your family. A trusted and registered Early Years setting will be inspected by Ofsted and whilst its inspection reports can provide you with much information, where possible, do also speak with and see your local Early Years settings for yourself. Even with the current restrictions, many settings have adapted to providing virtual tours online which you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home, with the opportunity to speak directly with nursery staff and ask any questions you may have.
Even if further down the line, there are changes to your current situation or even to your current decision, by registering your child with a nursery now, you are giving yourself and your child, a flexible option for the next and vital step in their early years education.
If you would like to hear more about either of our Greenwich nurseries, please get in touch – we’d love to help.