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Information communication and technology (ICT) in a nursery environment

Information, communication and technology

Our new interactive screen at Apricot Nursery for the children

Information, communication and technology (ICT) is often overlooked in a nursery environment.  It is tempting to just find a CD player and get the children to use the buttons to stop and start a song and feel that we are using ‘technology’.  At Apricot nursery we have decided to take a much more proactive approach.  We understand that technology is a part of everyday life for children and adults alike. As the world fills itself with more technology we want to enable our nursery children to have a great introduction to this development.

At Apricot Nursery we will be supporting children’s learning using various apps on our new interactive screen for the children.  We have invested in this so that we can introduce toddlers and preschool children to the benefits of technology in a safe and controlled manner.  The apps we use relate to all seven areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), in particular we have enjoyed using Yellow Door apps that are designed specifically for toddlers to help extend their learning using imagery and audio in a fun and easy to use interface.  The interactive screen also allows many learning experiences to be shared as it is large and easy to see for a large group of children.

The benefits of technology in a safe and controlled manner

Our practitioners play a vital role ensuring that technology is used to promote awareness and development of key skills.  They do this by linking technology to the world around them and showing the children the purpose of technology in a positive light.  Using technology to gain knowledge can be fun and educational at the same time.

Apricot nursery wants this new generation of children to feel safe not only in their environment but also in the virtual environment of technology.  Whilst supporting children’s learning Apricot nursery acknowledges the dangers of the web for children.  We will be working with parents and carers sharing ways to keep children safe online.

What you can do now:

1 – Set parental controls – all tablets, phones and personal computers have parental controls that are easy to set up.
2 – Talk about Safety on the tablet – even at an early age it is ok to discuss the how to be safe on a tablet, phone or computer
3 – Set boundaries – time limits are great discipline to put in place, they allow children to be aware of limits and ensure that they are not becoming dependant on or addicted to screens.

Some great FREE applications to help children’s development include:

Beebot – this helps with language and communication and understand positional language.
Number Train – Number train supports maths and is a simple to use application.
Letter School – has in-app purchases – this is a great app to develop ABC’s and letter writing and helps with fine motor skills.

The NSPCC has great guidance online; please follow this link.

For more information about Apricot’s nursery in Peterborough, contact us on 01733 390 969 or click the bold link.

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.

children sugar levels

Young children are exceeding daily sugar amounts

Children aged between four and ten are consuming twice as much sugar as recommended, a new survey has revealed.

The National Diet and Nutritional Survey, funded by Public Health England (PHE) and the UK Foods Standard Agency, found that children are also not eating enough fruit and vegetables, though consumption of red meat and saturated fats remain high.

Children sugar levels

According to the NHS, the maximum daily amount of added sugar should be as follows: five cubes for four to six-year-olds, six cubes for seven to ten-year-olds and seven cubes for children aged 11 and over. This is being regularly exceeded by young children and there are a number of government plans to lower levels of sugar intake and decrease childhood obesity.

“While it is encouraging that young children are having fewer sugary drinks, they still have far too much sugar in their diet overall,” comments DR Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE.

Peterborough nursery healthy food

At our Peterborough nursery, we love having happy, healthy children – we believe the quality of the food we provide is essential to this. That is why we only serve healthy, fresh and nutritious food to help your child with their learning and playing.

The data shows that we all need to eat more fruit, vegetables and fibre whilst cutting back on salt and sugar. Our chefs at Apricot Nursery are well aware of this and our experienced cooks use the freshest ingredients – even growing vegetables in our garden! We are proud to say that all of our food is freshly prepared on site. You can view one of our sample food menus here.

If you’re looking for childcare or day nurseries in Peterborough, find out more about how Apricot Nursery can help you and your child. Call us today on 01733 390 969 or pop in to have a look around.

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.

Have you got baby name remorse?

It has been found that one in five mothers feel regret towards their choice of baby name and would pick another name if they could.

According to the survey the most regretted were Charlotte, Amelia, Anne, Daniel, Jacob, James and Thomas. As well as being regretted, Amelia is also surprisingly one of the most popular baby name choices – Amelia and Oliver have been the most popular baby names for the past three years.

Of the 245 mothers who regretted their decision, the main reason was that it was too commonly used (25 per cent) and 20 per cent said it just didn’t feel right or that they had been pressured into using the name. Nearly a quarter of mothers regretted the name once their child started nursery.

“It’s typical, you do lots of research, try to please everybody inputting ideas and end up regretting your choice in the future,” comments Peterborough based nursery manager Nick Douglass. “But most children grow into their name, and there are certainly more important things in a child’s make-up than their name. If you are stuck for name ideas though, Nick has a certain ring to it, right?”

We stand by Shakespeare’s famous words: “What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”.

Despite this, parents do spend hours upon hours making sure they pick the right name. It comes as one of the first decisions to be made for a parent. While we can’t help you with the name, we can help parents in Peterborough with another key decision – finding a suitable day nursery.

Our beautiful Peterborough based nursery in Orton Longueville has an open door policy so you can come and have a look around at any time with your little one. There will always be a member of management available to give you a tour. To let us know that you’re coming call us on 01733 390 969.

pre-school children with own tablet

Number of pre-school children with own tablet increases

New research has found that nearly half of three and four year olds have their own tablet device to use.

The research, conducted by Childwise, found that the majority of children this age are competent technology users and can open apps, adjust volume, turn devices on and off and take pictures.

One in three children under five has their own tablet, up from one in four last year. But as tablet use has increased, figures show that access to mobile phones has decreased as a result. The findings are based on interviews with over 1,000 parents of children aged between six months and four years.

“Pre-schoolers and their parents have rapidly adopted the tablet computer,” comments Jenny Ehren, Childwise research manager. “It has quickly emerged as a most-wanted device for children, even among the very young – and parents have encouraged this, considering tablets and the games and apps on them, a great way to keep small children entertained and provide a learning benefit.”

While many parents are comfortable with the amount of time their child spends watching video content each day, a significant number are less enthusiastic.

As the particular effects of early electronic usage have not yet been found, there is no reliable way of determining the impact on development in children who are using mobile devices regularly from a young age.

Whilst these devices can be a useful learning tool, it is beneficial to limit children’s reliance on them and only allow a set access period each day. Ideally, this time should be spent using educational apps instead of watching programmes, which is what they are currently most commonly used for.

For information about how our nursery in Peterborough can help you and your child, call 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.

Activities

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:.

Colour

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.