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"I knew what they needed was someone to lead with love and by example, passion and time to be invested in them"

Jan 20, 2022

"When I first joined my setting at the end of 2018 was the first time I heard the word “Hygge.” I remember it took me a while to remember how to spell it, ‘Hoogah, Huggeh’ I could never get my head around it. We used to have a room dedicated to all things ‘Hygge’ and it was my favourite place in the nursery. The room only lit by the salt lamp, fairy lights and whatever cosy image was projected on the wall, a crackling fire, a calming underwater scene or even a forest with the sounds of rain and bird song. The diffuser always puffing out a gorgeous smell. No matter how busy I was I always had time to stop and appreciate how the ambiance of that little room made me feel. After around 6 months unfortunately the man who used to look after the Hygge room left for another setting and as time went on the Hygge room disappeared, something broke, someone took bits of it for a project they were working on and it was soon in a state of disarray and later turned into a cloak room. I really missed that room.

When I was first introduced to the word ‘Hygge’ I did some research into it and came across Hygge in the Early Years, I had followed it on social media for a couple of years before purchasing access to the ‘HITEY Spring Conference 2020’. Of course March 2020 was a very unusual time for us all but whilst watching the conference I felt really inspired to adapt my practice to follow some of the principles, I wasn’t at the setting when watching the conference due to being furloughed and I wasn’t based in a room when working at my setting as I was a student so I made up part of the bank staff team however I knew I wanted to eventually bring all of my learning with me when the time came to return to a setting full time.

In December 2020 I signed up to the ‘HITEY Accreditation’ I loved completing the training as it never felt like training, it felt like life lessons, like reminders to take time to look after yourself, find joy in the little things and work in a way that was less stressful.

When I eventually took over as senior of the Baby room I really felt like it was my time to shine and put my knowledge into practice. The team I took over was a little unmotivated and left feeling hurt and wary of leadership due to the relationship they had with their previous senior. I knew what they needed was someone to lead with love and by example, passion and time to be invested in them and opportunities to share their wonderful ideas. Bit by bit we have created such a joyful room where we use fairy lights, beanbags and big fluffy cushions to create a cosy ambiance. There are cosy nooks, baskets to lie in, arches to hide under that create safe and cosy spaces for the babies to explore. We set out inviting provocations that the babies love to interact with and we get outside so much more than the baby room has done before. I asked my management team if we could purchase waterproof trousers for all of our team so that they felt comfortable getting down to the babies level whilst outside without worrying about being soaking for the rest of the day. We get feedback on how lovely it is to cover our room, how inviting it looks, how nice it smells and the quality of the observations and provocations have improved. Our parent partnerships are really strong, children’s belongings are better looked after and I feel we have a real sense of pride in our work now, to me that means everything and I feel that I have been truly inspired by the accreditation. Although the essence of Hygge was already in the building, I feel I have brought the heart of Hygge to the baby room and for that I am extremely grateful for the HITEY accreditation for the knowledge it has given me. I know longer miss the old Hygge room because I feel we have the key principles and way of life of Hygge embedded in our everyday practice."

For more information on bringing Hygge to your setting check out my new book here



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