If you are desperate to get your child to nap, why not settle them outside like this childcare does!?
A childcare centre in Perth has implemented an ‘outdoor sleeping policy’ after statistics appeared to show children who slept outside were less prone to falling ill.
Little Learners day care centre tracked the number of absences taken by children over an 11-week period from March.
During that time, fewer than one per cent of children were absent due to ‘winter-related’ illnesses – something Director Ken Scott-Hamilton put down to the amount of time they spend outdoors, reports Daily Mail.
‘We firmly believe that this statistic is a direct result of all of our children being outdoors more often and the older children (ages 2-5) sleeping outdoors more often, where they are able to breathe fresh air instead of being stuck inside with dry, recycled air that acts as an incubator which can allow the flu, virus and common colds to easily spread among the children,’ he said of the ‘phenomenal statistics’.
During the 11-week period, he said the centre had tracked changes in the health and wellbeing of the children as a result of sleeping outdoors more often.
‘We found that when the older children slept outdoors they slept longer, deeper and more serenely,’ Mr Scott-Hamilton said.
‘When they woke up they were significantly more refreshed, rested and rejuvenated than when they had slept inside.’
He said that, in addition, there had been a ‘significant improvement’ in their cognitive attentiveness, alertness and awareness when they had been sleeping outdoors, compared with sleeping inside.
‘It’s important to note that at all times the children are given a choice as to where they would like to sleep,’ he said.
‘Also, when the children do sleep outdoors it is under the watchful eyes of our highly trained professionals who are constantly and dynamically assessing the children and nature on a minute by minute basis.’
He added that whilst 11 weeks was a ‘comparatively short time’ the centre would continue to monitor absences caused by winter related illness, like colds and flu.
‘Due to the numerous ongoing significant benefits that we have seen regarding the older children sleeping outdoors and the support by all of our parents we have decided to implement effective immediately an outdoor sleeping policy,’ Mr Scott-Hamilton said.
The policy was implemented on an opt-out basis for children ages two to five years old and who require sleep at the centre, but does not apply to babies – who continue to sleep indoors.
‘I am sharing this research and the outdoor sleeping policy that we have created in the hope that it may inspire other early childhood centres to, where possible, trial this practice of sleeping outdoors on a regular basis as already occurs in other countries,’ Mr Scott-Hamilton said.
What do you think of this concept? Not sure it would work in Tassie!
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