As nursery practitioners who have settled many children into nursery in our time, we have really enjoyed the opportunity to write this article to help and support new families joining nursery for the first time! We have detailed some suggestions to help make the start of your nursery experience as smooth as possible for you and your child.
We fully appreciate how hard it is leaving your little one with us at nursery, especially if it is your first child. As a nursery team, we work with you to make you feel as comfortable and as reassured as possible; we know that your children are the most precious things in the world to you!
To aid the transition to nursery, we offer settling in sessions. This is our opportunity to build up a good bond with you as parents/carers; and we really do take an interest in our families and want to know as much as possible! The constant communication between us is key to helping your child to settle and in helping their learning and development. When your child is settling, please don’t be scared or hesitant to call us throughout the day to see how they are, we understand and won’t mind – we promise!
It is our aim to always be honest with you from the moment you come into the nursery. We won’t simply say “your child has had a great day” if they have not. We know that you will know that they haven’t! We want you to trust that we aim for the best for your children whilst they are in our care, offering them new experiences. We are always open to suggestions, comments and questions; there is really nothing too silly and you will find no judgement from us!
In the month or so before your child starts with us at nursery, one thing that can help children settle is by starting to talk to them about going to nursery. We recommend, no matter how old they are, talking to your child about going nursery and, if possible, showing them photos of the nursery and of the staff (take a look at our Daynurseries profiles for some of our staff photos!).
As mentioned, we understand this is an equally nervous time for parents. Another thing that might help your child settle into nursery is for you to think and speak positively about the transition to nursery. If you are feeling anxious, your child will pick up on this, so try to always stay calm, relaxed and enthusiastic!
It is also useful to begin to encourage more independence before starting at nursery. This will help your child to feel more relaxed and settled during the day, such as feeding themselves, playing alongside you, trying to put on own shoes, not carrying them everywhere (we know this is hard!) etc.
Try to also promote other relationships outside of your home before starting at nursery. You could visit extended family, friends or potentially join other parenting groups. This will help in the process of your child settling in at nursery, as they will be used to socialising; seeing new faces and interacting with new people.
Overall, we know it is an exciting yet nervous time when your child starts nursery for the first time. Most importantly, we will work very closely with all of our families from the outset so that all children settle as quickly and as smoothly as possible into nursery life.