Abbey Wood Grange Nursery
South Croydon’s Premier Nursery School

The importance of Role Play for Pre-school Children 

Imagination and creativity are powerful tools within Pre-School children; this can be instinctive in some children but need encouraging in others. Designated role play areas offer opportunities to explore both real and imaginary worlds, aiding intellectual development, social skills and creativity.

Children are encouraged to explore, investigate and experiment within a variety of both every day and fantasy situations. Role play allows the children to express and develop emotional awareness, such as compassion and empathy. It also teaches children an understanding of different perspectives and cultures.

Pre-school role play can be a valuable teaching tool enabling the children to make sense of real-life situations and develop interests in subjects such as doctors, nurses or schools. It can also aid understanding of a place they may never get to visit, such as under the sea or space.

Children can take on varying roles, challenging themselves and developing confidence while in ‘character’ in a way that they may not feel comfortable in doing so during everyday play.

Roleplay can be supported within the home environment, no matter how big or small. A simple cardboard box can be transformed into a space rocket or by merely labeling the tins in the kitchen cupboard a shop is created.

Role-play ideas can be inexpensive and adapted to suit everyone’s creative ability. The internet has many ideas to inspire, but one we use a lot at Abbey Wood is Pinterest.

At Abbey Wood pre-school, our role play areas are usually inspired by the children’s interests, ensuring they are both fully engaged and learning while having fun.

There is nothing more enjoyable than seeing a child’s imagination brought to life.

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Free Childcare 15-30 Hours Free Preschool Education

All children in England are entitled to 570 free hours pre-school per annum. It is usually taken as 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year, but you can choose to take fewer hours over more weeks, for example. 

You can get it from the term after your child’s 3rd birthday. Some Preschool nurseries are open all year round and you can make your own arrangements to extend these hours at your own cost.

15 hours free preschool childcare

All 3 to 4-year-olds in England can get free early education or childcare. Some 2-year-olds are also eligible for 15 hours free childcare, for example, if you receive certain benefits.
 There are many scenarios that contribute towards the free childcare and you should contact your local Preschool Nursery for more detailed information.

The free early education and childcare: Must be with an approved childcare provider (such as Abbeywood Lodge who have been approved since 2018). 
When your child starts in reception class (or reaches compulsory school age, if later), this is when the childcare support stops. Contact your local Preschool for more information.

30 Hours Free Childcare Per Week

You may be eligible to get up to 30 hours of free childcare (1,140 hours per year, which you can choose how you take). If you’re entitled to the extra hours, sign up online to get a code to give to your Nursery or childcare provider to reserve your place. You’ll get the extra hours once the next term starts. If you’ve already registered, you can sign in to your childcare account.

Check your early years’ childcare funding  eligibility

You can usually get 30 hours free childcare if you (and your partner, if you have one) are in work – or getting parental leave, sick leave or annual leave, or each earning at least the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage for 16 hours a week (this is £120 if you’re over 25).

Please note: This earnings limit doesn’t apply if you’re self-employed and started your business less than 12 months ago. You’re not eligible if your child doesn’t usually live with you, the child is your foster child, or either you / your partner has a taxable income over £100,000 per annum.

You can get 30 hours free childcare at the same time as claiming Universal Credit, tax credits or childcare vouchers.

If you can’t work you may still be eligible if your partner is working, and you get Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance, Carer’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance.

It can be confusing!!

Understanding your entitlement can be confusing if you are not able to work it out, or need help, your local pre-school nursery (assuming they accept the Free 15 – 30 hours grant, not all do) is the best place to go for assistance. They will be able to explain your entitlement, what the options are and how to apply, it is also a good opportunity to check out your local pre-school.

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Early Years Education at Abbey Wood Grange 

Early Years Education helps to build upon the learning and development that has already taken place in your little one’s life. By the time your child is ready to attend preschool, they would have already learnt so much about the big wide world and therefore are ready for a new, stimulating and engaging environment.

Early years education- what does my child need at this age?

Let’s take a look at what the UK Government website advises should be included with early years education;

  • Communication & language

  • Physical development

  • Personal, social and emotional development 

  • Literacy

  • Mathematics

  • Understanding of the word

  • Expressive arts & design 

Early Years Preschool Education Abbey Wood Grange

Abbey Wood Grange South Croydon can ensure the best early years educational
environment for your child. With features such as those listed below, you’ll feel confident that your little one will continue to develop in a fun and loving manor, hitting those all important milestones along the way;

  • First and foremost, all staff are pediatric First Aid trained so there’s no need to doubt the safety of your baby

  • Large indoor soft play areas mean your child can let off some steam in a comfy and protected environment

  • Fully enclosed equipped outdoor play areas allow your child to use his/her imagination in a fun and creative way whilst getting some all important fresh air

  • Sensory room for a multi-sensory experience, great for younger children 

  • Plenty of opportunities for your child to investigate and explore both inside and outside the nursery 

  • Abbey Wood boasts over
    45 years of managerial experience so your child will be interacting with sensitive, experienced and understanding adults that know how to nurture and support your little one

  • Preschool nursery Abbey Wood is also regulated by OFSTED so their physical social and cognitive needs will be met with a curriculum suitable for their age group.

Early years education that provides an exciting and fresh environment will engage your child and encourage them to learn. Meeting new friends in the teachers and fellow classmates also encourages new conversations which in turn, helps develop language skills. The right environment can also help your child learn independently through exploring and discovering every day.
Abbey Wood Grange Preschool Nursery offer endless opportunities for your little ones inquisitive mind, uninterrupted play, open ended and challenging resources, with the best
care whenever you need it.

South Croydon Nursery Abbey Wood talks about benefits of owning a Pet 

South Croydon Nursery Abbey Wood Grange believes that welcoming a pet into your home can be an extremely positive experience, offering many learning and development opportunities. With the animal often being referred to as ‘one of the family’.

Abbey Wood Grange Manager Cheryl talks about how with careful guidance from a parent, children will learn to be respectful of animals enabling them to become more caring, compassionate and responsible.

South Croydon Nursery Abbey Wood are proud owners of Steve, their much loved Syrian Hamster who provides the children with much love and joy. All the children enjoy taking a role in his care, whether it be chopping up some fruit, changing his water or being extra careful when Steve is having some exercise outside, in his ball.

Steve has provided conversation and in turn language development as well as an understanding of how to care for a pet. 


Pets can develop children’s confidence, boosting self-esteem as a child is more likely to confide in an animal in ways they would not with people, they will often be more willing to complete or try new tasks they
may otherwise shy away from simply because the animal will not judge.

Animals help to break down barriers and engage in conversation, helping to overcome shyness and facilitate friendships. 

Although there are huge benefits to owning a pet they also come with a varying degree of responsibility and financial implications depending on the animal.

Before deciding to take on the responsibility of owning a pet it is important to ask yourself the following;

  • Can you commit? Pet ownership is a long term commitment Dogs and cats have an average life span of 10-15 years. Would you be able to
    commit to them for such a long time? Dogs and cats require a lot of attention. If you feel that you can’t devote your time to a pet choosing a pet such as a fish may be a better option as they are less time

  • Can you afford? Owning a pet can be costly.  Food, grooming, toys, veterinary care and treatment are the expenses you can’t avoid
    if you own a dog or cat. Owning a fish is less costly compared to other pets.

  • Will a pet fit into your lifestyle? If you have long working hours, a busy social life and you travel a lot, think twice before
    getting a pet like a dog and a cat. They require constant attention and need you to play and interact with them constantly. Solitude can lead to serious behavioural problems. Make sure your pet can
    accommodate your lifestyle.

  • Do your research- Do research beforehand on the pet you wish to get. Pet care for instance, requires a great deal of knowledge.
    Grooming, nutrition tips and safety are all things you need to know before you get a pet dog or cat. Pet shops and rescue centres can also provide lots of information and an insight into what it is like to
    own a pet, with some even offering meet and greet sessions. The RSPCA and other rescue centres will also host open days or fundraising events.

  • Allergies- Make sure you or your family don’t have allergies towards fur and animals. If you are not sure whether you or your
    children are allergic to cats and dogs, spend time at your friend’s house with a pet to find out.

South Croydon Nursery Abbey Wood Grange say that getting a family pet should be a fun and exciting time for all, with everyone taking a share of the responsibility. Before making the decision to get a pet, take time to read books and discuss the impact a pet will have on the whole family and how the responsibility will be shared. Role play can also be an
effective way for younger children to understand responsibility, whereas an older child could take on the responsibility of caring for a neighbours pet.

Emergency Childcare in Croydon

Emergency Childcare is probably one of the most important things any parent will want to consider when choosing the right child care to suit their needs. 

Children & parenting can be unpredictable at the best of times, so it is impossible to know when your situation may change and emergency childcare could be your only option if friends and family are unable to
lend a helping hand.

Abbey Wood Nursery Croydon is regulated by

OFSTED so it’s a great place to start if you are local to the area and in need of Emergency Childcare where you know your child will be in safe
hands. Why might you need emergency child care? Whether it’s a last minute business meeting, family health commitments, cancellations of plans or something that you just simply cannot get out of, it’s always a great
idea to have a plan B in place.

Emergency Childcare Abbey Wood Nursery South Croydon

Emergency childcare- The most common back-up plans when it comes to last minute child care:

  • Emergency childcare through your child’s pre-school nursery such as Abbey Wood Grange. 

  • Calling upon friends or family 

  • Replacement Nanny’s or childminders

  • Using an agency to find qualified carers at short notice

  • Drop off soft play centres (for older children)

  • Last minute calls to nurseries near me to see if anyone can help 

Emergency Childcare at Abbey Wood Nursery

Abbey Wood Nursery offers Emergency Childcare where parents can access quality
child care either as a one off or for a short while without the commitment of joining a nursery.

Emergency childcare at Abbey Wood Nursery in South Croydon offers total reassurance and peace of mind without the commitment as there is no registration fee to pay.

To find out more about the emergency care we offer,
click here.

Abbey Wood Grange Private Preschool Nursery, South Croydon has been serving the local community of Kenley for 30 years having just celebrated this milestone. There are currently around 10.8 million working
parents in the UK, including four million families in which both parents are employed. One recent study last year showed that almost 200,000 former stay-at-home mothers had rejoined the workforce, so it is most
important that you have the flexible and supportive child care arrangements in place to suit you and your families needs- one that you can trust with years of experience and

great reviews!

Download our brochure and fees here.

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Daycare Childcare and Nutrition In The Kitchen

Every child’s diet is very important to us here at Abbeywood Grange, and we employ an expert children’s chef on site who is a well versed dietitian for children’s requirements.

All of our meals are carefully planned, balanced and cooked fresh daily on site in our kitchen.

We cater for any special dietary need and also offer offer Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian meal choices. Call us for more information on 0208 660 9040 or send over a quick message on our Contact Form.

5 Star Food Hygiene Rating

Our meals take inspiration from all corners of the world and our kitchen is rated 5 out of 5 stars for Food Hygiene. Using fresh local produce wherever we can our chef offers children five portions of fruit and vegetables daily from breakfast, a rice cake snack before lunch, including a fruity afternoon snack before tea is served.

If your child is with us for the full day Nursery care, we are proud to provide healthy diet regimes to cater for any allergies or dietary requirements such as dairy free, lactose intolerant etc. At all times we educate children with developing good hygiene with fun routines, ensuring table manners are observed whilst socialising and enjoying time with their friends at the table.

Socialising, Cleanliness and Positive Oral Hygiene

Children are gently encouraged to wash their hands before snack and every meal time with specially chosen handwash soap at our perfect child height sinks. Whether it’s meal time or learning time, we incorporate educational messages in all daily activities.

We are so very lucky to have a huge kitchen which is well stocked with state of the art catering equipment and is available for inspection should you want to book a tour with us. We respect the importance of cleanliness and dental hygiene, we promote good positive oral hygiene routines for all of our children.

Daycare Children’s Sample Menu 

Here’s a sample 3 day menu – read more in depth menu and nutrition information on our Meals page.

Breakfast: A selection of cereals with whole milk
Mid morning snack: Breadsticks and rice cakes
Lunchtime: 100% cod fish fingers, peas, sweetcorn and mashed potato / Veggie & tomato dip / Rice Pudding
Afternoon snack: Fresh fruit platter
Afternoon tea: Crackers with ham and cucumber wedges / Apricot flapjack

Breakfast: A selection of cereals with whole milk
Mid morning snack: Breadsticks and rice cakes
 Lunchtime: Spaghetti Bolognaise & grated cheese / Yoghurt
Afternoon snack: Fresh fruit platter
Afternoon tea: Cheese & tomato pizza with a variety of toppings Melon

Breakfast: A selection of cereals with whole milk
Mid morning snack: Breadsticks and rice cakes
Lunchtime: Chicken Paella with vegetables / Banana
Afternoon snack: Fresh fruit platter
Afternoon tea: Beans and wholemeal toast Apples Scone & Jam

Working Up An Appetite

My time at Abbey Wood…

I remember vividly the first day I walked into Abbey Wood Grange as an enthusiastic 17 year old having just completed my CCE (Childcare and Education) at East Surrey College.

My first impressions were ones of warmth and friendliness and after a successful interview and work trial I was offered a position within the Toddler room as a Nursery Assistant. I never dreamt that nearly 20 years later I would be one of the Managers at Abbey Wood Grange supporting and guiding the new generation of Nursery Nurses. 

Within 3 years of starting at Abbey Wood Grange I gained my NVQL3 in Childcare and over the following years I worked mainly within the Baby Unit and along with my team we prided ourselves on offering new parents, reassurance, support and love within a home from home environment.

In 2006 the nursery was taken over by new Directors, Sue and Vince who have always respected our knowledge and embraced our ideas and love for the nursery. Having the opportunity to be involved at every level of the decision making process, along with a mutual respect for one another means that over the years along with an amazing and supportive staff team we really have been able to help mould Abbey Wood Grange into the amazing place it is today.

After having my own daughter in 2007, I got to experience Abbey Wood Grange from a parent’s point of view and believe that this has truly helped me to empathise and share some of the feelings and emotions experienced by new parents. 

In 2008, I undertook my NVQ Level 4 Management Training and the start of my Managerial role within Abbey Wood Grange.

I feel extremely thankful and lucky that I truly enjoy coming to work and am lucky enough to work with not just colleagues but some of my best friends. Having worked alongside Olivia and Lisa since the beginning, we now make up the Management team and our relationship really has blossomed into one of trust, love and respect. We refer to ourselves as the ‘Triangle’ and together we will always do our absolute best for our children, parents and staff.

Over the years I have gained many skills and furthered my knowledge in a variety of ways. I genuinely feel so passionate about Abbey Wood Grange and am truly thankful for all the opportunities it has given me. 

Cheryl Pepper

Nursery Manager

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Nurseries near me in South Croydon

Nurseries near me is a phrase that many parents are using in South Croydon to find which private nurseries are nearest to them and are therefore most suitable for preschool children.

Typically, parents would travel between 3 and 5 miles to a local pre-school nursery. If we use Kenley, South Croydon as an example, here are the list of Nurseries or Pre-schools in a five mile radius;

  • Abbey Wood Grange
  • Fennies Nursery
  • Whytebeams Nursery
  • Little Learners Day Nursery
  • Butterflies Pre-School
  • Kenley Kindergarten
  • All Saints Pre-School

Abbey Wood Grange Preschool Nursery South Croydon

If you’re looking for preschools, private pre-schools or nurseries near me that accept children from any of the following areas, Abbey Wood Grange is a highly rated local nursery: Kenley, Sanderstead, Coulsdon, Warlingham, Riddlesdown, South Croydon, Whyteleaf, Purley, South Croydon.

If you’d like to take a look at this local nursery near you, you can book a tour and meet the staff.  

When looking for childcare, many parents do not associate child care being provided by a nursery/preschool. However, some nurseries such as Abbey Wood Grange accept pre-school children from the age of 3 months right the way through to 5 Years of age. 

Nursery schools are monitored by OFSTED therefore nursery children will be stimulated from a young age and will follow the appropriate curriculum for their age group. Find out more about the differences between childminders and nursery childcare. 

Google Map showing Nurseries near me from the town of Kenley

Map showing Nurseries near me from the town of Kenley

Abbey Wood Grange Private Day Nursery Facilities

Abbey Wood Grange take pride in providing the following private day nursery facilities:

  • Open Garden for 
    • Four large enclosed outside facilities including an excellent adventure playground, which allows the children plenty of outdoor play and learning opportunities.
preschool nursery garden
  • Green house
    • A small greenhouse to teach children about nature and the environment.
  • Soft play & Sensory Room
    • Indoor romp room suitable for all ages, which also has its own ball pool as well as an indoor sensory room providing a calm and relaxing space for children of any age. 
preschool nursery facilities near me in croydon

Pre – Schooler Behaviour and Solutions

Emotional transition, self-feeding – children are encouraged to self-serve their own lunch, toilet training, dressing independently, name writing, number counting, How else can we help?

How to prepare me for school, from a child’s perspective.

How can you help me get school ready?

Toilet trained: To help me get ready for school, I need to develop my confidence to be able to use the toilet independently. This mean I will need to learn how to communicate my needs of asking to go to the toilet. I also need to learn how to wipe myself clean independently!

Top Tip…. Demonstrate the proper technique, show your child how to hold the wipe flat in their hand (not wadded into a ball). And then talk them through the process of wipe, fold, wipe, fold, wipe until they don’t see anything on the wipe anymore. That’s how they’ll know they’re finished and ready to flush.

Dressing independently: I need to learn how to dress myself independently, by putting my own clothes and coat on, and I need to learn how to put my shoes on the correct feet. (Velcro shoes are ideal).

Top Tip…. Demonstrate a technique, laying out your child’s coat on the floor and encourage your child to place their arms through and flip over their heads and pull. To encourage your child to put their shoes on their correct feet. Put happy face stickers on the inside of the left and right shoes. This will help your child to know how to put shoes on the right feet. When the happy faces are smiling at each other, the shoes are on the right feet!

Eating independently: I need to learn how to eat my food independently and to use a knife and fork and to be able to clear my own plate at mealtimes.

At nursery the children are encouraged to self-serve their own lunch, with mini serving equipment.

Top Tip…. Encourage your child to self-serve their meals at home and to encourage your child to communicate, what they are eating for lunch, this can build up their confidence when asking for food at lunch time.

Encourage your child to independently to cut their own food, this will get them used to eating with a knife and fork.

Being able to recognise and write their name: I need to learn to be able to recognise my letters and my name, this will help me find my peg in the morning and to label my work. (etc) I also need to learn how to hold my pencil with a pincer grip and develop confidence with my pencil control when learning to write my name. This will help me develop my fine motor skills.

Encourage me to use the phonics cards and music. (phrase one), this will help me when spelling out the alphabet and my name and help me clearly understand how to pronounce the sounds of the letters.

Top Tip…… When writing their name, point out the letters of your child name and spell out their name and encourage them to repeat the letters. Step 2 write your child name and encourage them to copying writing out the letter. I need to be able recognise my number: I need to be able to confidently recognise my numbers 1-20. This will help me gain the confidence when joining reception class.

I need to be able to count in the correct order and be able to recognise numbers 1-20. (ideally).

Top Tip…. Say the numbers 1 through 10 during everyday activities. The first step in learning numbers is hearing numbers and remembering their order. The numbers 1 through 10 are important to learn first. In order to help facilitate this process, begin counting toys and objects. For instance, count their blueberries out loud as they eat them. Simply say, “One blueberry, two blueberries, three blueberries, four…”. Encouraging your child to use a number line by saying each number as you go along and encouraging your child to repeat with you. Another great way to help your child recognise numbers is by reading them books that contain numbers.

Examples of recommended counting books include Eric Carle’s “1, 2, 3 to the Zoo: A Counting Book” and Jane Yolen’s “How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten?”. How can we make the transition to school easier?

Emotional transition: When preparing your child for school, the transition can be a big change for your child, ways of helping encourage your child emotionally for school is… Talking about school enthusiastically by building up the excitement about school can build up your child’s confidence and can encourage them to feel positive about their new environment. Discussing the routine can prepare your child and help them understand what we be happening throughout the day.

Encourage your child to communicate their needs with their teachers, “remember you can ask to go to the toilet by asking your teacher”. Building up their confidence to encourage the that it is okay to ask for things.

Separation anxiety can be very upsetting for every child, so it is important to explain to your that they will be continually going to school each day (Monday to Friday). Explain to your child that school starts at 9am and finishes at 3pm and that they will be there for the whole day, this can help your child understand their new routine.

Encourage your child to say goodbye, walk your child through the playground and classroom, enthusiastically show them to an activity. Visiting the school, around august time your child school starts doing visit to encourage them to explore their new environment. A good idea if you live locally to their new setting, is when doing the morning run driving past the school, so your child can get used to seeing their school. More information at

What are typical behavioural characteristics and challenges?

Children are in the Preschool Years from 3 years old until they start school. These children are starting to show personality traits and more intellectual development, including:

Egotism. A pre-schooler is the centre of the world. Your child believes that everything in the world revolves around her.

Independence. A pre-schooler will want to dress by himself and want to help you with the household chores. Be patient as your child practices these skills.

Creativity. Imaginations are constantly “on.” Your child’s world is full of magical things at this time.

“Why?” Pre-schoolers are trying to learn all about their environments; they will ask “why” constantly! Take the time to help your child learn about what causes the events happening around him.

Sociality. Pre-schoolers are learning to be a good companion or friend to other children their age. Pre-school play dates or playgroups provide wonderful opportunities for your child to learn important social skills.

Listening. Pre-schoolers must also learn to listen to others with interest. Model appropriate listening behaviour for your pre-schooler by actively listening when she tells you about her day, her friends and her discoveries.

Motor skills. Pre-schoolers are also learning complex movements such as hopping, climbing, and skipping. Let your child practice and make it fun!

Language. Pronunciation improves during this time. Don’t be alarmed if your child leaves out word sounds occasionally.

Principles. Pre-schoolers are also learning the difference between right and wrong. You can help by setting firm and consistent limits for your child.

Reality vs. fantasy. Pre-schoolers must learn the difference between reality and fantasy. By the end of the preschool years, your child will have a better understanding of past, present and future.

Phobias. New fears, especially to unfamiliar sights and sounds are common at this age. Be supportive while trying to ease irrational fears.

Poor sportsmanship. Pre-schoolers learn to follow simple rules in the games they play, but they will always want to win and be in “first place.” Playing “fair” will come later in your child’s development.

Highly impressionable. Pre-schoolers are heavily influenced by what they see. It’s important to actively supervise what your child is exposed to on television and in the real world.

Sexual curiosity. It is normal for pre-schoolers to engage in sexual exploration. Help your child learn what is appropriate.

Children this age are constantly testing their parents and the world. Many parents face similar behavioural problems. Here are some solutions to some everyday problems.

Some days my pre-schooler acts as though she’s ready to be “all grown up,” other times I fear she’s regressing back to her “baby” days. How can I help her through this change?

Help your child transition from “baby” to preschool. Your child may rely on security items (e.g., blankets, special bear) and needs your understanding about the importance of these special items.

Master the art of feeling identification. “Learning to recognize and deal with children’s feelings is a vitally important step in handling children’s behaviour.”

Pre-schoolers haven’t learned what feelings are, how to talk about them or what each one feels like. They may throw a toy or tantrum when trying to deal with frustration or anger.

Parents must interpret nonverbal clues, understand feelings, and help their child understand too.

For example, Jamie starts crying when Mum leaves to go to the shop. Dad says, “Oh you’re crying because you’re sad that Mummy left. She’ll be back soon.” Dad realizes what Jamie is feeling and helps her recognize the feeling “sad.”

I think that if I communicated better with my child, I would be able to influence his behaviour more. But how can I start to improve this aspect of our relationship?

Remember that your child has a limited vocabulary and doesn’t understand everything you say. It’s important not to use too many words. Don’t expect your child to understand another person’s viewpoint because children this age are very egocentric. Also, your child can’t understand abstract ideas yet so it’s important to use concrete examples when using logic, reason, or cause and effect (e.g. if you turn your plate over, all the food will fall off). Practice these ways to communicate with your child:

Learn and model ways to use nonverbal communication in actions that are appropriate for your child.

“Nonverbal communication” involves the feelings expressed through facial expressions, voices, and the way you move or stand.

Children are very sensitive to nonverbal communication. For example, Johnny comes running inside to show Dad the picture he drew. Dad barely takes his eyes away from his work. Johnny learns Dad is not interested in Johnny’s achievement.

Make sure to maintain eye contact when you express your feelings to your child.

Eye contact tells your child she is important and that you are focusing on her. It also encourages her to make eye contact with you.

Making eye contact increases the effectiveness of your message.

Be aware of your posture and position when talking with your child.

Get down to your child’s eye level. Kneel next to him or sit beside him to take away the intimidating difference in size and height.

Watch out for negative body language. For example, crossed arms or legs can indicate that you are “closed off,” resistant, or hostile.

Monitor your tone of voice.

Your tone of voice may be the most powerful nonverbal tool of all!

A simple phrase can be interpreted differently depending upon the tone of voice.

Keeping the voice calm, soothing, and soft helps children feel safe and able to express themselves in return.

Remember the importance of facial expressions and touch.

Simply rubbing a child’s back, smiling and winking, or tucking a child into bed communicates, “I care about you.”

Children are very aware of our faces and the way we express affection through the touch of our hand or a hug.

My 4 year-old daughter seems so angry all the time, but I can’t get her to talk to me about what is going on. What can I do?
Active Listening with Children

Try active listening! Active listening is the art of observing and listening to your child’s feelings, then repeating what you have heard to your child. Active listening:

allows your child to feel like you understand her,

lets your child work through her feelings in an appropriate way

does not mean you agree with everything your child says; you are simply providing her with a supportive forum for her feelings.

An example of active listening:

Billy comes in yelling, “Harry took my favourite toy away!!!” and bursts into tears.

Mum says, “Gosh, you seem pretty angry about this!”

Billy thinks and says, “It’s not fair! Harry took my toy – he’s taller and runs faster than me!”

Mum gently reflects back, “It must be really frustrating to have your toy taken away by someone bigger than you.”

Billy thinks some more and says, “I feel sad.”

After more talking, Billy decides to forget about his favourite toy and go play outside. Mum has helped him feel listened to, appreciated, and loved.

I feel as though my pre schooler does not listen to me at all. I tell him to clean his room and he keeps playing. Ever since he turned 4, it’s been a struggle to have him do anything that I tell him to do. In fact, sometimes he’ll do the opposite! What can I do?

Look at how you talk to your child. Nagging, lecturing, or yelling will turn the child off to listening, and threats and bribes teach fear and greed, not obedience.

Give choices: “Would you like me to help you pick up all the toys or would you rather do it yourself?” This empowers your child.

Stop the power struggle. Adults set up a power struggle that makes winning more attractive than listening or cooperating. When your child does the opposite of what you say, he thinks, “I win!”

Be developmentally appropriate. Sometimes we expect our children to be more advanced than they really are. Remember that many of the younger children can’t understand a request because it involves thinking or listening skills that they haven’t developed yet.

Be understanding. A child this age is “programmed” to explore as much as she possibly can. Sometimes this desire to check out the world will win over an adult’s words.

My pre-schooler will not eat about 85% of what I serve to him. What can I do to change this?

Offer choices. If your child complains about food, ask (in a supportive manner), “You can eat what’s on the table or fix your own sandwich. What’s your choice?” You can teach him how to make his own sandwiches at this age.

Invite solutions. Ask, “What can we do about this problem?” This invites your child to use his thinking skills and problem-solving skills. He can use his power in positive ways to feel capable instead of in power struggles.

Share tasks. Children are more cooperative when they have been included and feel like a contributing member of the family. Sharing tasks also helps teach life skills.

Invite your child to help plan menus.

Get him involved in creating the shopping list.

Encourage him to help with the cooking. Let him decide which nights he wants to be the chef’s “special helper.”

Choose your battles. Don’t turn it into a battle of wills (e.g. your child sits at the table for hours while refusing to finish his broccoli). This is destructive to your relationship and may lead to eating problems in the future.

Keep up those mealtime routines! A small snack can also help with after-school hunger pangs. Make sure that mealtime is regular. Have rituals such as a quick game before lunch or a walk after dinner. This sense of family togetherness, especially around the evening meal, can help children feel part of a secure, loving group.

Strategies to deal with problematic behaviour:

Ignore mild behaviour. If a child does not get attention for a behaviour, he will often stop doing it.

Use distraction. Try redirecting your child to another behaviour, toy, or activity. You can also use humour as a distraction tool.

Give warnings then follow through. For example, “Food stays on our plate. If it goes on the floor, I will take it away” (the warning). If the warning needs to be repeated more than twice, take the plate away and end the meal (the consequence).

Time-out. Remove your child from the situation (e.g. put her in another room, have her sit in the corner) for a short period. This will help her calm down as well as motivate her to behave so she can “get back into the game.”

“Calming time.” Giving your child a quiet activity (drawing, colouring, puzzle pieces, etc) can calm her better than simply sitting (a time-out)

Stay in control. Be emotionally neutral and matter-of-fact. Avoid shouting, or pleading for cooperation. If you start using these techniques, it’s okay to say that you made a mistake and to start over using a different technique. Remember to take a “calming time” to cool off when YOU need it too!

Trial and error. Remember that each child is different, and your strategies may need to change for each child or as your child grows through different phases. Find what works specifically for you and your child.

Be playful. If you want your child to clean up her toys, get down and do it with her in a fun way. For example, have a “10-second tidy” where you see how much you can clean up in 10 seconds or sing a silly song like “Clean up clean up, everybody everywhere. Clean up clean up, everybody do your share.” Feel free to make up your games and lyrics!

Say “no” less. Prevent battles by childproofing your home and removing objects your child isn’t allowed to play with.

“Time in.” Make sure your child has at least 15 minutes a day of your complete attention. This reduces “attention-getting” behaviours and shows your child love and support.

Take care of yourself. As a parent, you need to find time for yourself, so you have the energy to give the proper attention and discipline. Paying attention to your needs, feeling rested and being calm improves your relationships with others.

More general parenting tips

Keep your praise and encouragement specific. When your child draws a picture, instead of saying, “This is great,” talk to your child about it. You might say, “Tell me about these stripes here – are blue and pink your favourite colours? What kind of shape did you use here?” This way you can talk and learn together, while sending the message that the picture is important to you too.

Watch the content of your praise and encouragement. Saying, “Wow, that is the most beautiful artwork I’ve ever seen!” can make your child focus on always trying to please people. Instead you could say, “I like all the colours you used in this picture.”

“Catch your child being good.” Instead of always pointing out everything your child does wrong, give them attention for the things that they do right. Celebrate the positive things they do and reward their good behaviour!

Instead of focusing on the two Lego pieces your child forgot to put away, praise him for cleaning up all the other pieces.

If you are looking for private daycare in South Croydon, contact our friendly team today and book in a tour around the grounds next week!

Pre School Nursery Children and Fevers

During a child’s first few years it can seem like they are sponges for germs, picking up a variety of common childhood illnesses, including coughs colds and fevers.

Although all of these are extremely common and in the majority of cases the children quickly make a full recovery, it can still be a stressful and upsetting time.

A fever can be caused by many things, from common childhood illnesses like chicken pox to vaccinations and is a natural and healthy response to infection.

Normal Temperature for Young Children

  • A normal temperature within a child is around 36.4C but this can vary slightly from child to child.
  • A fever is a high temperature of 38C or more
  • A fever is the body’s way of fighting or killing off infections like coughs and colds.

The most accurate way of checking your child’s temperature is to use a digital thermometer, although there may also be some other visuals present:

  • Feeling hotter to the touch, on their forehead, back or tummy
  • Feeling sweaty or clammy
  • Red cheeks

The child can usually be cared for at home and the temperature normally subsides within a few days. If you are worried about your child seek medical advice.

Fever Do“s

  • Give them plenty of fluids
  • Offer foods, favourite foods or softer/colder foods if suffering from sore throat/tonsillitis
  • Check on your child regularly during the night
  • Keep them at home and offer quieter activities
  • Give them paracetamol or ibuprofen to reduce the fever

Fever Dont“s

  • Do not undress your child or sponge them down to cool them
  • Do not wrap them up in layers
  • Do not give asprin to under 16s
  • Do not give ibuprofen and paracetamol, unless advised by a GP
  • Do not give paracetamol to a child under 2 months
  • Do not give ibuprofen to a child under 3 months or under 5kg
  • Do not give ibuprofen to a child with asthma
  • When To Call Emergency Services
  • Get an urgent GP appointment or call 111 if your child shows any of the following:
  • Is under 3 months old and has a temperature of 38c or above
  • Is 3-6 months old and has a temperature of 39c or above
  • Has other signs of illness, such as a rash as well as a high temperature
  • Proves a high temperature that’s lasted for 5 days or more
  • Does not want to eat
  • Temperature does not come down with paracetamol or nurofen
  • Showing signs of dehydration, such as nappies are not wet, sunken eyes, no tears when crying.

How Common is a Fever In Children?

It’s quite rare for a fever to be a sign of anything more serious but it is important that you know the signs and what to look out for.

Call 999 or go straight to A&E if your child:

  • Has a stiff neck
  • Has a rash that does not fade when you press a glass against it
  • Is bothered by light
  • Has a fit ( febrile seizure ) for the first time ( they cannot stop shaking )
  • Has unusually cold hands and feet
  • Has pale, blotchy, blue or grey skin
  • Has a weak, high pitched cry that’s not like their normal cry
  • Is drowsy and hard to wake
  • Finds it hard to breathe and sucks their stomach in under their ribs
  • Has a soft spot on their head that curves outwards ( bulging fontanelle)

Further advice and guidance can be found at

REMEMBER, YOU know your child better than anyone else, therefore if you are concerned or worried seek medical advice.

2020 Private Nursery Daycare in South Croydon

If you are looking for private daycare in South Croydon, contact our friendly team today and book in a tour around the grounds next week!