We all dread (or look forward to) the time our little one finally reaches the age to go to nursery. It is around this time that we heave a sigh of relief to have a small break from food splats and excessively trained peripheral vision. But, aside from giving parents some reprieve, why is this transition into nursery so important?
What is Nursery?
A nursery is an educational establishment that provides early childhood education to prepare children before they join a compulsory primary school. For many children, this will be the first time that they are looked after for a long period of time without their parents.
What Age Can You Start Nursery?
Every nursery is different; there are various nurseries that offer care to children from as young as 6 weeks old, up to 5 years old (preschool age). However, some only provide care for children who are 2 years old or over. Here at St Peter’s, children can join our private preschool/nursery for either full-time or part-time education the day after their third birthday.
What Do Children Learn In Nursery?
Children learn many things in nursery, including beneficial life skills that will prepare them for their future education.
At nursery, your child will spend time singing songs, listening to stories, sharing rhymes, and playing games to build their listening and speaking skills. Every child who attends nursery is encouraged to learn how to listen, develop concentration, share ideas and stories, and respond to questions and instructions.
Nursery also encourages phonological awareness. Most of us will remember coming away from our Early Years learning knowing our letters, and it’s no different nowadays. Identifying and learning the sounds of the alphabet is the very beginning of learning.
Increased Confidence and Independence
For many children, their parents and family are the only people they interact with on a day-to-day basis. By attending nursery, children can explore different relationships with other children and their nursery practitioners. This can be very beneficial for boosting their confidence and independence from a young age, helping to become more prepared for future formal education.
Developing social skills is a very important part of children’s development. Supporting your child with their social skills increases emotional intelligence and more!
Nursery is the First Official Education Experience
Nursery is the time a child can experience an official learning environment. This is a big step in their life, as it is the beginning of a long journey of learning. School can be challenging for many children, as mixing with others and facing all-new challenges can be really daunting.
With this in mind, children at nursery can begin to gently socialise together, as well as begin learning in a much more casual environment than school. It also helps children prepare for the school routine and the curriculum at structured schools, enabling them not to be so overwhelmed later on.
Nursery Aids Cognitive Development
The learning process in nursery is fantastic for aiding cognitive development.
Children learn a great deal in nursery. The development comes from the interactions that occur in a big group and the ability to practise.
Nursery Facilitates Social Interaction Amongst Children
This is one of the most significant factors when it comes to why nursery is important for children. The social interaction that children receive is second to none when it comes to nursery education.
Nursery is the perfect place for the development of your child’s social skills. It teaches them to:
- Interact with others their own age
- Learn how to share
- Play in a group as well as individually
- Help others
- Take turns
…plus more, all whilst in a safe, supervised environment.
There are plenty of activities such as playing outside, colouring, or board games that help develop the fine motor skills (involved in small movements such as hands, feet and toes), and also the gross motor skills (involved in large movements such as crawling or running) of a child.
Nursery Introduces Time Management
When nursery time comes, long gone are the days where children can do whatever they please at any time (within reason)! Nursery helps children learn time management, as break time, lunchtime and play time are all introduced into their normal day. This also sets up the child’s ability to practise time management for later life, where they will need it much more!
Nursery is a Good Environment to Begin Structured Learning
For most children, nursery will be the first environment in which they are away from their parents or primary caregivers. This means it can be a time of anxiety and worry with everyone involved. Parental anxiety is a normal part of parenthood; you are not alone. Nursery is a much more comfortable and relaxed atmosphere compared to later learning. It should be a safe environment where children can go off and explore, and not have to do anything when they might not be quite ready.
Here at our independent primary school, we pride ourselves on providing quality education to children of nursery age and beyond. Take a look at our prep school open days in Devon, and enjoy an in-person visit of the school and grounds.