The Nido at Boldon acts as a transitional space to support the emotional needs and well-being of our youngest children, in particular the two-year old’s. This is more prevalent than ever following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on families. Research gives us an insight into what some children may have endured during this time and helps us respond effectively in terms of what we provide:
In April to September 2021, there was an 81% increase in referrals for children and young people’s mental health services.” (Quality Watch 2022).
The ‘1001 days report’ states that these children may be victims of hidden harm.
- An increased likelihood of exposure to traumatic experiences
- Indirect health risks from time confined indoors and reduced contact with health services
- Risks of harm to development from restricted social interaction
- Risk of increased parental stress, less responsive parenting and harms to caregiving relationships
- Increased likelihood of hunger or maternal deprivation
The purpose of the Nido is to provide a starting point to the outdoors for our youngest children. In the eyes of a two-year old the garden can appear as a huge expanse or a wilderness of unknown proportions. The Nido offers an in between space for the child to build their confidence over time to explore. The large glass windows allow children to observe and join in when they are ready and feel comfortable. It is not a space for play, it is a space to regulate and make sense of their environment, as and when needed by the child.
Environment plays a crucial role within the well-being and development of children. The Nido space was developed with this in mind. Careful consideration was given as a team to respond to the needs of the current cohort of children and so the space was adapted, considering the voice of the child and following their cues.
It is the Nido that gives our two-year old children a secure base from which to explore and investigate. It provides a sense of belonging, safety and security. It is a place simply to ‘be’ and feel comforted. This is of particular importance to our two-year-old’s as it provides the ability to develop the foundations of strong trusting relationships. It is a warm and inviting space in keeping with our home from home ethos. The space lends itself perfectly to family time and helps children with the separation and transition from home to nursery.
A great number of the children have missed out on social experiences and opportunities due to COVID -19. Opportunities such as going to a play group, the park or even the shops. Therefore, the Nido provides a space to share an exciting story, a familiar song or a picture of an adventure from home. The Nido supports children with co and self-regulation. They have a safe space to ‘check into’, taking time unhurried to find some calm within a busy session. Children often experience many transitions from place to place, adult to adult, before their arrival at nursery.
The name Nido comes from the Italian word for nest, it is a place of nurturing and responding to the needs of the child. Most children have an innate and strong instinct towards attachment. When a child is frightened or upset, they tend to seek out a caregiver or secure base. When a child has been allowed to ‘check in’ with a caregiver or secure base and all their emotional needs have been met, only then can learning and development occur. The levels of well-being in the child need to be high to gain engagement.
“The more engaged and absorbed the child is, the deeper and richer their experience will be, and the more complex their thinking.” (Macrae and Jones, 2020),
A secure base gives children the confidence to explore at their own pace, to test their theories and ideas knowing that there is an adult nearby ready to support. It is the Nido that promotes the right of the child to feel safe and secure, to be heard and to be able to express themselves. (UNCRC, 1989).
“Life is best organized as a series of daring adventures from a secure base.”- (John Bowlby).