HAVING baby brain has taken on an entirely different meaning at a farm-based children’s nursery.

High Bank Day Nursery, in Stapleton, near Darlington, is one of a handful of nurseries taking part in a new project that looks at brain development in children under one.

The project has been initiated by North Yorkshire County Council, which is looking at how everyday experiences and loving and caring social interactions can influence brain development.

It aims to promote good quality experiences for babies in day care settings, increase nursery practitioners’ knowledge of brain development in the first year of life, and boost the confidence, skills and status of practitioners working with infants.

Nursery manager Jennifer Thompson said: “Over the first year of life the brain more than doubles its size and the first three years of a baby’s life are very important for developing their brain.

“We are constantly devising activities that help to stimulate the children and are therefore delighted to be taking part in a project which we hope will allow us to further enhance the experience children have when they come to High Bank.”

The project started this month with staff starting to observe the children and filling out questionnaires. This will continue in February and March and will include visits from members of the council’s baby room project team.

In one exercise already completed staff explored the benefits of different colours and how the children respond to these.