I bumped into an old friend recently when I began talking to her about my return to work. When I mentioned that I was going back full-time, she turned and looked at me as if I was mad before telling me “you’re brave!” I took a deep breath and laughed nervously.
She went on to reel off the benefits of being a stay at home mum (SAHM), but in my opinion it’s this sort of utopia that makes working mums – like me – feel guilty.
Before I visited Cyrus’s nursery I had visions of babies being looked after in bulk, in bleak surroundings by negligent, underpaid teenagers with minimal qualifications. They’d be crawling around on the floor, sitting wailing, aching for someone to love them. In my opinion, a ratio of 1:3 could never beat 1:1 at home.
The reality of today’s nurseries I’m pleased to say is very different.
On my first visit I found bright, colourful artwork and photographs of tots hunting for mini beasts adorning the walls. There were toys and games galore and staff were talking to the children in a kind, friendly and committed manner.
Each child has a special photographic journal to reveal what they have been doing at nursery. There’s even a nursery teddy bear that children can take away for the holidays and bring back photos and reports on what the bear got up to.
Given that I’m now currently counting down the days until I join the thousands of other women who re-enter employment within a year of giving birth, I am happy Cyrus is going to such a safe, caring and cheerful environment.
I know I’m still going to feel crushed when I leave the nursery behind for the first time, but with music, art and stories, outdoor adventures and playtime, I’m not sure he’s going to miss me as much as I will him! I know he is going to receive high-quality childcare.
I’m decades into my career and it would be hard to take a step back now. So I couldn’t be happier as a new mum over 40 to have the support of such highly-trained, caring individuals as I embark on my work journey once again. They have already given Cyrus a warm, positive, nursery welcome too which he seemed delighted by.
Finding excellent childcare is an issue faced by parents every day in the UK and demand for places is higher than ever.
With that in mind, it’s good to be able to recognise and support those doing a great job through Chemist.co.uk’s Community Nursery of the Year Awards.
If you know a nursery with staff who show outstanding leadership who work tirelessly to promote safe working practices and cater for parents’ and children’s needs, then nominate them now.
Perhaps you know a nursery that’s small fry compared to the big names in your area, this is your opportunity to reward the underdogs in the UK.
The Promotion is open to those resident in the UK aged 18 and over. Any nursery, pre-school or official play-group in the UK can be nominated for the competition.
Simply nominate your chosen nursery, you must have access to the internet and visit www.chemist.co.uk/nursery and fill in all of the appropriate cells for nomination.
All voters are also automatically entered into a weekly prize draw. Only one entry per user.
The Main winner will receive approx. £500 worth of products.
Two runners-up will each receive approx. £200 worth of products.
Selected winners of the regional voting will receive a £50 voucher to be used at chemist.co.uk or another suitable prize of our choosing.
For more information about the competition, such as closing dates, click here.