Your baby was once an infant, then a toddler and now it is time for him or her to go to nursery. It’s not as daunting as “big school” where your child would be out of your sight for long hours at a stretch however; it is a big step out of their comfort zone.
Usually a child would begin pre nursery school at the age of four following a toddler’s playgroup. These formative years are important in bringing together a child’s learning and understanding of the world and those around him or her. What’s more, these years also contribute towards a child’s physical activity and health and become an important period to develop a child’s mental and emotional wellbeing.
Being at a pre nursery school helps a child to initiate conversation, make friends, learn to work in youth groups and prep for social interactions that they are more likely to encounter in future as adults. Moreover, these years and interactions are important in teaching little ones the importance of empathy, compassion, kindness and sensitivity.
Other important areas that are subject to develop include a child’s sense of critical thinking and observation. These are more often than not complemented with their ability to resolve minor conflicts, negotiate and encourage positive peace-building approaches that are important when older and moving forward in life.
As a preschool teacher or teaching assistant, it becomes important to show and demonstrate to the children the importance of developing positive characteristics to complement their personality. As these children are away from their comfort zone, home, it becomes vital for a teacher or teaching assistant to make them feel comfortable, safe and act as the maternal figure away from home.
It is also important that school time is redefined as “fun time” for students. As children attending nursery are bound to be preoccupied with playing and having fun, be sure to have a variety of entertainment; toys, musical instruments arts and crafts to keep them occupied. This would help them open up, discover new talents, hobbies and preferences and also learn to work within groups and share. This becomes vital as not all students are likely to have siblings or siblings their own age that they can learn these qualities from.
For parents skeptical to send their little ones to nursery, ask yourself if you would have the time and the resources to teach your child what they would otherwise learn from a nursery. Unless you have more children of a similar age group and regular playgroups organised, nursery or preschool is always a great way to teach and instill qualities in a child that are best taught away from their comfort zone.