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One of the ways you can stay up to date with us is through our blog. Please do comment and let us know what you think.

Kristin Bergmann – Early Years Practitioner

Kristin joined us in 2018 and has experience of supporting people diagnosed with autism and challenging behaviour working for the National Autistic Society.

In her spare time she likes spend time with her family, exercising, being outdoors and travelling.

Kaylee Norton – Early Years Practitioner

My qualifications: NVQ Level 2

Kaylee starting working for us in 2018, having previously gained experience working in another nursery school.

“I really enjoy working with children because it is so rewarding, the idea of impacting a child’s life is really important.”

Suspected case of bacterial meningitis -link attached to letter from Public Health England

It is with the deepest sympathy and respect that we are sad to inform you of a tragedy that occurred over the weekend, as a child who attends the nursery has passed away.  The medical team have not made a formal diagnosis but this was a suspected or probable case of bacterial meningitis.

We have been asked by Public Health England to share the following information on the signs and symptoms of bacterial meningitis with you on. Having spoken to the relevant agencies on the telephone this morning we want to reassure you that the risk of becoming infected with bacterial meningitis is very low. The most important thing as parents is to be vigilant about the signs and symptoms of this disease and if you are in any way concerned about your child to seek medical help.

Please click this link to access the letter from Public Health England:  Public Health England

We ask that you be discrete and respect the family’s need for privacy at this distressing time and not to speculate about this on social media, as this kind of activity only adds to the level of upset.

We send our deepest condolences to the family at this time.

Wearing Professionally Fitted Shoes to Nursery

Please bring your child to nursery in professionally fitted shoes eg Clarks, once they are up and walking. The reason for this request is three-fold.

Firstly, children’s bones are very soft and so ill-fitting shoes, or even socks and baby grows that are too tight, can affect the development of the foot, and therefore gait, walking and running.

Secondly, children in wellington boots or fashion trainers, with an inflexible sole, cause more slips, trips and falls.  This is usually where the child just ‘trips over their own feet’, or trips on a step or ramp, because they do not have the stability, kinaesthetic awareness or developmental confidence to deal with boots all day.

The last reason is comfort and if children are comfortable they are settled and so learning.

Thank you very much for your help with this.

Do dummies affect speech in young children?

Whether to use a dummy or not can be a controversial topic, especially when you are trying to get your baby to sleep at 2am in the morning before a busy day ahead at work, but what are the pros and cons of dummies.

This is an excellent article which helps you objectively weigh up the advantages and disadvantages, but as you can see, it draws its conclusions that after a child’s first birthday and during waking hours, on balance, the disadvantages outweigh the benefits.  We believe this is especially so at nursery, where children are interacting with adults and other children throughout the day and so the dummy will affect your child’s speech and so learning.

If you want any help and support in how to ‘drop the dummy’ during the day, please let your key person know as we will be happy to help and support, and go on that journey together, it could be something easy like we don’t take our dummy to nursery, dummies stay at home and then building on the period of time from there, so this can be achieved both at nursery and at home.

Keeping children of all ages safe online

Having just been on a safeguarding course, I wanted to share a link and some information with you on how to keep children of all ages safe online.

Often, as parents, we can feel overwhelmed with the speed of change and keeping up with what our children are doing online.  This website from the NSPCC and O2 might help.  Net-ware helps you check, as you can check the social media site or game for its suitability.

Whilst this is important for older children, you may wonder why or how this is relevant to nursery aged children.  Children are becoming more techno savvy at a younger and younger age, some have older brothers and sisters and so may be exposed to this kind of stuff earlier on? Otherwise, children can often ask to use our phones, and it can be tempting to offer them it, especially if we are busy when we are out and about.  If you do, just be aware of the apps that you have on your phone and what has a live video streaming facility.

Let us know if you want any more information on this, and Leanna, Nicole or I will be able to help

Encouraging resilience in young children

At our recent parent information evening on Learning at Nursery, Learning at Home the topic of how to encourage resilience came up, and as promised, I said I would write a blog on it.

The government recognise resilience particularly in the early years and have called these traits Characteristics of Effective Learning.  Personally, I am also undertaking a literature review for my dissertation on what we can do as practitioners to encourage children to keep on trying and keep on thinking, so this blog is a quick summary both of the government focus, and that of my literature review.

The government’s so called  Characteristics of Effective Learning are:  Playing and Exploring – or being engaged in what you are doing; Active Learning – also known as being motivated; and Creating and Thinking Critical – AKA thinking.

It is generally recognised that if we are aware of each of these traits, we can tune into them and so encourage them more as adults whether we are early years practitioners or parents (or both!)

The following table breaks each of these desirable traits down into what we can do as adults, and what we can provide around us be it at home or at nursery.

 

Click here  for a link to the actual pages this was taken from for anyone who wants additional reading!

Encouraging our children to be tenacious and to keep on trying is so important.  We know that children can be like butterflies and start with an idea or a task and drop it quickly, so what can we do?  As an adult it is so important to show an interest in what your child is doing.  This can be:

·         Being generally interested

·         Modelling thinking and problem solving ourselves

·         Externally ‘narrating’ our own thought processes when we are solving a problem eg “We’ve got a problem here…. I wonder what we are going to do?”

·         Using thinking and problem solving language in our everyday speech

·         Reflecting, reconsidering and reminiscing with your child about a time when you solved a problem so that you actively revisit it… “Do you remember when we had an issue with that? And we did this?”

·         Actively encouraging speculation…. “I wonder what will happen if we….?”

·         Being open and not having a fixed idea to a solution.

On this last point, we can all take a moment to stand back and learn from and with children.  They are so fresh in their thinking.  I have a personal example I want to leave you with.  When I was doing my Early Years Teacher training a number of years ago I was being assessed by my tutor.  I had a beautiful activity set up where were going to make ‘lava lamps’, mixing oil, food colouring and water to see how they separated and the liquids move around each other.  It didn’t go to plan!  The food colouring just sat in a big blob at the bottom in of the large kilner jars and it obviously wasn’t going to mix with anything.  What was I going to do?  How did I take it forward?  Just as the sweat started to prickle on my neck I proposed a quick “I wonder question…” partly to play for time.  One of the little girls piped up – “why don’t we get a stick from the garden? We could mix it with that”.  We went to find a stick, and quickly the activity changed from a science experiment to us mixing colours in the water and oil.  We soon ended up with a colour mixing activity and several jars of brown liquid.  The children had helped me solve a problem and we had so much fun learning.  Children really do ground you and help you keep an open mind, encouraging us to keep on trying.

Suitable Footwear

The most important part of any child’s outfit is their shoes. Too tight, too loose, too narrow, too wide – any of these things can cause damage to growing feet that can cause trouble even into adulthood.

Because children’s feet grow so fast, you should get their feet measured every time you buy them new shoes, particularly school shoes, which they’ll most likely wear more than any other. Indeed, it is estimated that the average child will take one million steps in them.

Because less than a third of children fit a regular size, consider shoe ranges with half sizes and different widths. Never go bigger for them to grow into – poorly fitting loose shoes can cause blisters and don’t support growing feet. Conversely, don’t take the attitude of waiting to buy your child a new pair until you absolutely have to. Shoes that are too tight can be agony and can cause foot deformities including bunions. Until they’re four of five years old, children grow two full sizes a year on average – and even after that, it works out about a shoe size every year.

Think carefully about the particular stage of your child’s development – are they crawling, cruising, wobbly walking, confident walking, stomping (toddlers) or properly walking (starts around the age of three and five). Their shoes need to provide the right weight, support and flexibility to cope with the task in hand.

Durability matters. You don’t want your child’s shoes to be worn out before they grow out of them. And think about how easy the shoes are to get on and off – it’s no good buying lace-up shoes, for instance, if they can’t even tie a bow confidently.

(The Independent, 2016)

Top tips for keeping little feet healthy

  1. Measure Regularly

Your baby’s feet can grow up to 3 sizes in their first year.

  1. Right shoes, right stage

Choose shoes specially designed for crawling /cruising to ensure the right support.

  1. Wash and trim

Wash and carefully dry your baby’s feet every day, and trim toenails regularly.

  1. Go natural

Choose socks made from natural fibres, like cotton, to help keep feet cool.

  1. Just ask

The team at Clarks are experts in foot care and on hand to help with whatever you need.

(Clarks, 2017)

For more information visit https://www.clarks.co.uk/kids-foothealth

At Teepee we request that you provide supportive indoor and outdoor shoes for your child. This can be slippers with hard bottoms or sturdy shoes for indoor use and suitable sturdy shoes or wellie boots for outdoor use.

But, my child LOVES wellies?

Wellies are essential for splashing in puddles and wet days however we ask that wellie boots are used just for the garden as these are not suitable for indoor use, or for wearing for long periods of time.

Internet Safety – How to Keep Your Child Safe Online

The internet is always changing, and being able to keep up to date with your children’s use of technology may be a challenge, especially if you feel that your children may have better technical skills than you do.

Children love using technology and are learning to navigate websites, online games and touch screen technology like iPads and smartphones from a young age.

Latest Ofcom research has shown that 94% of 5-15 year olds live in a household with internet access and over a third of all 3-4 year olds are now accessing the internet in their homes.  We know that children need support in these environments, to get the best out of using the internet, and there are real advantages in making sure that children are supported in their internet use right from the start.

These eight frequently asked questions will provide you with useful information and tips that you can put in to place at home, to help keep your youngest children safe online.

How can I support my child to use the Internet safely?

  • Active engagement and conversations with your children are key.  Ask your children to tell you about their interests and what they enjoy playing online.  Take time to explore the games and services that your children are using, or want to use, and look out for any safety features that may be available.  This will give you a better understanding of the different ways that children are engaging with technology and help you to feel more confident.
  • Ask them if they know what to do if they feel something is not safe?  What does your child already know?  Make sure that your children know that they can come and talk to you (without necessarily getting into trouble) if they see anything that worries them on the internet, and encourage them to feel confident enough to do so.  Other immediate strategies to deal with unwanted content or contact could include; switch the screen off, close the laptop, exit the website, or turn the iPad or phone over and put it down.
  • Think about what parental controls are in place already?  Do you need to review this controls?
  • There are free parental controls and filters available, to help you set safer boundaries for your children, but you will usually be required to set them up.  Your internet service provider (such as BT or TalkTalk) will provide free filters to help block age inappropriate content for children, and on the UK Safer Internet Centre website you can watch video tutorials that show you how to find and set these up.
  • Many games allow children to play with other internet users and may have chat features enabled.  Some games provide a safe chat mode where simple predetermined phrases can be used. Talk to your child about what is okay to share and what is not okay to share online.
  • Gaming may be the very first way that your child encounters life online. Some games however are for adults or older audiences and contain images, content and language that are not suitable for children. Therefore it is important that the games your children play are the correct age rating.  Like film classifications, these ratings are determined by the game’s content, and all video games sold in the UK are clearly marked with age ratings set by PEGI(Pan European Games Information).  Some online games may also be age rated or be classified PEGI OK.  Familiarise yourself with the different PEGI icons so you are aware of what type of game you allowing your child to access.

 

Sent on behalf of Public Health

LEVEL 3 HEATWAVE ALERT: HEATWAVE ACTION

The Met Office has issued a Level 3 Heatwave Alert for the period 0900 on Monday and 0900 on

Thursday: temperatures expected to be at/over 31oc day/16oc night for the next few days.   

Keeping cool in hot weather is very important for health, especially for young children who are less able to control their body heat effectively.

Children under 4 and those with disabilities or complex health needs are at greater risk of heat-related illness which can range from mild heat stress to potentially life-threatening heatstroke. The main risk from heat is dehydration (not having enough water in the body).

If sensible precautions are taken children are unlikely to be adversely affected by hot conditions please see the following publication for advice:

Looking after children and those in early years settings during heatwaves: guidance for teachers and professionals

Please also share the following advice with parents/carers a(and staff)

Staying Safe in Hot weather

Heat stress, heat exhaustion and heat stroke

Please make sure you are aware of the signs and symptoms of heat related illness and actions you can take to help.

If you are concerned about anyone call NHS 111 for advice. In an emergency 

 

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