Thursday 13 January 2022

Is My Child Ready for Nursery?


This is a question asked by many working parents as they approach the end of their maternity/paternity leave. 

While the age to receive free government, funded childcare is 3 to 4 years old, many nurseries in the UK cater to children as young as 3 months old. 

I have teamed up with a day nursery in Kew to help you decide whether or not your child is ready for nursery. 


Sending Babies to Nursery

In recent years women have been returning to work earlier than before following childbirth which many nurseries have been accommodating too. 

For most the care that they provide starts from 3 months of age. To ensure the safety and wellbeing of each child there is a ratio that is used to ensure that each nursery is equipped with the right number of practitioners. 

For babies under 24 months old, this is 1 adult for every 3 babies.


Toddlers Between the Ages of 1 and 2

The number of parents sending their toddlers to nursery at this age has grown threefold since 1981 with ¾ of parents now sending their toddlers to nursery after giving birth. 

This movement was investigated by Cambridge University which found that the stress hormone cortisol was double in toddlers of this age 9 days after starting nursery. 

The study found that these levels stayed the same after 5 months despite the toddlers showing no physical signs of stress. 


3 Years of Age

This is the age where your child will be able to receive 10 free hours of childcare from the government and has proven to be the best age to send your child to nursery. 

Studies have found that sending children to nursery either before or after this point can hinder development with those that start at 3 showing the best performance at school.

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