The Importance of Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health in Early Years

At Teepee, we understand that a child’s emotional and mental health plays a crucial role in their learning and development.

Emotional well-being refers to a child’s ability to regulate their emotions and cope with stress, while mental health refers to their overall psychological well-being. Both are essential components of a child’s development, and their quality can significantly impact their learning.

Children who have positive emotional well-being and good mental health tend to have better concentration, problem-solving skills, and memory retention, which are all crucial skills needed for successful learning. On the other hand, children who are struggling with emotional or mental health issues may struggle with social interactions, have difficulty focusing, and have poor learning outcomes.

As a nursery, we are committed to creating a nurturing environment that promotes emotional well-being and mental health. We offer a range of activities that encourage self-expression, emotional regulation, and social skills development. Our team are also trained to recognise signs of emotional distress and provide support and resources as needed.

How can you support your child’s Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health?

At our nursery, we understand that a child’s mental health is just as important as their physical health, and that a supportive home environment is crucial to their overall wellbeing.

Here are some ways in which you can support your child’s emotional wellbeing and mental health at home:

  1. Create a nurturing and supportive environment at home: Encourage your child to express their feelings and emotions in a safe and non-judgmental environment. Show them empathy and understanding when they are upset, and help them to find constructive ways to deal with their emotions.
  2. Build a routine: Children thrive on routine, and having a predictable daily schedule can help them feel secure and grounded. Make sure your child is getting enough sleep, eating healthy meals, and engaging in physical activity.
  1. Encourage social connections: Social connections are important for mental health, and it’s important to help your child build and maintain healthy relationships with family and friends. Encourage your child to spend time with loved ones, engage in activities they enjoy, and participate in social events within your community.
  1. Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness is a powerful tool for promoting emotional wellbeing and reducing stress. You can encourage your child to practice mindfulness by teaching them breathing exercises, yoga, or meditation.
  2. Seek professional help if needed: If you have concerns about your child’s emotional wellbeing or mental health, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Talk to your child’s health visitor or doctor.

We hope these tips will be helpful in supporting your child’s emotional wellbeing and mental health at home.

How can you contribute to promoting Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health within the setting?

We place a high priority on the mental health and wellbeing of our team, children, and families. As such, we believe that a collaborative effort between us and parents is vital to create a positive and supportive environment for everyone in our setting.

With this in mind, we want to emphasise the importance of parents’ role in supporting the general mental health and wellbeing of our setting. Below are some ways in which parents can help create a positive environment for everyone:

1 – Communicate Openly and Effectively: Effective communication is key to creating a positive environment for everyone. It is essential to share any concerns or feedback you may have with us, whether it be about your child’s development or any other matter. Open communication helps us work together to ensure your child’s needs are met.

2 – Foster Positive Relationships: Creating positive relationships with the team and other parents within the setting is essential. By building a supportive network, parents can help promote a positive and inclusive environment that benefits everyone.

3 – Prioritise Your Own Mental Health and Wellbeing: It’s essential to take care of yourself so you can take care of others. We encourage parents to prioritize their own mental health and wellbeing, whether it be through exercise, mindfulness, or seeking support from others.

4 – Show Appreciation: A simple “thank you” or expressing your appreciation goes a long way. It helps create a positive and supportive environment and lets our team know that their hard work is appreciated.

5 – Support the Nursery’s Policies: Our policies are in place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all children in our care. We ask that parents support and respect our policies and procedures to create a safe and secure environment for everyone.

We believe that parents play a critical role in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of everyone in our setting. By working together, we can create a positive and supportive environment that benefits all.

Communication is Key!

We know that raising happy and healthy children can be challenging, and we want to do everything we can to support you in this journey. That’s why we’re committed to creating a nurturing and supportive environment here at our nursery.

One of the ways we do this is by encouraging open communication between parents and team members. We want you to feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and feelings with us, and we’re here to listen and support you in any way we can.

To help facilitate this open communication, we offer regular opportunities for you to talk with us through focus meetings and our open-door policy. Whether you have concerns, feedback, or questions, we’re here to listen and provide guidance.

We also provide resources on our website such as articles, and blogs that offer information on how to support your child’s well-being. Additionally, we offer regular toolbox talks for parents.

We believe that by working together, we can create a supportive and nurturing environment that helps your child thrive. So please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need support or guidance. We’re here to help!

Your Wellbeing is important to us too…

As your child’s day nursery, we understand that parenting can be both a rewarding and challenging experience. It’s natural to feel a range of emotions as you navigate your role as a caregiver, and we want to assure you that we are here to support you in any way we can.

We believe that it’s important for parents to prioritise their own emotional wellbeing and mental health. We want to create a safe and supportive environment where you feel comfortable talking about your own needs and concerns with us.

Whether you’re feeling stressed, anxious, overwhelmed, or simply need someone to talk to, we are here to listen and provide guidance. Our team are trained to recognise the signs of emotional distress and can offer resources and referrals to help you manage any challenges you may be facing.

We also want to share some useful resources that can support you in maintaining a healthy state of mind and help you cope with any challenges you may be facing. We have compiled a list of wellbeing support resources that you can access from the comfort of your home. These resources offer advice and guidance on various topics related to mental health and wellbeing, including managing anxiety and stress, promoting positive mental health, and supporting children with their emotional wellbeing.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need support. Our door is always open, and we are committed to creating a partnership with you to ensure the best possible outcomes for your child and your family.

Our Fantastic Team

We are thrilled to share the range of wellbeing benefits we offer to our team members here at nursery. We believe that our team members are our greatest asset, and we are committed to ensuring that they feel valued, supported, and happy in their work.

One of the benefits we offer is free lunch, which is provided to all team members to eat alongside the children adding to the family mealtime feel.

We also offer a compressed day off to enable our team members to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Part-time working is also offered as a further option to suit different needs.

We are proud to have received the Real Living Wage accreditation, and we offer a Bravo benefits discount scheme as well as hardship loans to support our team members’ financial wellbeing.

We understand that length of service deserves recognition and reward, and as such, we offer extra leave to our team members based on their length of service.

We provide individual personal development plans to help our team members achieve their career goals and reach their full potential.

We also offer flu jabs and manager wellbeing training, as well as a safe space for our team members to discuss any issues they may be facing. Return to work meetings after illness, with signposting and support, are also provided.

Additionally, we offer our team members access to two employee assistance programs. These programs provide confidential, 24/7 support for a range of personal and work-related issues, including mental health support, legal advice, financial assistance, and childcare advice. We believe that these programs are crucial in ensuring that our team members feel supported and valued in all areas of their lives.

Finally, we offer massage therapy once a month to help our staff members relax and de-stress.

We are proud to offer these wellbeing benefits to our team, and we hope that you feel reassured that our team members members are happy, healthy, and supported while caring for your children.

Next steps as a nursery

As part of our commitment to providing a safe, secure and welcoming environment for you and your children. Going forwards a member of the senior team will be stationed at the gate, ready to welcome you and your little ones with a smile and a friendly hello. We hope that this small change will provide an opportunity for you to get to know the senior management team better.

As well as this, we have made some small amendments to our focus week paperwork in order to better support the wellbeing of your children. We have updated our focus week paperwork to include more opportunities for you to express your thoughts and feelings around your child’s wellbeing.

Another change regarding focus week is that we will no longer be writing end of focus week observations. This is due to the fact that these observations have been taking up a significant amount of our team’s time, which we believe could be better spent with your children. With less time spent writing observations, our team will have more time to focus on planning and delivering engaging activities that will help your child to learn and develop. The observations we write are essentially just a written version of what we discuss with you at the focus meeting. Therefore, you will still receive regular updates on your child’s progress and areas for development. We will also continue to take plenty of photos of your child throughout the focus week and these will be shared with you on Family as usual. We appreciate your understanding and support in this matter.

We would also like to announce that we will be introducing a new wellbeing noticeboard for parents. This noticeboard will be created with the aim of supporting the wellbeing of both children and parents. The wellbeing noticeboard will provide you with information, tips and resources on a range of topics related to wellbeing, such as mental health, nutrition, exercise, mindfulness and stress management. The noticeboard will be updated regularly with new information and resources, so we encourage you to check it frequently. We also welcome any feedback or suggestions for topics that you would like to see covered on the noticeboard.

We hope that these new initiatives will be a valuable resource for you and contribute to the wellbeing of our nursery community as a whole.

What’s Next with Parents Toolbox Talks…

We would like to inform you that we have decided to cancel our virtual parent toolbox talks due to low uptake and instead to provide the content through monthly blogs which will be shared in the newsletter. We are pleased to let you know that we will be running two face-to-face toolbox talk events each year too.

The first event will focus on our curriculum, where we will provide an overview of the activities and learning experiences that we offer at our nursery. The second event will be focused on preparing your child for school, providing you with helpful tips and advice on how to support your child’s transition into their next stage of education.

At these events we will be offering coffee and cake for all attendees. This will provide a great opportunity to meet other parents, ask any questions you may have, and get to know our team a little better.

We believe that these face-to-face events will be a great way to keep you informed and engaged in your child’s learning journey.

Health and Nutrition

We wanted to take a moment to remind you about the importance of healthy eating for your little ones. It’s no secret that a well-balanced diet plays a crucial role in your child’s overall health and wellbeing. Eating a variety of nutritious foods helps to promote healthy growth, cognitive development, and a strong immune system.

One aspect of healthy eating that is often overlooked is portion control. It can be tempting to encourage our children to clean their plates or offer larger portions in the hopes that they will eat more. However, overeating can lead to a range of health issues, including weight gain and obesity.

So, how do we ensure our children are eating the right amount of food? Here are some tips on portion control:

  • Use the “handy” method: A child’s serving size should be roughly the size of their hand. For example, a serving of vegetables should be the size of their fist, while a serving of meat or protein should be the size of their palm.
  • Avoid distractions: Encourage your child to focus on their meal and listen to their body’s cues of fullness. Turning off the TV and sitting at the table as a family can help eliminate distractions and promote mindful eating.
  • Don’t force them to finish everything: While it’s important to encourage your child to eat a balanced diet, it’s also essential to respect their hunger cues. If they’re full, don’t force them to finish everything on their plate.

We understand that healthy eating can be challenging, but we’re here to help. At nursery we provide well-balanced meals and snacks that meet your child’s nutritional needs. We recently sent out a poll to find out if you would like some support with diet and nutrition, and if so, what kind of support you would be interested in. We had a lot of votes for nursery recipe cards converted for a family of four. Therefore, we will be sharing a nursery recipe with you in each monthly newsletter.