Nurture Approach Launched at Bright Horizons

The next stage in supporting children’s holistic wellbeing and development is being rolled out across all Bright Horizons settings in England.

The Nurture Approach is a professional development programme, developed by Bright Horizons in the UK in partnership with clinical psychologist, Dr Sarah Mundy.

The programme focuses on child development, neuroscience and helping adults to understand the impact of their role in supporting children’s emotional wellbeing through building strong, supporting relationships.

Caroline Wright, Director of Early Childhood at Bright Horizons, explains: “Our Bright Beginnings Curriculum provides the conditions for children to develop emotional health, a clear sense of identity and self-worth, the ability to recognise and manage emotions, to learn, play, enjoy friendships and relationships, and deal with difficulties. To fully complement our curriculum, we’ve identified through research and practice that there is a need to provide practitioners with a greater depth of knowledge and understanding about wellbeing, and the associated concepts of early brain development, emotional development, co-regulation and self-regulation.”

The Nurture Approach programme at Bright Horizons is split into five modules of learning. Each block considers the key developmental needs of the child and how to identify healthy emotional development and indicators of wellbeing.

The new programme helps practitioners to consider how they are meeting a child’s needs using the following prompts:

  • when everything is going well?
  • how does a child react when they are experiencing change, loss or significant life events?
  • what are the early signs of difficulty or disruptions in their development?
  • where is the child’s ‘emotional need’? Can they be met at this very moment?

Michelle Demirtas, an Area Director of Early Childhood at Bright Horizons has responsibility for Emotional Wellbeing and is a team leader for Early Childhood specialists, and a vulnerable children advisor. Michelle says: “A thriving Early Years setting is one where both team members and children feel good and can do well – they are flourishing and thriving in a nurturing environment. Flourishing practitioners know their strengths, are self-aware and resilient. It’s a virtuous circle: flourishing teams are linked to better outcomes for children, and a happier environment for everyone.

The bottom line is if we want children to thrive, we must also help ourselves and our colleagues to thrive. We need to not only be serious about children’s wellbeing we must also get serious about adult wellbeing.

The good news is that we can learn the skills and develop our resources to become better equipped to meet life’s challenges and to improve our wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of children in our care.”

This latest professional development programme at Bright Horizons follows on from the launch of its own Bright Beginnings Curriculum which was introduced to Bright Horizons nursery settings in England in 2020. The Curriculum was based on extensive pedagogical theory and research and was designed to acknowledge the individual voice and needs of each child to promote confidence, wellbeing and a genuine love for learning. It also focuses on the significance of the adult role as educators.

Caroline Wright, continued: “We have observed how practitioners’ confidence in using Bright Beginnings and their understanding of the holistic nature of children’s learning and development has grown. Our research into the impact of Bright Beginnings has found that our bespoke wellbeing curriculum can support practitioner knowledge, improve teaching skills and children’s learning, as well as having a measurable impression on children’s engagement, self-regulation and wellbeing levels.”

Bright Horizons has a long heritage of supporting the wellbeing of its practitioners. The company has an impressive record of 18 consecutive years listed in Best Workplaces™ (super large category) by The Great Place to Work Awards and is included in the UK's Best Workplaces™ list for Wellbeing.

Bright Horizons approach is to embed a culture of trust and understanding which empowers its colleagues to speak up when they need help and to use the tools and resources provided to support their wellbeing in and outside of work.

If you’re interested in joining a team that has wellbeing for its people at its core, then search for your role today via the Bright Horizons careers page.