We currently have Spring Nursery settings on 16 military bases, as a large and unique part of our childcare is our military offering. This enables us to support families by providing their child with high quality and unique learning experiences, whilst being knowledgeable in military life.
With Spring Nurseries placed on military bases across the UK, we are able to support with consistency in a child’s learning through our ability to transfer a child to another Spring Nursery setting when the time comes for families to be posted.
This supports to ease the impact of the move on the child, providing them with consistent learning environments where they can continue to thrive. If a family are transferring to another Spring Nursery, our Nursery Managers communicate to discuss availability and ensure child development documents are exchanged so that a child can continue their learning journey seamlessly.
Whilst deployment is what personnel in the services train and prepare for, it also brings special challenges for those left at home. It has an impact upon family life and tests our ability to cope with change. The practicalities of having to manage the family alone are uppermost on the minds of those remaining at home. Even the youngest of children can sense a change in the pattern of family life. It is therefore the familiar and regular aspects of their lives that provide comfort and reassurance. This is why routines are important: Nursery/school is part of that continuity and can be the least disrupted part of the child’s world with the right approach.
Whilst our Spring settings are all individual, they all follow the same ethos and offer support to the child and their families during difficult times such as deployments and postings. We taken an individual approach to each child and family to support with their needs and coping mechanisms to support during difficult periods.
The Nursery Managers work closely with the bases Community Development Officers, Soldier, Sailors and Airforce Charity (SSAFA) and local schools to gain further support where necessary. Many of the practitioners that work within the nurseries come from military backgrounds themselves so are able to use their own experiences and knowledge to better support the families.
We also offer wrap around out of school clubs at many of our military sites offering childcare from 0-12 years.
During pre-deployment (the phase of preparation for departure and separation) initially, our Nursery’s Practitioners obtain information from the parents as to where they will be deployed, to allow them to have an insight into the length of the deployment and where their family member will be located.
This allows practitioners to set aside regular quality time to engage with the children to provide them with reassurance and further knowledge with regards the geography, the climate, the terrain, the lives and customs of people there.
Children are given the opportunity to locate the area where their family member will be deployed to on a globe and a world map. They often share their experiences with other children within nursery.
During deployment, we support families with a number of resources for children to use whilst family members are deployed, including ‘Hello from
Home Books’ and ‘Activity Books’ provided by Military Community Support. These help children keep in touch with those who are away through writing and pictures. This helps children and families to cope during this difficult period.
The Famly app that we use regularly to communicate with parents enables both parents to get regular updates on their child’s progress and what they have been up to in nursery and this has proved an invaluable support to those personnel who are deployed. You can read more about our parent communication here
We offer a military discount on all childcare services at Spring by Action for Children.