In Expert opinion

Each month, Jackie Hardie, owner of The Nursery, gives advice and guidance on aspects of parenting. Drawing on almost three decades working with early years children, including roles as a Reception teacher and an Ofsted inspector, running an international education consultancy, and of course, being a parent, Jackie gives down-to-earth and practical advice.

This month, Jackie focuses on choosing the best Early Years learning and care for children under 5.

For young children, every encounter presents an exciting learning opportunity. Brain development in those early years is vast, which means young children absorb everything around them.

Deciding whether or not to send your children to nursery is a major decision to make, for some it is just a matter of choice, for others it may be down to financial pressures or career demands, but whatever the reason, rest assured there are numerous positive benefits that will have a direct impact on your child’s development.

Day nurseries offer a safe and stimulating environment delivering early years foundation stage (EYFS) learning and care for children from birth to five-years-old.

Many two-year-olds can now have up to 15 hours free early learning a week at a day nursery and all children aged three or four are entitled to 15 hours of free early education for 38 weeks of the year. The government has extended this offer to 30 hours a week for some parents, full details of which can be found on the North Somerset Council website. Children are eligible from the term after their third birthday.

Choosing the right nursery for you and your child is vital, so it is important to take time to explore the nurseries available to you. Check out the latest Ofsted reports, visit the nurseries, observe, ask questions, read the reviews and ask around in the local community.

At The Nursery we have experienced staff to help parents apply for funding available for all three-year-olds and we can also help explore whether you are entitled to free childcare of those under the age of three. Please, just ask and we will try to help.

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