St Albans Nursery, The Settling in Period for your Child
At our St Albans Nursery, we would like to welcome you and your child. We hope that you get to know us and have a happy and successful time.
Our aims at Nuffy Bear Day Nurseries:
- To work closely with you the parent
- To support your child in the move from home, family and familiarity into our nursery
- To help your child make a strong attachment to her or his key person
- To help your child feel secure and confident in nursery
- To work with you to help your child with any difficulties that might arise.
Helping your child to settle into our nursery
We would like to welcome you and your child to our St Albans Nuffy Bear Day Nursery. We hope that you get to know us and have a happy and successful time. We look forward to getting to know you.
Children settle into nursery in lots of different ways. Some children will confidently move into the nursery room as soon as they come in. Other children may be nervous and anxious about leaving their parent. Most children will be somewhere in between the two.
Please be reassured and try not to worry if your child experiences difficulties - it is a very normal part of a child’s development to be anxious, nervous or angry about starting nursery. We also recognise that many parents will find this a difficult and sometimes upsetting process. We hope that we can use our experience to support you and your child in whatever way suits you.
Please remember that we require all parents and carers to help their children settle in. No matter how confident you feel your child is, we will insist that you follow our settling in procedures. In our experience, all children benefit greatly when the nursery works closely with the family on settling in.
Children can be helped to settle in by their parents, and other important people who they know well and can be comforted by - aunts, uncles and grandparents for example.
Every child reacts differently during the settling in period
Different children need different amounts of time to settle in. We recommend that you plan for two weeks to support your child. Some parents have asked us to give an idea of what the process will be like. It is different for every child, but we have given a rough outline of what to expect at the end of this leaflet. The settling in period is this time when you are here with your child in the nursery. It is a time for your child to get to know his or her key person - with the reassurance of having you here too.
As the relationship develops, your child will be able to trust that:
- The key person and the other staff in the nursery are able to meet her/his needs
- They can be helpful, comforting and deal positively with any problems
- They can provide interesting experiences which make it worthwhile to come to nursery.
The settling in process gives you a chance to check out:
- What type of nursery this is
- How the staff work
- What kinds of experiences we offer to the children.
You will be able to see how we:
- Play with children
- Talk with them
- Have fun together
- Set boundaries for children
- Deal with difficult behaviour.
You are always welcome to ask about how we work
In our experience, settling in takes about two weeks (although it will vary greatly from one child to another). Our aim is to settle children in at their own pace – when children are ready to move away from their parents, we will encourage and support this. We have found that in the long run, this means more settled and happier children - and parents! The process often goes like this:
Your child spending time in the nursery room with you. During this time, you are available to support your child, to ease the transition for your child from home to nursery, and to help staff get to know your child. At this stage it might be best to be available to your child but not too interesting! In other words, it might be best to avoid getting deeply involved in your child’s play at this time. This allows members of staff to make a judgement about engaging your child in experiences. However, you are the parent and we will support you in judging how to handle this for the best.
We are aware that both you and your child may be feeling stress at some points, and your child may not appear to be on “best behaviour”. Please don’t worry about this – it is all part of the process. As adults, if we try to relax as much as possible and remain confident, this will help the children
Your child spending time in the nursery room whilst you are in another part of the building. It will be up to you and the key person to discuss when your child is ready for this step. This means that your child has the opportunity to explore the nursery room and have her or his needs met by the key person and the rest of the staff. This might be for quite a short period of time at first, and then for longer stretches of time. During this time, please help yourself to tea and coffee.
If you have younger children with you, then we have a space for them to play, too. It is very important that you say clearly to your child that you will be leaving the nursery room. It’s tempting to nip out when your child is busy, but if your child turns round a few minutes later to find you have unexpectedly gone, she or he may be really distraught. It is essential that you do not leave the building without talking with your key person first
Finally, it is for you to judge - with the support of the key person – when your child is ready to be left in the Nursery with the staff. Your child might be very sad at the moment of parting, but if the settling in process has gone well she or he will be able to manage this with the support of the key person and other members of staff. If your child continues to be upset after you have gone, please be reassured that we would contact you and would not put your child through an ordeal.
It is still important for you to say goodbye to your child clearly, so that your child knows what is going on and can express how he or she feels about it. Some parents find it easiest to set a limit on how long they will stay at dropping-off time, for example “I’ll read two books with you and then it will be time for me to go”. It is up to you how you manage this, but please do ask for support or advice if it will be helpful.
It is not uncommon for a child to settle very well into the nursery, and then unexpectedly a few weeks later to find it difficult to come in. This might be for any one of a variety of reasons, and again we will offer our support or help if you would like it
At any stage of the process – if you would like to talk to someone, or need ideas, or support, or help … then please talk to your key person, or the Nursery Manager. It is best to arrange to do this in a private space and not in front of your child
- We are committed to working closely and supportively with parents and carers. We look forward to developing a relationship with you.
What will happen in the settling-in period?
All children are different. We have given a rough guide below to the stages most children go through when settling-in.
- Stage 1 - Parent/carer and child spend an hour together in the nursery
- Stage 2 - Parent/carer and child spend an hour and a half in the nursery. If appropriate, the child will spend 20 minutes in the nursery without the parent/carer. Parent/carer needs to stay in the building (e.g. in the parents’ room)
- Stage 3 - Child builds up to 1 hour in the nursery without the parent/carer. Parent/carer stays in the building
- Stage 4 - Child spends 1 hour in the nursery without parent/carer
- Stage 5 - Child spends full 2 hours in the nursery.
Contact our Nuffy Bear Day Nursery in St Albans
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