Feb 19, 2009

Exploring Childcare Choices: Nurseries vs. Grandparents

Mother and daughter talking to a nursery practitioner and holding a branded nursery bag with teddy mascot in hands

This week, a report has emerged, igniting a heated debate in the media. It asserts that children who receive care at nurseries demonstrate significantly enhanced social skills and smoother transitions into school, in comparison to those cared for by grandparents. The findings certainly raise some intriguing questions.

A new report sparks debate

It’s not surprising that the coexistence of children in a group setting at nurseries facilitates a smoother transition into formal schooling. Additionally, the structured environment in nurseries somewhat resembles the school setting, potentially offering an advantage

However, it is important to note that children who are cared for by grandparents do tend to have better speech development, largely due to the amount of one-to-one attention they get but also due to the one-on-one attention and the tendency of some grandparents to replace activities with meaningful conversations.  This is an area that we should be working harder at within nursery settings and it is encouraging that the new Early Years Foundation Stage places such emphasis on children having a Key Person, who forms a special relationship with them and is undoubtedly one of the main influences on language development.

The Freedom of Choice for Parents

As a working mother, I’ve personally cherished the support of my parents, who provided childcare when nursery wasn’t an option or when minor illnesses kept the children home. In today’s world, parents face a multitude of choices, and it’s vital that we refrain from passing judgment on what works best for each family. Whether it’s grandparents, nurseries, or a combination of both, reports like these offer valuable insights to help us make the most informed decisions for our children’s well-being.

For more information on this report see here


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