SM

Unlocking the Potential of Early Education: Why Our Nurseries Are More Than Babysitting

November 20, 2023
Parents
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The quality of a child's early years experiences has a significant impact on their early brain development, shaping their foundations for future learning.

UNICEF shares that ‘for every child, early moments matter. Life is a story for which the beginning sets the tone. That makes the early years of childhood a time of great opportunity, but also great risk’.

We need to recognise the importance of the early years and the impact it has on children’s futures, moving beyond the idea that nursery school is a babysitting service.

Here at SM, we are committed to delivering high standards of care and education to ensure that we provide all children with the best start to their story through quality learning experiences. We are proud to share a love of learning so every child’s story can unfold.

As a parent myself, I know that I want to provide my child with the best start I can possibly give her. When she is at nursery I want her to be confident to explore the world around her, to learn new skills, and to have experiences that she does not have at home.

Let's explore how at SM we ensure we provide the best education for the children who attend our nurseries.

Our education team

We are very proud at SM to have our own dedicated education team who collaborate with their nurseries to ensure we are delivering high-quality education for all our children. Every nursery is visited regularly by its Regional Education Manager. This visit aims to provide support for the teams, ensuring they maintain the standards we expect at SM, while also exploring opportunities for enhancing the learning experiences we offer our children. Additionally, we provide ongoing training to our teams, empowering them to continue being the highly skilled educators that they are.

Our curriculum

The development of our own SM Curriculum offered us the opportunity to discuss what we consider crucial for our children to learn and experience. This ensures they are equipped with the skills and knowledge not only for their next stages in education but also to make a difference in the world they grow up in. Our curriculum has a clear emphasis on the importance of communication, language, and literacy in the early years, and we develop these skills through the use of stories, books, songs, and rhymes.

Our skilled educators

At SM, we highly value our team members and recognise that they are more than just babysitters. Early Years Educators invest years of training and ongoing professional development to ensure they provide high-quality care and education. Our skilled educators facilitate children's learning and development, which has a significant impact on their future.

One of the most critical aspects of an educator's role involves being a key component in a child's learning journey. They recognise children's interests, reflect on their next steps, and use this knowledge to create a challenging and exciting learning environment for the children to explore. For example, at Blossom Tree Nursery School in Portishead, the children showed an interest in bug hunts, and the team developed activities to support this. The children were visited by stick insects and learned about how to look after them, and how to handle them with care. This supported the World and Communities thread of our curriculum where children are encouraged to develop curiosity about the world and demonstrate care and concern for living things. The team also introduced the Skills and Innovations thread from our curriculum by taking children on a nature walk where they collected sticks to create their own stick insects.

We also offer a range of apprenticeship opportunities for both new, unqualified educators seeking hands-on experience in early years education, and our team members looking to enhance their skills through our Level 5 and Early Years Business Administration apprenticeships.

If you're ready to embark on your child’s journey of early education, we invite you to click here to find your local SM nursery and take the first step towards their bright future.

Becy Jenkins, Regional Education Manager (South West)
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