Starting nursery is a big change for both the child and the parents/carers. It can mean various routines that your child isn’t used to which is why we have created a list of tips to help ensure a smooth transition.
Settling in sessions are crucial
Settling in sessions are important as your child needs to build trust and become familiar with both the nursery setting and the new adults that will be taking care of them. You are able to do settling in sessions to build up the hours slowly and ease your child into nursery, ensuring that they feel more comfortable and are able to take in all of the new details and surroundings. Usually, you can stay with your child for the first short session or two so that you are available for them and your presence provides reassurance and comfort. The sessions will help your child to bond and become familiar with their keyperson whilst the staff get to know your child and their likes, dislikes and personality.
A routine is important
Create a morning routine that your child can recognise when they are going to nursery. You could incorporate things such as saying ‘we are going in the car to nursery now, you’ll have a fun day!’ so your child starts to recognise the phrase and associate it with nursery. It’s good to decide how you will leave and say goodbye to your child. Stick to this every time even if there are distractions or tears. Your child will get used to the same routine and recognise the difference between days at nursery and other days with you or family members. This helps to better prepare them. It’s also good to have a collection routine and to go home and speak to your child about nursery. Don’t be scared to ask how their day was or if they’re younger, tell them how much fun they had and talk about what they did there to create a positive and exciting emotion around the topic of nursery.
Stay calm and smile
It’s very normal to feel upset and overwhelmed if your child becomes distressed when dropping them off to nursery. To support their transition, it’s important you try to demonstrate confidence by using a warm and happy tone with a smiley face to let them know they will have a fun and exciting day and will see you later. If your child is upset, try not to hang around for too long but don’t leave without saying goodbye either. Use your same drop off routine and the same words, give them a kiss and then leave whilst keeping a happy and calm demeanour.
A calm morning routine that is repeated each nursery day will help to make your child feel relaxed. Organise clothes, shoes, lunch and bags the evening before so the morning goes smoothly, and you aren’t running around searching for their bag or a lost shoe! This will also help to establish routine for your child.
Acknowledge your feelings
Whilst your child is settling into nursery, it is normal to feel anxious about how they are and what they are doing. Call the nursery to check on how your child is doing as many times as you feel you need in order to put your mind at ease. A nursery wants to support the transition for the whole family and they understand the worries that parents/carers feel when their child starts.
At Spring, we are happy for the settling in process to take as long as you and your child needs. We work closely with parents/carers to ensure the process is as seamless as possible for you and your child. We use an app called Famly to keep parents updated throughout the day, sending real-time notifications of nappy changes, meals, activities, photographs and detailed information about your child and how their day is going. Parents/Carers are also able to send messages to the nursery through Famly to check on their children.
“At Spring Rosehill nursery we keep every child at the heart of our setting. We are an inclusive nursery and support every child’s development through learning their individual needs and interests during settling in sessions. Parents/carers are listened to and are actively involved with their child’s journey through their time at Spring Rosehill Nursery, right from the start. We work closely with parents to support the transition to nursery and provide detailed feedback to let you know how your child is settling in and how we can support this further.”
Olivia Howie, Nursery Manager,