Parents love to choose playgroups and nurseries as their childcare option. Some children go to nursery as young children because their parents return to work. Other children might not attend nursery or playgroup until they reach toddlerhood.
Your child might start to notice at the age of two or three that they are ready to take on more responsibility. You may also want to consider sending them to playgroup or nursery. Your child’s readiness for the transition can be different for every child.
Here are some of the potential benefits of attending nursery:
For some children, attending playgroup or nursery may be their first time spending a few hours without their parents. As they become more independent, and learn how to do basic tasks on their own, the independence can help foster a child’s self-confidence.
Participating in a playgroup, nursery or other group will help your child to see the world more clearly. Engaging in different activities, meeting other children and adults, and visiting different places will build their confidence and help them prepare for the outside world.
Acquiring new skills
Nursery can be an exciting adventure for young children. They will learn a wide variety of new skills. Once they start pre nursery classes, your child will rapidly expand their skill set. This includes learning how to hold a pencil correctly and developing numeracy skills.
At nursery, children will learn skills like how to wash their hands before eating and how to put on their own clothes and hang them up.
Preparation to go to school
Your child can start school by attending nursery. For children who are used to learning, starting school won’t be a shock.
A nursery may be attached to a primary school, sharing the same building and using some of the exact same facilities. It is a great way to help your child get to school.
They will feel more prepared to face the challenges of ‘big school’ by participating in structured activities, spending time together, following rules and listening carefully to instruction from nursery staff.
Making new friends
The perfect place for your child is nursery to make their first friendships. They will be surrounded by children similar to them and will see the exact same faces every day they go to nursery.
It’s great to be around so many children, it creates new opportunities for play. Even when they play side-by-side with another child of the same age, children will become more aware of one another and may imitate one another to build a relationship. It is also a great place to play role-play and join in group games with their peers.
Developing social skills
At nursery, you can learn important social skills such as listening to others, taking turns and sharing your feelings with them.
Children will gain a better understanding of the feelings and emotions of others and be more comfortable interacting with them. Playing with other children at playgroup or nursery is a great way to practice these social skills.
It is often mentioned that routines can help children feel secure and have many benefits. Nursery provides children with a structured and consistent day. This helps them to know what is expected of them at specific times. Because they have a solid foundation, children are able to take an active part in their tasks by knowing what to do and when. Children will know, for example, that before going to bed they have to clean up and before eating they need help setting the table and washing their hands.
You have plenty of time!
Parents will find that even a short time per week of your child’s attendance at nursery or preschool can give them some much-needed me time. We all know that pre-school can be very demanding so it is important to allow yourself a few hours each day.