Monthly Archives: August 2011

See how the UK’s population is changing

19 minutes – how long working parents give their children

A good article in relation to some very interesting facts in figures to this generation of working parents and working families and how little time families get to spend together and the resulting factors it could have on their children.


  • A typical working parent spends just 19 minutes a day looking after their children
  •  impact that working full-time has on children who hardly see their parents.
  • With less than 20 minutes spent with their parents every day, this is only enough time to eat a quick breakfast together or have a couple of bed-time stories.
  • The Office for National Statistics looked at nearly 4,950 people over the age of 16 in Britain to find out what they do all day.


Parents who work full-time spend just 19 minutes every day caring for [their] own children, A further 16 minutes is spent looking after their children as a “secondary activity”, but this means that they are doing something else – such as the weekly supermarket shop – at the same time.



  • The findings come at a time when record numbers of women are working as huge mortgages and soaring household bills force them to earn a living.
  • Official figures show that 12.6million women have a job, compared to just 8.5million in the 1970s. The ONS looked specifically at working women in Britain and what they do during a typical 24-hour period to create a typical “Diary of a Working Mum”.
  • They sleep less and work more than any other “type” of woman – and still have to do about two-and-a-half hours “domestic work” every day, it reveals. A typical working woman gets nearly 40 minutes less sleep every night than a full-time mother who gets more than nine hours sleep every night.
  • This is because she gets up earlier to travel into work every day, or spends time every night doing a long list of domestic chores before going to bed. On average, a working woman toils at work for over five hours a day, although this figure appears low because it includes holidays and weekends when no work is done.
  • Recent research showed that most mothers with young families would prefer to stay at home and look after their children. A survey of working mothers found that just six per cent wanted to work full-time, according to Prima magazine.
  • Half wanted to combine bringing up their children with a part-time job, while more than a quarter wanted to be a full-time mother. They were asked: “In an ideal world, what would you like to be?” Twenty- six per cent said they wanted to be a “housewife and mother”. The most popular response, given by 50 per cent, was to be a “mum who works part-time”.
  • The new ONS survey shows that life is also extremely tough for fathers with young families, particularly those whose youngest children is under the age of four.
  • They sleep less, works more and do more “domestic” work than any other “type” of man, such as one with older children or one with no children. A typical father whose youngest child is under four gets less than eight hours sleep a night and does more than three hours of domestic chores every day.
  • They are also working more than one hour a day longer than their male colleagues who do not have children.Overall, the ONS found that a typical person’s 24-hours is mostly spent
    sleeping, working and watching television, which are the top three activities.
  • A woman will spend 8.3 hours asleep, 2.4 hours watching television, DVDs or videos and 2.2 hours working. A man will spend eight hours alseep, 2.8 hours watching television, DVDs or
    videos and 3.5 hours working. Just 24 minutes in 24 hours is spent reading, a figure which drops to just 10 minutes for younger people.–long-working-parents-children.html

Nursery age reform considered

  • ·           The government is considering raising the   admissions age for nursery school pupils in Northern Ireland
    to the age of three.
  •   The proposals were contained in a consultation   paper on pre-school education,
    published on Monday.
  •   Research shows that children are better   prepared for primary school when they have some pre-school education.
  •   nursery school places to allow almost every child   to attend in the year before they start primary school.
  •   Almost 2,000 two-year-olds are getting places   in nursery schools.
  •   The department said it was not true that   full-time attendance was better for children than part-time, although it   conceded that there were benefits for children from disadvantaged   backgrounds.

Hidden stress of the nursery age

23rd August

An article in relation to how children can find it very stressful when they first start nursery after being at home with their parents full time to being left at a nursery. Many find it quite difficult to adapt and change. As such this article suggests, firstly easing them in to this transition by slowing introducing them to nursery, secondarily giving the child a lot of love attention when then get home

  • Study finds hormone level soars when daycare starts
  • Extra time with parents needed to help calm down
  • Toddlers starting at nursery after being at home since birth experience high levels of stress in the first weeks after separating from their mothers, and are still showing “chronic mild stress” as long as five months after their first day in the new environment
  • In a further insight into the way young children react to daycare – an increasingly common experience for UK toddlers as more and more mothers return to the workplace – a related study also reveals that children at nursery do not see a drop in cortisol levels over the day as they would at home
  •  need extra time and attention at the end of the day to help bring them back to “emotional equilibrium” ready for the next day at nursery.
  • Without that comfort from a parent, the children start the following day “hyper-aroused”, which can lead to behaviour problems or disobedience.
  • The findings do not mean that daycare is bad for children, and there is no evidence yet of long-term effects of raised cortisol levels, according to co-author Michael Lamb of Cambridge University.
  • UK’s childcare provision, the majority of youngsters now spend at least part of their pre-school years in some form of childcare.
  •  In March this year, there were 518,000 full daycare places in England, generally in nurseries, according to the inspectorate Ofsted, with the number of children using them even higher because some places are part-time. Childminders provide 316,000 more places, and playgroups, after-school clubs and crèches bring the total registered places for under-eights up to 1,468,300.
  • full-time regular childcare place for every four children under eight, compared with one for every nine when Labour came to power in 1997, and the government plans further expansion under its 10-year childcare strategy launched last December.
  • high levels of group-based care can have damaging effects on some aspects of emotional and psychological development for children under two.
  • One way of controlling the build-up of stress, is quite simply to minimise the time children spend in care each day
  • Psychologist Oliver James, author of “They F*** You Up”, said while having time with children at the end of the day was better than nothing, much better would be to organise our society in such a way so that women genuinely feel valued and have status higher than that of street cleaners if they do want to look after their children”.

Information about Nurseries

23rd August

  • Nurseries are for children under five years old to learn, play and have fun in groups while their parents work or study or are busy elsewhere.
  • Most Nurseries are registered with their local authority and inspected each year. They are usually open all day for most weeks in the year
  • Nurseries are run by a team of staff and activities should be planned to help children enjoy learning
  • At Nursery children can enjoy making friends, playing outside, sharing meals and trying out new skills.
  • Plus points for Nurseries
    • Opportunities for children to learn and play with friends
    • Usually geared to the needs of children with working parents
    • Some Nurseries offer free, part-time early education places for children aged three and four.


What are the different types of Nursery?

  • Private Nursery – geared for working parents and the type you are most likely to find in your area
  • Local authority Nursery – run by the local authority for children in the local community
  • Community Nursery – a non-profit Nursery run for children in the local community
  •  Workplace Nursery – some employers run childcare schemes for children of their employees


How many children will there be in a Nursery?

  • Most Nurseries provide places for between 26 and 40 children although some are smaller and others larger.
  • Children are usually divided into much smaller groups based on their age.


What age range are the children in a Nursery?

  • Nurseries are for children aged up to five.
  • Some nurseries have places for babies and toddlers as well as for children aged three to five.
  • some Nurseries are part of childcare schemes, which also provide childcare for older children.


When are Nurseries open?

  • Most nurseries open at around 8.30am and close at around 6pm
  •  Some offer different hours for the children of people working shifts
  • Most nurseries are open all year round except for public holidays.


How much does a Nursery cost?

  • Nursery charges vary in different areas
  •  Expect to pay between £80 and £180 per child per week.

The roots of Montessori education

In 1897, Maria Montessori was attending courses on teaching philosophies and education at the University of Rome. She researched educational theory back to 200 years and in 1907 she opened her first classroom, the Casa dei Bambini, or Children’s House as it translates to in English.

Through observation, Montessori took note that mixed aged group settings allowed for peer teaching, role models and leadership experience, which enhances the sense of community within the classroom. From the beginning, she has based her work on these observations.

Montessori education spread throughout the United States in the early 1900s but took a bit of a hiatus after 1914 when conflict with the American education establishment limited the spread of Montessori ideas. But Montessori education returned to the U.S. in 1960 and has continued to spread to thousands of schools ever since. Now, nearly a century later, Montessori education is found all over the world with about 200 public schools in the U.S. and Canada.

Though it began long ago, Montessori education and its philosophies still hold true today. As an authentic Montessori school, Scholar Montessori Academy in Woodbridge equips its classrooms with a wide range of materials designed by Dr. Maria Montessori. It also keeps with the classic tradition of Montessori practices and groups students of varying ages in its classrooms. A successful Montessori environment greatly depends on children having focused periods of time in which to complete tasks and activities ensuring the students have learned the material taught to them and practiced the skills necessary for success.

For more information on the programs offered at Scholar Montessori Academy and how they incorporate Montessori education into their modern day classrooms, visit

Montessori School Launches Two Facebook Enrollment Offers for Back to School

KANSAS CITY, MO–(Marketwire – Aug 12, 2011) –  Smithville Montessori Academy (SMA) launched two new Facebook enrollment specials for back to school.

To view the offers, like their Facebook page at The promotions include $60 towards tuition or $0 at enrollment. The specials are good now – September 1, 2011. Call Noel or Robin at 816.532.4905.

Parents have written in on the Smithville Montessori Academy Facebook wall, giving the school rave reviews. Michelle Sigle-Orr, parent, said both of her children go to Smithville Academy and have since they were very young. “I originally sent my oldest son to a different daycare before coming to SMA. After being there a few months, I was not happy with the other place, so I called SMA. They got him in very quickly and he has been there since. I looked at nearly every other daycare in the northland before deciding on SMA, and they are considerably leagues above the rest. Love, love, love this place!!” said Sigle-Orr.

Smithville Montessori Academy (SMA) nurtures and guides children from age six weeks through kindergarten and emphasizes quality education, exceptional care and a safe and nurturing environment. The curriculum focuses on independence, a love for learning and self-respect. Located at 14451 North 169 Highway, Smithville, Mo. ( or Twitter: @MontessoriAcad).