As you are aware by now, here at Daybreak we have lots of working Mums who’ve all had to go through the feared process of returning back to work. It’s such a hard thing to do when all you want is to spend time with your children – (whether they are younger or older) and make sure they get the best possible up-bringing you can offer them. Being Mums that work in nurseries, it is perhaps a little easier for us, as we know more about nursery life.
This year, we would like to focus our blog topic on ‘mature staff perspectives,’ these series of blog posts may be helpful to those whom combat your journeys back into work after a possibly break from being a stay at home parent or a career change to childcare. We would love to hear your experiences too, so please comment below if you have any stories you would like to share.
Today we will be talking to Linda who works in the Preschool room at our Rickmansworth Town Centre Nursery, who is currently on her eighth year of working with the Daybreak family. Linda has three older daughters aged 25, 27, and 31 all of who have their own careers.
Hello Linda and thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule today and joining us. How has the welcome from the Staff at Daybreak helped you in becoming a strong and well-loved character of the Daybreak team?
Hello – thank you for letting me talk about my life before Daybreak! As I had worked at home as a Childminder for the past twenty years, returning to a workplace was a very daunting proposition for me. At first I really worried about remembering all the children’s names, the different policies that were needed to follow and also the fact that the majority of staff were much younger than I. However, as time has gone by I feel that Daybreak has given me the opportunity to carry on working with children which has always been very important to me and the staff that I have worked with along the way have always been kind and understanding towards my needs. Soon after I started working at Daybreak, the ladies allowed me to be part of their team, of which I feel I am a well trusted and respected member.
Please enlighten us on a ‘Day in the life of Linda’ at Daybreak! What are your main tasks for the day?
My first important task of the day is to greet all the children in my room (Preschool), with “good morning” this can be in a group, or individually. So many children are excited to see me and tell me they have brought a book in for Storytime, or want to tell me of any news updates that they have. Throughout the day I work or play alongside the children on a one to one basis or in a small group to learn about their skill development as they grow into the next chapter of their learning. Also, I find the time during my nursery day to collect a group of children from their schools and take them to the Break or back to Nursery for their lunch after their morning at school.
We know that you have three daughters whom are grown up and working themselves, when they were younger did they attend a nursery? How did you pass the time as they were growing up?
When my daughters were young I was a childminder, I became a childminder because I wanted to be at home with my three children whilst they were young. They all attended a playgroup daily and mixed with different children that I cared for over the years, as they got older they attended school clubs, dance and swimming clubs at term time, they also went to holiday clubs which I feel they have really benefitted from as this was a drive to keep them active. Due to my job, I always had children around me, this was very handy to the parents of the children I looked after – as I was a cheap taxi service for dropping off and picking up at school run times. I do feel I spent as much time with my girls as I possibly could, any clubs that they did attend – I was able to take the other children in my care to as well as it was so beneficial in a part of growing up.
Is there any advice you would like to share with parents? Would have changed or maybe thought out in a different way regarding your children transitioning at school and years afterwards?
The only advice I would give to other parents would be that I found it so beneficial and sociable for my children to have others around them – whether at a play or nursery setting, or having other children in my home with them – through my eyes, this grew very beneficial to my family. So I guess for me, the more sociable your children are, the more confident they will thrive to be through their lives.
Moving further, we all know and love ‘Linda’s Story Time’ in the Preschool room. How does this feel for you, knowing that the children/parents and even staff especially love this time of day?
My Story-time has become quite a popular event in the preschool room. The children run up to me and greet me with their chosen books from home, it is quite a special time for me to really bond with the children, it even surprises me how quiet they all become and get engrossed in the stories – I sometimes have up to twenty children at one story time. Every lady that has worked in our kitchen has actually passed comment on how they really enjoy the time and even miss it when I am not there. So many parents have said to me ‘Ah, you’re Linda – we have heard so much about your Storytime!’ so all this is lovely feedback and does make me feel really happy and very proud on how well this activity has become.
By having gained many years experience in childcare; through working in a nursery setting, childminding and through being a mum yourself, how would you advise mature parents and younger, when it comes to settling their little bundles of joy into nursery?
Having worked in both a nursery setting and at home as a Childminder, I can honestly say there are pros and cons on both sides – whatever your age as a parent. I think the best advice would be to visit as many settings as you possibly can, covering both Nursery and Childminders and ask as many of the questions you have in mind – they are so important to you, however trivial they might seem. By doing this you will get a feel for the place and choose where you are most comfortable as a family. I think having as many settles as you want is very crucial for yourself and your child. In my experience choose a start date for your child which is suited to your needs and perhaps meet all of the carers that will be spending time with your little ones. I feel it is also important to keep a child in a homely environment, which both a nursery setting or a childminder can offer – it is just about choosing the right one for you.
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us Linda, we wish you lots of many happy years with Daybreak Nurseries and look forward to hearing of your wonderful story times soon.