Supporting your child settling into nursery: A guide for parents

Starting nursery is an exciting milestone for both children and their parents. It marks the beginning of a new chapter in a child’s life, providing them with opportunities to learn, socialise, and grow. Although this is an exciting time, the transition from home to nursery can be challenging for some children. As a parent, it’s natural to feel concerned and wonder how you can support your child during this important period of their life. In this guide, we’ll discuss some valuable tips to help your child settle into nursery with ease, fostering a positive and comfortable experience for both yourself and your child.

Familiarise your child with the nursery

When you’re looking around the nursery of your choice, you could bring your child and see how they engage on their first visit. This allows them to explore the environment. This familiarity will help alleviate their anxiety and make them feel more comfortable when they start attending regularly.

Establish a routine 

Establishing a consistent routine at home can provide a sense of security and stability for your child. Where possible introduce a familiar routine with meal times, and nap times, similar to the schedule they will follow at nursery. This routine will help your child adjust more easily to the environment of the nursery. At Partou, we work with parents to accommodate your baby’s routine as they grow older. The routine you have put in place at home we will sensitively keep in place until your child naturally adjusts.

Communicate with the nursery team

Maintaining open and regular communication with the nursery team is essential. At Partou, we use an online learning journey that gives parents access to observations, as well as what your child has been up to in the week. On this fantastic online learning journal, you are also able to upload photos and observations from home. Your key person is then able to use this to help support your child’s activities and learning moments at nursery. 

On the first settling in session, you will meet your child’s Key Person and share your child’s relevant information. Share any pertinent information about your child’s likes, dislikes, interests, or any specific needs they may have. This information will help the team in understanding your child better and tailoring activities to their individual preferences. 

Gradual introduction

For some children, a gradual introduction to nursery can make the transition smoother. Begin by allowing your child to attend nursery for shorter periods initially and gradually increase the duration over time. This gradual approach will enable your child to become familiar with the routine, environment, and staff, minimising any overwhelming feelings.

Settling in sessions

At Partou, we run settling-in sessions to support your child settle into a nursery environment before they begin their adventure with us. During these sessions, we will:

  • Start to build positive relationships between your child and their Key Person
  • Discover your child’s likes and dislikes, home routine and any specific requirements such as nap times, food preferences and comforters
  • With the settles we will learn all about what makes your child who they are and how we can incorporate and support that in the setting
  • During settles we will cover a stay and play, a meal time and depending on the booking pattern and age a sleep during these introductory settles so that your child is able to gradually build up important parts of their day
  • Bring Familiar Comforts: Allow your child to bring a favourite, blanket, or comfort object from home. Having something familiar will provide them with a sense of security in the new environment.
Build relationships with other parents 

Connecting with other parents who have children attending the same nursery can be invaluable. It provides an opportunity to share experiences, seek advice, and organise playdates. Building relationships with other parents can create a support network and foster a sense of community for both you and your child. 

Communicate positive hellos and goodbyes 

Talk to your child about the nursery experience in a positive and enthusiastic manner. Highlight the fun activities, new friends they will make, and exciting things they will learn. Assure them that you will be back to pick them up at the end of the day.

When it’s time to say goodbye, ensure that you remain calm and positive. Reassure your child that you will be back to pick them up and that they will have a great time at nursery. Avoid lingering too long during goodbyes, as it may prolong the separation anxiety. A quick, confident farewell will help your child understand that nursery is a safe and enjoyable place. Trust the nursery staff to handle any tears or clinginess that may occur after you leave.

Celebrate achievements

Acknowledge and celebrate your child’s achievements, no matter how small. This could be something as simple as using the potty independently or making new friends. Praising their accomplishments will boost their self-esteem and motivate them to continue exploring and learning in their new nursery environment.

Be Patient: every child is unique, and the settling-in process might take longer for some than others. Be patient and understanding during this time. Offer plenty of love and support to help them adjust to their new environment.

Foster Independence: Encourage your child’s independence in daily activities like dressing themselves, using the bathroom, or carrying their bag. This will boost their confidence and make them feel more capable in the nursery setting.

Settling into nursery is a significant milestone for your child’s development, and as a parent, you play a crucial role in supporting them through this transition. By familiarising your child with the nursery, establishing routines, maintaining open communication, and implementing gradual introductions using settling in sessions, you can help your child feel comfortable, confident, and excited about their new adventure. Remember, each child is unique, and some may take longer to settle in than others. Be patient, supportive, and always celebrate their progress. Soon enough, nursery will become a cherished part of your child’s growth journey. 

If you’d like to start your child’s development journey with Partou, please contact us.

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