At Kids Love Nature we believe that great learning happens naturally when children feel relaxed, safe and confident in their nursery, supported by adults with whom they feel a secure attachment. If children are able to form positive, happy relationships in the early years – this will ripple out to all areas of their life – including school. With a focus on our Winchester nursery, in this article we look at the ways in which we support emotional well-being and how this forms the foundation for all future learning, friendships and development now and throughout their lives.

Settling in and making a great start…

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Starting at nursery can be a very emotional time for children and parents. Whether a child is moving from another setting or if they have never left their main carers before we will always ensure that a child has all the support they need to feel settled and secure. At our Winchester nursery children are assigned a key person before they start. This practitioner is dedicated to them during their settle in sessions and all early sessions until they are settled and happy. Children often need a cuddle, hug or someone to hold their hand during these early days and we believe that children should always be shown this affection and care at the start and throughout their time at our nursery.

“I have been so impressed by how well the staff helped my son settle at this nursery. I believe this is down to the welcoming atmosphere and the nurturing, experienced staff. He comes home muddy and tired but extremely happy and eager to tell us all about this day.” (Review: Lydia C – daynurseries.co.uk)

The support of caring, experienced practitioners…

Forming strong bonds and connection with adults is an integral part of a child’s well-being in early childhood settings. Practitioners are dedicated to building their relationship with young children as soon as they start at nursery. Feeling safe, secure and having a strong attachment to adults allows each and every child to flourish. All of the practitioners at our nurseries are highly experienced, being trained with particular skills in emotional well-being. This allows for a unique understanding of each and every child. It also importantly means that practitioners are attuned to whatever support they need in that moment – whether that is an emotional hug or belief and encouragement in their skills and abilities.

Supporting emotions and big-feelings…

Building confidence at our Winchester nursery

A child’s ability to handle emotions and communicate how they are feeling is so important to their well-being now and in the future. At our Winchester nursery practitioners validate a child’s feelings, acknowledging them rather than silencing them. We help children express themselves by vocalising how they might be feeling, such as “I wonder if you a feeling cross/frustrated/worried right now?” Validating feelings and giving them the vocabulary to express themselves is one of the most effective ways to help a child who is feeling overwhelmed by their big emotions. We cannot always fix things but we can give our support and understanding and enable them to be better prepared to handle such feelings in the future.

“Learning these skills at a young age is incredibly important, as it will equip children with tools and techniques that they can take with them for life. Early childhood is a time of great learning and this is the perfect moment for children to develop these skills.” (Jordan Puttick, Manager, Kids Love Nature, Marwell Zoo)

Building self-confidence and resilience…

Winchester Nursery

At the heart of our approach is building a child’s confidence, self-esteem and belief in their abilities. We encourage independence as soon as a child is ready for it. Children love the feeling that they can do something by themselves, master something and experience success. With little steps we support this in all areas of learning, from preparing snack to climbing a tree. Practitioners believe in every child’s ability and will endeavour to support them in any way that they need. This also includes building resilience. Whilst more than anything we want children to be happy, we also know that life can sometimes be tough. We want children to be resilient and to face whatever challenges that come their way in the most positive way. Being able to handle emotions, understanding them in themselves and in others will give them the best opportunity for a happy life, from nursery, school and beyond.

“Staff build excellent bonds with children - they develop superb self-esteem, independence and enthusiasm for learning.” (Ofsted inspection, Outstanding, September 2017)

Find out more about our approach…

If you are interested in finding out more about our kindergartens across Hampshire and Dorset, do not hesitate to get in touch to arrange a visit. Or book a place at our next open day at our Winchester nursery at Marwell Zoo on Saturday 27th April 10am-12pm.