In the papers today, the former children’s commissioner for England says that nurseries are currently facing a staff recruitment crisis due to a lack of training and low morale.
The article states that “Government Statistics show that 28% of four- and five-year-olds finish their reception year at school without the early communication, language and literacy skills they need to thrive”.
Sir Aynsley-Green said the government was ignoring new science about brain development in very young children, which shows that the brains of babies and toddlers can make thousands of new connections every minute if they are intellectually and emotionally stimulated.
He goes on to compare us with Scandinavian countries, where he states that jobs working with babies are highly sought after and most staff are graduates with higher degrees in child psychology, qualification levels for nursery workers in the UK remain low, and access to ongoing training is very limited.
He says “Staff need to be properly trained to understand babies and their brain development, and to work through the science of play,” he said. “Play is vital for babies. It’s the essence of thriving.”
This time last year I was nervously preparing for my son starting School. His first year has flown and I am so pleased he has settled in extremely well. This September sees one of my mindees start School too.
One of the things I did, both as a Mum and a Childminder, was to read lots of books with them about starting School. Children can identify with characters in the book and have the chance to explore different feelings and emotions they may feel when they first start.
Here at Aston Childcare our favourites are:
Topsy and Tim Start School by Jean and Gareth Adamson
Here at Aston Childcare we have had great fun growing these fun Cress Heads.
We filled our pots with soil and sprinkled a generous amount of seeds on top. We watered our pots and then covered them with a piece of paper and secured with an elastic band. We then popped them up on a sunny windowsill and waited. In just a few days the paper on my sons pot was bulging and he was so excited to take the paper off and see the cress beneath. My seeds took a few days longer to grow but still a great result.
These are great for kids as a first gardening project and super easy. These pots just have mine and my sons name on but you could go to town on your plant pot with stickers, paint and pens to make them extra fun if you wished.