How overcoming eight misconceptions about nurseries can help your child fulfil their potential.
Nursery staff have advised a series of misconceptions could be putting potential parents off placing their children in early childcare.
The team at Fern Bank Private Day Nursery and Pre-School, which opened in Preston this September, say there are a number of common misconceptions held by parents about nurseries.
Fern Bank’s childcare practitioners hope to dispel some of these myths to reassure parents and carers that nursery provides a great start for children’s development.
So what are the common misconceptions putting people off?
1. My child won’t get enough love and attention at nursery
Fern Bank nursery manager Kosar Ahmed said while this is a common concern, when children join a nursery they are given a key person who they can form a special bond with.
They will get to know the child’s likes, interests and needs, allowing them to provide specially-tailored care and quickly spot and address any developmental issues.
“Nurseries work on a child to staff member ratio that means children receive lots of love, attention and support,” said Kosar.
“This combined with a homey atmosphere helps to make a child feel safe and happy, which is so important for their development.
“Plus, it’s good to remember that the main reason most people choose to work in childcare is because they absolutely love children.”
2. It’s just a babysitting service
People often think nurseries are a place where children play all day without learning anything, but that is not the case.
Today, childcare practitioners are highly qualified educators, with NVQs in childcare and education.
Many have safeguarding and paediatric first aid training, and nursery managers often have degrees in early years education
Childcare practitioners aren’t babysitters – they are professionals trained in preparing children socially, emotionally and academically for school.
3. My child will get separation anxiety
Going to nursery can actually benefit children with separation anxiety because it teaches them that although mum or dad may leave for a while, they always come back.
Fern Bank, deputy manager Karina Plumb said: “Parents are often worried about their children becoming anxious when they’re left at nursery, but we find that children soon settle into their new surroundings.
“To help families with this we offer free settling-in sessions, where parents and can bring their child to our nursery and play with them before popping out for a while.
“This gives the parent the chance to get used to leaving their child, and allows the child to explore their new surroundings for a little while before the parent comes back.”
4. Nurseries don’t provide the same education as primary school pre-schools
Ofsted registered nurseries follow the same Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework as all schools, pre-schools and reception classes.
Nursery children learn everything they need to know before they join primary school – from literacy and maths to physical development and expressive arts.
Trainee manager Rebecca Haworth said: “We find children learn most effectively when they’re in an environment that’s so much fun that they don’t realise they’re learning.
“For example, at Fern Bank, we have a functioning child-sized kitchen where children can learn to bake, art and roleplay stations, computer equipment, an exciting Jungle Room and an outdoor classroom where the children play every day.”
5. Sending my child to a nursery that’s part of a school means they’ll get in when they’re older
Parents often make the mistake of thinking sending their child to a nursery that is part of a primary school means their child will automatically get into that school when they’re older.
That isn’t the case.
Because the nursery your child goes to has no effect over what primary school they will get into, you should choose based on which nursery feels right, not what school you’d like them to go to in the future.
6. I’ll feel like I’m missing out on their childhood
Kosar says it is ‘so important’ parents are a part of their children’s day-to-day activities at nursery.
“A good nursery will make sure parents are included with regular meetings, chats with their child’s key person at pick-ups and drop offs, and a learning journal filled with achievements, photos, artworks and milestones.”
7. My child will only eat chicken nuggets and beans at nursery
Although it is true some nurseries have a very limited food offering, others have really upped their game.
For example, Fern Bank, has a healthy four-week seasonal menu filled with fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and fish.
The nursery even has its own chef who prepares the children’s nutritious meals and snacks in its five-star food hygiene rated kitchen.
Chef Louise Burgess said: “Freshly preparing our meals means we can alter our recipes to suit individual dietary requirements.
“Some children have intolerances, others come from vegetarian and vegan families, others have requirements due to their religion. We can cater for all of this and more.”
8. Childcare is super expensive
Childcare doesn’t have to cost the earth.
The government has several schemes in place to support families with childcare costs.
All three and four-year-olds – and some two-year-olds – in England are entitled to 15 hours free childcare a week (570 hours a year).
A new scheme means some parents of three and four-year-olds who live and work in the UK are entitled to 30 free hours a week – saving hundreds or even thousands of pounds.
A lot of parents also don’t realise they open a Tax-free Childcare account, where for every £8 they pay in, the government will pay £2. Parents can get up to £2,000 per child a year this way, or £4,000 if their child is disabled.
Parents can also choose whether their child attends full or part-time to help manage costs.
Find out more
Anyone thinking about sending their child to a nursery in Preston, can call the friendly team at Fern Bank Monday to Friday on 01772 717 639 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for advice or more information.
Parents can also download a parent pack filled with useful information from: http://www.justchildcare.co.uk/fernbank-fulwood/download-pack/