How Nursery Prepares Your Child for Lifelong Learning

by Kids Inc Nurseries | 8 May 2024 | Blog

Deciding when to introduce your child to nursery is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in early parenting. Whether it’s due to professional commitments, personal growth opportunities for your child, or clear indicators of their readiness for a more structured social environment, the choice to enrol in nursery comes with its considerations. 

In this article, we explore the ways nursery education supports your child’s immediate developmental needs and develops a strong foundation for their future learning journey.

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Developing Social Skills

Nurseries like ours follow the Early Years Foundation (EYFS), which means you can be confident that we follow guidelines that help ensure we support your child through their development.

Social skills are essential in developing a child’s ability to have and maintain positive interactions with children and adults. By learning the skills of sharing, cooperating, and empathy through activities and play, your child will develop the foundations for strong relationships. Through role-playing and imaginative play, children experiment with different social roles and scenarios, learning social cues in a fun and engaging way.

Nurseries are diverse communities with children from a wide range of backgrounds, each with unique personalities. This diversity helps children learn to appreciate different perspectives and build relationships.

Prepare Your Child for School

The leap from nursery to primary school is a big step for your child. This can be a time filled with excitement and nerves. Nursery helps make that transition a little smoother. Children learn structure and routine which prepares them for the routine of school. Nurseries have helped thousands of children and parents prepare for the transition from nursery to primary school, so you can feel confident knowing that their experience and knowledge can help you to make the change easier.

By introducing children to structured routines and daily schedules, you can prepare them for more formal education in groups with other children. Nurseries and their teams have years of experience in supporting children and parents through this transition; you can trust them to help ensure your child has a positive start to school.

Independence for You and Your Child

Nurseries play a significant role in the evolution of independence for parents and children. Children at nursery are encouraged to make their own choices, carry out simple tasks, and engage in activities that build their confidence and self-reliance. This helps children discover their abilities and preferences, promoting a sense of independence.

For parents, sending a child to nursery is a step towards recognising and supporting their child’s autonomy. Nursery provides parents the opportunity to trust in their child’s ability to adapt and thrive in a new environment. This transition also offers parents the chance to focus on their personal or professional lives while knowing their child is in a safe and supportive setting.

Cognitive Development

It’s all about creating a playful and nurturing environment where children can grow their thinking skills in a natural and enjoyable way. Nurseries like ours are filled with colourful and intriguing toys, books, and activities that spark curiosity and invite exploration. Through play, children learn to understand the world around them, solve problems, and develop their ability to think critically.

Interaction is key, as talking, reading, and singing with children introduces them to new words and ideas, enhancing their cognitive abilities. Socialising with peers and adults helps them learn valuable skills like cooperation, empathy, and problem-solving.

We also encourage creativity through art, music, storytelling, and imaginative play, allowing children to express themselves and explore innovative solutions to challenges. Teachers play an important role by observing each child’s progress, providing individual support, and introducing new challenges that cater to their developmental needs.

Language Development

As children grow from babies to chatty toddlers, their vocabulary expands significantly—from recognising about 50 words at age 1 to around 10,000 words by age 5. This rapid increase in vocabulary is essential for their learning, allowing them to understand the world and express their thoughts more effectively.

Language development is foundational in early years settings, impacting all other areas of learning. Without early development in this area, children may struggle to catch up later. Language skills contribute to literacy and a child’s ability to understand visual and verbal cues, crucial for reading and writing. Furthermore, children from less advantaged backgrounds might have fewer opportunities to develop their vocabulary, making it essential for nurseries to provide a language-rich environment.

To support language development, nurseries immerse children in stories, rhymes, and songs, and engage in play that stimulates curiosity and vocabulary expansion. Learning multiple languages, including sign language, can further enhance a child’s understanding of grammar, creativity, and storytelling abilities.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

Personal, Social, and Emotional Development (PSED) is a key part of early childhood education that helps children feel good about who they are, understand and manage their emotions, get along with others, and learn self-care. 

It starts with children learning to recognise and talk about their feelings, which is crucial for handling emotions in a healthy way. They gain confidence in their abilities, learn to set simple goals and work patiently towards achieving them. 

This foundation supports them in making friends, sharing, and playing well with others, enhancing their social skills. PSED also teaches children how to resolve conflicts peacefully, an essential skill for lifelong relationships. Additionally, it guides them in developing healthy habits like eating well and taking care of their personal hygiene.

Physical Development

Nurseries understand the immense value of physical activity in nurturing children’s overall development. From their first steps to leaps and bounds, our children participate in sensory explorations and engaging activities designed to strengthen their bodies and minds. We create a playful and stimulating environment where children can crawl and stretch, supporting their coordination and spatial awareness.

Indoor and outdoor games and play sessions help to support the development of essential physical skills. Our activities are carefully planned to improve core strength, stability, balance, and agility, ensuring children gain the physical confidence and competence they need for a happy, healthy, and active life.

We pay special attention to gross motor skills, encouraging movements that use the large muscles in the arms, legs, feet, or the entire body. We nurture fine motor skills through activities that require precision, like grasping small objects, drawing and crafting. These precise movements enhance hand-eye coordination, which is closely linked to early literacy skills.

The Long-Term Benefits of Nursery

There is a lot of research that consistently shows that early childhood education has long-term benefits for children. Studies have shown that children who attend nursery often have better literacy and numeracy skills when entering primary school when compared to those who don’t. 

The EPPE (Effective Provision of Pre-School Education) tracked the progress of 3,000 children from pre-school age through to the end of primary school. The study revealed that children who attend high-quality nursery settings like ours tend to achieve higher intellectual levels and exhibit more advanced social behaviours. This study, and similar research, confirms the impact nursery education has on a child’s academic performance, social skills, and emotional well-being long into their future.

Further research shows evidence that nursery provides an environment for children to develop essential social skills. Children who have experienced nursery education are more likely to display advanced social behaviour, such as cooperation and conflict resolution and have better relationships with peers.

Choosing to enrol your child in a nursery is a big decision with lasting impacts on their development. Nurseries play a crucial role in nurturing essential social skills and preparing children for a structured educational setting, laying the groundwork for their future success.

Our nurseries provide a nurturing and supportive environment tailored to the unique needs of early childhood. If you’re contemplating nursery for your child, discover what our nurseries have to offer. Come and visit your nearest Kids Inc nursery for a tour and find out how we help you and your child make a smooth transition into nursery life.

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