Connector September 2023

CONNECTOR.AE 38 CONNECTOR.AE 39 Kids And Education Kids And Education Learning environment: Children enroled at nurseries need to be engaged, where programmes and activities held daily, keep them interested and engaged. This helps in fostering a great learning environment, where children can be inquisitive and learn more, while also being completely immersed in the activities held. Damien Marshall of Bloom World Academy Early Excellency Centre said, “Are the learning environments rich and engaging for your child? Learning environments should inspire curiosity in your child and should allow for high-quality hands-on learning experiences for your child.” Safety first: As children spend a good amount of time learning and developing at nurseries, one of the key aspects to look into is the safety and quality of the facilities at the centre. The nursery needs to cater to the needs of the child, by providing ways that children can have fun while learning, through activities in classrooms, as well as on the playground. Visiting the centre before enroling a child, can help in assessing the facilities at the school and if the safety of students is a main priority. Roshi Tandon of Chubby Cheeks Nursery and Deira Private School said, “Make sure that the nursery for your child is safe and has clean premises. You can always ask for health and safety checklists and policies as a safe and healthy child will be a happy and learning child. The classrooms and play areas should be welcoming and inviting spaces with plenty of resources to cater to children with different interests and abilities. Also, look for cultural sensitivity and responsiveness to children’s home life.” Additionally, it is also important to note that the health of the child is a main priority. As children are prone to catching colds, an on-site nurse can help in ensuring children are in prime health and taken care of. The facilities also need to foster creativity and let them explore their curiosity at the nursery. Zulekha Khan of Dibber Al Barsha South said, “Facilities must be safe, clean, and stimulating. The presence of a certified nurse provides extra reassurance that the children will be catered to appropriately and that hygiene will be of utmost importance. The settings must promote exploration and prompt children’s curiosity.” Sending a child to nursery can be a difficult process for any parent. Before enroling it is important to check whether the child is ready to venture into learning at an educational facility, and if they match with the busy schedules of parents. After making the decision to send a child to nursery, it is important to check the facilities, safety, environment and the quality of staff, before finalising a centre. Dr Vandana Gandhi of British Orchard Group said, “Encouraging children to embrace challenges and develop a ‘Bounce Back’ and “Never Give Up’ attitude from an early age is essential. Through an inclusive and supportive learning environment at preschools, children are further empowered to tackle obstacles with determination and grace. Children who learn resilience and perseverance from the start are more likely to face hardships confidently, never shying away from trying new things, and become strong leaders who inspire others through their perseverance. Mindfulness programs, ‘Feelings Finder’ and ‘Calm Corners’ at preschools help children further develop their emotional intelligence.” Importance of communication: Parents should always be part of the decision-making process, in a child’s education, be it at nursery or at school. As parents know their children the best, and are better at catering and understanding their needs, parents need to be included in their child’s progress as well as be informed about the ways the student develops in the nursery. Damien Marshall of Bloom World Academy Early Excellency Centre said, “How does the school communicate about your child and their progress at school? Effective, regular and quality communication is a key component of a quality nursery setting.” Happiness of the child: Starting nursery can be a difficult transition for children. As it is an unfamiliar environment with new people, is it important to visit the centre and assess if the children present seem happy and engaged. This also provides a great insight into how the nursery operates, the schedule of children, and how the talents of the child are grown. Roshi Tandon of Chubby Cheeks Nursery and Deira Private School said, “Children should look busy yet calm, engaged and purposeful. An ideal early years setting is child-centred, embraces the uniqueness of all children and caters to diversity and inclusion. Do not hesitate to ask for the children’s schedule, curriculum, lesson plans and the activities that the nursery offers. Do also ask what are the daily timings and schedules at the nursery and how can you incorporate my child’s routines.”