Children develop faster at nurseries than staying at home

Children with working mothers and fathers develop faster than those whose parents stay at home to look after their child, a new study has found.

The social and everyday skills developed by those attending a nursery have been found to be better than children that stay at home with their parents. Scientists at Oxford University and the London School of Economics suggest that those who stay at home are less advanced.

Benefits of attending nursery

The study tested children against four measures of development. The results showed that staying at home had a five per cent negative impact on children’s everyday and social skills. Conversely, attending nursery delivered a 10 per cent positive impact on everyday skills.

Researchers explained that the benefit of nursery increased with the amount of time spent there. Dr Laurence Roope, of the Oxford Health Economics Research Centre, said: “We’re not saying that they should be spending 24 hours a day there, but it does seem spending more time there had significant benefits.

“It should give parents some reassurance that nurseries are not going to harm their children, and are likely to be beneficial.”

In general, children are often exposed to greater and more varied stimulating activities at nursery and they have the opportunity to interact with new children and adults – all helping towards their development.

Our Peterborough nursery is no different. Our aim is to provide the best development for your child. We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum programme which is designed to teach and educate your child through fun and engaging activities. We ensure that your child is given the opportunity to learn through high quality play experiences.

You can have a look here for what to expect from your child through their early development and up to the age of five.

If you are looking for the best childcare options in Peterborough, Apricot Nursery is well worth considering – so why not come and visit. We have an open door policy so you can come and have a look around with your little one at any time. Just let us know that you’re coming by calling us on 01733 390 969.

Preparing your child for nursery

Regardless of which nursery you choose to take your child to, the days and weeks leading up to the start date can be daunting for both children and parents (especially new parents).

However, there are some thing that can be done before your little one starts to settle any nerves and prepare you and your child for nursery.

Tips for your child

  • In the weeks before the term start date, get your child into a set routine for waking up, bed times and meal times.
  • Find out what other local children will be in their class and arrange play dates before they start. Knowing that they already have a friend in the class will improve social skills and relax the child on their first day.
  • Read with them every day to develop language skills and get them familiar with print.
  • Take part in some structured activities such as puzzles, painting and drawing. This prepares them for the types of things they will experience at a nursery.

Tips for parents

  • Give yourself plenty of time in the morning to get things ready. Maybe even get their bits ready the night before.
  • Ensure your child knows the basics such as getting dressed, using the toilet on their own, and recognising their full name.
  • Relax and have some ‘you time’ – take the time to do things that are made more difficult with a child. So long as you’re contactable, make plans and keep busy.
  • Remember that the nursery is just as keen to have your child settle in well as you are.

We encourage group social activities that get children engaging with each other – many parents find that their children don’t want to leave at the end of the day.

Our vast experience makes it easy for toddlers joining our Peterborough nursery and our welcoming and familiar-faced team members are here to reassure your child. Do talk to any of our staff with any concerns that you may have, we’re here to help and will often provide a solution to any problems you may have.

If you are looking for childcare services in a day nursery in Peterborough, find out how Apricot Nursery can help you and your child — simply call us on 01733 390 969.

nursery to primary school

Stepping from nursery to primary school

Children may find the move from nursery to primary school one that is both exciting and daunting – the parents do too! However, a solid pre-school education can ensure a smooth transition for your child.

At any stage of anyone’s life, a change of environment can be unsettling – for a child it can be even more so. It is a critical time; children are expected to take on new learning experiences all whilst coping with new surroundings.

A well-managed move from nursery to primary school can settle children more easily and give them a head start in learning and development.

Researchers recently estimated that the UK’s 15 year olds would have been ranked higher on the PISA literacy test had they all experienced more than a year of pre-schooling. This claim is based on an analysis of the test scores and their correlation with the early educational experience of pupils in the UK.

Apricot Nursery curriculum

At Apricot Nursery we build a curriculum planned around your child’s interests and stage of development. These are observed and monitored on a regular basis. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework is designed to teach and educate your child through fun and engaging activities.

These activities help to make the educational gap between nursery and primary much smaller and eases the transition for the child. Here is what to expect of a child throughout the EYFS stages from birth to five years old.

If you want to give your child the best advantage in their education, come and have a look at our day nursery in Peterborough. We have an open door policy so you can come and have a look around with your little one at any time. Just let us know that you’re coming by calling us on 01733 390 969.

reading to children

Parents encouraged to share more reading experiences with children

As a toast to International Literacy Day, BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity, has launched a campaign encouraging families to spend more time reading together.

The ‘Time to Read’ campaign was formed after research found that the typical family home has three children’s books but parents only manage to find time to read to their children just three times a week.

Reading to children

Parents are also noticing how little quality time they are spending with their little one, with two-thirds of parents worrying about a lack of family time. In today’s world there are many distractions; whether it be work, technology or social media, these are all playing a big part in us being in our own bubbles. But nine in ten parents want their families to have more quality time together and books can be the perfect answer.

“A lifetime love for reading is sparked by reading together; sharing the adventures on the pages is important not only in the nursery school years but right through childhood,” comments Nick Douglass, nursery manager at Peterborough based Apricot Nursery. “After a long day it can be great to relax with your little one and share the experience of a book, it is quality time as well as being educational.”

“We do plenty of reading with the children through nursery hours but it is important for parents to reinforce this – what’s better than a good bedtime story?”

So find just ten minutes a day to share a story with your child and brilliant things will happen.

Looking for a nursery in Peterborough?

At our Peterborough based nursery, we are committed to both the children and their families. We are passionate about providing the best environment for your child to learn and grow.

If you are interested in our nursery services for your child, call us today on 01733 390 969.

looking for a nursery tips

Tips for parents looking for a nursery

It can be a daunting experience for parents – especially new ones – not only coming to terms with how to look after a child, but knowing what educational path to set them on.

So, mums and dads, listen up. Here is a detailed list of things to think about when choosing a nursery:

Who’s in charge?

First things first, are the management team respectable and experienced? And how many staff will be in contact with your child? If it is a group of staff that you like, chances are your child will too.

You can check all of Apricot Nursery members of staff here. The Nursery Manager is Nick Douglass, who has been running the nursery for over three years.

Look at the other children

This is a must. It’s a tell-tale sign of what the nursery is offering and what is to come if you use their services. Most importantly, do they look happy and are they well-looked after?

Food options

It is important to look at portion sizes and if they have on-site chefs or if the food is delivered in every day. You don’t want your child coming home hungry.

Our nursery cook, Tina Cooke, has been in catering for 25 years and designs the menus herself with an emphasis on healthy eating. All of our food is freshly prepared on site daily by our experienced cooks. Our range of delicious menus are available to view here so you know exactly what we’ll be feeding your child on each day.


What facilities are there on offer for the children? They need to have facilities that match what your child likes. Also, do they do day trips out of the nursery itself?

At Apricot Nursery we believe in allowing children to get out into the world to explore in a safe and controlled way. Day trips are just one of the ways that we like to extend our nursery children’s education beyond our four walls.

Despite all this, much can be said for gut instinct. You and your child will know if it’s somewhere that they’ll want to be and will look forward to going to.

Peterborough based day nursery

We believe that our nursery is the best in Peterborough for your child’s development. If you don’t believe us, come in and have a look around at our facilities. We would be delighted to show you our beautiful nursery based in Orton Longueville, Peterborough.

We have an open door policy so there will always be a member of management available at a time that suits you.  Just call 01733 390 969 to make an appointment.

child fussy eater tips

Is your child a fussy eater?

There’s nothing more stressful than a child who is reluctant to eat at meal times. If this is a problem in your household, we’ve put together a few solutions to encourage your child to quit the habit:.


Having bright colours on your child’s plate will make the meal more appealing and would generally be healthier for them.

Perk your child’s interest

Try to base your child’s meals on their interests. For example, if your child likes stars then you could cut their vegetables in to a star shape. Other ideas include cutting your child’s favourite animal into shaped sandwiches.

Make the food sound exciting

Acting like you’re excited about the food will reflect onto the child, encouraging them to be excited about the meal. Give the food fun names such as green trees for broccoli.

Change the way you serve food

Making the food look different on the plate will intrigue the children and make them want to try it. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just putting fruit on a stick instead of on the plate should do it.

Let your child help

Allowing your child to actively help you to make dinner will motivate there eating – they will be proud that they have made it. Aside from this, letting the child decide what they want for dinner/dessert will have the same effect as it is something that they want.

All of these tips should help your child to overcome their fussy eating, or at least create more enthusiasm around meal times.

At Apricot Nursery we introduce healthy and delicious food to them as early as possible. Our menus change weekly so that our children are trying a wide range of different foods, helping them to develop a good attitude to trying and enjoying food. For more information about Apricot Nursery’s food and nutrition, click here.

Apricot Nursery is based in Orton Longueville, Peterborough (PE2). For information about how the nursery can help you and your child, call us today on 01733 390 969.

returning to nursery

Tips to make returning to nursery easy for your little one

Going back to nursery can bring both anxiety and excitement for your children. They look forward to returning to their friends but worry about leaving you and the fun they’ve had at home.

Here is a list of things you can do to help boost your child’s confidence before they head back to Apricot Nursery:

  • Remind your child about all the fun they had in their last year, recapping notably fun days in the last term. If they’re just starting, tell them about all the fun they’ll have and friends that they will make.
  • Take your child shopping for back to school supplies. Let them pick out things like their own backpack or coat; this will help them to feel comfortable when returning.
  • Ask them about their worries, and address them head on. Perhaps reassure them by telling them about what you remember from when you went, what worried you, and how different it was to what you’d thought it would be.

Try these tips to put your child’s mind at ease, helping them to make their first day back a good one.

Our Peterborough based nursery makes it easy for toddlers to return after a long break. Our welcoming and familiar-faced team members are here to reassure your child.

For information about how Apricot Nursery can help you and your child, call us on 01733 390 969.

toddler discipline

6 steps to toddler discipline

It seems like only moments ago that you were holding a cuddly, helpless baby in your arms. All of a sudden, now, that little baby is toddling around the house, reaching, grabbing, and noisily declaring “No!” Welcome to the toddler phase of parenting.

Toddlers are combining their language, body, and reasoning skills, and applying them to a world. This means that they’re getting into little problems and developing problem-solving skills on the spot.

Below, is a list we have put together to show how you help them, without going crazy.


Why do they throw tantrums? Your toddler may seem independent, but they are still very limited. When the meltdown comes, keep calm. Don’t add to it by raising your voice or handling in anger.

All toddlers will throw a tantrum at some point. Get educated on what to expect, and be prepared to prevent the worst of toddler behaviours before they happen.


During infancy, you made all the decisions for your baby, but now they can make some of their own. That doesn’t mean they are in control, no matter how much they seems to want to be. Help your child make simple choices, give them options but not the decision.


Say things at a level children can understand. ‘Good job’ means nothing – when you praise their accomplishments, be descriptive. If your child strokes the cat gently instead of grabbing its ear, point that out by saying, “See? You touched her softly, and she didn’t run away. Now you and kitty are friends!” Those descriptive words help your child frame her actions.


Not every interaction you have with your child is a teaching moment. Sometimes you’ll be too tired to think through what your child might get out of the situation. In those situations, sometimes a change is all that’s required. Taking the risk of seeming to reward bad behaviour is sometimes worth it just to push the reset button.

Dr. Nekeshia Hammond is a psychologist and she suggests making that distraction is a choice as well. For example: “No, you are not allowed to touch this lamp, but you can play with your toy or read a book with me.”


Permitting natural consequences is an especially good strategy for older toddlers. Children, tend to learn best when there are natural consequences for their actions. For example, if your child is playing outside, it begins to rain, and doesn’t come in when called; they will be uncomfortably wet and realize that they should have listened to you.


No matter how many times your child performs the same misbehaviour; you must repeat the same consequences. Parents should be consistent in administering consequence. This can get tedious, but like all of your child’s phases, it will pass before you know it.

If you are searching for childcare or day nurseries in Peterborough, contact Apricot Nursery to learn how we can help you and your child. Call us on 01733 390 969.