Every morning Beth wakes up bright and early ready to open the nursery doors at 7:30am. But before parents begin to arrive with their children, YMCA staff have a number of important tasks to complete in preparation for the busy day ahead.
At 7:15 am, Beth visits the laundry room and sorts through the washing, making sure there are enough freshly cleaned face cloths and bedding for the day, then the cleaning continues with emptying the dishwasher and a general wiping down of her rooms.
She carefully checks which children she’ll be caring for that day and prepares their individual water bottles, each of which include a picture of the child and their name tag.
Beth then checks the communication book to keep updated on any important messages for the day, then a register is placed in each room ready for the parents to begin signing in their little ones.
As parents and children are welcomed into the nursery, Beth sets up activities around the room then prepares nutritious breakfasts and feeds the children their favourite cereal.
“I love hearing the children’s morning stories and finding out what they have been up to over the weekends and evenings and seeing their smiling faces when they talk about their home life.”
Other staff members arrive and a thorough handover is done to ensure everyone is fully informed of any updates.
The children’s day begins by singing hello to each other, encouraging socialisation and communication. They then get stuck into a number of fun and sometimes messy activities which staff members design specifically around each child’s individual interests.
After working up an appetite, Beth provides a healthy snack for all of the children, providing them with plenty of nutrition and fuel to move onto the next activity…a run around the outdoor play area (weather permitting)!
As the children return inside, Beth tidies up the nursery with their help, encouraging healthy habits and cleanliness. She then reads a story with a very attentive audience before heading to the bathroom where all the children sign a song about washing their hands.
Lunch and Nap
Beth plates up the children’s lunches, checking each meal carefully for any special requirements and joins the children around the table, all eating nicely together. She then sorts out the dishes, cleans the dining area and helps the children scrub down, ready for an afternoon nap.
Once Beth has a number of the children dozing peacefully in the sensory room, she enjoys jigsaws, mark making and building activities with those who are not so tired.
Beth has a quick lunch break herself then at 1pm she says goodbye to some children and welcomes those excited for the afternoon childcare session.
New activities are set up while the children in the sensory room begin to wake and Beth prepares more delicious snacks.
Coats are put on the children ready for more outdoor play, then Beth and the children tidy up from the previous activities and get ready for tea time!
Parents arrive to pick up their little ones between 4pm and 6pm which is a crucial time for Beth to provide feedback to the parents/ guardians; updating them on what their child ate, what activities they enjoyed and any other important information they need to know about.
Once all the children have gone to their homes, Beth then gives the nursery a rigorous tidy and prepares to do it all again the following day.
“I’m lucky enough to really enjoy what I do for a living. For me it’s not just a job, it’s an opportunity to have a real positive impact on the children’s lives and I’m always learning about new ways to communicate with them and make sure they get the best out of their childcare sessions.”