This help centre article has been written for Koru Kids' Home Nursery service
We plan around naps as good sleep is essential for young children.
The daily routine in a home nursery is to head out on adventures in the morning, return for lunch, naptime and play at home in the afternoon.
When you settle your child into your home nursery your Early Educator will chat through your child’s routine now and how it will fit in with the rhythm at the nursery in order to devise a plan for your child that you are happy with, but also means they get the most out of the day.
For children over 16 months, we generally aim for their main nap to be in the middle of the day back at home.
We believe children sleep better and longer in a darkened room, at home in a cot (or a sleeping mat if they’re older) so we aim this to be the case for most children.
Buggy sleep can be for secondary naps or on occasions on a full day trip out.
Younger babies might nap in the buggy whilst the group is out in the morning - if that is their routine. But beyond 16 months your Early Educator will suggest they begin nudging them towards a lunchtime nap so that they don’t miss too much of the morning’s adventure.
Nudging might include pushing their nap later each day until it arrives at lunchtime or allowing them a morning nap but shortening it gradually over time until it erodes away.
Having ‘nap time’ immediately after lunch suits most young children. For older children that have dropped their naps, this can be a quiet time for stories or quiet play.
All our Early Educators are trained in safe sleep. This involves training on:
The importance of sleep for brain development and learning
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Safe sleep guidelines, including the environment, sleep positions and other environmental factors impacting sleep
Partnerships - how they work with you as parents to ensure your child’s sleep is managed the way you would wish it to be
Practicalities - tips and tricks to ensure children get the best possible sleep
The sleep environment
Our Early Educators have a different approach to their sleep environment depending on how many spare bedrooms they have etc. but they all follow the same golden rules:
Children sleep on a firm, flat mattress. Cot frames and bases are rigid.
The mattress has a waterproof layer that can be wiped down and kept clean.
The child’s sleep space is kept plain and simple, with no heavy bedding, toys or cot bumpers.
The child’s head is always kept uncovered by clothing, bedding or headwear.
Baby’s heads are uncovered to ensure that they are able to keep the right body temperature.
Baby’s feet are placed at the end of the cot to sleep to ensure they can’t wriggle down under the bedding.
Bedding is tucked in or they use a baby sleeping bag. They always check that the bag fits the baby snuggly around the shoulders so that they cannot move down inside it.
The position of the travel cot is well considered within the environment to ensure that it isn’t against a radiator or in direct sunlight and out of reach of blind cords and hazards.
Room temperature is 16-20°C – with light bedding or a lightweight, well-fitting baby sleep bag. Heating in winter and fans in summer are used to maintain this.
All homes are strictly smoke-free. It is against Ofsted regulations for anyone to smoke on childminding premises (this includes the garden).
Babies stay in a cot as long as possible for the safest possible sleep - but will need to move out of a cot once they are no longer safe e.g they can rock the cot or climb out.
Once they move on, they sleep on a sleeping mat or in a toddler bed if the home nursery has space.
Cots or mats are placed in the darkest, quietest space possible having considered safety (e.g. temperature).
Most place cots in bedrooms.
If they are able to place children in separate rooms they do, to preserve each child’s sleep as long as possible.
They install blackout blinds, heavy curtains or use a gro-blind.
The children are in sight or hearing of the childminder at all times - or a monitor is used. Your child is frequently checked in person even if a monitor is used.
On your tour, you will be given a chance to see exactly how sleep works in a particular home nursery.