Worksop nursery provider steps up to support families as study reveals parents fear lockdown has damaged their child’s development

As a national survey revealed that eight in 10 parents in the East Midlands are concerned lockdown has set back their child’s social development, a Worksop nursery provider is stepping up to support families.

Monday, 24th May 2021, 4:41 pm

Busy Bees which has nurseries in Worksop, has launched a free guide “Supporting Children's Wellbeing in the Wake of a Pandemic” after its study of 1,000 mums and dads of children aged eight and under found 68 per cent of those in the East Midlands have struggled with the lack of interaction during the pandemic.

The guide has been designed by Busy Bees’ early years experts for parents of young children and features tips to support children with separation anxiety, in-depth explanations to understand how attachment works and a host of calming activities to do at home for families adapting to ‘the new normal’.

In normal times, the average child would be socialising with seven good friends, and more than nine in 10 parents in the East Midlands polled via OnePoll have always believed it is important for children to socialise with others from a very early age. Sadly, more than two in 10 parents in the East Midlands say their child simply isn’t as happy as they previously were – 18 per cent of parents worry their child has become shier, while 14 per cent think they are less playful.

(Photo by OLI SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

And parents believe it’ll take at least five months of school or nursery before their children bounce back – though the survey showed that children in the region that went to nursery throughout lockdown very quickly became more confident (52 per cent), better at playing with others (39 per cent), and more independent (43 per cent).

Deena Billings, quality director at Busy Bees, which carried out the study said: “There is no doubt the pandemic has had an impact on the nation’s children, and they need more attention and understanding than ever.

“We’ve seen children in our nurseries having to re-learn how to use their social skills, independence and interactions with peers when we initially reopened our doors last year. This is why we’ve launched a free guide to help parents understand how best to support their child’s social wellbeing, giving them the tools to better understand what they’re going through and sharing our best tips to give them the best possible start in life.

“Worried parents should remember children are really resilient, and with time, supporting their emotions, and nurturing, there is no reason why even the clingiest of children won’t be back to normal.”

The study also found 80 per cent of parents in the East Midlands are concerned the lack of social interaction over the last 12 months will have a negative effect on their child’s psychological and emotional well-being, while others fear developmental milestones such as being able to walk, toilet train and eat without help could be affected.

Deena said: “The next few months will see children develop their ability to socialise, to be independent and engaging positively with their peers.”

To download Busy Bees’ free online guide, “Social Butterflies: Supporting Children's Wellbeing in the Wake of a Pandemic”, visit busybees.com/social-butterflies.

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