In order to flourish at nursery, children need to feel safe, secure, loved and happy. The settling in process is very important in helping them to feel this way. The aim of our settling in procedure is not to get children used to being at nursery – usually they love having the space and the variety of toys to play with – but to get them used to their parents leaving them. Therefore they may need several sessions of you leaving and coming back, so that they become confident that you will always come back for them.
All children are different, so our settling in procedure has to be flexible. We play it by ear and are guided by the needs of the child. It goes something like this:
Bring your child to nursery and play with them in the company of their key worker. Let them explore the nursery and chose what they want to play with. After about an hour, take them home. If your child doesn’t want to leave, smile and say you’ll be coming back tomorrow, then take them home.
Bring your child, play with them with a staff member for a little while (10 minutes or so), then smile and say, “Mummy/daddy’s just popping out now. I’ll be back soon.” Come back after an hour. Your child may well cry, but as long as they stop after a few minutes, we’ll keep them for the hour. The staff member will hold and comfort your child. If you’re worried, ring us in ten minutes to see how they are. If a child was crying inconsolably for any length of time, we would phone you and ask you to come back sooner. If your child has recovered his/her composure and wants to stay and play, smile and say that you’re coming back tomorrow, then take them. Children need the security of knowing that when their parent comes back for them, it’s time to go home.
If Day Two goes well, that is, the child cries for a while but then stops and settles down, they should now be all right to be left for a whole morning or afternoon. If your child became very upset, we may need to repeat Day Two a few times until they become more confident.
Once they have stayed for a half day, they can stay all day. It may be best to keep the first day a bit shorter – maybe 9-5 rather than 8-6? Discuss this with their key worker. We will be guided by the needs of the child.
Smile a lot, be calm and confident yourself. Talk about what fun it will be, playing at nursery. Try not to communicate anxiety to your child, even if you are worried.
Try and leave reasonably quickly. We’re not trying to get rid of you, but long drawn out “goodbyes” seem to unsettle children. They cry when you go because they’re learning to cope with transition. They may cry when you come back for the same reason. Once you’ve gone they’re fine.
Please talk to your key worker or the nursery manager if you have any questions about our policy or any part of it you would like to discuss further. Welcome to Green Shoots Day Nursery!