Teaching and learning

15 things you'll only know if you work in a nursery

…and wish everyone outside the early years sector knew too!
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April 17, 2019
Reading time:
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With Famly since

1. No, we are NOT just playing all day!

If I had a pound for every time someone asked me why I was so tired after a day of ‘just playing with children’, I could make up the funding deficit 3 times over. And don’t get me started on, “But it’s just babysitting.”

2. You’ve learned the names of every snuggly, blanket, or stuffed animal and which child they belong to

A mum dropped off her son at sleep time and I asked if he had “Nuh-nigh” with him. She was astounded I knew his little blanket by name. But we know them all, not to mention, parents, siblings, pets, and anyone else who matters.

3. And you know the words to every one of the most popular early years songs and storybooks

All together now, “A mouse took a stroll…”‍

4. Toddlers will not hold back if you’re not looking your best

“Julia, you look so tired today. You should go to bed.” Oh… thanks.

5. Speaking of children's chatter, you never get tired of the things they say…

On bumping into the family of a little boy I was looking after in Tesco’s one Saturday, he asked his mum why I wasn’t in nursery. His mum explained that they ‘let Julia out at the weekends’. Sceptically, he asked if his other teacher (who was my room manager at the time) knew about this.

6. …Or the way they see the world

Another little boy I was looking after and I had a conversation about his mummy being at work while he was at nursery. He asked me if I ever went to work, so of course, I explained that this was my work. He giggled and corrected me that, no, this was nursery, not work (obviously). 

7. Nappy changing is only a small part of your day

It’s a calm time to bond with your key children and teach important lessons about consent and hygiene. No, it’s honestly not that bad.

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8. You have definitely pointed out something interesting when on public transport

I once said to a complete stranger on the bus, “Look! A fire engine!” before realising that I wasn’t at work anymore. The poor man dutifully looked at the fire engine, though.

9. Getting qualified is hard work

Qualifications and other CPD take time and energy and help us deliver better education to the children. It’s time to get rid of the ‘hair or care’ misconception once and for all.

10. There is a collection of “treasure” next to your washing machine

The magic rock Florence found, Aaryan’s stick, a lone Lego brick, half a crayon, and a toy car. Always check your pockets!

11. Half of your wardrobe is dressing up clothes

World book day is a very serious business and requires at least two choreographed costume changes.

12. It’s not all games and glitter

Safeguarding young children is at the centre of the early years educator role. If you make the right call at the right time, because you were paying close attention, you could make a huge difference to a child’s life. You might even save their life. It’s that important.

‍13. There is nothing like the joy of hearing first words or seeing first steps

…Or being present for any achievement, really. Being able to witness and celebrate children’s learning and development is a joy and a privilege. 

14. It can be really, really tiring

I love The Wheels on the Bus as much as the next educator, but when you’ve sung it for the fiftieth time, and it’s 5:45 pm on a Friday… the fatigue is real.

15. You get to go in to work and be greeted by with hugs and a chorus of your name

Sadly, this doesn’t happen when you work in an office.

The big ideas

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Official Danish Government Reopening Advice

Guidance from the Danish Health Ministry, translated in full to English.

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UK Nursery Covid-19 Response Group Recommendations

The full recommendations from a working group of over 70 nursery chains in the UK.

Please note: here at Famly we love sharing creative activities for you to try with the children at your setting, but you know them best. Take the time to consider adaptions you might need to make so these activities are accessible and developmentally appropriate for the children you work with. Just as you ordinarily would, conduct risk assessments for your children and your setting before undertaking new activities, and ensure you and your staff are following your own health and safety guidelines.

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