The Nursery, and why it matters

Many people seem to underestimate the importance of a nursery in any settlement from the smallest of camps to the largest of cities. If you are born as a male not having a nursery won’t be such a problem, but for the women of the village it’s really annoying having to stop what you’re doing for a few years per child. What if the town sheep farmer needs to raise her kid for three or so years? Who will tend the pen in the meantime? A nursery does not have to be much, just a place where children will be looked after if dropped off there. That way everyone can keep on working regardless of their gender. Especially in larger settlements this is vital. Either make the nursery by a fire with plenty of firewood or on the border of a desert. The nursery should preferably have at least one fertile female working there as a nurse, because breast feeding babies is more efficient, although if none are available you could simply feed the babies directly. The job of the nurse is not only to make sure as many babies survive as possible, but also to give them some village orientation. Is the kid new to the game? What skills do they know? None? Well berry farming is easy, try showing them how it’s done…
The nurse also needs to weed out griefers. If little Jeremy starts asking where the knife is and doesn’t give a good reason then it might be best not to let him make it into adulthood. Other village lore can also be passed down through a nursery, everything from the town’s name to ancient tales past down from generation to generation.
Elders of your town can spend their last days in the nursery, teaching kids all they want to know and helping bring supplies to the nurses to feed, clothe and keep the children warm. This is a far more effective method of education than one on one parenting while the mother is trying to make two iron pick axes at the same time.
Finally a nursery is useful even if you are born a male. When you want an apprentice for your profession, being a man will mean you can’t simply give birth to one. You must find an apprentice. A nursery helps a lot with this. It means you can select the kid for the job who knows the most about what it is you’re doing. Whereas if you were to simply ask around in the street for an apprentice the random player you find might not yet know how to do advanced engineering. Not something you can easily teach them either in such a short space of time.
So yes, nurseries are imperative for any large society and are the first step for all advanced forms of organisation. If you want to make a government, economy or community project then a nursery will allow you to bring together a whole generation of your village. There’s no point having a Crown Princess if no one knows who she is, how to identify her or what she does. A nursery makes all this possible and more. So if your town doesn’t have one and you happen to be born a woman then maybe consider giving it a try. It might be more fun than you think.


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