The benefits of sending a child to nursery include:
- Development of social, personal and emotional skills
- Encourage independence (eating, potty training etc)
- Learning in small group settings and from interacting with other children
- The broad range of activities that nurseries offer throughout the day
- Delivery of the curriculum that nurseries follow to foster development
- Imaginative play
- Arts and crafts
- Sensory development
- Communication and language development
- Learning and cognitive development through fun, such as puzzles, building blocks, simple cooking
- Behavioural development
- Outdoor play, and outdoor play in small groups of same aged children
- A variety of healthy and well prepared food should be offered with different meals being served for lunch and dinner every day
- Safe and secure environment with trained and qualified care practitioners
There are also negative associations with sending babies and young children to nursery that some parents experience or are wary of.
- Nursery care can be costly, and more than one child (in a family) in nursery care may not be possible for many parents. The Government does offer Free education entitlement for children from the age of 2 (depending on your situation).
- There are studies that have been carried out that suggest that nursery care can cause behavioural problems in children.
- In October 2013, The Telegraph reported that: “the head of Ofsted warned that too many early years providers were not good enough, particularly in poor areas.”
- The article also reported that: Elizabeth Truss, the Education Minister, has also weighed into the debate, insisting that large numbers of child care settings were “chaotic”, with children “running around” with “no sense of purpose”.
- There is also concern voiced from parents that children do not receive the one-to-one care that they need from an early age.
As with enrolling you child into any stage of education, the most significant attributes are the quality of care, the nurturing of learning and the delivery of teaching. If you decide to send your child to nursery care, it is highly important to ensure that your child attends a nursery with experienced staff and a good track record. It is not uncommon that some nurseries are established for the wrong reasons, that is to say their primary motivation is not to foster the development of young children but to reap the financial rewards that a nursery may offer depending on how it is managed and led. There may also be concerns that some nurseries are not well-equipped to deliver a high standard of care. This again, normally is due to the poor management, leadership and governance of the nursery or a group of nurseries run by particular companies.
The many nurseries that excel at delivering exceptional care for babies and young children to grow, develop and be cared for in a safe setting with devoted passionate staff do so because of the quality of their leadership and governance. Such nurseries address the concerns of government agencies and wary parents and are delightful and fascinating places. It is, however, important to have a balance between the time spent in childhood care (nursery day care, child minder, nanny or au pair) and at home with the family. The biggest responsibility will always be with the parents to ensure that they spend quality time with their children outside of nursery hours.
Finding the right nursery care provider is a big decision. There are thousands of nurseries and not all operate and deliver to the same high standard. MyEd aims to help parents make an informed choice. Our listings provide valuable information and we aim to grow our data that we will share with our users, we also invite and wish to empower parents to have their say by submitting a survey review for the nursery or school that their child attends.