Licette Gus co-founder of Emotion Coaching UK recently spent a wonderful morning at Zeeba Royal Arsenal #Nursery in Woolwich. Zeeba Nursery was the first nursery to become accredited with Emotin Coching UK. The visit was a special one. Zeeba Nursery is part of the Bright Stars Nurseries in England and Scotland.
Licette wanted to learn from the Senior Manager Angela Donnelly and Khilna Shah, Bright Stars Head of Early Years Standards and Compliance, how Emotion Coaching was getting on in the nursery and factors they thought were key to implementation and sustaining the approach.
With these two passionate Early Years (EY) Practitioners, discussion included the impact of COVID and EY staff turnover as a sector-wide issue. The importance of quality, accessible Emotion Coaching training for all EY staff and then an induction programme to support new staff but also agency and bank staff was highlighted as key for Zeeba Royal Arsenal Nursery.
Licette loved the attachment-based ideas of the Comfort Packs. Every family receives one of these upon enrolment with the nursery to support transition. Parents/carers are encouraged to wear a crochet pocket square and/or scarf for a period, before their child starts nursery. These were then place in the child's Comfort Pack. In the nursery the child is able to obtain sensory comfort from 'smelling their parents/carers when they need to. This is one way the nursery helps their children to feel seen, soothed, safe and secure.
Licette was impressed how every room within the setting, from baby room through to 2-5 year olds had a dedicated space related to emotions and learning about emotions. She noted 6 different areas throughout the nursery, all aimed at different aged children. The 'Lavender' calming corner in the baby room was age appropriate for babies as was the emotion faced cubes and pillows for 1 and 2 year olds.
In the hurly bury of a very busy nursery environment, there are so many factors that need focussed attention e.g. safety of children, it can be easy to simply forget about naming, labelling and validating emotions.
Licette was struck by how visible emotions were for staff as well as children. The designated areas provided reminders to staff to look for Emotion Coaching opportunities in their normal work day as well as being spaces to co-regulate with children and help them to learn to self-regulate.
Opportunities for all.
Licette left the nursery feeling grateful to all of the staff working in Early Years. She values the amazing work they do to ensure that children are 'seen', 'soothed', feel 'safe' and 'secure'. The sense of wellbeing this promotes ensures that children are ready to learn and develop.