Children Overcome COVID-19 Challenges
In some way or another we have each experienced challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic, some of these are still looming and we do not yet know the long term effects. Children have not been exempt from these. In fact over the past year and a half children have experienced social isolation, interruption to education, family stress, disruption of routines and general anxiety about the virus.
In terms of educational consequences the closure of schools, online learning and lack of socialization has led many children to have setbacks at school. Added to that are family stresses such as illnesses, financial instability due to job loss and general anxiety trying to keep up with the extra demands of home learning/work from home. The list goes on and on!
Slowly, we are seeing some changes in many aspects of our lives including the reopening of nurseries and schools. Although this is a welcome change for many, we are still learning how to best support children and families that have dealt with so much.
At Willow Nurseries, our children have not been exempt from hardships. In fact, the resilience of the children has been a beacon of hope for us. And much to our surprise, many challenges actually became opportunities for improvement.
Parents not being allowed into the nursery has enabled teachers to increase communication to parents. Now parents receive a monthly development report detailing milestones and accomplishments. Additionally, the parent communication tool called Educore gives daily updates about various schedules (sleep, eating, etc.) and also includes photographs of the children’s daily activities. Weekly email updates and newsletters are sent through Educore and parents have the ability to message their child’s teacher directly too.
Parents leaving their children at the entrance gate rather than at the classroom door has also presented some positive outcomes. We have definitely noticed that children have settled much easier this way! Transitions are smoother since parents hand their children off to teachers at the entrance gate. Teachers are then able to greet the children and guide them through the nursery to their classroom to get started on the first activity of the day. Since parents do not get the opportunity to see classrooms, teachers make sure to send photos of display boards and children’s artwork.
Less children in classrooms means that the teacher is able to give more attention to each individual child. Live video sessions are held during select classes so that parents are able to observe the classroom and teacher to experience how classes are conducted. Classroom activities and materials had to be adapted to comply with new regulations, but this has allowed teachers to get creative and introduce new activities to the children!
All in all, this past year and a half has challenged us to build resilience and embrace change. For children the best way to teach resilience is to model it. Parents need to find ways to maintain their own emotional stability in order to help kids with theirs. Deep breathing, meditation and exercise are all examples of self care that parents can do for themselves and with kids.
Another important tool is teaching children to label their emotions and encourage them that it is ok to feel anxious, scared and sad. Make sure they know that it is normal to have an array of emotions and that the feelings will pass. Having a support system and being part of a community is also important to healthy wellbeing, especially in challenging times.
At Willow Nursery, we are a community of education professionals and many of us are parents too so we know what it is like to navigate these challenging times. We have seen that having open communication with parents, teachers and children allows us to turn challenges into opportunities for growth and for this we are very grateful.
With working families in mind, we have flexible hours to suit a variety of schedules and also have a food programme - giving you one less thing to worry about. We also have strict measures in place to ensure a healthy and safe learning environment for children in our care.
If you would like any more information about Willow Nurseries, please get in touch with us.