Tag Archive for: babies

24 Parenting Quotes to Amuse Every Parent

As we research and write our blog articles each month, we often stumble upon amusing quotes by parents along the way. So, today we share 24 that made us smile or even laugh out loud. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did. Some resonate in ways that are perhaps not totally ‘PC’ (but that’s what makes them funny), while others are just plain hilarious because they so accurately highlight the challenges parents can face. The Ryan Reynolds quote at the start always brings a smile to our faces but the ‘toddler with a Sharpie’ quote near the end is our outright favourite in this particular collection.

Share these parenting quotes on social media, pin them on Pinterest, bookmark them and/or link to them however you like.

If viewing on a tablet or desktop screen, click any quotation to see it larger, then use the forward/back arrows to scroll through them all at that size …

We hope you enjoyed this selection of parenting quotes – we’ll follow up with more at some time in the future if so.

A Fabulous Nursery & Pre-school in Streatham, London SW16

Are you looking for a good nursery in Streatham, or near to Furzedown, Tooting, Balham, Norbury or Colliers Wood?

Little Cedars is a nursery & pre-school offering high quality childcare in Streatham, near Tooting, Tooting Bec, Tooting Common, Tooting Broadway, Furzedown, Balham, Norbury and Colliers Wood.Ofsted rate Little Cedars Day Nursery as a Good ProviderIf you are looking for a good nursery/pre-school in Streatham, or near Streatham Hill, Streatham Park, Streatham Common or Furzedown, do consider Little Cedars Nursery. It’s incredibly important to choose the best nursery or pre-school for your child and doing so will give them the very best start in life. Ofsted rate Little Cedars as a ‘good’ nursery — in every category. We’re also very conveniently located if you’re looking for good childcare services within easy travelling distance of Tooting, Tooting Bec, Tooting Broadway, Tooting Common, Balham, Norbury or Colliers Wood. Contact Little Cedars Nursery today to get started on a high quality childcare place for your child, or simply book a tour and we’ll be happy to show you around:

Little Cedars is a Good Nursery — It’s Official!

Little Cedars is a good nursery — and that’s now official! The Ofsted Report for the nursery was published on 15th July 2022, based on Ofsted’s inspection of the childcare setting in mid-June.

“… a family atmosphere, where all children play happily together.”

We’re delighted to confirm that Ofsted rate the nursery as ‘Good’ in every single category. It’s wonderful to have official recognition of the high quality childcare service that we offer at the Streatham nursery. Parents of children at the nursery/pre-school will also, no doubt, be pleased to receive independent confirmation that their children are receiving high quality childcare and early years education provision, with good safeguarding measures being in place. So — approval across the board.

A ‘Good’ Ofsted Rating in EVERY category

A Good Ofsted rating for Little Cedars Nursery in StreathamHere’s how Ofsted rate Little Cedars Nursery:

  • The quality of education is officially ‘Good’
  • Behaviour & attitudes are officially ‘Good’
  • The opportunity for personal development is officially ‘Good’
  • The quality of leadership & management is also officially ‘Good’

Click here to download the full Ofsted Report for Little Cedars Day Nursery, Streatham or read the key findings below.

What Ofsted Says About Little Cedars Day Nursery

As you’ll see, the inspector sang the praises of staff and their relationships with children. They were clearly impressed with the way they reassure, encourage, keep them safe and nurture appropriate behaviours.

“Children have good relationships with staff and each other … They offer lots of cuddles and reassurance, which helps children feel safe and secure.

In regard to the early years curriculum, the Ofsted Inspector said:

“Children make good progress and enjoy an ambitious curriculum of well-planned activities based on their learning needs and interests.”

They also commented about the nursery’s wonderful outdoor area and its benefits:

“… children develop good physical skills and gain lots of exercise and fresh air in the large outside play area.”

The Inspector also remarked on the pleasure, knowledge and hands-on experience that children get from the nursery’s pet chickens, chicks, rabbits, lizard and stick insects, remarking that it, “enables children to actively learn about nature and gain hands-on experience of caring for living things.

What About Children With Additional Needs?

In regard to supporting children with additional needs, the Inspector said:

“Children who have additional needs are making good progress from their starting points. Managers and staff offer highly effective support and work closely with parents and other agencies … enabling targeted support that helps children reach their full potential.”

What Else Does Little Cedars Day Nursery Do Well?

The Ofsted report has a long list of things the Inspector said Little Cedars does well. A few examples follow:

“Staff … work cooperatively as a team and show high regard to promoting inclusive practice. This creates a family atmosphere, where all children play happily together.”

Parents also gave the Ofsted Inspector wonderful feedback about the nursery/pre-school:

“Parents give positive comments about the quality of care. They value the support from the manager and staff when completing assessments and comment that the staff are kind and friendly.”

Also, in regard to children whose first language is not English:

“Parents say that their children have learned to speak English quickly … Children who speak English as an additional language are supported well … Consequently, children are making good progress and their understanding and use of English [is] rapidly improving.”

The Inspector also sang the praises of creative play activities at the nursery, helping them “to develop their free creative expression.”

Effective Safeguarding

The Ofsted Inspection also found the arrangements for safeguarding to be effective. It was clear that the training in this area is regarded as high quality and sustained, with good procedures and regular risk assessments in place to keep children safe. Children’s safety and wellbeing is, after all, at the forefront of our minds at all times.

Why Ofsted Reports are Important

Ofsted reports are important because they are undertaken by highly knowledgeable, independent professionals and also factor in feedback from a variety of stakeholders. So, they take account not only of the views of the Ofsted inspector who visits on the day, but also feedback from parents, staff and even children from the setting. The inspector also appraises the nursery/pre-school setting in action, additionally ensuring that records, staff vetting, qualifications, safeguarding and quality of teaching are all up to scratch. Little Cedars passed in every area, with flying colours.

A Good Nursery/Pre-school in Streatham for your Baby, Toddler or Under-5 Child

Little Cedars Nursery and pre-school: high quality childcare in Streatham, near Furzedown, Tooting, Balham, Norbury & Colliers Wood.

Little Cedars is a nursery & pre-school offering high quality childcare in Streatham, near Tooting, Tooting Bec, Tooting Common, Tooting Broadway, Furzedown, Balham, Norbury and Colliers Wood.Ofsted rate Little Cedars Day Nursery as a Good ProviderChoose a good nursery/pre-school for your child in Streatham, which is also very near to Streatham Hill, Streatham Park, Streatham Common and Furzedown. We’re also very conveniently located if you’re looking for a good weekday childcare service near Tooting, Tooting Bec, Tooting Broadway, Tooting Common, Balham, Norbury or Colliers Wood. Contact us to arrange a guided visit with your child, to apply for a nursery or pre-school place, or to ask any questions. Please choose a contact method from the buttons below and we’ll be very happy to help:

Sleep Safety for Babies & Infants (New Guidance)

Sadly, SIDS and other sleep-related issues are responsible for nearly 200 infant deaths in the UK & 3,500 every year in the U.S.June 2022 has seen the release of a new set of recommendations that outline ways to reduce the likelihood of sleep-related deaths amongst babies and infants up to the age of 1. This includes, but is not limited to, deaths related to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Sadly, SIDS and other sleep-related issues are responsible for nearly 200 infant deaths in the UK each year and up to a staggering 3,500 every year in the United States. Perhaps even more surprisingly, that last number has not reduced at all in the last 30 or so years. This new set of recommendations from experts in the U.S. aims to change that and is something that all parents need to take a look at if they have a baby or infant. Let’s take a look at the new guidance …

“…simple is best: babies should always sleep in a crib or bassinet [static cradle], on their back, without soft toys, pillows, blankets or other bedding.”

According to the new 2022 report, parents and carers of babies/infants should follow the following guidelines:

Things to Avoid:

Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, opioids and the taking of illicit drugs during and after pregnancy.
Avoid allowing infants to sleep on their side and never let them sleep face-down. Some parents may have concerns about their child choking when placed (rightly) on their backs when sleeping, particularly if they suffer from gastroesophageal reflux (GER). However, the latest guidance explains how the child’s anatomy protects against choking and this is best explained in a short video.
Avoid sharing your bed with a baby or infant. Statistically, infants are at significantly greater risk of SIDS or injury in a shared bed. The AAP, authors of the new guidance, even go as far as saying that they do not support the practice under any circumstances.
Co-bedding (bed sharing) by twins, triplets, etc. is not recommended and the new guidance says that any perceived benefit of siblings co-bedding is simply outweighed by the risks.
Avoid the use of crib ‘bumpers’ because infants can roll against these, get into breathing difficulties and even die from lack of oxygen (as has sadly happened).

“Loungers and pillow-like products are not safe for infant sleep, due to the risk of suffocation,” (CPSC)

For exactly the same reason, avoid the use of blankets and any kind of pillow, including those not intended for sleep. Indeed, some ‘Boppy’ pillows and ‘loungers’ have been recalled after being linked to the death of several infants, according to USA Today(∞). The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has also issued warnings about Podster, Podster Plush, Bummzie, and Podster Playtime infant loungers.(∞)
In regard to soft bedding, avoid putting weighted blankets, sleepers, swaddles or anything else that’s weighted in or near to a sleeping infant.
Avoid the use of inclined ‘sleepers’ and rockers for sleeping infants — or anything that puts the infant into an inclined or scrunched-up position. An incline may cause the child to roll and then get into breathing difficulties. That could potentially prove fatal due to suffocation. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and latest guidance advises that you should never allow a baby to sleep on an incline of more than 10 degrees.

“Keep soft objects, such as pillows, pillow-like toys, quilts, comforters, mattress toppers, fur-like materials, and loose bedding, such as blankets and non-fitted sheets, away from the infant’s sleep area to reduce the risk of SIDS, suffocation, entrapment/wedging, and strangulation.”

Also avoid allowing infants to sleep routinely in car seats, strollers, infant carriers or slings and similar and certainly never leave them unattended in them.
The new guidance also states that couches and armchairs are particularly dangerous places for infants to sleep, so should be avoided. Data suggests that the risks to infants are anywhere from 22 to 67 times greater when they’re allowed to play or sleep in such places.
Avoid putting hats on your infant indoors as it could cause overheating. Exceptions, however, include possible use during the first few hours of life (under close supervision) or if deemed necessary by medical professionals, e.g. for new born intensive care.
The new guidance also suggests that parents should not rely on heart rate and pulse oximetry monitors as marketed to consumers. These, they say, may not meet the same standards as their professional, medical counterparts. Moreover, possible complacency stemming from use of such monitors in place of following the other proactive guidelines may ironically — and potentially tragically — turn out to be more detrimental to their infant’s wellbeing.

Things to Do:

Ensure the baby/infant sleeps on a flat, firm, non-inclined surface, lying in the ‘supine’ position (on their backs). Sleeping flat, on their backs allows optimum intake of oxygen and is also the best sleeping position for development of spine and hips. A completely flat surface also makes it less easy for a child to raise/flex their trunk and lift their head, which may otherwise make it easier for them to roll onto their side or back, each of which would represent a higher risk to their wellbeing.
Ensure bedside sleepers, cribs, bassinets (static cribs) and suchlike are suitably sized and adhere to your country’s safety guidelines. They should also have a tightly fitting crib mattress (so the baby cannot get trapped in a gap), covered by a secure, fitted sheet with no other bedding or objects around.
Instead of using quilts, swaddles, sheets or blankets to keep your baby or infant warm when sleeping (such things are potentially dangerous to them), dress them in appropriate clothing layers when sleeping or use ‘wearable blankets’ that fit in place around their bodies — but which, critically, cannot rise over their heads/faces or otherwise entrap or strangle them.
The new guidance also recommends that infants sleep in the same room as parents, on a separate (flat) surface that’s designed for infants, close to their bed. This should be for a minimum of 6 months ideally and evidence suggests that this alone could reduce the risk of SIDS by as much as 50%.
Offering the baby/infant a pacifier encourages the tongue to move to a forward position, which reduces obstruction in breathing. Pacifiers also encourage babies to remain sleeping on their backs. It is indeed a measure that’s associated with reduced instance of SIDS, although the new guidance recommends that pacifiers are not offered until breastfeeding has been “firmly established”.
Where possible, human breast milk is recommended in preference to formula and is indeed associated with lower rates of SIDS. Furthermore, even better protection is achieved when infants are breast fed for a longer term. The new guidance recommends feeding human milk exclusively for the first 6 months when possible.
Other common sense precautions should be made, such as ensuring that there are no other hazards near the sleeping infant, for example, pull cords, window blind cords, electric wires, etc.
Regular ‘tummy time’ is also recommended each day to help babies/infants develop stronger upper bodies and enhance motor skills. These will be useful to the infant if they do manage to turn themselves over or onto their sides etc. Learn more about the benefits of tummy time and how much infants require here.

Tummy Time is just one way to help infants stay stronger and safer, even when it comes to sleep.PLEASE NOTE: we have summarised key points from the new guidance in good faith but advise parents/carers of babies and infants to do their own research. More information and greater detail can be read in the full AAP publication here. If you have any concerns about your child’s sleep, health or wellbeing, please seek the advice of a doctor or health professional. You can also explore the importance of sleep for babies, toddlers and preschoolers in our guide, here.

Looking for the Best Nursery or Pre-school in Streatham, Tooting or Balham?

Little Cedars Nursery and pre-school offers the highest quality childcare. Based in Streatham, it’s also convenient for weekday childcare near Furzedown, Tooting, Balham, Norbury & Colliers Wood.

Little Cedars is a nursery & pre-school offering high quality childcare in Streatham, near Tooting, Tooting Bec, Tooting Common, Tooting Broadway, Furzedown, Balham, Norbury and Colliers Wood.Are you looking for the best childcare nursery or pre-school in Streatham, close to Streatham Hill, Streatham Park, Streatham Common or Furzedown? Little Cedars offers a wonderful childcare service in Streatham and is also conveniently near to Tooting, Tooting Bec, Tooting Broadway, Tooting Common, Balham, Norbury and Colliers Wood. To arrange a tour of the setting, to apply for a nursery place, or simply to ask any questions, please get in touch and we’ll be delighted to help:

20 Ways to Childproof Your Home
Young children will be fully mobile and even attempting to climb in no time at all.Once babies can crawl, they’re well on their way to becoming toddlers. Then, in no time at all, they can suddenly become fully mobile, able to climb and even be out of your sight in just seconds. With this new mobility comes exploration, the potential for danger and even possible injury. With that in mind, we bring you 20 ways to begin childproofing your home to keep little ones safer and further from harm’s way.

1. Safety Gates

Safety gates are a great way to keep your child confined to a safe, controlled area, particularly near stairs.Safety gates, strategically placed around the home, are a great way to keep your little one confined to a safer, controlled area. There are lots of different types available, whether new or second-hand, but make sure they’re made to UK safety standards. Some are suitable for doorways and others for stairs. Using safety gates to keep young children away from stairs, kitchens and other hazardous places really is a no-brainer and a great place to start with your childproofing exercise.

2. Clear Glass Safety

Clear floor-to-ceiling glass is also a hazard once children are mobile.Clear floor-to-ceiling glass is also a hazard once children are mobile. Therefore such glass, whether part of a window, patio door, glass partition or conservatory should ideally not be clear all the way down. Otherwise, an unsuspecting child — or even adult — could find themselves running straight through what they thought was an opening. An easy way to ensure glass can be seen as a barrier is to use strategically placed stickers dotted around on the glass. These could be fun and attractive, for example little flower or butterfly stickers. Alternatively, you can even buy modern-looking ‘frosting’ strips that, when applied in one or more horizontal stripes or shapes at an appropriate height, will make clear glass more visible to you and your child. Guards are, of course, another possible temporary option.

3. Cupboard Security

Even plants can be a hazard to young children.Whether they’re in the kitchen, on the landing, under the stairs or elsewhere, cupboards can represent a number of possible hazards to children. Fingers can be hurt if shut in the doors or near the hinges and the cupboards themselves can contain any number of dangerous things. Therefore, it’s wise to obtain some childproof locks, latches or catches for cupboard doors that you don’t want your child to be able to open. These are often simple, easy to affix (and remove when children are older) and can be inexpensive if you shop around.

4. Window & Door Security

Door and window security is essential around young children.Similarly, ensure that entrance/exit doors throughout your home are secure where they need to be. Front doors, doors to gardens, balconies and patios all need to be particularly well secured from access by young children, whether through locks, latches or specialist childproofing mechanisms (there are lots available on the market). Similarly, windows need to be secure and that’s never more true than when there’s a nasty drop the other side.

5. Door Stops & Wedges

Door stops and door wedges are a simple and inexpensive way to make doors safer to little ones. With children’s fingers small enough to get into hinges, under doors or to be potentially shut in them when they close, door stops, door wedges and ‘finger guards’ are a complete no-brainer and are quick and easy to affix.

6. Hazardous Machines & Gizmos

Young children should not be able to access ovens, hobs, cookers or any other dangerously hot appliance.Everything with a motor or moving parts is a potential hazard to small children. The obvious items to keep well beyond their reach are tools like drills and saws along with household appliances like vacuums, food mixers and coffee-makers. However, larger things like washing machines, tumble driers, dishwashers and any appliance with a door that they could climb into are also potentially very dangerous for little ones. It may even take a combination of precautions to keep children safe from such hazards.

7. Hazardous Products

Children should not be able to access the contents of cupboards containing hazardous products like dishwasher pods, bleach, etc.Another reason to keep little ones out of cupboards and certain areas of the home is to keep them safe from hazardous products. Some things will be poisonous and others may be corrosive. Dishwasher and laundry pods need to be stored well out of children’s reach as do medicines, cleaning products and DIY items like paint, solvents and glues. Any of these could prove fatal if they get into little hands. Remember, too, that children learn to climb, so even cupboards high up need to be secured.

8. Smoke Alarms

Countless lives are saved each year simply by placing smoke detectors/alarms around the home.Smoke alarms suitably located around the home are one of the most basic precautions any parent or carer can make. Countless lives are saved each year due to smoke alarms. Sadly, though, many are also lost due to them not being present or due to batteries having expired. So, ensure that smoke alarms are ideally in every room as well as being in hallways, stairwells and so on. Also test them regularly to ensure batteries are in good, working order.

9. Carbon Monoxide Alarms

It’s the same with carbon monoxide alarms although you usually need less of them (it’s best to follow instructions when you’ve purchased them). Carbon monoxide is a silent killer as it can’t be seen or smelt. Detectors are therefore wise in homes that have a heater or heating system, even if it’s in an adjoining garage or property (gas can travel). Remember to check and test batteries too, of course.

10. Electric Point ‘Protector’ Inserts — Good or Bad?

Electrical shocks are nasty, even when a household has circuit-breakers (as indeed they should). Therefore, many might assume that plastic socket ‘blanking’ inserts would be a wise addition to electrical outlets around the home, particularly as they are often located within easy reach of little fingers. Nowadays in the UK, however, power socket blanking inserts have become controversial and indeed the Department of Health has condemned their use due to safety concerns. More information about the dangers of socket inserts can be read in the Department of Health’s safety alert here. Ofsted, meanwhile, does not offer any specific guidance on the topic. Children also need to be educated generally about electrical hazards, of course, keeping away from power points, avoiding yanking out plugs, keeping water away from power sources and so on.

11. Wire Tidiness

It's wise to keep electrical wire cords tidy and out of reach of little ones.For similar reasons, it’s also wise to keep electrical wire cords tidy and out of reach of little ones. If they were to pull a kettle lead or trip over an electric iron lead, for example, the potential outcomes do not bear thinking about. Cords on telephones and electrical appliances are also choking hazards, of course. So, keep them out of harm’s way i.e. well out of grabbing and tripping distance.

12. Pull Cord Precautions

Dangling pull-cords have, regrettably, been the cause of several child deaths around the world.Dangling pull-cords on window blinds have, regrettably, been the cause of several deaths around the world. If they’re dangling down, small children could get these wrapped around their necks and potentially strangle themselves. Any toggle on the end of the cords can also be a choking hazard. So, if you have any of these in your home, ensure they are tied safely out of reach, ideally using the safety fitments that often come with new blinds, or are available inexpensively. The same kind of approach may also be needed in rooms where the electrical light, shower or extractor switch comes in a pull-cord form.

13. Heated Appliances

Heat sources are a terrible hazard for children and adults alike.Heat sources are a terrible hazard for children and adults alike. However, little ones will seldom realise the hazards, so parents and guardians need to ensure that all heat sources are kept well out of children’s reach. Examples include hair straighteners, irons, kettles, sandwich makers, pots and pans that have been on the cooker, and so on. With regard to cookers, hobs, grills, and ovens, it’s the children that need to be kept away from them, of course. Even a switched-off oven can still have a door that’s retained enough heat to burn little hands. A combination of several of the precautions outlined in this page may therefore help to make complete safety feasible in the kitchen and anywhere there are appliances that heat up.

14. Home Heating

Radiators, heaters and, of course, fires, stoves and any other heat source are terribly dangerous for children.Radiators, heaters and, of course, fires, stoves and any other heat source in fireplaces are terribly dangerous things for children. Therefore radiator covers, fire guards, permanent vigilance and a good dose of common sense should enable parents and carers to keep children well away from such heat sources.

15. Sharp Objects

Similarly, supervising adults must ensure that all sharp objects are well out of reach of little hands. Supervising adults must ensure that all sharp objects are well out of reach of little hands.Scissors, knives, razors, needles, hand tools like saws and screwdrivers must be locked well away and never left lying around. Even pens and pencils are sharp and dangerous around eyes, when you think about it. So, it’s imperative that parents/guardians are vigilant and supervise at all times when it comes to anything sharp or pointed.

16. Sharp Corners

Corners and edges of furniture or household equipment can be nasty things for children to bang themselves against, particularly corners of things like stone coffee tables or timber units. You wouldn’t want to fall and bang your head against a corner like that! Luckily, it’s possible to purchase ‘bumper covers’ (a.k.a. ‘bumpers’) that can pad hard edges and corners such as these. Then, if the worst happens, at least the child is protected.Anything that's small enough to potentially block a child's airway should be tidied away, out of reach. Vigilance will still be needed, however, as bumpers can only go so far.

17. Choking Hazards

Choking on small objects is, of course, a common worry for parents of the very youngest children. Anything that’s small enough to block an airway, or to make a child choke, should be tidied away to somewhere they can’t access it.

18. Tablecloths

Table cloths & table runners, if grabbed by little hands, could cause all sorts of things to crash down onto children.Table cloths and table runners may look attractive but are another hazard around children, albeit a less obvious one. They look innocuous enough, but should a child grab one end and walk or fall way, they could end up with all sorts of things crashing upon them. When you think about what goes on tables (e.g. glassware, candles, china etc.), this could potentially be disastrous. So, the best advice is to completely avoid their use around young children and certainly never to allow any edges to hang down at ‘grabbing’ height.

19. The Not-Always-So-Great Outdoors

Access to the garden or other outdoor space or environment should be firmly supervised for the youngest of children.Supervised access to the garden or other outdoor space or environment is good for even the youngest of children. However, they must never be allowed to just wander into the garden or street unaccompanied (of course). There are countless dangers outside, including poisonous plants, stranger danger, cars and many other hazards. Even in your own garden there are usually hazards, from steps, inclines and level drops to dangerous garden tools plus another type of hazard we’ll see in our last tip below. Therefore exit points in the property need to be secure (see tip #4 above) and supervised at all times around the very young.

20. Water Hazards

Garden ponds, swimming pools and hot tubs are particularly dangerous to young children.Gardens often have ponds or, if you’re lucky enough, hot tubs and even swimming pools. These are all hazards to young children. Even a puddle is a potential drowning hazard to the very young. It’s the same indoors, with baths and even basins of water being potential drowning hazards. So, once again, parents and any supervising adults need to be doing just that, i.e. supervising anywhere there is water. For different reasons, that’s even more the case around hot water, of course, and anywhere a child could potentially splash or pour water near electrics.

So, the main requirements for the safety of children are a continuous risk assessment, installing measures to reduce any risks identified, plus vigilance and supervision around young children at all times.

Little Cedars Nursery & Pre-school: an Outstanding Childcare Service in Streatham

Our Nursery is in Streatham, close to Furzedown, Tooting, Balham, Norbury & Colliers Wood

Little Cedars is a nursery & pre-school offering high quality childcare in Streatham, near Tooting, Tooting Bec, Tooting Common, Tooting Broadway, Furzedown, Balham, Norbury and Colliers Wood.Are you searching for the best nurseries or pre-schools in the Streatham area? Little Cedars is a wonderful nursery/pre-school offering an outstanding weekday childcare service for babies and children under-five. Our childcare setting is also very near to Streatham Hill, Streatham Park, Streatham Common, Furzedown, Tooting, Tooting Bec, Tooting Broadway, Tooting Common, Balham, Norbury and Colliers Wood, so may also suit you if you live or work in any of those London locations.

If you’d like to apply for a place for your child, arrange a preliminary tour, or simply ask us a question, please get in touch. We’ll be delighted to help — please simply choose a button:

Safety Notice

The ideas above are only a starting point. Every parent, carer or guardian is advised to methodically risk assess their home and any environment their child is likely to gain access to — and to take the appropriate safety precautions for their own particular child and situation.

 

15 Ways to Manage a Fussy Eater
It can be frustrating when children refuse to eat particular foods.It can be frustrating when children refuse to eat particular foods, often seemingly for no apparent reason. Much of it is new to them, though, if they’ve only recently been weaned off milk. So, firstly don’t get stressed about it. Refusing certain foods initially is quite normal for the very young. Often, all that is needed is a strategy for dealing with finicky eating and a little patience. Let’s take a look, today, at measures parents or carers can take to manage children who are fussy eaters. After all, it’s imperative that they have a healthy, balanced diet.

1. Be Patient

It may take as many as 10-15 attempts before a child will accept and trust a new food, particularly if it has a taste and texture that’s new to their palette. The secret is for them to keep trying it over a few days and weeks. More often than not, they’ll eventually accept it and indeed even realise that they like it if you’ve added it to their plate multiple times over an extended period.

2. Make Allowances for an Acquired Taste

It may take as many as 10-15 attempts before a child will accept and trust a new food.Similarly, some foods are an acquired taste, i.e. one that’s initially not liked, but is later appreciated and enjoyed. Avocados have a taste that’s quite subtle and delicate, for example. Because of that, some youngsters think they are bland — but may well love their subtle flavour and texture once they’re older. That’s an acquired taste. So, again, it’s worth encouraging your child to keep trying foods even if they don’t think they like them in the beginning.

3. Change the Format

Children will refuse some foods based purely on what they look like. For whatever reason, how they look may not appeal to the child. When this happens, one easy solution is to disguise the particular food type next time around. Examples would be chopping it up smaller, mixing it in with something else or even blitzing or liquidising it to use in soup, purée or sauce. They may then not even realise that they’re eating the food they refused previously.

4. Sneaky Pairing

Sometimes you can try disguising a food.If your child loves one food but not initially another, try using food bridges. This is when you pair one food with another food that you know they already like. You can start small and gradually increase the amount of the ‘new’ food. Adding cheese to potato or pasta is one example. Adding a small garnish of finely chopped herbs, vegetables or even fruit to pasta, rice, pulses or meat is another. These may slip under the child’s radar and this will help with gradual acceptance.

5. Make it Attractive to the Child

Similarly, making a new food attractive to the child may help him or her accept it. This could entail using colourful foods to form attractive designs on the plate, rainbow colours, creatively shaped foods and so on.

6. Get Children to Engage with their Food

You can make the food into fun pictures, faces, etc.You could even make the food into fun pictures, all entirely made of the food you want them to eat. For example, peas could be made to represent a hill, broccoli could represent a wooded area, the yolk of a fried egg could represent the sun and so on. This approach will help children to see a fun aspect of food, and to engage more directly with it.

7. Food Themes

You could even ‘theme’ how meals look. For example, one meal could depict a scene with a rocket ready for launch (the rocket could be a carrot). Another food theme might be a treasure island, and so on.

8. Get Children Involved

Involve fussy eaters in food preparation, choosing foods, deciding how they are displayed on the plate and so on.You could even get children involved in the creativity and choices around food. With the requisite care around safety, you could involve them in food preparation, choosing foods, deciding how they are displayed on the plate and so on. This will again get them more engaged around food and make it into a fun, creative activity. Children will love that. Remember, though, that this should only be taken so far. After all, you do not want to encourage them to always ‘play’ with their food.

9. Use Fun Plates & Bowls

Plates and bowls and even cutlery that feature fun designs and characters may also help children enjoy the process of eating more. Perhaps a food they’re not yet convinced about could be used to cover the face of their favourite character. You can then encourage them to eat that food type so that they reveal the face and gradually they’ll reveal the whole scene if they eat all their food.

10. Praise Them

Praise will sometimes do wonders when it comes to little ones eating.When your child eats something that they’ve not been keen on eating before, give them positive feedback as this will encourage them. A well done here and a good job there will sometimes do wonders.

11. Send Good Signals

Similarly, sending good signals around food will help to encourage children to eat, for example, referring to a particular food as yummy or delicious. Food needs to be perceived always as a positive thing.

12. Try Home Growing Activities

Getting your child involved in growing food at home may also encourage them to try it.Getting your child involved in growing vegetables, herbs and perhaps even fruit at home may also encourage them to actually eat it. They’ll get an enormous sense of satisfaction if they grow something from seed, nurture it and finally get to eat it. It’ll also teach them new skills and about nature and where some food comes from.

13. Explain the Importance of Food

When they’re a little older and have good language skills, you could remind children why food is so important — giving them much-needed minerals and vitamins, for example, giving them energy, making them strong, ensuring their brain works efficiently and so on. This can be a powerful approach and you may even find them saying such facts back to you if you persevere.

14. Walk the Walk

It’s one thing telling children all the reasons they should eat a good, healthy, balanced meal. However, demonstrating that you are doing so is even better! So, lead by example. Ensure they are seeing that you too are eating a good mix of different foods and be a good role model. You could even educate them about each food type along the way. For example, you could point out that you’re eating potato because it’s high in starch (good for energy to power the body), or cheese because it’s high in calcium (good for bones and teeth) and so on.

15. Offer a Reward

If all else fails, offer a reward to a child who isn’t really cooperating over a particular food. For example, you could say, if you eat all your peas, we’ll go to the swings or similar.

Healthy Eating at Little Cedars Nursery

A healthy, balanced diet is important and never more so than in children's formative years.At Little Cedars Nursery in Streatham we know how finicky young children can sometimes be. So, we too occasionally employ some of the tactics described above. After all, food and a healthy, balanced diet is important and never more so than in children’s formative years. Study after study has shown this to be the case. Read our Healthy Eating Guide for Under-Fives for more details.

Our High Quality Nursery & Pre-school in Streatham

Near Furzedown, Tooting, Balham, Norbury & Colliers Wood

Little Cedars is a nursery & pre-school offering high quality childcare in Streatham, near Tooting, Tooting Bec, Tooting Common, Tooting Broadway, Furzedown, Balham, Norbury and Colliers Wood.If you are looking for the best nursery or pre-school for your baby, toddler or preschooler in the Streatham area, please get in touch. We offer high quality weekday childcare for under-fives and the nursery/pre-school is also conveniently close if you are living or working in Streatham Hill, Streatham Park, Streatham Common, Furzedown, Tooting, Tooting Bec, Tooting Broadway, Tooting Common, Balham, Norbury or Colliers Wood. Get in touch using the buttons below to apply for a place, arrange a tour of the setting or simply to ask any questions. We’ll be happy to help.

20 Ways to Prepare Children for School

A guide to the ways parents can help prepare under-5s for starting school in Reception Year at age 5.In a follow-up to last month’s post about transitioning under-fives to nursery or pre-school, we now outline 20 ways parents can help prepare children for starting school as they approach the age of five. We’ve broken this down into a list of 20 easy-to-action suggestions:

1. A Good Early Years Education

Our absolute topmost tip is to ensure that children attend a good nursery/pre-school well before the age of five. Study after study has shown that a good early years education gives little ones a massive head start in terms of school readiness, with long-term benefits continuing even into adulthood.

2. Help Learning at Home

Parental involvement with children's early years education has also been shown to boost achievement, morale, attitude, behaviour and social skills.Parental involvement with children’s early years education has also been shown to boost achievement, morale, attitude, behaviour and social skills enormously. These are all things that will help them to hit the ground running once they start school. Home learning is even more powerful when designed to synchronise with what children are learning at their early years setting or school (like a two-pronged approach).

3. Read With Them

Reading with children in their early years can help boost language skills by 8 months — before they're even five!Reading with children, well ahead of them beginning school, has also been shown to boost their language skills, incredibly by the equivalent of as much as 8 months before they’re even five! The key is to read with them; not just to them. Learn more about the benefits of reading with under-fives here.

4. Forewarn Them

Forewarning children that they will be starting school around the age of five is also a sensible thing to do. It should be mentioned multiple times before they reach the age of five, so children learn to expect and accept it. Just treat it as normal (which, of course, it is to you and I) and be enthusiastic about it.

5. Listen Up

Children will fit in better at school if they are well prepared for it.Listen to any reservations your child may have about the prospect of starting school. Listening is important, so be on the look-out for any concerns and reservations they may have.

6. Answer Questions

Try to read between the lines too, as they may not be able to fully articulate everything they’re feeling at such a young age. Answer any questions they may have about school and take time to ensure they understand the answers.

7. Reassure Them

At all times reassure children when discussing anything about starting school and life there once they’ve started. Put their minds at rest. Focus on the positives. Mention the many benefits of school, so they look forward to it rather than getting anxious about it. After all, it’s fun, educational, they will make lots of new friends and there will be lots of new equipment to play with — and so on. You can also mention your own positive memories of school so that they know you’ve been through it yourself.

8. Encourage Independence

Nurturing children's independence well ahead of them beginning school will really help them.Children will greatly benefit in Reception Year at school if they’re already independent when they start. So, nurturing aspects of their independence well ahead of them beginning school is a good policy. For example, ensuring they know how to independently look after personal hygiene, dress themselves, tie shoe laces, dress, use the toilet, pack their bag and so on. If they can do this before they start school, it will help them enormously.

9. Encourage Social Skills

Social skills are another thing to nurture in children well before they begin school. Communication skills will help them to get on. Good manners, politeness and knowing right from wrong will also help them fit in, make friends and be positively viewed from the ‘get go’.

10. Identify A Friend

Ensuring children know a friendly face when they begin school will help them settle in better.Parents/guardians will also be wise to identify one or more of their children’s friends (or potential friends) that will also be starting school at the same time. Ensure they meet up and play regularly, before they’ve started school. In this way, there will be a friendly face at the school from the moment they start. It’ll help them feel more at home and less alone.

11. Show Them a Prospectus/Brochure/Website

It’s also a wise idea for children to acquaint themselves as much as possible with their new school, before they actually start. Therefore, obtaining a prospectus, brochure and/or taking a good look at the school’s website together would be an excellent idea for children. It’ll really help them to know what to expect.

12. Visit Ahead of Starting

Even better is a physical visit. Schools will offer open days or one can usually be arranged for children and their parents. Having a tour will help children get to know their way around the school, see the facilities, ask questions and bring the school into much clearer focus for the child. It’ll make it more tangible and less of a daunting prospect for the child if they already know it. Seeing the facilities and equipment may even excite them.

13. Pre-Sync Children’s Body Clocks

Getting enough sleep is essential for children's success at school.Several weeks before they start school, children should start to synchronise their day with the timings of the new school day. This should include getting up time in the morning and ideally even timings for lunch and suchlike. In this way, children’s body clocks will have adjusted in good time, before they actually start.

14. Ensure They Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep is critically important for children. After all, they do not want to end up struggling to stay awake during their school lessons. Therefore setting a sensible bedtime — and sticking to it — is crucially important. A gradual wind-down towards bedtime will help them sleep well as will the avoidance of electronic screens in the run-up to bedtime.

15. Prepare Their Uniform/Clothing

Ensure that uniform, PE kit, stationery, lunch box & backpack etc. are all ready and labelled.Ensuring children have everything they need, at least a little ahead of starting in Reception, is a good approach. Check that you have all items of their uniform, PE kit, any stationery, lunch box if appropriate, backpack or bag and so on. Is everything marked with your child’s name? Usually it should be.

16. Do a Dummy School Run

Close to the time the child will start at their new school, it is a good idea for parents/guardians to do a dummy run to the school at the actual times the child will eventually be dropped off and picked up. In this way, parents/guardians can ensure that they won’t be late, which might otherwise cause more stress for both themselves and their child. It’s important for the first day, in particular, to be as stress-free as possible.

17. Help Them to Pre-Pack

Getting your child involved in actually packing their backpack or school bag (with supervision) will help them to acquaint themselves with everything in it. That way, if they need something when they’re at school, they’ll know they have it and where they can find it. Doing this the night before, with the exception of food if it needs to be kept refrigerated overnight, will mean there’s also less to do on Day One.

18. Be on Time On the Day

All this pre-planning should make it more likely that you’re on time at the school on the first day. That’s important, as a last-minute rush will only cause unnecessary stress for both you and your little one. So, ensure you leave for the journey in good time. And don’t be late at picking-up time!

19. Reassure & Don’t Fuss on the Day

If you’re anxious, stressed or sad on your child’s first day, don’t let on. It’s best to keep everything positive as far as your child is concerned. So, stay up-beat, calm and reassuring. As we said before, focus on the positives (“you’re going to have so much fun!” etc.) and it will all seem so much more ‘normal’ for your child — as normal as a walk in the park.

20. Ensure They Know Who Will Collect Them

Your child will need to know, ahead of time, who is collecting them.Your child will need to know, ahead of time, who is collecting them. If it’s not you, then they need to know clearly who it will be. They also need to be clear around their general safety rules, stranger danger and so on. Schools should also have safeguarding policies in place for unexpected scenarios. For example, if you are unexpectedly delayed and need to send someone else to collect your child, does the school have a password system in place to ensure that only the right person can collect your child? Find out.

Also, as a parent, you’ll need to ensure you have the requisite contact details for any relevant school personnel (e.g. the number of the main office/reception desk) in case you need to contact them for any reason. They must also have your number and any back-up contact details.

A Good Early Years Education at Little Cedars Nursery & Pre-school, Streatham

Little Cedars is a nursery & pre-school offering high quality childcare in Streatham, near Tooting, Tooting Bec, Tooting Common, Tooting Broadway, Furzedown, Balham, Norbury and Colliers Wood.Little Cedars Nursery in Streatham offers babies, toddlers and under-fives a really good early years education as part of its high quality childcare service. If you are looking for the best nurseries or pre-schools in the Streatham area, Little Cedars Nursery really should be on your short list. Children absolutely thrive at the setting, achieving personal bests in every area of the early years curriculum and becoming ‘ school ready’ by the time they leave us to move on to Reception at school. We offer outstandingly good childcare services in Streatham, near Streatham Hill, Streatham Park, Streatham Common and Furzedown and are convenient for those living or working in Tooting, Tooting Bec, Tooting Broadway, Tooting Common, Balham, Norbury and Colliers Wood. To arrange a visit, ask any questions or to apply for a place, please get in contact — simply choose a button below.

How to Transition Under-5s to Nursery or Pre-School

Attending nursery or pre-school for the first time is a massive step for little ones. There are ways you can make it plain sailing for them.Whether or not you’ve finished choosing a nursery or pre-school, you’ll need to prepare your little one in the run-up to attending. After all, going from spending all their time with parents/guardians to attending nursery or pre-school is a big step — it’s a massive change for them. In a worst case scenario, they’ll suddenly be in a new, unfamiliar place, surrounded by children and adults that they simply don’t know — and you won’t be there. However, there are a number of things that you can do to make the transition stress-free and even enjoyable for them. Today’s guide shows you exactly how to prepare your little one for nursery or pre-school.

Forewarn & Reassure Them

Well ahead of their nursery/pre-school start day, forewarn them regularly that that’s where they’ll be spending their days in the coming weeks. If you mention it reasonably often, they’ll come to accept the plan and they’ll be more mentally prepared once they start.

Explain why the change will happen too, in terms they’ll understand. For example, you could say it’s so that they can make new friends, play with exciting toys and have fun on amazing equipment you just don’t have at home.

Always be positive about it. Listen to any misgivings they may have too — and don’t let on if you have any yourself, otherwise they may pick up on those and it could worry them. Reassure them that nursery/pre-school is going to be huge fun. And, of course, answer any questions they may have, in a suitably reassuring way. Always take time to talk it over with them if they ask about it.

Help Little Ones With Independence

Helping children to be more independent will really help them once they start at nursery/pre-school.In the weeks or even months before their first day, toddlers and preschoolers will also benefit from becoming more independent. You can help to encourage this. For example, you could help them with toilet training, help them learn to dress themselves, encourage them to deal with personal hygiene, cleaning their hands and so on. Can they pack their own backpack? Do they know how to hang their coat up? Helping them to master all such skills will make them more confident and relaxed once they begin at nursery/pre-school.

Synchronise with the New Routine

Once you have chosen and been accepted by a nursery/pre-school, you’ll easily be able to clarify opening times, lunch times and so on. Using this, you can introduce equivalent timings to your child’s home life, so their body clock gets used to the same timings. This can include timing of snacks, meals, any morning or afternoon naps, but also include bedtime and timing of getting up and dressing in the morning. If your child’s body clock is already synchronised to the daily routine they’ll have at nursery/pre-school, then they’ll be far less likely to become tired once they make a start at the setting. That’s even more true if, of course, they are getting enough sleep. All such factors need to be built into the new routine well ahead of them actually starting. It should then be plain sailing and they’ll arrive at the setting alert and energised, ready for the exciting day ahead.

Take Your Child for a Pre-Visit!

Any good nursery or pre-school will be happy to show you and your child around.Any good nursery or pre-school will be more than willing to show you and your child around the setting — more than once if required. At Little Cedars Nursery, this is commonplace and it gives parents and children the opportunity to see the setting actually ‘in action’. They can ask questions, see all the amazing facilities, equipment and toys, speak to the childcare professionals and see if they feel at home. Settling-in sessions are also an option, prior to fully joining.

A Friendly Face

Knowing someone who will be at the same nursery or pre-school will help them settle in.Such sessions and visits are also a great way for children to get to know other children at the setting, or even to discover that an existing friend already attends. Knowing someone who will be at the same nursery or pre-school will help them settle straight in, being a friendly face to greet them from the moment they start. Getting to know the childcare practitioners ahead of starting is also going to help, of course, so they feel at home, secure and looked after by someone familiar, right from the word go.

The Day They Start

Be positive on the day they start. Be enthusiastic about them starting and remind them what good fun and how exciting it will be. Remember too, not to pass on any anxiety or misgivings you may have to your child – it will not help them to remain relaxed and positive if you’re giving negative signals.

Perhaps put their favourite cuddly toy or comforter into their bag, so it's there if they need it.Being fully prepared is a big part of the success of this important milestone. However, there are a few things parent/carers can do for children on the actual day they start nursery or pre-school.

  • Pack you child’s bag or backpack the evening before, so it’s not done in a rush on the day.
  • Ensure that everything is labelled with your child’s name.
  • If your child doesn’t yet know anyone at the nursery/pre-school, perhaps pop their favourite cuddly toy or comforter into their bag, so it’s there if they need it.
  • Make sure you’re already familiar with the route and then, on the day, set off in good time. Doing so will ensure that, traffic issues permitting, it’s not a rush. And don’t be late — it will only stress both you and your child out on this critically important day.

Remind your child that you'll be seeing them later when it's time for them to come home again.When you drop your child off, don’t make too much of a fuss about being apart from your child. Also, remind them that you’ll be seeing them later when it’s time for them to come home again. This will all reassure them. And, if you can, see if you can pair them up with a friend for them to go in with. Chances are, they’ll then hardly be able to contain themselves with excitement and will not even look back!

Starting at Little Cedars Nursery & Pre-school, Streatham

Little Cedars is a nursery & pre-school offering high quality childcare in Streatham, near Tooting, Tooting Bec, Tooting Common, Tooting Broadway, Furzedown, Balham, Norbury and Colliers Wood.Babies, toddlers and preschoolers will always get a warm welcome at Little Cedars Nursery in Streatham. Our childcare professionals are all adept at putting children at ease from the moment they start. They’ll settle them in and ensure they are happy, safe and enjoying themselves right from the start.

If you are looking for the best nursery or pre-school in Streatham, do consider Little Cedars Nursery. We give children an amazing start in life, bringing out the very best in them in every area. We offer a first class childcare service in Streatham, just a stone’s throw from Streatham Hill, Streatham Park, Streatham Common and Furzedown and also conveniently close to Tooting, Tooting Bec, Tooting Broadway, Tooting Common, Balham, Norbury and Colliers Wood. To contact us, arrange a visit, apply for a place or simply ask a question, please use one of the buttons below and we’ll be happy to help.

The Quick Guide to Tummy Time

Building upper body strength in arms, shoulders, core and back will help babies in their physical development and mobility.Welcome to our quick guide to Tummy Time. One of the most important things for babies during their earliest development is to build strength, muscles, motor skills and coordination. In particular, learning to lift and safely move their heads is one of the most crucial skills at this young age. Strength and muscle coordination in their neck is therefore very important. That’s not easy when they’re newborns in their first few weeks because their head is comparatively large and heavy compared with their little bodies at that age. Building upper body strength in arms, shoulders, core and back will also greatly help them in their physical development and mobility, essentially helping them to perform and survive safely as humans. Tummy Time is a key tool in learning to accomplish all of these goals — and many more.

Tummy Time will eventually help toddlers learn to crawl.What is Tummy Time?

Tummy Time is the period in the day where a baby under twelve months, under close adult supervision*, will be placed on their tummies (the ‘prone’ position) whilst awake. It can be started right from their first week and generally can take place for 3-5 minutes, two to three times a day. The idea is for them to learn to lift and move their heads, arms and upper body, mainly in order to build strength. There are, however, several additional benefits to Tummy Time …

What are the Benefits of Tummy Time?

As well as strengthening muscles in the neck, arms, core and trunk muscles, Tummy Time has a number of additional benefits:

  • Tummy Time allows babies to better explore to gain improved sensory perception of everything in their immediate vicinity.It helps to stop the development of deformations in the skull. ‘Positional plagiocephaly’ (or ‘Flat Head Syndrome’) might otherwise occur if the baby is only positioned in a limited number of positions, i.e. mostly on its back. Bear in mind, of course, that at this young age the baby’s skull bones are far more flexible than those of an adult, so such deformations are more likely if the baby’s head is always lying in the same position.
  • Tummy Time also decreases the risk of the baby developing ‘Positional Torticollis’, which is a neck twisting problem that’s caused due to similar issues.
  • It also allows the baby to control his or her head more easily. That’s important in many ways, including being able to control what they see, to become aware of their surroundings from a safety perspective and to be able to interact with toys, objects and other individuals.
  • It may help initially to support babies with a rolled-up towel, blanket or similar.Making sense of sensory stimuli is also aided by the positive results of Tummy Time, as babies can better explore and gain improved sensory perception of everything in their immediate vicinity.
  • Tummy Time also encourages babies to use and strengthen their arms, to support their weight, to reach out for objects and so on. Such skills are all a part of improved coordination, better fine and gross motor skills and ultimately they will all help lead the infant to independent mobility as they grow older.

*A Word About Safety

Babies should only be placed onto their tummies when they’re awake and under continuous adult supervision. To avoid the risk of SIDS, babies should only sleep on their backs and never be allowed to fall asleep while on their tummies.

How to Encourage Tummy Time

Tummy Time may not come naturally to babies and indeed many babies will dislike it at first. That’s mainly because the very muscles that Tummy Time is designed to strengthen start out weak. Therefore, Tummy Time will initially be a struggle for many, if not most, and they may resist. It’s important to persevere, however. Parental encouragement is going to be required.

Try putting the baby in a prone position (on their tummy) on, say, a clean blanket or rug.Try putting the baby in a prone position (i.e. on their tummy) on, say, a clean blanket or rug. Lie down on your tummy too and face them, encouraging them to stay on their tummies by use of a game like peek-a-boo. If you can, try to get them to raise themselves onto their arms or, eventually, hands. Move yourself around a little, so they move too and strengthen their muscles. If they’re finding it too difficult initially, a rolled-up blanket underneath their chest may help to start them off. Don’t worry if at first they can only push themselves up on their arms or hands only for fleeting moments; they will gradually improve as they try more and more.

Tummy Time can also be practised in a cradle position.

You can also try the same thing with them lying on your tummy facing you, across your lap or cradled (supporting them underneath with a hand or arm), although the firmer floor option above will give them better resistance to push against, in order to build muscle strength. It’s also important to support their head when needed.

From the age of about 3 months, you can introduce toys and this will encourage them to move about more, e.g. to reach out and grab as well as change the direction they point their faces and so on. All of this will help build strength, motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

After 6 months, they should start to be able to support their weight on their arms in a raised, kind of 'press-up' position.After 6 months, they should start to be able to support their weight on their arms in a raised, kind of ‘press-up’ position. This can be encouraged with some support (and play) from you and they’ll get the hang of it with practise. Soon enough, they’ll also be able to roll sideways in either direction and get themselves back into the prone position when they want to. They’ll soon master the art of passing a toy from one hand to another at around this time. They’ll also be able to get themselves into a sitting position before they’re 9 months old, or thereabouts.

Between the ages of about 7 to 9 months old, you may well find they’ve progressed to crawling. By this time, there’s no huge need for them to continue with Tummy Time, although it’ll do no harm and will continue to build their strength, coordination and motor skills if continued.

Standing will usually come soon too, particularly if encouraged and, of course, supervised for safety purposes. Then, in the blink of an eye, the ultimate milestone will be accomplished as they begin walking and life starts a whole new chapter!

Childcare Places at Little Cedars, an Outstanding Nursery & Pre-school in Streatham

We hope our quick guide to Tummy Time is a useful reference. Of course, at Little Cedars, we also ensure that babies up to twelve months old get to benefit from Tummy Time sessions at the nursery — we know how important it is for their development.

Little Cedars is a nursery & pre-school offering high quality childcare in Streatham, near Tooting, Tooting Bec, Tooting Common, Tooting Broadway, Furzedown, Balham, Norbury and Colliers Wood.Little Cedars is a nursery and pre-school offering outstanding childcare services in Streatham. If you’re searching for a good nursery or pre-school near Streatham Common/Hill/Park, Furzedown, Tooting, Tooting Bec/Broadway/Common, Balham, Norbury or Colliers Wood, we’d make a great choice. Contact us for more information, to arrange a visit or to register your child for a place at the setting. We’re also always happy to answer any questions too …

Flexible Working Requests — Your Rights as a Parent

Perhaps you’d rather go part-time while your child is under five.If you were a full-time employee when you had your child, perhaps you’d rather go part time while your child is under five. Or maybe you want to explore the option of flexitime with your employer. Perhaps you’d like to ask if job sharing is possible, or whether you can work only on specific days of the week. What are the rules, though? Does your employer have to offer part-time or flexible working now you’re a parent, or are they under no statutory obligation to do so? Today we take a look at the rules.

In particular, new parents may start to re-think going back to work full time once maternity* leave comes to an end. The nearer their return date gets, the more new parents begin to think about the possible complications that may follow. These may include the ability to drop off or pick up their infant in time from the nursery, or even getting home in time to see them before their bedtime. Being apart can also be a real wrench after spending perhaps every hour of their parental leave with their infant.

Example

Florence works in sales of new homes for a large house builder. She works full time on weekdays, from 9.30 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. The sites where she works can be anywhere from 10 minutes away to over an hour-and-a-half from her home depending upon where she’s based at any particular time of the year.

Florence goes on maternity leave, fully intending to go back full time once it comes to an end. However, when the date for returning nears, she has a change of heart. Firstly, she’ll miss her child growing up too much if she goes back full time. Secondly, this may be compounded if her employer still expects her to work miles and miles away from home. That would make pick-up from the nursery in time impossible — indeed, she would have to find someone else to pick her child up. It may even mean that she will miss her infant’s evening bedtime on working days. She’s concerned that she just won’t get to see her child much and will miss out on a big part of their early childhood if her working pattern isn’t changed.

Florence decides to ask to go back part-time (3 days per week) and makes contact with her employer to make the request.

Considerations when making a Flexible Working Request

Parents may want to change working hours so that timing fits in with nursery drop-off and pick-up times.The rules state that employees can only make ONE request for a change to their contracted hours/days per year. This must be in writing and is called a ‘Flexible Working Request’. So Florence’s request will need to cover all bases because she won’t get another chance for another request until another year has passed.

So, Florence’s particular application needs to include:

  • the request to reduce from five-days-a-week to just three;
  • the request, if applicable, to reduce or alter the working hours so that the timings fit better with nursery drop-off and pick-up times;
  • a request to only be sent to working locations within shorter distances, so she can still make drop-off and pick-up times for her child’s childcare.

If she misses any of these out, she’ll have to wait another year before being able to re-apply, according to the rules. This assumes her employer is sticking inflexibly to the rules, of course; kind-hearted, family-friendly employers may indeed allow more flexibility but employers are under no statutory obligation to do so.

It’s important to understand is that, while an eligible employee has a right to apply for a flexible working request and their employer is obligated to consider it, they are not obligated to accept it if it means that their business will no longer function properly.

The employee must also have been employed in the job for no less than 26 weeks (6 months) in order to be eligible to make the request, by the way. However, again, some more family-friendly employers may be more flexible even though they’re not obliged to be by law.

The Employer’s Response

The employer must consider the facts around flexible working applications carefully and fairly.The employer must give the employee who makes the Flexible Working Request a decision within 3 months unless the employee agrees to extend that time. This must be done having considered the facts carefully and fairly and without basing it on just a ‘personal’ opinion. They should also discuss the application with the applicant and, if it’s not possible to accept the specific suggestions requested, they should consider whether alternative options are possible.

Unsuccessful Applications

Employers can turn down requests outright if they feel their business will not be able to function properly if the new suggestions are put in place. Examples of reasons why an application for Flexible Working Requests may lawfully be turned down can be seen here. It is possible for the employee to appeal the decision if they feel all factors have not been considered or if the correct policies have not been properly followed. It’s also possible for them to take legal action (an employment tribunal) or to apply to the ACAS Arbitration Scheme in some circumstances (see previous link and scroll down for further information about that).

Successful Applications

If the employer approves the parent’s flexible working application, then the employee’s employment contract will usually need to be updated to reflect the new working pattern. Employers should also confirm the agreed changes in writing, including start dates, working hours, pay, location, holiday entitlement and so on.

Little Cedars Day Nursery: Good Childcare in Streatham

We hope this rough guide to Flexible Working Requests is useful and wish anyone making one the very best of luck for a successful outcome.

Little Cedars is a nursery & pre-school offering high quality childcare in Streatham, near Tooting, Tooting Bec, Tooting Common, Tooting Broadway, Furzedown, Balham, Norbury and Colliers Wood.We are Little Cedars, an excellent nursery and pre-school in Streatham. We’re also very convenient for those looking for nurseries and childcare services near Streatham Common, Streatham Hill, Streatham Park, Furzedown, Tooting, Tooting Bec, Tooting Broadway, Tooting Common, Balham, Norbury and Colliers Wood. Please contact us with any questions, to arrange a visit or to apply for a place for your child. We’ll be happy to help:

*N.B. we say maternity leave throughout this article for the sake of brevity. However, the rules also apply for those who have been on paternity leave, parental leave or even if parents haven’t been on leave at all — and simply want to alter their working days/times to better suit their young families.

Quick Guide to Milk - for Babies & Infants

As promised in our last post, we next take look at the many types of milk for babies and infants in the UK. There really are a myriad of options, so this guide should prove useful and help make sense of the choices available.

Breast Milk

Breast milk really is nature’s perfect food for babies, however there are many reasons why formula milk may be preferred.Our “Benefits of Breastfeeding” post described in great detail how breast milk really is nature’s perfect food for babies. It’s tailored to the needs of the baby and even adapts as the baby grows. As well as essential vitamins, minerals, fats and proteins, it also passes antibodies, hormones and polyunsaturated fatty acids to the baby. All these things are incredibly important to the growing infant and many are simply not possible with formula milk and alternatives to breast milk. That said, there are many reasons why parents may switch to other alternatives and that’s where today’s guide should prove most useful.

Formula Milk

There is a confusingly large variety of formula milks on the market.The variety of formula milks is surprisingly large, not helped by the fact that different brands call some of them by different names. Some products and names also seem to have been developed in order to cover small niches, many of which are actually already adequately covered by larger, existing product lines (‘Toddler Milk’ and ‘Growing-Up Milk’ are two examples cited by the NHS). Then add in the fact that many are sold as liquid and also as powder that needs to be made up. The choice can be overwhelming, which is where the following guide can help …