How nursery helps your child's social development

At a time when we're meeting with socialising with other people less frequently than normal, we take a look at how nursery helps your child's social development.

Sarah Rock is a manager within the Alpha Kindergarten Group and has spent her entire career in early years education. She has been with the company for over a decade.

During lockdown, we are all seeing other people less and socialising less frequently than we would otherwise be doing. However, nurseries are still open and caring for children as we help them to develop key skills at this vital period in their lives. For many children, nursery is the first time that they develop relationships outside of their families and our team work to support each child’s social development.

Here are five ways that nursery helps your child’s social development:

1. It helps children to understand boundaries and appropriate behaviour

For most children, nursery is the first time that they will interact with a significant number of other children. We help to support their interaction to help them understand what behaviour is appropriate when socialising with their peers.

By taking part in games and activities that promote turn taking and sharing, children will develop clear expectations about what is expected when engaging with others. For example, even a simple game passing a ball to each other helps children to learn behavioural concepts such as waiting your turn and sharing the ball.

Our staff will also help to role model behaviour for children. This can be seen during meal times when adults will be role modelling manners to each other and the children.

Learn more about Rainbow Nursery in Birstall

2. Nursery helps children to learn about forming positive relationships with others

At nursery, we help children to build relationships with others in ways they weren’t previously equipped to do so. Your child will have a key person – a member of staff who will develop a relationship with them. Not only does this ensure that they have a secure relationship with someone in the nursery early on, it also means that they have someone who can demonstrate what is expected in social interactions such as saying please and thank you.

As they start to develop relationships with their peers, we support children to resolve their differences positively. By sharing experiences together, sharing interests and engaging in team work through games and activities, your child will develop the confidence to build positive relationships with others.

Learn more about our ethos at Rainbow Nursery in Birstall

3. We help your child to manage their feelings

At this age, children need support to manage their feelings as their brains start to receive a large amount of information – including emotion, memory and environmental information. Our team are qualified and experienced in supporting them coordinate these responses in a way which helps them to manage their feelings.

As well as ensuring that we are always there for them, we support this by consistently role modelling behaviour to help them better understand emotions. For example, we will do fun activities which role model situations involving emotion such as looking after a doll and making sure that the doll is happy.

Learn more about our Toddler Room

4. Nursery helps to build your child's confidence

Throughout nursery, we support your child as they develop self-confidence and self-awareness. In younger children and babies, activities such as ‘head, shoulders, knees and toes’ helps your child  develop a feeling of self and self-worth.

With older children, we help them to understand that their interactions have positive consequences, which helps them to build the confidence to do that thing again in the future. At meal times, for example, they will help to set the table, pour drinks for each other and have a meal together to help them understand the positive consequences of helping their friends.

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5. We help to develop their listening skills

At nursery we actively encourage children to listen to others and support them to process the information they’ve heard. Our staff are trained and experienced in adapting to each child as an individual and environment so that they can support children to listen in different situations.

This encourages listening to both their peers and adults and supports their ability to understand and follow instructions. This can help to ease the transition between nursery and primary school and parents often mention that their children find it easier to follow instructions at home.   

Learn more about our pre-school room

Rainbow Nursery in Birstall cares for children from 6 weeks old until school age. The longest running nursery in Birstall, we have been open for over 30 years. We are open all year around, Monday to Friday 8am-6pm.

Contact us today!

We'd love to chat and would be happy to answer any questions you might have. Give us a call today on 0116 267 1331 or email