I am sat here on the Monday evening the day after Early Years Wellbeing Week has ended and I am still reading messages and posts from people talking about it! Perhaps more importantly, what I’m actually reading are people’s thoughts, reflections, evaluations and hearing about the impact it has had and what your future plans are.
“Just to say THANK YOU! Thank you for acknowledging the struggles all teachers go through and the affect it can have on our mental well being. I am an early years teacher, 6 years into my career now and I adore it. But I also live with anxiety, which at times can turn into a depression. I’m not ashamed to say that. I own it. I use to enhance my practise within my classroom for my little people. But some days are HARD. Thank you for recognising this and providing a platform to share and talk about it.”
“It was a reminder that it’s ok not to be ok and to embrace the happy days but to value the thoughtful ones…. a reminder too of how important family is no matter how busy we are.”
“Originally I had no idea what activities to introduce to support wellbeing which were age appropriate and suitable for the children’s interests. Little did I realise we support wellbeing amongst children, practitioners and families already during every day and weekly activities and resources.”
I have to say reading your posts and messages, seeing how staff were celebrated, valued and taken care of, seeing the children’s faces and hearing the parents response has got my heart feeling happy and a smile on my face.
Thank you to everyone who embraced the week, got involved and made a difference by allowing us to shine the spotlight on mental health and wellbeing in the early years. We have made a great start, but we’re not finished yet! Planning a week dedicated to wellbeing is wonderful but it’s about how we promote wellbeing as part of everyday practice moving forward that will really make a difference. Let’s use #EYWellbeingWeek as the building blocks to create our own individual workplace culture – that is mentally and physically healthy.
If you didn’t see it, read the excellent case study from Sarah Fillingham area manager of Portico nurseries, Why Mental Health and Wellbeing? the journey her settings have been on over the last 15 months, with real life examples of how what mental health and wellbeing means for them. In our Facebook group, We shared templates for wellbeing policies, links to importance guidance and documentation, relevant books and articles, to point you in the right direction and enable you to have as much information as possible to support you in your next steps.
So my question is, what are your next steps now Early Years Wellbeing Week is over?
Let me ask you to consider:
- Is staff sickness an issue?
- Is stall morale low?
- Are staff feeling stressed?
- Is the manager/leader passing stress on to the team?
- Is performance management working effectively and improving the performance of individual staff members?
- Is there a positive harmony within your whole team?
- Are you or your team happy, healthy and performing well?