How does my child benefit from a nursery environment?
Parents have to make a number of big decisions for their children in life, one of which is whether to take them to nursery or not. Day nurseries are basically childcare centres that look after babies from birth to the age of four or five. Whilst some parents feel uneasy about sending their children to nursery (usually because they’re worried about being away from them), the nursery environment can actually benefit children in a number of different ways.
Nursery gives children the chance to interact with others their age.
A study by the University of London in 2013 found that children who had spent three or more years in nursery were able to advance their academic attainment by up to a year over those who did not attend nursery. A nursery environment was also found to have a positive influence on children’s performance, with those who were put into nursery at two years old being ten months to a year ahead of their peers.
Experience a new environment
Going to nursery also gives little ones the opportunity to explore a new environment, outside of the home. As parents will know, children are naturally curious and aren’t afraid to ask questions about what’s going on. Being in a new environment will give them the chance to ask questions, join in with new activities and further their life experience.
Children love participating in exciting activities in a new environment.
Improve social skills
Children love being around others their own age, making nursery the perfect place for them to socialise. Learning to participate in activities and play co-operatively with others will greatly improve their social skills and give them confidence. Developing these social skills is of great importance and is likely to result in children being much happier when starting school.
Get in the habit of being a routine
Although parents are encouraged to get their babies into a routine, this often slips as they head towards their infant school years. However, the ability to stick to a routine is very important, as school will be the first time in their lives where someone else will be planning what they do with their time.
A nursery environment provides a great way of introducing a routine back into a child’s life. Nurseries have regular timetables so children can get used to doing different activities at different times and learn to pace themselves.
Gives children a sense of independence
Nursery is probably the first time your child will be away from you for a short period, which can feel incredibly daunting. However, you have to remember that it will actually be really good for your child to spend a little time away from you. It will give them a sense of independence and allow them the opportunity to make other relationships, which is incredibly important to their well-being.
Prepares children for school
Ultimately, a nursery environment prepares children for their school years. It is the stepping-stone they need to enjoy a seamless transition from being at home full time with you, to at school with children their own age. Aside from assisting their academic attainment, nursery also helps children build up the social skills they need to build relationships with others and thrive in the school environment.
It’s natural to have some reservations about sending your child to nursery and of course you will miss them but it’s important to remember that at the end of the day, you’re doing it for their benefit. Most children absolutely love being in a nursery environment, interacting with others and getting to try out new activities. There’s nothing to worry about and it will be one of the best things you ever do for your child.
Written by Carly Garrett