As we ride the continuing wave of the pandemic’s repercussions, we take a look at six benefits a nursery environment can have for babies.
Unlike during the first wave, many nurseries and schools stayed open this autumn, and this news came as a relief to many families. A study, commissioned by The Parent-Infant Foundation, Best Beginnings and Home-Start UK, has shown that lockdown affected the development and behaviour of babies across the UK.
The Babies in Lockdown report found some new parents felt ‘abandoned’ by the lack of care available during the first lockdown, while others said their baby had become more ‘clingy’ or were crying more than usual.
According to their research, more than 200,000 babies are believed to have been born between 23 March and 4 July, when lockdown was at its most restrictive. The survey suggests that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on some babies could be ‘severe’ and may be ‘long lasting’.
Six Benefits of Nursery for Babies
- Variety of Activities
The variety of interactive and stimulating activities on offer at nursery helps nurture and encourage your child’s development. Nursery helps little ones explore a variety of sensory environments, encouraging visual stimuli, different sounds, textures and smells, using their interests as a basis for learning.
- Early Language Development
Interaction with nursery practitioners and peers helps your little one foster early language development, increasing their vocabulary and language through a variety of different contexts.
Becoming more socialised and interacting with children of a similar age helps your baby establish connections and make friends. Children learn a lot from their peers. From helping and copying each other, to learning to share and take turns; all are vital in their learning and development.
- Stability and Routine
Following the routine your baby/toddler has at home, nursery works with you and your little one to create an environment that feels familiar and safe. Nursery provides a routine and structure to your child’s day, which helps them to feel more confident and secure.
- Build Physical Stamina and Support Large Motor Skills Development
Nursery offers a variety of surroundings with soft, safe places for your baby or toddler to roll over, crawl, pull up, explore their developing physical stamina and support large motor skills development. Having constant stimulation, and new activities to explore and engage in helps build stamina and skill development.
- Support and Information for Parents
Any questions or concerns you may have about your little one can be shared with nursery practitioners. During baby/toddler stages, such as weaning and potty training, nursery will work with you to introduce solids and new foods, as well as being on hand for advice and tips for potty training.