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  • Hannah Rosalie

Friendship, kindness and care

Pulling authenticity and meaning into Valentine's Day

When I was looking for a nursery for my son, there was one thing I was seeking above all else. I wanted to find somewhere that would care for him. Care in the truest sense of the word, which is so often overlooked when looking at 'childcare'.

I wasn't just looking for childcare, I was looking for warmth, trust, kindness, time and attention in the staff. I was looking for somewhere that my son would feel safe, welcomed, noticed and confident, and I realised that all this came from a place of love.

Here at Seasons and Barn Cottage my team to tap into a deep level of care when looking after children and we reflect on this at staff meetings and our monthly mentoring sessions, sharing meaningful moments and ways to support and care for every child holistically across the nursery.

A level of emotional care that means that when a child has a baby sibling, you're watching the due date tick forward, excited to share in the joy. And when a holiday comes round, you miss them and are genuinely pleased to hear all about it. And when a child leaves for school you truly hope to get a message and a doorstep picture because you've been emotionally invested in this journey for 4 years and can't wait to hear how they have settled.

So on Valentine's Day in the nursery, we learn a lot about love and what it means, but we make it relevant by reflecting on friendships, caring, being kind but also about emotions and how we care for each other. The dolls and blankets have been popular along with the small world figures which are always a useful way to engage children with feelings and reciprocal play. However, feelings are best learned through modelling and our high staff ratios allow plenty of time for authentic, caring, in the moment interactions.

When exploring friendships, we encourage children to help each other with their activities. Some have enjoyed reading stories to their friends and helping to prepare their food and drink, their language and social development being broadened all the time with kindness and support through our daily interactions.

But mostly, it is a wonderful time to reflect on our practice at Seasons and Barn Cottage, and our personal, emotional investment as educators so we can deliver exceptional care.

It is a true privilege that these children are entrusted into our care, sending love to all our wonderful families here on Valentine’s Day.

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