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Early Years Wellbeing Week is celebrated from Monday 10th October to Sunday 16th October 2022. The annual event is dedicated to improving the mental health and wellbeing of the early years workforce.

Kate Moxley, founder of Wellness for All, early years wellbeing consultant, best-selling author and founder of the event works tirelessly to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing issues for educators in the sector.  At Kidzrus we were delighted to take part again this year as we recognise the importance of positive mental health and wellbeing amongst our team members; not just during wellbeing week but all year round.  

We have worked alongside Kate for some time by being supported in drafting our wellbeing strategy as well as our policies and procedures, in undertaking her bespoke training for Mental Health First Aiders (we currently have five across our Group), by joining her extremely insightful webinars.  Her book ‘A Guide to Mental Health for Early Years Educators – Putting Wellbeing at the   of Your Philosophy and Practice’ is our go to guide for information and guidance as we know that it works well for us as a team.

The senior leadership and management team kicked off their week by participating in a Tiney sponsored webinar ‘Leading a new agenda for happier, healthier educators everywhere!’ which was led by inspirational speakers and contributors Kate Moxley, mental health and wellbeing expert, Kim Esnard education and training lead alongside Kerry Murphy, early education associate we were able to look at and  create a shared vision that is valued by, and for, mentally healthy educators everywhere.

The aim of the session was to acknowledge all the big steps we have taken and overcome to improve our wellbeing and look forward to the days and times ahead as we grow, change and shape the new normal in wellbeing and via open and honest discussion we were able to do that.

Of course, the week wasn’t all about the senior leadership and management team.  Our colleagues across the five settings planned a really fun schedule of activities throughout the week aimed at considering their own personal mental health and wellbeing, to spend time together socially and to have some fun. So… what exactly did our colleagues get up to?

 

Team members in all settings were invited to start their week off with a healthy and nutritional breakfast consisting of cereals, pastries, cereal bars, fresh juices, fresh fruit and hot drinks such as herbal teas and speciality coffees.  Kidzrus senior leadership and management team recognises that we are all busy and often leave home in a rush, without breakfast, just to get to work on time.  Many of our colleagues are  reliant on public transport and arrive at their setting very early, waiting to start their shift or merely are time constrained.  So that they can start their busy day with lots of energy we provide a free breakfast on a daily basis.

On Monday our inspirational practitioners at our Irlam setting used their green fingers to do practice their floristry skills by arranging unique bouquets of seasonal flowers including roses, gypsophila and carnations of various colours that they were able to gift to their nearest and dearest with a thoughtful message.  The team really enjoyed the activity and were surprised at how creative they are!

Tuesday saw our colleagues at Kidzrus Swinton Nursery and Forest School share love and kindness amongst themselves. The setting manager, Natalie Jones asked her team what they actually wanted to do to celebrate this special week and they asked for a Hot Chocolate Station with marsh mallows and biscuits as well as an extra few minutes on their lunch break to relax and enjoy their drinks.  Natalie delivered on this and also gifted each colleague with chocolates to show her appreciation for their hard work.

On Wednesday Monton colleagues enjoyed a grazing lunch with a wide selection of cold meats and cheeses, mixed breads and crackers as well as fresh fruit. What better way than to relax, put the world to rights and enjoy a healthy lunch and drink expertly prepared and served by setting manager, Olivia Young.

Media City team members had their turn on Thursday and they opted to throw themselves into a ‘be kind to your mind day’.  They were full of gratitude and listed three things that made them feel grateful and examples included their good health, family members, positive working relationships, their hobbies and quality time out of work; confirming the importance of positive work/home life balance.  They then considered each other and scribed messages to each other in their personalised notebooks that contained inspirational quotes reflecting who they are to highlight their unique and extremely positive and caring traits of personality that mean so much to others. The team also acknowledged the inspirational support that they receive from the acting manager at Media City, Kaomi James and presented her with a bouquet of flowers and card with appreciative words.

On Friday staff at Kidzrus The Lodge opted to get out of the building, be away from the daily constraints for a short time and have a ‘walk and talk session’, sit in fresh air in the local park and discuss how they are feeling about their job roles and how the senior leadership and management team within the Group can support them by implementing our Wellbeing Action Plan, strategy and policies and procedures.

We would like to thank Kate Moxley for her support that enables us to, in turn, offer our team members across the Kidzrus Group to ensure that they have positive mental health and are able to support our children reach their potential.  We would also like to thank our amazing team members at all settings for your hard work, often in difficult circumstances.  What you do on a daily basis massively impacts on our children and allows them to be the best version of whoever they want to be.  The senior leadership and management team looks forward to working with you all on a daily basis to drive forward the standard early years care and education.

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