Starting Nursery: What to expect and how you can prepare your child
Starting nursery is a big milestone for you and your child. For some, it will be the first time they have been cared for anywhere other than their own home, so it’s completely normal to be worried about how they will settle in.
Before they start
There are things you can do before your child starts nursery to ease the transition, and make it easier for them - and for you:
Visit the nursery - even if you just walk or drive past and point it out, you are getting them familiar with this next stage in their life. Perhaps gently try and get them excited to see what the children are playing with inside...
Get them used to spending time away from you. Even if it’s not for very long, an hour or so a week at Grandparents or a trusted friend will prepare them for leaving your side.
Can they put their own coat or shoes on? Depending on how old your child is, try and encourage age-appropriate independence in terms of looking after themselves. While the nursery will be used to doing all this, one less coat to get on will be helpful for the staff - and your little one will probably enjoy showing off how grown-up they are!.
Starting at Nursery
At Little People, our teams are highly experienced at helping children settle in and ensuring they quickly adapt to daily life in our nurseries. Don’t worry, we don’t start your child with a full day and wave you off at the door - we start with a series of ‘settling in’ sessions to begin with.
The first day will start with a 1 hour induction, which will build up over the week to a full session (this first day gives parents/carers the chance to meet nursery staff and see how we operate day-to-day). The most important outcome of this induction is that your child feels safe and happy to come to nursery.
All children are assigned a key worker, so you will be introduced at your induction - this person leads the settling-in process for your child, and will develop routines to best suit their needs. This person is your go-to for anything related to your child’s day-to-day care at nursery.
Some children are happy to be at nursery for their full sessions from the get go, others take longer than a week to settle in. We’ve seen it all! We will work with you and your child’s key worker to decide on a routine that works for everyone.
When the time does come to leave them - be it for an hour, or the full session - it is best that you say goodbye and tell them you will be back. Don’t leave while they aren’t looking, as it will distress them further to find you’ve disappeared. Again, your key worker can help overcome any problems here.
Most of all, we want your child to be happy, and for you to be confident they are in the best possible care. We operate an ‘open door’ policy and there will always be someone on hand to answer any questions, or if you just want to come and check your precious one is okay.