Nursery World Awards 2021 - Working with Parents
Sunday, September 26, 2021
More2Nurseries, Greenwich, London
With two sites in Greenwich, south-east London, a stone’s throw from the City where many parents work, More2Nurseries monitors the well-being of families through regular polls, questionnaires, and face-to-face conversations.
Aware of the number of parents who have moved away from family and friends to work in the capital, the group launched its More2parents programme to provide a support channel for those parents who might need it.
More2 has partnered with several experts to offer parents learning opportunities, life skills, career and financial advice, and a large networking support group.
When a family registers with More2 they are immediately given a membership card with discounts to local shops and restaurants.
More2parents partners with local businesses who run programmes throughout the year for families, from first aid courses to career coaching, and pre-natal counselling to financial advice.
Partners in the More2parents programme include Safety First by Keri Hartwright, which offers first aid courses to parents at discounted rates, career coach Emma Fulton who takes six women through a three-month career coaching programme, charity MumsAid which offers perinatal counselling to new mothers, and Gingko, which provides free financial advice to families as well as teaching nursery children about spending and saving through role play and maths activities.
Noticeboards, a private Facebook group, termly newsletter, Whatsapp group and monthly virtual coffee morning provide useful networking opportunities for parents, and feature regular contributions from special guests who help with issues including well-being, financial advice, nutrition and menu ideas.
The group also has a work hub which provides working parents with a quiet desk space, a free printing service, and tea and coffee on tap.
The programme helps parents to improve their mental well-being, encouraging them to sign up to the ‘Take Action and Get Active’ initiative alongside staff to support and fundraise for the Mental Health Foundation by pledging to get more active and improve their overall mental and physical health.
During lockdown, More2 kept one nursery open and took on an additional six key worker families from other settings. Directors collected food from local supermarkets and made food baskets for key worker parents to ensure they had treats at the end of their incredibly long days.
For parents at home and isolating, More2 provided live lessons over Zoom, handed out activity packs to teach and entertain children, and created More Good News, a weekly newsletter full of menu ideas, community news and parental advice.
One parent comments, ‘Our daughter Penelope was transferred at short notice to the More2 nursery during a very difficult time. My wife and I were redeployed to front line NHS roles and were very concerned at what would be her third nursery move in three weeks. We were absolutely delighted at all aspects of her induction and subsequent development. The care given has been second to none and we couldn’t be more grateful. They have been a valued source of stability and reassurance when everything else in our lives was up in the air.’
Another parent says, ‘Through the myriad ways of meeting other parents and the relationships with local businesses, you feel they are [all] a part of the More2 family! Their approach of supporting people throughout the community was a key reason we chose the nursery. It’s inspiring, and we are proud to be a part of it. They support local people in need, everything feels kind, considered and genuine.’
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Small Steps Big Changes
Open to services or projects that support parents, enhance their understanding of their children’s learning and development, or improve children’s outcomes through involvement and co-operation with families.