Posted: Wed 12th Oct 2016

Welsh Language Nursery Giving Tots A Healthy Start

This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Oct 12th, 2016

Staff at the Cylch Meithrin Ysgol Cynwyd Sant in Maesteg are helping to give young tots the healthiest possible start by taking part in a prestigious national scheme. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Cylch Meithrin is on track to become the first Welsh language pre-school setting in Bridgend County Borough to complete the ‘Healthy and Sustainable Pre-School Scheme’. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Funded by the Welsh Government and co-ordinated by Bridgend County Borough Council’s Childcare Team in partnership with Public Health Wales, the scheme covers several aspects of health aimed at improving the wellbeing of young children such as nutrition, oral health, physical activity, active play and the environment. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

In Bridgend County Borough, a total of 30 pre-school settings are participating in the scheme and Kate Parry, the council’s Healthy Pre-School Practitioner, said: “A large number of nursery staff across the county borough are doing a fantastic job in actively promoting nutritious meals and snacks, and other healthy practices to the parents of pre-schoolers. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“The scheme encourages the highest standards of health, promoting habits that can be continued at home. Staff at the Cylch Meithrin at Ysgol Cynwyd Sant have already completed several chapters of the scheme and are making excellent progress. When the scheme inspectors visited them recently they were particularly impressed with the staff’s enthusiasm for encouraging the children to start learning about the world around them and to play outdoors whenever possible. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“During their accreditation, one little boy was proudly showing the inspector around and said ‘look, we have everything!’. It was lovely to hear him say this and it showed just how comfortable the children feel at the Cylch Meithrin.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Councillor Hailey Townsend, Bridgend County Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Services and Equalities, said: “Many important habits are established at a young age, making the pre-school environment an ideal time to influence a child’s health and well-being. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Pre-school settings that participate in this scheme are given access to excellent resources and training opportunities which staff can use to enrich the lives of the children in their care. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Among the key topics that the scheme covers is the importance of physical activity in the early years. It has been proven that active children are healthy, happy, sleep better and are more ready for school. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Being active makes such a difference to a child’s development, and the advice is for children under five to be moving for at least three hours a day. That can include time walking, jumping, playing, scooting, or other movements, so it’s not about them needing to attend a fitness class or anything like that, but moving more instead of being sat down.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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