Maria Montessori Quote
Babies and Toddlers, Health and Self-Care, Health and Wellbeing, In the Nursery, Outdoor Play

How we promote self-care in young children and what that has to do with shoes…

Self-care skills are essential for young children to develop. They allow infants to become independent from their carers and learn to manage their own needs. Overall this gives them a huge confidence boost and a sense of accomplishment. And this starts with something as simple as shoes…

Let me set the following scenario from yesterday. I entered our Baby and Toddler Room around 2.30pm and found 13 highly excited but frustrated children between the ages of 14 and 32 months sitting on the carpet in front of me. I asked them if they were excited to go outside and received a resounding: “Yeeeeah!”. Then I asked who is putting their shoes on… and there was no answer. The children’s shoes were everywhere apart from on their feet and 2 teachers were present pulling on the children’s shoes and getting frustrated with shoe laces on converse. I gave a helping hand and it still took 3 adults nearly 15 minutes to get 13 children’s shoes on. To us (and your children!) these are 15 minutes of valuable outdoor play time these children have just lost – all over shoes. Out of 13 children 2 wore shoes that were remotely easy for children to open, slip their feet in and close.

Maria Montessori Quote

Things don’t need to be like that, if we choose practicality over fashion when children are in nursery.

Children that are toilet training need to wear clothes they can attempt to remove in about 20 seconds or less; Jogging Pants, Leggings, Trousers with stretchy waistbands are all great items of clothing. Dungarees however should not be put on a child that needs to toilet themselves unless you like the straps to get inside the loo when they are using the toilet.

Any shoes with a simple buckle or velcro strap are great to promote children’s independence, first when it comes to taking their shoes off and then later when learning to put them on. Hi-top Converse with massive laces however will leave children (and adults) dreading outdoor play.

Your child’s success can be hugely impacted by the simple choices we make daily.

It is a huge part of our curriculum (EYFS) and we are working very hard to teach children to become independent in caring for themselves. The expectations around self-care can be found in the area of Physical Development.

Early Years Foundation Stage – Curriculum

Physical Development Outcomes: What are we expected to teach?

8-20 months: “Can actively cooperate with care routines”

16-26 months: “Shows a desire to help with dressing/undressing routines.”

22-36 months: “Helps with clothing and is beginning to be independent in self-care, but still needs adult support.”

30-50 months: “Dresses with help”

40-60 months: “They manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.

As you can see above we are expected to teach increasing independence in dressing and self care from the age of 16 months onward. You can support your child in managing their needs by providing them with appropriate clothing and footwear and giving them time and space to practice taking off and putting on their own shoes. This will teach your child valuable skills and give them a sense of accomplishment. Children are able to handle many tasks from an age much younger than we often expect. Here are some images to illustrate that:











Health and Wellbeing, In the Nursery, Outdoor Play, Pre-School

Fun In The Park

The children had planned to go on a walk to the park with their teachers. We were all excited to discover that the park had been redone recently and the children were excited to try out the play equipment. After they finished their snack the children started trying out the new climbing frames and see saw. We have been using the magnifying glasses for the last week and some children asked to use the magnifying glasses in the park.

Here are some pictures:

AS on the climbing frameDT on the see saw ET and SM in the car ET magnifying glass KC on climbing frame KC on the slide

MN counting children MN on the rope bridge DT on the frame children lining up

Food and Nutrition, Health and Wellbeing, In the Nursery

The New Menu is Ready

I have updated the menu page to add the new Nursery Menu.

You can find it here.

The children have been enjoying the new meals and we have had some interesting discussions around what we are eating and what the dishes are called and where they originate from.

If you have suggestions on dishes to add to the next menu, feel free to email me your suggestions.

Health and Wellbeing, Safeguarding

Managing Illness at Nursery

Time has flown by, the days are getting shorter, the evenings are getting colder and the season for coughs and colds have started. I would like to outline some of the things we do at the setting to ensure children are safe and well.

Promoting Good Health

personal hygiene

As a nursery setting we are expected to promote the good health of all children attending the nursery setting (EYFS, 2012). We spend a considerable amount of time teaching children healthy habits. This includes diet and nutrition, regular exercise, access to the outdoors and fresh air as well as educating children on personal hygiene. We encourage children to was hands at regular intervals during the day. We always wash hands after playing outside, messy play, after using the toilet and wiping noses as well as after eating. This helps to prevent the spread of infection.

Illness and infectious diseases

If children fall ill during the nursery day it is our policy to contact parents to collect their children. If children have been sent home from nursery they should be given ample time to recover and regain their strength to avoid a relapse after returning to nursery too soon. The nursery reserves the right to send home any children that are not well enough to participate in the full nursery day.

Should children be diagnosed with an infectious disease, we follow guidance from Public Health England in regards to exclusion periods for infectious diseases. All exclusion periods can be found in this document: Infection Control in schools and other childcare settings

Administering Medication in Nursery

Generally wherever possible, medication should be administered to children at home. We will act as a reasonably prudent parent would administering medication only where it would be detrimental to the child’s long term health not to. Please note that if we are not comfortable to do so we will not administer medication.

Non-Prescription Medication

(This includes temperature reducing medication, cough mixtures, herbal remedies etc.)

Non-prescription medication are generally not administered at the nursery. Where children are too unwell to get through the day without a dose of medication they are deemed too unwell to attend the setting.

Short term Prescription Medication

(includes antibiotics, eye drops etc.)

Where it would be detrimental to the child’s health and well-being not to administer certain medication, we will make the decision for example to complete a course of prescription medication. (If the child refuses to take the medicine we cannot force the child. We will call you for advice.)

Long Term Medication

(Includes epi-pens, insuline, asthma pumps, piriton etc.)

Long term medication will require the completion of an Individual Health Plan to ensure the setting will follow clear instructions in regards to maintaining your child’s health and well-being at all times. This should be supported by a letter from your child’s doctor. The administration of certain medications may also require specialist training for staff by the community nurse.

For all medication prior written consent is required and all administrations will be noted and parents are required to sign they have been made aware. All medications have to be in their original container clearly labelled with the child’s name, date of dispensing, dosage and instructions.

antibiotic resistance

Antibiotics – Important Information

We have been made aware of an increased amount of antibiotics being prescribed for young children. Antibiotics are a powerful medication designed to fight bacterial infections. You should never give your child antibiotics without having a physical consultation with the doctor and you should always follow the instruction and complete the course in full. For more information on the dangers of bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics, please see the NHS Website.