It has been a busy and emotional week in our house. I have been moving Far’n’Beyond to a new purpose built design and production studio, Baby A has decided he wants to do everything, Mrs M has been helping with HG awareness, and most importantly, Little M has started the transition from Nursery to Primary School!
I didn’t really appreciate what a landmark starting school was for a parent until this past month. We have been very fortunate that we have been able to choose our routine with childcare. Little M has gone for two mornings and one full day since he was a year old at two nurseries in Leeds.
As we embark on a new experience and time fades our memories, I felt it was an important to take note of the excellent childcare that has helped Little M grow and develop through these most important early years.
First, it was at Children’s Corner in Headingley. A small and cosy home from home environment in a little woodland area just off Otley road with just 20 children from 6months to 4years. It was perfect for him and appealed to us as due to its unsanitised approach to childcare and because all the children were in the same room (separated by a baby gate).
Clean, Safe and Friendly, it is filled with household objects, craft spaces, and an outdoor play area. It was real life and taught him to be creative and start to form relationships with other children thanks to his key workers Natalie and Emma.
As we moved to the other side of Leeds, we began our search for a new nursery, and after looking at several around East Leeds, we knew instantly that Sweet Peas in Garforth would be the perfect place for his next step.
Sweet Peas is a Non-profit social enterprise at the back of Monkey Maze. Moving straight into the Family Room, Little M took a little while to settle into his new environment, but thanks to the whole team and particularly his key worker Lucy, we have watched him thrive over the last two years.
The Family Room is open plan, split into several areas featuring zones such as building and construction, reading, fancy dress, active play and touch screen board. There is also a large outdoor play area which is always open. This free flow play and the structured activities offered at Sweet Peas was perfect for Little M’s development.
Key to the success of the nursery is the people who work there. The mix of personalities, which also includes several male team members are all professional, enthusiastic and supportive of the children and understanding of our parenting style.
His confidence, communication, independence and social skills have all improved in a great environment. I could list all the people who have made a difference, but special mentions have to go to Lucy for being a rock to our little boy and Emma who has managed to find jobs, crafts, and activities to keep him busy!
We have been so fortunate, finding two nurseries in Leeds, that were a perfect fit for our child and whilst everyone is searching for something different, both have helped prepare Little M for Primary School through these key years in his development.
As a result, he is ready to leave and start his next adventure, it is Mrs M and I who are the emotional ones – but that’s perhaps because we understand how valuable his time at nursery and the people there have been in developing his personality.