We have entered a time where there is a growing focus on the need to take urgent action to protect our planet. So it only makes sense to try to instill this focus to the future generation!
The Early Years Alliance believe that by helping children to understand and connect with the world they live in, those working with young children have a unique opportunity to embed new ways of thinking, rather than trying to change already-entrenched attitudes and habits, as is so often the case with adults.
Which is why this year’s Alliance National Week of Play, which will run from Monday 13 to Sunday 19 June, is focused specifically on eco-sustainability and how by opening children’s eyes to the awe and wonder of the world through play, we can support their growing understanding of how important it is to protect it, whilst still having fun.
We have been using this concept since our first Tops Day Nursery opened in 1990 and we’ve never looked back. Becoming the first day nursery chain in the UK to achieve B Corp accreditation and winning a Queens Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development, we are being recognised for our excellence in sustainable development, and because we have provided inspiration and are genuinely driving change to our sector.
So, how do we teach our children about sustainability and protecting our planet through play?
We believe in teaching our children about the environment and the impact we have on the planet so that they, in turn, can make a difference and take action as they grow up. Some examples of sustainable education in our settings, include; many books, pictures, displays show images of men and women that do not conform to social and cultural stereotypes; children regularly use services such as libraries, communal vegetable gardens; children take part in story telling to encourage the discussion of social and cultural sustainability and interdependence; children are involved in purchasing decisions, recycling, conserving resources; children are encouraged to identify a range of environmental protection issues and to suggest their own ideas for solving them; children routinely participate in projects and group activities to explore, investigate and understand environmental issues in their daily lives. Learn more here.
During all of our activities we ensure there is a teachable moment, so the children can have fun whilst learning something that is so important to our future.
What do we do to ensure we are being sustainable in practice?
There are many things we do on a day to day basis to ensure we are being sustainable in practice. For example, we make our own natural, organic baby wipes, we use reusable nappies, we use natural and upcycled resources, we grow our own fruit and veg in our gardens and much more! You can view all our sustainable methods in practice here.
Providing happy, nurturing childcare for the hours you need, across over 30 nursery settings in: Babbacombe, Plymouth, Bournemouth, Charminster, Copnor, Fawley, Gillingham, Corfe Mullen, Havant, Lakeside, Lymington, Taunton, Newport, Poole, Portsmouth, Salisbury, Southsea, Wareham, Wimborne, Winchester and Yeovil.