Making the Decision to Put Our Three-Year-Old Into Nurseryby Emma Longden
In England, all three-year-olds are currently entitled to government funding of 15 hours free childcare. This increases to 30 hours for parents who are eligible. Despite this fact, many parents choose not to use childcare providers. Of course, this is a personal opinion, but these are the reasons why we have chosen to send our son to nursery.
As I have been self-employed, it has just been me and Benjamin at home for the majority of the day, five days a week for the past few years. Although I take him out to groups and clubs as much as possible, we don’t have the money to be doing this constantly, and I do have to fit work in as well, so it can be lonely for him. A nursery will allow him to interact with children his own age on a day to day basis. When my daughter went to nursery it really brought her out of her shell and she ended up really confident and running the show at nursery within a few months.
It Can Help a Child’s Development
Benjamin has been attending a speech development class over the past few months as he has shown delays. Both myself and the speech development team have agreed that nursery may well help him in this area, as he will be observing how other children speak. It is also a brilliant chance to improve on other areas of a child’s development as the nursery workers are trained in childcare, unlike the majority of parents.
It Allows Parents to Return to Work
When we first made the decision to put Benjamin into a nursery, I was planning to continue to work from home whilst he was there. As it turns out, I was offered a job just after and I have accepted this, so I will be working from home alongside part-time employment. This wouldn’t really be possible for us without Benjamin being in nursery, and I am grateful that the government funding will allow me to return to a workplace where I can earn a steady income alongside my self-employment.
It Can Help Prepare a Child for School
School is a big milestone for children, and it can be a huge jump if they have never been in a learning environment with other children before. I know that nursery helped my older two children prepare themselves for school, and I am confident it will do the same for Benjamin. As children reach school age, nurseries often provide some assistance, and this is really beneficial.
It Gives You a Break
Perhaps seen as a bit taboo, but it really shouldn’t be. Being a parent is hard. Whether you are a working parent or stay at home, it can still be a strain when you have a toddler, and putting them into nursery, even for a short period of time can really help give you a break. Sometimes a bit of time away from each other can do wonders for your relationship if you have been feeling the strain. Don’t feel ashamed for using the funded hours to simply take some time for yourself.