This week saw us saying a final farewell to Kinnoull Church Nursery. Previous farewells had always been tempered by the knowledge that we always had a smaller child about to start the nursery. This farewell was different - as this week our youngest graduated from the nursery, and our many years of involvement with it came to a conclusion. It was a very strange feeling, knowing that a place that has been so much part of family life for so many years, suddenly isn't!
It's not that I think that little 'Doris' should be cosseted in the nursery environment for another year, and shielded from the big bad world outside. In fact she is more than ready to go to school, although she's quiet she is socially confident and academically just starting to want to learn letters, numbers and so forth. In fact the twinge of sadness we sense as we say farewell to K.C.N. is because it has been such a brilliant place for our kids to go to. We had previously used other nurseries in the town, all of which provided a safe environment for children. Kinnoull was in another league however when it came to being a friendly, personal, family-like, stimulating environment for them. Saying farewell to previous nurseries was very matter-of-fact; whereas saying goodbye to Kinnoull feels like a major life-milestone.
I think the qualitative difference between the nurseries we experienced was that other nurseries cared in a very professional manner; whereas the staff at Kinnoull cared because they cared! The far smaller scale of this nursery meant that each child was looked after as an individual, rather than as a box to tick on a council form. This was especially the case when #2 son 'Norris' was deaf and exhibiting challenging behaviour! The other significant difference was the involvement of various parts of the community with the nursery - parents, church, the committee that ran it and so forth. This added a huge amount to the whole experience, making things like end-of-year concerts, carol services and the like into great community events.
So, farewell KCN, and thanks!