Rosedene, a childcare provider which operates across Tees Valley and North Yorkshire, is bringing fun and learning to its early years children with the help of its canine director.

Brian, a 5-year-old Jack-a-Poo, who spends a lot of time in head office, has been venturing out to visit each of the nurseries across the region.

Early years research shows that children who have exposure to pets get invaluable training to treat animals nicely, be patient and to treat people the same way.

Rosedene also recognise the beneficial effect that animals have on child development, including empathy and pro-social behaviour, taking responsibilities and improving cognitive development.

Alice McCullagh, a human director at Rosedene, said: “The children benefit from Brian’s visits as he brings positivity, he loves to play, run a round for the ball and do tricks.

“The children learn new social and emotional skills having Brian around and in general animals can teach empathy and compassion and nurture non-verbal communication

“Last year we brought donkeys into the nurseries, we are incubating and hatching eggs at the moment so there will be chickens and then, when it is safe to do so, we are going to have a visit from an alpaca.”

Throughout lockdown, Rosedene operated four special facilities open in Tees Valley and North Yorkshire to provide childcare provision for designated key workers during the COVID-19 crisis. It began to reopen its additional facilities on 8 June.

Parents who wish to access the facilities can find all the information on the website www.rosedenenurseries.co.uk.