Advice about Settling in
Helpful Tips for Families
Finding out and seeing our nursery in action...
Come to information sessions and open days which St Giles Nursery School offers. This will provide you and your child with an introduction to the new environment, allow you both to meet the staff and make a positive start to the transition process. Your child will have two special staff members who will be responsible for settling them and getting to know them really well. Why not meet with them at nursery to talk about your child.
Visit the groups in the Children’s Centre (just around the corner on Lamb Gardens) and help your child to get used to the building and other children their age.
‘Settling In’ at nursery...
A copy of this information is in your welcome pack. It will explain all about how the nursery will work alongside you to make your child’s settling in as smooth as possible. Read this carefully as it will help you prepare for your child’s transition into the nursery and make any necessary arrangements.
Know the routines and activities...
Within the Welcome Pack you will find an overview of the types of activities provided for our children and the daily routines. It is good to talk to the child positively about the sorts of activities they will be engaging in during their time in the nursery. You could even do some of the activities together. Like adults, children need to be reassured and it is good to talk through the daily routines and let them know when you will pick them up, for example, after story time.
Read stories to your child about starting nursery or visit the website...
This can help familiarise your child with what will happen at a nursery before they start.
Why not borrow our ‘Going to St Giles Nursery’ book. You could also visit the website together and look at photographs of the team, children and the indoor and outdoor spaces.
Looking for the signs and getting ready...
Children may show signs of upset, anxiety and worry when they realise things may change.
Separation anxiety is a healthy and protective emotion. It is the child’s way of saying “You are my safe base and I need to develop trust and confidence in alternate carers.”
Recognising that separation anxiety can sometimes cause problems is a good starting point. It means you can prepare for the event and turn it into an adventure, allowing both you and your child to feel stronger and empowered.
Chat to your child about their worries...
Your child may be anxious to know what to do for example if they need to go to the toilet. Talk to your child in a positive way about these concerns.
Leaving children with family members and trusted friends...
Preparing for separation can involve leaving your child with trusted friends or family members for short periods. This can then be followed by shared visits to the nursery. Shorter and then extended times of separation can be organised to suit the needs of your child.
Staying confident, cheery and positive...
Although you may be feeling as anxious and emotional as your child, try to stay cheery and confident as children will pick up on your feelings of apprehension. Contact the
Invite your child’s special person to come and play...
The staff team are always happy to come and visit your child in the place they feel safest. Spending time playing with your child and talking with the family can really help build a special bond between you, your child and their special key-person.
The importance of saying goodbye to your child
Don’t be tempted to slip away
It is important when your child starts nursery to let the child know when you are leaving. Tell your child you are going and will be back after an activity, for example story time. For some children this will work while others need their parent or care giver to stay until they become familiar and comfortable enough in their new surroundings. These children may benefit from a gentle transition with visits to the centre with the parent/care giver followed by increasing periods of separation.
Although tempting, slipping away when your child is distracted can lead to the child becoming very anxious and not letting you out of their sight on the next visit.
Parents and Practitioners working in partnership
Communication between parents and the early years’ staff team is crucial. It is important to share information. Parents can give the staff information about the child and in turn the staff can talk to the parents about the child’s experiences in the nursery.
Practitioners will have a vast amount of experience in helping children settle into the nursery setting and are aware of the difficulties that can emerge during this transition period.
If your child is taking longer to settle in than you had expected and you still have concerns, discuss these with a member of staff. Together you can agree on and put into place strategies to support your child during this time.
Helping your child to grow in confidence and independence
You are the safe base from which your child can branch out and explore the world, grow and learn and become socially and emotionally confident. Getting off to a good start will help you support your child through this very important period in their lives.