Settling in to the Nursery
A child's first day at Nursery is both exciting but upsetting for both parents and children. Parting from a child for whom you have been solely responsible is likely to make the parent feel worse than the child. Children are very sensitive to their parents' feelings, any uncertainties you feel will be noticed by your child, and will make it more difficult for you to leave them happy.
It is important that both the parent and child are comfortable with the arrangements and are prepared beforehand. This extra care taken beforehand and during the period will help minimise difficulties later on.
Feel free to ask lots of questions to familiarise yourself with our routines, and do let us know of any concerns or worries you might have.
In the weeks or days prior to your child starting Nursery, you can do some preparation by talking to them about some activities which they may particularly look forward to. It may also be helpful if they can join in preparing things to bring such as labelled uniform, water bottles, put together a bag of spare clothes. You may like to read with them children's stories that are available, which describes their favourite characters going to nursery.
The Nursery is bound to be overwhelming with a new environment, lots of unfamiliar faces and particularly daunting for those who have not had experience of a playgroup, childminder, or some other form of care outside the home. It is good preparation, both for you and your child, if you can have a visit to the Nursery before their registered start date. Once the child has started, the initial couple of weeks should be a gradual introduction with slightly longer attendance spells as opposed to full sessions. Remember to mention to staff, prior to you leaving, if there are any gestures, comforters or family words that could be used to help your child settle.
It is best to let your child know when you are leaving and reassure them that you are coming back to collect them. Slipping away when they are not looking can be very distressing to a child when they find out that you have gone. It is also important to try and not hang around when you are leaving; it is much harder for a child to deal with the situation when you are obviously unsure or hesitant. It is likely that there will be tears, but usually they don't last long when they turn round and see all the toys they can play with!
Every child is an individual and reacts differently to various situations. When parents first leave their children, we recognise that they will be concerned that their child is comfortable and settled in their new environment. We welcome parents to check on their child's welfare by telephone during the session.
Time is always given by staff at the end of each session to share with the parent any information regarding their child's adjustment, behaviour and enjoyment.
By working together as a team, we at the Nursery and you, the parent, can ensure that your precious child has the best possible start to their education at Westholme.