At Tops Day Nurseries our ethos is to provide respectful childcare, all staff undertake Respectful Childcare training in order to be able to implement a consistent amount of respect across all ages, from babies to school-aged children.
There are 3 key principles to respectful childcare:
Primary caregiving, Freedom of movement, and Respect for infants’ confidence and competence.
1. Primary Care
Primary caregiving is focused on the special relationship between a small group of children and individual teachers or caregivers, we call it the Key Person approach. It is easier for you and your child to bond with one or two adults to start with to enable a happy settling in period and on-going relationship in the nursery. We need to get to know you and will help you to get to know us, to enable your children to develop the best way for them.
Tops offer children the
opportunity to learn how to react during care routines, such as nappy changes,
getting dressed, face and nose-wiping, hand washing, sleep routines, meal times etc. For example, if a child needs to have their nose wiped and is refusing to let the staff member help, it is more respectful for the staff member talk to them and demonstrate what they are going to do and show empathy. By doing this, the child will be more willing to accept help, as opposed to an alternative method of going up behind a child and cleaning their nose without warning, for example. Nurseries have ‘tissue stations’, where Pre-school children are able to help themselves to a tissue and use a mirror to blow their own nose. This gives the child self-confidence to know they have the option to do it on their own or are able to ask a member of staff if they need it, ready for school and life.
2. Freedom of movement
Freedom of movement is essential for your children to develop their minds and emotions as well as their bodies. Staff encourage babies to build their tummy muscles by placing toys out of reach, meaning they need to stretch to grab items, and this also counts as one of the first parts of physical development. They learn how to look up, left, and right to see people and objects. Moving their head around helps the development of their skull, as well as strengthening their neck, shoulders, and trunk. Later on, these muscles will let them sit up and their eye muscles will also get stronger as your little one looks around.
Babies who don’t get much tummy time may be slower to develop than babies who do. This means that it may take a little longer for them to reach major milestones, such as rolling over, sitting up, or crawling. At Tops Day Nurseries we never use restrictive equipment such as baby floor seats or baby bouncers as these limit children’s natural body movements.
3. Respect for confidence and competence
The third aspect of respectful childcare is having respect for confidence and competence. One of the main factors a nursery practitioner can engage in is involving children in the process of activities.
Whether it is changing a nappy, washing hands, changing clothes or taking part in activities, children benefit from commentary, for example ‘can I change your nappy’ and at meal times staff can talk to the children about where the food comes from.
Babies benefit from being offered choices, this helps with behaviour when they are given the option to do something distracting during a tantrum. Inviting children to engage and waiting for a response allows them to acknowledge their competence and value. It is also important for staff to be trained in having the knowledge to interpret children’s body language and gestures and respond sensitively to them.
All staff at Tops Day Nurseries create a strong belief for all caregivers in the setting through shared goals and are always able to support without interfering.