Photo: child with one of our hens at Kiddlywinks Nursery, Penrith

Our Nursery Pets

Our nursery pets are very important to us at Kiddlywinks. Studies have shown that the presence of companion animals can improve the well-being of children and lower the rate of anxiety, simply by making the environment happier, more enjoyable and less forbidding. The value of pet ‘therapy’ is widely accepted. Pets provide children with a connection to nature and teach respect for all living things. They provide children with lessons on life, death, birth, illness but most of all they provide:

  • A building block for developing empathy. They provide a wealth of opportunity for children to learn about caring for something that is unable to care for itself, being gentle, managing risk, understanding boundaries such as how to handle animals within the wider community.
  • Playing with and stroking an animal can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which helps to calm and relax people
  • Increase self-confidence and self-esteem by providing an outward focus.
  • Provide language rich communication opportunities

If, however, you do not wish your child to have access to our pets then please don’t worry, this will be arranged.

Our Therapy Dogs

At our Penrith Nursery Patrick, Bertie and Dougal are our official nursery dogs. The beautiful Ada is the official nursery dog over at The Meadows. They were introduced to the nursery from 2018 and have been in nursery since they were 8 weeks old.

Ada is a Cockerpoo, Patrick is a Bichon Frise and Bertie and Dougal are miniature Golden doodles. All these breeds are particularly known for having a calm gentle temperament and deemed to be ‘hypoallergenic’ and be particularly good with children.

The dogs visit from time to time and are accustomed to excessive attention and handling from small children. They enjoy visiting children in their rooms, playing with them in the garden and going on walks with Pre-school.

All our pets are registered with our local vets. Our doggy friends are fully inoculated and regularly wormed and treated to prevent parasites such as fleas, ticks etc. Risk assessments are in place that inform daily practice for the safe management of our pets and children’s interactions.

Our Guinea Pigs

We have two beautiful nursery Guinea pigs; Honey and Clover at the Meadows and Zara and Betsy at Penrith. These little piggies also have a huge impact on the children. All children tend to our Guinea pigs, having cuddles, stroking and feeding them, as well as helping to clean them out regularly. They often go to our children’s homes for bank holidays and Christmas.

Chick and Ken

Chick and Ken are our rescue hens and live at The Meadows, they are extremely tame and love being with the children. The children enjoy collecting the eggs each morning and looking after Chick and Ken. Chick does try to come into nursery sometimes and has been found clucking away to a child as they share a book together. Cheeky little hen!

Logos: NDNA, Early Years Alliance, I Can, Sing & Sign, Smile 4 Life