There are many reasons why parents send their children to nursery school. Usually these are practical, such as fitting childcare around work or to give parents one or two days a week to focus on themselves or other commitments they may have. Traditionally paying for childcare has been viewed as a negative choice for parents to have to make; now, however, the educational benefits of sending your child to nursery when they are old enough are widely accepted.
Attending a nursery school can really help with social, emotional and academic development, as well as helping parents to keep up with their lives outside of parenthood. Often children who go to nursery go on to be some of the most bright, confident and sociable individuals at primary school. Here are some of the reasons why taking your child to nursery can give you the confidence that you are giving them the best possible start in life.
Nursery can be particularly enjoyable for naturally sociable children, especially those who do not have siblings of their own to play with and learn from. However, making friends at nursery is important for all children. Forming relationships with peers teaches children what they like and do not like to do and what they like and do not like to hear or be done to them! Sensitivity and tact are qualities that we learn with age but gauging the reactions of those around us, as well experiencing our own interactions and feelings, are the building blocks upon which we build these attributes from the day we begin to communicate with those around us. Forming relationships is a skill that we need in every line of employment and at every stage in life, so the sooner we begin to practice the better! And what better place to learn than alongside children of a similar age under supervision of qualified professionals.
Play and learn
Play contributes to the cognitive, physical social and emotional well-being of children. As such it plays an essential part in education for the early years. As soon as children enter nursery, they are no longer the sole focus of their parent or guardian. This means that they learn to share, wait their turn and listen to others.
At nursery your child will have a chance to play and learn in a group, as well as on a one-to-one basis with a member of staff. They will learn from other children through watching their approach to tasks, plus they will gain confidence and develop their social skills through playing with other children. What is more, the range of messy play activities at nursery are usually far greater than can be provided at home; these include water, sand, paint, glue, foam and occasionally gardening.
Nursery prepares your child for school. Skills like sitting cross legged, putting your hands up when you need your teacher’s attention, listening to a register, eating school meals, finding a tissue when you need one, asking to go to the toilet when you need to are all qualities we forget that we once had to learn to do for ourselves. They are also requirements that can make the first few days in ‘big school’ even more strange and different. If your child has already grown used to these practices at nursery, they will feel more confident on their first day at school.
Day nurseries are a great option if you want your child’s education and care to have structure. Nursery staff are qualified staff who are trained to create safe, happy and stimulating environments where children can play and develop. Nursery staff will also be monitoring your child’s progress as part of their job. Having a professional and ‘outsider’s’ view is very useful when it comes to most things in life, not least of all parenting. Whilst it is certainly true that ultimately parents know what is best for them and their children, being a parent can be a daunting responsibility and one that most parents want to get absolutely spot on, giving their children the best possible start in life.
Sending your child to a nursery that is attached to the school they will attend adds further consistency and security to their educational surroundings and career. The transition from nursery to school will be easier when they are surrounded by familiar faces and facilities. Plus, they will experience their first taste of development and ‘moving up’ in the world as a positive feeling, rather than a daunting one. The journey through school can be more enjoyable for parent and child too as a result of the relationships built with school staff.
Girls and boys join Cranmore Nursery from the age of 2½ years and it is expected that all children will progress to our Junior Department. Children love to learn and take advantage of our outstanding facilities with acres of grounds and Forest School to explore, a junior ICT suite, gym and adventure playground. There are also music lessons from our specialist teacher and swimming in our indoor pool.