Every year our nurseries hold a graduation – a simple and often emotional little ceremony in which we mark the passage of children from childcare to school. Pre-school is a particular stage in life. Marking the end and the achievements of those leaving us at the end of August is emotional for everyone who has cared for the children. This is particularly so because in addition to knowing we won’t see these children during weekdays any longer we have been party to their development as individuals and pre-schoolers are particular individuals who love to talk; often about everything/all the time. Learning and curiosity is at its strongest during this period of life and each child tends to develop his or her own particular ways of asking questions about any subject of interest. The wonder of caring for pre-schoolers includes those very individual moments when the increasing language skills of a child allows him or her to invent a creative and often very individual way of describing something or solving a problem. We recently laughed out loud at a story of a four year old who asked her mother for a kitten. When the mother pointed out she was allergic to cats the child simply said “you could sleep outside!”
Pre-school chat is often inventive, rapid, lively and amusing. Despite the thought of a mother tucking up in a tent in the garden as a child snuggles a cat it is often well-intentioned and positive, seldom malicious. We mention this because at this time of year we see hear our pre-schoolers growing into their own unique sense of the world and – with months to go until the bittersweet ceremony that marks their departure – we know we still have a long time to enjoy those magic moments.