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Tops Day Nurseries are supporting National Pet Month this April to help encourage the positive impact pets have on people. This year the focus is responsible pet ownership.
Some settings across the Tops Day Nurseries family have pets at nursery and have visits from all different types of animals. Children at Tops learn about the importance of caring for animals and their surroundings and enjoy watching them grow and develop.
Pets within a nursery can:
-Motivate pupils to think and learn -Foster a sense of responsibility in children -Teach children nurturing skills -Encourage a feeling of empathy for others -Stimulate social integration and social competence
Tops Corfe Mullen have a guinea pig at their nursery, brought by the Mini Beasts children. The children organised and carried out a loom band and cake sale at the nursery to raise money to purchase the guinea pig, its cage and accessories.
Baby Grows day nursery had a special visit from a member of staff’s pet, a tiny puppy named Caine. The children were very excited to meet him! Tops Musgrove also had a visit from Janet, who came in with one of the lambs from her farm. The lamb was 2-3 days old and the children were so excited, talking about the feel of it and how a lamb is a baby sheep.
Some of the nurseries were given eggs early last year to look after. The children were able to watch chicks hatch in an incubator and learnt how to care for baby chicks. Similarly, pre-school children at Tops Wareham have frog spawn in the nursery which they will be able to watch transform into tadpoles before turning into frogs, they will then be able to release them into a local nature reserve.
It is important to teach children the value of pets and animals; interaction with furry friends can impact a child’s physical, social, emotional and cognitive development which can all be encouraged by interaction with animals. Owning a pet can teach a child about the responsibilities of life and mutual trust and thereby improve relationships with other pupils, parents and teachers. By feeding and exercising a pet, children can also develop an understanding of daily care.
Staff members at head office have a ‘Bring your dog to work’ policy, introducing Hadland Care Group as a dog friendly environment.