W for Wellbeing – The ABC of Early Years Education
Staff spend a great deal of time considering the wellbeing of the children in their care. But the health and happiness of children in a setting relies heavily on that of those looking after them – which is why it’s vitally important to prioritise the wellbeing of adults too.
So, what is wellbeing? It’s really the way a person connects their mind and body, which then informs how they feel about their place in the world. This determines their attitude to work and general life — how they navigate relationships, and their personal tactics for survival.
Many people mistakenly assume that wellbeing is attending the odd fitness class, read a mindfulness book or watch a yoga video going to bed but it’s not something to do before and after work — it’s a whole life approach that threads through each and every day.
For those feeling well and strong, it’s much easier to support the children and colleagues. A positive mindset builds empathy and kindness, the basis for harmonious relationships – both to colleagues and children – which ultimately influences the happiness of each person within the environment.
The activities taking place in an early years setting naturally reinforce wellbeing.
Whether it’s taking the children for a walk, practicing yoga, serving healthy lunches or spending quiet time reading with the children. There are opportunities to be involved in kindness and empathy days, occasions which force people to think about themselves in relation to others — what they have versus what they can give.
People in the Early Years often undervalue how important they are to the children and each other. Wellbeing is about recognising and appreciating that unique value.