When it comes to a child starting nursery in the UK, there is no right or wrong answer. Sending your child to a nursery can be dictated by choice or necessity.
For example, it could be that a parent needs to return to work after maternity/paternity, and therefore, a nursery is required during your working hours. Alternatively, it could be that you’re looking to send your child to nursery a little later to build their social skills and education amongst other children. Whichever it is, Angels by Day has you covered.
From six weeks up to 3 years old, Angels by Day have accepted children at different ages of their growth and development and are equipped with the right staff and environment to do so. Here’s a little more about the different age groups and how Angels by Day are equipped to care for your child during these:
We offer care for babies from six weeks, but the youngest age that babies generally start at our nursery is around 6 months. Angels by Day have looked after a low number of babies from around six weeks old. Usually, the parent is studying at University and has a deadline, or they are a professional in need, e.g. nurse.
In our setting, you will find our baby room spaces to be open and minimalistic. This is to ensure our babies have space to allow them to unfold as they develop naturally. Our décor is natural and not overstimulating. It offers relaxing spaces for all ages and is calm and peaceful, using relaxing music with window shutters to change the lighting during nap times. We offer a separate sleep room for younger babies with cots for a quieter space with no disruptions; we also have bed mats for older children to have a relaxing space on the carpet whilst gazing up to our handmade natural mobile, with fairy lights as they drift off peacefully.
At Angels by Day, our staff-to-baby ratio is 1:3 for under two’s. In addition to this, all children are assigned a key person who gives the parents a sense of reassurance that they can directly speak to one person and build up a relationship of trust.
As we have babies socializing with walking toddlers, we have different parts of the room set up to meet the needs of all ages. We consider the space available for the babies in our care, which allows them to roll, reach out to items, lift their heads, etc. Natural holistic areas are set up, offering awe and wonder along with freedom of movement and choice. When providing resources for our babies, we follow the saying, “Less is more”
We find this to be the starting age for our day nursery more than any other; they’re busy and more challenging, often testing their boundaries with both parents and staff. They’re generally able to eat using a fork and a spoon and use 2-4 word phrases, and often they’ll be showing more interest in other children. Do you want your child to learn social skills, turn-taking, and gain listening and attention along with a wide vocabulary – then nursery is the step to take to support your child to gain their milestones. The government offers parents funded hours to give every child the opportunity to have the best start in life! And it also allows the parent to seek part-time employment, which may then increase to more hours and more hours for the child to be in education.
If your little one is anxious about starting nursery, never fear. This is perfectly normal and not a cause for concern. As with 2-year-olds, a familiar object from home can make all the difference whilst they settle in. We build up relationships with the families, offering free settling-in sessions and answering any questions they may have. It also allows us to share all our policies and procedures, our ethos, and what to expect from Angels by Day. We welcome all families and staff to our setting from various Ethnic backgrounds, and staff go above and beyond to learn key phrases in different languages to help and support the children settling in.
The typical age for nursery school is between 2.5 years and 3.5 years of age. From the school term after your child’s 3rd birthday, they are eligible for 15 hours of free preschool childcare each week. This is the ideal age for a child to explore new boundaries and spaces and spend a little time away from home and familiar surroundings. It also allows them to get prepared for school life, learning routines, being independent, and basic reading and writing skills. We believe children learn through play and not sitting at a desk in silence. We provide real experiences for the children to problem solve and grow to be curious learners. Children of this age are often able to eat on their own and communicate their toileting needs.
By this stage, they will generally be more independent and curious, so the adjustment to nursery life may be more effortless as they can understand the process, the nursery then back home. Most research shows that early learning experiences have immediate, measurable gains on preschool children’s cognitive and social development. When preschool education is of high quality, it leads to lasting enhancement of educational performance and later employment. It does this by encouraging high aspirations, motivation to learn, and feelings of task efficacy, especially for disadvantaged children. It is proven that high-quality daycare provision leads to successful social and educational outcomes. We feel very strongly about employing staff that have the same vision as ourselves in giving the children in our care every opportunity to have the best start in life!