Where it all began…
Our saying has always been that we pride ourselves on being a home from home setting and a little Tiggy’s family. We decide that we wanted to bring this to life even more and start a journey to making our environment match what we believed in. We had always been a bright and colourful nursery to make us stand out from the crowd, which we both loved and embraced. However, we felt that maybe if our surroundings reflected a more homely feel then this would enhance wellbeing in both staff and children and make the environment an even better space in which to learn and enjoy which in hand would provide the best possible outcomes for the children.
Once we had discussed the possibilities, we started to get very excited about what we could achieve and wanted the staff to input their ideas and by creating mood boards. We began to have a clear vision.
Staff Training Day
Wellbeing is very important to us as a setting and we feel that having Hygge embedded in our day to day life would help all the staff team to feel valued and supported.
We introduced a wellbeing champion to help support staff and have a go to person if they were struggling or just having a down day, this encouraged staff to talk to someone if they needed it. The wellbeing champion is there for the staff team with tips on how to manage their wellbeing as well as little treats to let the staff know they are valued.
We often treated the staff with little gestures such as breakfast, pamper bags, homemade cakes and our favourite hot drinks.
Hygge Training Sessions
As part of each Inset day we carried out a hygge session for the staff so they could get an insight into what Hygge is and how we wanted to embrace it in the setting. We thought ‘my perfect Hygge day’ was a good starting point with the staff as it gave them chance to think about what they enjoy doing and what helps them to feel Hygge! It was so nice to see how each one differed. There were lots of discussions about what day to day things can sometimes be stressful and how these could be overcome. The training session really helped them to think about how looking after their own well-being and taking out a little time to do something that helps them to relax, could have a positive impact on them as a person and the setting as a whole.
We invited the parents to look at our progress with regular Facebook photos and updates on our newsletters to let them see what our plans involved and the improvements we had started to make. Although some of the parents were unsure at first as they liked and were familiar with the brightness of the setting, they started to understand the journey we wanted to take and knew that we had thought about ensuring we get the right balance and making sure the children were at the centre of any decision we were going to make. They were then as excited as we were to make that next step.
Educating the staff team
As the staff were so used to incorporating bright and bold into the environment and experiences they offered we needed to support and educate the team with making these changes. Not everyone likes change and can struggle to embrace it so we made sure we guided those who may struggle and ensured it was a positive experience for everyone!
Time to Implement
The staff’s input was key to making the rooms warm, inviting and cosy. We asked them to think about a wish list for their rooms incorporating what we had discussed, such as the colour scheme and the restructuring of the rooms. Everyone was very excited about the journey we were taking and wanted to ensure the rooms were welcoming for the children. We worked really hard over several weekends to get the impact we wanted, staff’s enthusiasm was shining through and they couldn’t wait to welcome the children into the room and see how the changes we made inspired the children’s awe and wonder.
The Before pictures:
After all the hard work, the environments look and feel amazing. We are so pleased with what we have achieved and the reactions we received from the children made it all worthwhile. The investigation and curiosity that is taking place inspired the staff to feel so confident in extending play and made the experiences on offer so inviting. It was as if the whole setting had a buzz about it and everyone was so enthusiastic.
This journey has taught us so much and will help and support us in new ventures in the future. We overcome challenges such as the struggles with change and making sure we got it right for everyone.
We believe that the balance we have achieved incorporating areas of colour, light and investigation with the added abundance of natural resources has helped us to create the warm and welcoming environment that all the children, parents and staff can thrive in and fulfil their full potential even more than before.